taliban governance security and US policy

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  • CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy Kenneth Katzman Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs October 23, 2013 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov RL30588
  • Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy Congressional Research Service Summary The United States and its partner countries are reducing military involvement in Afghanistan as Afghan security forces assume lead security responsibility throughout the country. The current international security mission will terminate at the end of 2014 and likely transition to a far smaller mission consisting mostly of training and mentoring the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF). The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which peaked at about 100,000 in June 2011, was reduced to a pre-surge level of about 66,000 in September 2012, and is currently about 52,000. That number will fall to 34,000 by February 2014. The size of the residual force that will likely remain in Afghanistan after 2014 might be announced later in 2013, with options centering on about 8,000-12,000 U.S. trainers and counterterrorism forces, assisted by about 5,000 partner forces performing similar missions. The U.S. troops that remain after 2014 would do so under a U.S.-Afghanistan security agreement that is under negotiation. Fearing instability after 2014, some ethnic and political faction leaders are reviving their militia forces should the international drawdown lead to a major Taliban push to retake power. The Administration remains concerned that Afghan stability after 2014 is at risk from weak and corrupt Afghan governance and insurgent safe havens in Pakistan. Among efforts to promote effective and transparent Afghan governance, U.S. officials are attempting to ensure that the next presidential election, scheduled for April 5, 2014, will be devoid of the fraud that plagued Afghanistans elections in 2009 and 2010. Other U.S. and partner country anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan have yielded few concrete results. An unexpected potential benefit to stability could come from a negotiated settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban and other insurgent groups. Negotiations have been sporadic, but U.S.-Taliban discussions that were expected to begin after the Taliban opened a political office in Qatar in June 2013 did not materialize. Afghanistans minorities and womens groups fear that a settlement might produce compromises with the Taliban that erode human rights and ethnic power-sharing. The United States and other donors continue to fund development projects while increasingly delegating project implementation to the Afghan government. U.S. officials assert that Afghanistan might be able to exploit vast mineral and agricultural resources, as well as its potentially significant hydrocarbon resources, to prevent a severe economic downturn as international donors scale back their involvement, U.S. officials also seek greater Afghan integration into regional trade and investment patterns as part of a New Silk Road. Persuading Afghanistans neighbors, particularly Pakistan, to support Afghanistans stability has been a focus of U.S. policy since 2009, but has had modest success. Even if these economic efforts succeed, Afghanistan will likely remain dependent on foreign aid indefinitely. Through the end of FY2013, the United States has provided nearly $93 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, of which more than $56 billion has been to equip and train Afghan forces. The aid request for FY2014 is over $10 billion, including $7.7 billion to train and equip the ANSF. Administration officials have said that economic aid requests for Afghanistan are likely to continue at current levels through at least FY2017. See CRS Report RS21922, Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance, by Kenneth Katzman.
  • Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy Congressional Research Service Contents Background...................................................................................................................................... 1 From Early History to the 19th Century..................................................................................... 1 Early 20th Century and Cold War Era........................................................................................ 1 Soviet Invasion and Occupation Period..................................................................................... 2 The Seven Major Mujahedin Parties and Their Activities............................................... 3 Geneva Accords (1988) and Soviet Withdrawal........................................................................ 3 The Mujahedin Government and Rise of the Taliban................................................................ 4 Taliban Rule (September 1996-November 2001)...................................................................... 5 U.S. Policy Toward the Taliban During Its Rule/Bin Laden Presence................................ 5 The Northern Alliance Congeals...................................................................................... 6 Policy Pre-September 11, 2001 .................................................................................................7 September 11 Attacks and Operation Enduring Freedom ................................................... 7 Post-Taliban Governance-Building Efforts ............................................................................... 9 U.S. and International Civilian Policy Structure............................................................... 10 Security Policy: Transition, and Beyond .......................................................................................13 Who Is The Enemy? Taliban, Haqqani, Al Qaeda, and Others............................................ 13 Groups: The Taliban/Quetta Shura Taliban(QST) ......................................................... 13 Al Qaeda/Bin Laden.......................................................................................................... 14 Hikmatyar Faction (HIG).................................................................................................. 15 Haqqani Faction ................................................................................................................ 15 Pakistani Groups ............................................................................................................... 16 Insurgent Tactics................................................................................................................ 17 Insurgent Financing: Narcotics Trafficking and Other Methods....................................... 17 The U.S.-Led Military Effort: 2001-2008 ............................................................................... 18 Obama Administration Surge .................................................................................................. 19 McChrystal Assessment and December 1, 2009, Surge Announcement........................... 20 Transition and Drawdown: Afghans in the Lead..................................................................... 21 Afghan Forces Assume Leadership Role/ISAF Moves to Support Role .......................... 21 Security Assessments ........................................................................................................ 22 Beyond 2014: Likely Outcomes and Size of Residual Force.................................................. 23 Contingency on the Bilateral Security Agreement............................................................ 25 Debate Over Mission Success At Likely Post-2014 Troop Levels.................................... 26 Strategic Partnership Agreement....................................................................................... 26 Transition Pillar: Building Afghan Forces and Establishing Rule of Law .............................. 28 Current and Post-2014 Size of the ANSF.......................................................................... 29 ANSF Top Leadership/Ethnic and Factional Considerations............................................ 29 ANSF Funding .................................................................................................................. 30 The Afghan National Army (ANA)................................................................................... 31 Afghan Air Force............................................................................................................... 32 Afghan National Police (ANP) ......................................................................................... 32 Rule of Law/Criminal Justice Sector................................................................................. 35 Policy Component: Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) ................................................ 36 Cooperation With Allies/Managing the 2014 Exit................................................................... 36 Major Contingent Developments During the U.S. Surge .............................................. 38 Potential Positives: Reintegration and Reconciliation With Insurgents .................................. 39 Regional Dimension ...................................................................................................................... 43
  • Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy Congressional Research Service Pakistan/Pakistan-Afghanistan Border.................................................................................... 46 U.S.-Pakistani Cooperation on Afghanistan......................