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

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Congressional rept.

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Following two high-level policy reviews on Afghanistan in 2009, the Obama Administration asserts that it is pursuing a well resourced and integrated military-civilian strategy intended to pave the way for a gradual transition to Afghan security leadership beginning in July 2011. The pace of that transition is to be determined by conditions on the ground, as determined, in large part, by a formal DOD-led review of the Afghanistan situation in December 2010. The policy is intended to ensure that Afghanistan will not again become a base for terrorist attacks against the United States. In order to reverse security deterioration in large parts of Afghanistan since 2006, each of the two reviews resulted in a decision to add combat troops, with the intent to create security conditions to expand Afghan governance and economic development. A total of 51,000 additional U.S. forces were authorized by the two reviews, which has brought U.S. troop levels to about 104,000 as of September 4, 2010, with partner forces holding at about 40,000. At the same time, the Administration is attempting to counter the perception in the region, particularly among Pakistan, India, the Afghan insurgency, and within the Afghan political establishment that U.S. involvement will be sharply reduced after July 2011. That perception may, among other consequences, be inflaming the traditional rivalry between Pakistan and India, in this case to deny each other influence in Afghanistan. Until October 2010, there had not been a consensus that U.S. strategy has shown clear success, to date. However, in October 2010, the top U.S.NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, as well as other U.S. and partner military officials say that signs are multiplying that insurgent momentum has been broadly blunted. One particular sign is that insurgent commanders are exploring possible surrender terms under which they might reintegrate into society.

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

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