Accession Number:

ADA504398

Title:

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-07-20

Pagination or Media Count:

84.0

Abstract:

Upon taking office, the Obama Administration faced a deteriorating security environment in Afghanistan, including an expanding militant presence in some areas, increasing numbers of civilian and military deaths, Afghan and international disillusionment with corruption in the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the infiltration of Taliban militants from safe havens in Pakistan. The Obama Administration conducted a strategic review, the results of which were announced on March 27, 2009, in advance of an April 3-4, 2009, NATO summit. This review built upon assessments completed in the latter days of the Bush Administration, which produced decisions to plan a build-up of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In part because of the many different causes of instability in Afghanistan, there reportedly were differences within the Obama Administration on a new strategy. The review apparently leaned toward those in the Administration who believe that adding combat troops is less crucial than building governance, although 21,000 U.S. troops are being added during May - September 2009. The new strategy emphasizes non-military steps such as increasing the resources devoted to economic development, building Afghan governance primarily at the local level, reforming the Afghan government, expanding and reforming the Afghan security forces, and trying to improve Pakistans efforts to curb militant activity on its soil. The strategy also backs Afghan efforts to negotiate with Taliban figures who are willing to enter the political process. Still, the Administration decided that more innovative counter-insurgency tactics are needed to promote those goals, and in May 2009, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, was removed and replaced by Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal. elections in October 2004, parliamentary elections in September 2005.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE