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Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan

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During this reporting period, several milestone events set the stage for ending the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and transitioning to a train, advise, and assist mission within the context of an enduring U.S.-Afghanistan partnership On May 27, 2014, President Barack Obama announced his decision on the post-2014 U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, contingent on a signed U.S.-Afghanistan bilateral security agreement BSA2 and North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO-Afghanistan status of forces agreement SOFA. On September 21, the two candidates to succeed Hamid Karzai as Afghanistan s president, Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, concluded an agreement to establish a national unity government. On September 29, Dr. Ghani was inaugurated as President and Dr. Abdullah was sworn in as Chief Executive Officer CEO, a newly created position. On September 30, representatives of the United States and Afghanistan signed the BSA and representatives of NATO and Afghanistan signed the NATO SOFA. The failure of any candidate to win more than 50 percent of the vote in the April 5 presidential election, the disputed outcome of the June 14 runoff election, and former President Karzai s continued refusal to sign the BSA and NATO SOFA created uncertainty about whether U.S. and coalition forces would remain in Afghanistan after 2014. This uncertainty was one factor that contributed to a slowing economy and declining government revenues, as some Afghans fled and investors moved funds outside the country. The agreement to form a government of national unity, President Ghani s inauguration, and the signing of the BSA could help mitigate this uncertainty. The new government will, however, face significant challenges in dealing with the ongoing insurgency, potential resistance to its reform agenda, and Afghanistan s continued reliance on international financial assistance.

Subject Categories:

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

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