Accession Number:

ADA499713

Title:

Afghanistan: Government Formation and Performance

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-04-21

Pagination or Media Count:

17.0

Abstract:

The central governments limited writ and widespread official corruption are helping sustain a Taliban insurgency, and have fed pessimism about the Afghanistan stabilization effort. However, ethnic disputes remain confined largely to political debate and competition, enabling President Hamid Karzai to focus on working with U.S. and international donors on how to improve governance and delivery of public services, and on winning re-election in presidential elections slated for August 20, 2009. Karzai is running for re-election, but he faces substantial loss of public confidence and fluid coalitions of potentially strong election opponents, including several who are, like Karzai, of Pashtun ethnicity. Despite the governments shortcomings, many agree that the country has made substantial progress on personal and political freedoms since the fall of the Taliban regime. At the same time, over the past year U.S. officials have been shifting away from reliance on building the central government and toward promoting local governing bodies and security initiatives as a complement to efforts to build central government capabilities. That trend will continue, according to the Obama Administrations review of U.S. strategy, the results of which were announced on March 27, 2009. The review also stated that the United States will increase economic development efforts, and develop benchmarks with which to judge the performance and legitimacy of the Afghan government, including its efforts to curb official corruption. The review did not emphasize building democracy in Afghanistan, although that goal appears implicit within its recommendations.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE