Order Code RL30588
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Afghanistan: Post-War Governance,
Security, and U.S. Policy
January 11, 2006
Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Afghanistan: Post-War Governance,
Security, and U.S. Policy
Afghanistan’s political transition is proceeding, but insurgent threats to
Afghanistan’s government persist. A new constitution was adopted in January 2004,
and successful presidential elections were held on October 9, 2004, followed by
parliamentary elections on September 18, 2005. This completes the post-Taliban
political transition roadmap established at the December 2001 international
conference in Bonn, Germany. Afghan citizens are enjoying new personal freedoms
that were forbidden under the Taliban , and women are participating in economic and
political life. However, the insurgency led by remnants of the former Taliban regime
has conducted numerous lethal attacks since mid-2005, narcotics trafficking is
rampant, and independent militias remain throughout the country, although they are
being progressively disarmed. The report of the 9/11 Commission recommended a
long-term commitment to stabilize Afghanistan. Legislation passed in December
2004 to implement those recommendations (P.L. 108-458) contains several
provisions on Afghanistan.
U.S. stabilization measures focus on strengthening the central government and
its security forces while combating insurgents. The United States and other countries
are building an Afghan National Army; deploying a multinational International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to patrol Kabul and other cities; and running
regional enclaves to secure reconstruction (Provincial Reconstruction Teams, PRTs).
Approximately 18,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan to combat the Taliban-led
insurgency, but the United States and NATO have agreed to shift more of the security
burden to NATO during 2006 , and U.S. force levels are now programmed to drop to
about 16,500 by mid-2006 . To build security institutions and assist reconstruction,
the United States gave Afghanistan about $ 3.35 billion in an FY2005 supplemental
appropriation (P.L. 109-13), including funds for Afghan security forces. Another
$931 million is provided for in the conference report on the regular FY2006 aid
appropriation (P.L. 109-102).
This paper will be updated as warranted by major developments. See also CRS
Report RS21922, Afghanistan: Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, by
Kenneth Katzman; CRS Report RL32686, Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy,
by Christopher M. Blanchard; and CRS Report RL32783, FY2005 Supplemental
Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan, Tsunami Relief, and Other Activities, by
Amy Belasco and Larry Nowels.
Background to Recent Developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Mujahedin Government and Rise of the Taliban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Taliban Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The “Northern Alliance” Coalition Against the Taliban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Bush Administration Policy Pre-September 11, 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
September 11 Attacks and Operation Enduring Freedom . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Post-War Stabilization and Reconstruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
The Bonn Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Permanent Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
National Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Addressing Key Challenges to the Transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Strengthening Central Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Dismantling Independent Militias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Combating Narcotics Trafficking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Reconstructing Infrastructure and the Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Implementing Rule of Law/Improving Human Rights Practices . . . . . 18
Advancement of Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Post-War Security Operations and Force Capacity Building . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Counter-Insurgency Combat/Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) . . . 21
International Security Force (ISAF)/NATO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Afghan National Army (ANA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Afghan National Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Regional Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Pakistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Iran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Russia, Central Asian States, and China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Central Asian States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Saudi Arabia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
U.S. and International Aid to Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 and Amendments . . . . . . 35
FY2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Beyond FY2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Additional Forms of U.S. Assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
World Bank/Asian Development Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
International Reconstruction Pledges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Promoting Long-Term Economic Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and
WTO Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Residual Issues From Past Conflicts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Stinger Retrieval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Mine Eradication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Appendix 1: U.S. and International Sanctions Lifted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
List of Figures
Figure 1. Map of Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
List of Tables
U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY1999-FY2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY2005 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY1978-FY1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
ISAF Contributing Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Provincial Reconstruction Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Major Factions in Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Afghanistan: Post-War Governance,
Security, and U.S. Policy
Background to Recent Developments
Afghanistan’s slide into instability began in the 1970s when its Communist
Party and its Islamic movement grew in strength and became increasingly bitter
opponents of each other. 1 The instability shattered the relative peace and progress
that characterized the rule of Afghanistan’s last monarch, King Mohammad Zahir
Shah, who reigned from 1933 to 1973. Prior to the founding of the monarchy in
1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, Afghanistan was a territory inhabited by tribes and
tribal confederations often linked to neighboring nations; it was not a distinct
political entity. King Amanullah Khan (1919-1929) launched attacks on British
forces in Afghanistan shortly after taking power and won complete independence
from Britain as recognized in the Treaty of Rawalpindi (August 8, 1919). He was
considered a secular modernizer presiding over a government in which all ethnic
minorities participated. He was succeeded by King Mohammad Nadir Shah ( 19291933), and then by Zahir Shah.
Zahir Shah is remembered fondly by many Afghans for promulgating a
constitution in 1964 that established a national legislature and promoting freedoms
for women, including freeing them from covering their face and hair. However,
possibly believing that doing so would enable him to limit Soviet support for
communist factions in Afghanistan, Zahir Shah also entered into a significant
political and arms purchase relationship with the Soviet Union.
While receiving medical treatment in Italy, Zahir Shah was overthrown by his
cousin, Mohammad Daoud, a military leader. He established a dictatorship
characterized by strong state control over the economy. After taking power in 1978
by overthrowing Daoud, Communists, first under Nur Mohammad Taraki and then
under Hafizullah Amin (leader of a rival communist faction who overthrew Taraki
in 1979), attempted to impose radical socialist change on a traditional society, in part
by redistributing land and bring more women into government. These moves spurred
recruitment for Islamic parties opposed to such moves. The Soviet Union sent troops
into Afghanistan on December 27, 1979, to prevent a seizure of power by the Islamic
militias, known as the “mujahedin” 2 (Islamic fighters). Upon their invasion, the
Soviets replaced Hafizullah Amin with an ally, Babrak Karmal.
For details, see CRS Report RL31759, Reconstruction Assistance in Afghanistan: Goals,
Priorities, and Issues for Congress, by Rhoda Margesson and Johanna Bockman.
The term refers to an Islamic guerrilla; literally “one who fights in the cause of Islam.”
After the Soviets occupied Afghanistan, the mujahedin fought them effectively,
and Soviet occupation forces were never able to pacify the outlying areas of the
country. The mujahedin benefited from U.S. weapons and assistance, provided
through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), working closely with Pakistan’s
Inter-Service Intelligence directorate (ISI). That weaponry included portable
shoulder-fired anti-aircraft systems called “Stingers,” which proved highly effective
against Soviet aircraft. The mujahedin also hid and stored weaponry in a large
network of natural and manmade tunnels and caves throughout Afghanistan. The
Soviet Union’s losses mounted, and Soviet domestic opinion turned anti-war. In
1986, after the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev became leader, the Soviets replaced
Karmal with the director of Afghan intelligence, “Najibullah” Ahmedzai.
On April 14, 1988, Gorbachev agreed to a U.N.-brokered accord (the Geneva
Accords) requiring it to withdraw. The withdrawal was completed by February 15,
1989, leaving in place the weak Najibullah government. The United States closed
its embassy in Kabul in January 1989, as the Soviet Union was completing its
pullout. A warming of relations moved the United States and Soviet Union to try
for a political settlement to the Afghan conflict, a trend accelerated by the 1991
collapse of the Soviet Union, which reduced Moscow’s capacity for supporting
communist regimes in the Third World. Moscow and Washington agreed on
September 13, 1991, to a joint cutoff of military aid to the Afghan combatants.
The State Department has said that a total of about $3 billion in economic and
covert military assistance was provided by the U.S. to the Afghan mujahedin from
1980 until the end of the Soviet occupation in 1989. Press reports say the covert aid
program grew from about $20 million per year in FY1980 to about $300 million per
year during FY1986-FY1990. The Soviet pullout decreased the strategic value of
Afghanistan, causing the Administration and Congress to reduce covert funding. 3
With Soviet backing withdrawn, on March 18, 1992, Najibullah publicly agreed
to step down once an interim government was formed. That announcement set off
a wave of rebellions primarily by Uzbek and Tajik militia commanders who were
nominally his allies. The defectors joined prominent mujahedin commander Ahmad
Shah Masud of the Islamic Society, a largely Tajik party headed by Burhannudin
Rabbani. Masud had earned a reputation as a brilliant strategist by preventing the
Soviets from occupying his power base in the Panjshir Valley of northeastern
Afghanistan. Najibullah fell, and a regime led by the mujahedin was established on
April 18, 1992. 4
For FY1991, Congress reportedly cut covert aid appropriations to the mujahedin from
$300 million the previous year to $250 million, with half the aid withheld until the second
half of the fiscal year. Although the intelligence authorization bill was not signed until late
1991, Congress abided by the aid figures contained in the bill. See “Country Fact Sheet:
Afghanistan,” in U.S. Department of State Dispatch, vol. 5, no. 23 (June 6, 1994), p. 377.
After failing to flee, Najibullah, his brother, and aides remained at a U.N. facility in
Kabul until the Taliban movement seized control in 1996 and hanged them.
Afghanistan at a Glance
28.5 million (July 2004 est.)
Pashtun 42%; Tajik 27%; Uzbek 9%; Hazara 9%; Aimak 4%;
Turkmen 3%; Baluch 2%; other 4%
Sunni Muslim 80%; Shiite Muslim 19%; other 1%
$ 20 billion (purchasing power parity)
$ 8 billion bilateral, plus $500 million multilateral
fruits, nuts, carpets, semi-precious gems, hides, opium
food, petroleum, capital goods, textiles
Source: CIA World Factbook, 2004.
The Mujahedin Government and Rise of the Taliban5
The fall of Najibullah exposed the serious differences among the mujahedin
parties. The leader of one of the smaller parties, Islamic scholar Sibghatullah
Mojadeddi (still active, as discussed below, he led a small party called the Afghan
National Liberation Front), became president for an initial two months (April-May
1992). Under an agreement among the major mujahedin parties, Rabbani became
President in June 1992, with the understanding that he would leave office in
December 1994. He refused to step down, maintaining that political authority would
disintegrate in the absence of a clear successor. Kabul was subsequently ravaged by
shelling from other mujahedin factions leader, particularly Gulbuddin Hikmatyar,
who accused him of monopolizing power. Hikmatyar, who headed a fundamentalist
faction of Hizb-e-Islami (Islamic Party) and reportedly received a large proportion
of the U.S. covert aid during the war against the Soviet Union, was nominally prime
minister but never formally took office. Four years (1992-1996) of the civil war
created popular support for the Taliban as a movement that could deliver Afghanistan
from the factional infighting. (Hikmatyar was later ousted by the Taliban from his
power base around Jalalabad, despite sharing the Taliban’s ideology and Pashtun
ethnicity, and he fled to Iran before returning to Afghanistan in early 2002. He is
now allied with Taliban and Al Qaeda insurgents; his whereabouts are unknown.)
The Taliban was formed in 1993-1994 by Afghan Islamic clerics and students,
many of them former mujahedin who had become disillusioned with continued
conflict among mujahedin parties and had moved into Pakistan to study in Islamic
seminaries (“madrassas”). They were mostly practitioners of an orthodox form of
Sunni Islam, “Wahhabism,” similar to that practiced in Saudi Arabia. The Taliban
was composed overwhelmingly of ethnic Pashtuns (Pathans) from rural areas of
Afghanistan. Pashtuns constitute a plurality in Afghanistan, accounting for about
42% of Afghanistan’s population. Taliban members viewed the Rabbani government
as corrupt, anti-Pashtun, and responsible for continued civil war. With the help of
defections by sympathetic mujahedin, the Taliban seized control of the southeastern
city of Qandahar in November 1994, and by February 1995, it had reached the gates
For an in-depth study of the Taliban and its rule, see Rashid, Ahmad. Taliban: Militant
Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. Yale University Press, 2000.
of Kabul, after which an 18-month stalemate around the capital ensued. In
September 1995, the Taliban captured Herat province, bordering Iran, and
imprisoned its governor, Ismail Khan, a Tajik ally of Rabbani and Masud, who later
escaped and took refuge in Iran. In September 1996, a string of Taliban victories
near Kabul led to the withdrawal of Rabbani and Masud to their Panjshir Valley
redoubt north of Kabul with most of their heavy weapons; the Taliban took control
of Kabul on September 27, 1996. A sense of the Senate resolution (S.Res. 275) that
resolving the Afghan civil war should be a top U.S. priority passed by unanimous
consent on September 24, 1996. A similar resolution, H.Con.Res. 218, passed the
House on April 28, 1998.
The Taliban was led by Mullah (Sunni Muslim cleric) Muhammad Umar, who
fought (and lost an eye) in the anti-Soviet war fighting under the banner of the Hizbe-Islam (Islamic Party) of Yunis Khalis. Umar held the title of Head of State and
Commander of the Faithful, but he mostly remained in his power base in Qandahar,
rarely appearing in public. Umar forged a close bond with bin Laden and adamantly
opposed meeting U.S. demands to extradite him. Born in Uruzgan province, Umar,
who is about 60 years old, fled Qandahar when the Taliban surrendered it on
December 9, 2001. He is still at large and, most recently in a statement on January
10, 2006, in which he rejected an overture by President Karzai to reconcile with the
government, exhorts his followers to continue their insurgency.
The Taliban progressively lost international and domestic support as it imposed
strict adherence to Islamic customs in areas it controlled and employed harsh
punishments, including executions. The Taliban authorized its “Ministry for the
Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice” to use physical punishments to
enforce strict Islamic practices, including bans on television, Western music, and
dancing. It prohibited women from attending school or working outside the home,
except in health care, and it publicly executed some women for adultery or other
transgressions. In what many consider its most extreme action, in March 2001 the
Taliban blew up two large Buddha statues carved into hills above Bamiyan city,
which dated to the seventh century AD, on the grounds that they represented unIslamic idolatry. (The pro-Taliban governor of Bamiyan at the time of the
destruction, Mawlawi (honorific title) Mohammad Islam Mohammadi, won election
to parliament in the September 18, 2005, elections. He blamed the decision to
destroy the statues on Al Qaeda influence on the Taliban.)
The Clinton Administration diplomatically engaged the Taliban movement
before and after it took power, but U.S. relations with the Taliban had become
mostly adversarial well before the September 11, 2001 attacks. The United States
withheld recognition of Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan,
formally recognizing no faction as the government. Because of the lack of broad
international recognition, the United Nations seated representatives of the ousted
Rabbani government, not the Taliban. The State Department ordered the Afghan
embassy in Washington, D.C., closed in August 1997 because of a power struggle in
that embassy. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1193 (August 28, 1998) and 1214
(December 8, 1998) urged the Taliban to end discrimination against women. During
a November 1997 visit to Pakistan, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called
Taliban policies “despicable.” Several U.S.-based women’s rights groups urged
the Clinton Administration not to recognize the Taliban government, and in May
1999, the Senate passed a resolution (S.Res. 68) calling on the President not to
recognize any Afghan government that discriminates against women.
The Taliban’s hosting of Al Qaeda’s leadership had become the Clinton
Administration’s overriding bilateral agenda item with Afghanistan by 1998. 6 In
April 1998, then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson visited
Afghanistan and asked the Taliban to hand over bin Laden, but was rebuffed. After
the August 7, 1998, Al Qaeda bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania, the Clinton Administration progressively pressured the Taliban to extradite
bin Laden. It imposed U.S. sanctions and achieved adoption of U.N. sanctions on
the Taliban regime (see appendix), and it undertook some reported covert actions
against it.7 Clinton Administration officials say that they did not try to oust the
Taliban from power through major U.S. military action or by militarily aiding
Taliban opponents because domestic U.S. support for those steps was then lacking
and the Taliban’s opponents were too weak and did not necessarily hold U.S. values.
The “Northern Alliance” Coalition Against the Taliban
The Taliban’s policies caused many different Afghan factions to ally with the
ousted President Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Masud, the Tajik core of the anti-Taliban
opposition, into a broader “Northern Alliance.” Other components of the Alliance
were the following.
Uzbeks/General Dostam. One major component was the Uzbek
militia (the Junbush-Melli, or National Islamic Movement of
Afghanistan) of General Abdul Rashid Dostam. Uzbeks constitute
about 9% of the population, compared with 27% that are Tajik.
Dostam was best known for his March 1992 break with Najibullah
that precipitated Najibullah’s overthrow one month later. He
subsequently fought against Rabbani during 1992-1995 to persuade
him to yield power, but later joined Rabbani’s Northern Alliance
against the Taliban. Dostam had commanded about 25,000 troops,
armor, combat aircraft, and some Scud missiles, but he was unable
to hold off Taliban forces, which, after several unsuccessful
attempts, captured Dostam’s region in August 1998. During the
U.S.-led war against the Taliban, Dostam led horse-mounted forces
against dug-in Taliban positions at Shulgara Dam, south of Mazar-eSharif, leading to the fall of the city and the Taliban’s subsequent
collapse. Dostam was a candidate for president in the October 9,
For more information on bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organization, see CRS Report
RL31119, Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2002, by Kenneth Katzman.
See also CRS Report RS20411, Afghanistan: Connections to Islamic Movements in Central
and South Asia and Southern Russia, by Kenneth Katzman.
On August 20, 1998, the United States fired cruise missiles at alleged bin Laden-controlled
terrorist training camps in retaliation for the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
2004 elections; in March 2005 Karzai appointed him as his “chief
of staff” for military affairs.
Hazara Shiites. Members of Hazara tribes, mostly Shiite Muslims,
are prominent in Bamiyan Province (central Afghanistan) and are
always wary of repression by Pashtuns and other large ethnic
factions. The main Hazara Shiite grouping is Hizb-e-Wahdat (Unity
Party, an alliance of eight smaller groups), which joined Rabbani’s
1992-1996 government. Hizb-e-Wahdat has traditionally received
some material support from Iran, whose population practices Shiite
Islam. Hizb-e-Wahdat forces occasionally retook Bamiyan city from
the Taliban, but they did not hold it until the Taliban collapsed in
November 2001. The most well known Hazara political leader is
Karim Khalili, leader of a large faction of Hizb-e-Wahdat; he is now
one of President Hamid Karzai’s two vice presidents. Another
major Hazara figure, Mohammad Mohaqiq, ran in the October 2004
presidential election. He won a parliament seat in the September 18
Pashtun Islamists/Sayyaf. Another former mujahedin party leader,
Abd-I-Rab Rasul Sayyaf, heads a Pashtun-dominated faction called
the Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan. Sayyaf lived
many years in and is politically close to Saudi Arabia, which shares
his conservative brand of Sunni Islam (“Wahhabism”). During the
U.S.-backed war against the Soviet occupation, Sayyaf’s mujahedin
faction, along with that of Hikmatyar, was a principal recipient of
U.S.-supplied weaponry. Both criticized the U.S.-led war against
Saddam Hussein after Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Even though
his ideology is similar to that of the Taliban, Sayyaf joined the
Northern Alliance against it. He won election to the lower house of
parliament in the September 18, 2005 , election but lost his bid to
become its speaker , despite some support from Karzai.
Bush Administration Policy Pre-September 11, 2001
Prior to the September 11 attacks, Bush Administration policy differed only
slightly from Clinton Administration policy — applying pressure short of military
action against the Taliban, while retaining some dialogue with it. The Bush
Administration did not provide the Northern Alliance with U.S. military assistance,
although the 9/11 Commission report says that, in the months prior to the September
11 attacks, the Administration was leaning toward such a step. That report adds that
some Administration officials wanted to also assist anti-Taliban Pashtun forces and
not just the Northern Alliance; other covert options might have been under
consideration as well. 8 However, in a departure from Clinton Administration policy,
the Bush Administration stepped up engagement with Pakistan in an effort to
persuade it to end support for the Taliban. In accordance with U.N. Security Council
Drogin, Bob. “U.S. Had Plan for Covert Afghan Options Before 9/11.” Los Angeles
Times, May 18, 2002.
Resolution 1333, in February 2001 the State Department ordered the closing of a
Taliban representative office in New York. The Taliban closed that office, but its
representative continued to operate informally. In March 2001, Bush Administration
officials received a Taliban envoy, young foreign ministry aide Rahmatullah
Hashemi, to discuss bilateral issues.
Fighting with only some Iranian and Russian support, the Northern Alliance
continued to lose ground to the Taliban after it lost Kabul in 1996. By the time of the
September 11 attacks, the Taliban controlled at least 75% of the country and almost
all major provincial capitals. The Northern Alliance suffered a major setback on
September 9, 2001, two days before the September 11 attacks, when Ahmad Shah
Masud was assassinated by alleged Al Qaeda suicide bombers posing as journalists.
He was succeeded by his intelligence chief, Muhammad Fahim, a veteran figure but
who lacks Masud’s charisma or authority.
September 11 Attacks and Operation Enduring Freedom. After the
September 11 attacks, the Bush Administration decided to militarily overthrow the
Taliban regime when it refused a U.S. demand to immediately extradite bin Laden.
The Administration decided that a friendly regime in Kabul was needed to create the
conditions under which U.S. forces could capture Al Qaeda activists there. In
Congress, S.J.Res.23 (P.L. 107-40) authorized “all necessary and appropriate force
against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized,
committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or
harbored such organizations or persons....” It passed 98-0 in the Senate and with no
objections in the House. Another law (P.L. 107-148) established a “Radio Free
Afghanistan” under RFE/RL and provided $17 million in funding for it for FY2002.
Major combat in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, OEF) began on
October 7, 2001. It consisted primarily of U.S. airstrikes on Taliban and Al Qaeda
forces, coupled with targeting by relatively small numbers (about 1,000) of U.S.
special operations forces, to facilitate military offensives by the Northern Alliance
and Pashtun anti-Taliban forces. Some U.S. ground units (about 1,300 Marines)
moved into Afghanistan to pressure the Taliban around Qandahar at the height of the
fighting (October-December 2001), but there were few pitched battles between U.S.
and Taliban soldiers; most of the ground combat was between Taliban and its Afghan
opponents. Some critics believe that U.S. dependence on local Afghan militia forces
in the war strengthened the militias’ subsequent autonomy.
The Taliban regime unraveled rapidly after it lost Mazar-e-Sharif to Dostam
on November 9, 2001. Northern Alliance forces commanded by Fahim — who had
initially promised U.S. officials his forces would not enter the city itself — entered
Kabul three days later. The collapse in the north was followed by the Taliban’s loss
of the south and east to pro-U.S. Pashtun commanders, such as Hamid Karzai.
Karzai had entered Afghanistan just after the September 11 attacks to organize
Pashtun resistance to the Taliban, supported in that effort by U.S. special forces. He
became central to U.S. efforts in the south after another Pashtun leader, Abdul Haq ,
entered Afghanistan in October 2001 without coordination with or support from U.S.
forces and was captured and killed by the Taliban.
Major U.S. combat operations continued after the fall of the Taliban regime.
The United States and its Afghan allies conducted “Operation Anaconda” in the
Shah-i-Kot Valley south of Gardez during March 2 - 19, 2002, to eliminate a pocket
of as many as 800 Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. In late March 2003, about 1,000
U.S. troops launched a raid on suspected Taliban or Al Qaeda fighters in villages
around Qandahar. On May 1, 2003, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Afghan
president Karzai declared major OEF combat operations ended.
Post-War Stabilization and Reconstruction9
The war paved the way for the success of an eight-year-long U.N. effort to form
a broad-based Afghan government. The United Nations was viewed as a credible
mediator by all sides largely because of its role in ending the Soviet occupation.
During the 1990s, proposals from a succession of U.N. mediators incorporated many
of former King Zahir Shah’s proposals for a government to be selected by a
traditional assembly, the loya jirga. However, any U.N.-mediated ceasefires between
warring factions always broke down. One U.N. mediator, Algerian diplomat
Lakhdar Brahimi ended his efforts in frustration in October 1999.
Non-U.N. initiatives fared no better . They included the following:
a “Six Plus Two” multilateral contact group, which began meeting
in 1997 (the United States, Russia, and the six states bordering
Afghanistan: Iran, China, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and
Tajikistan); all countries in the Six Plus Two pledged not to arm the
a “Geneva group” (Italy, Germany, Iran, and the United States) ,
formed in 2000;
an Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) contact group; and
individual Afghan exile efforts, including one from the Karzai clan ,
an “Intra Afghan Dialogue” consisting of former mujahedin
commanders and clan leaders, a “Rome Grouping” centered on
former King Zahir Shah , and the “Cyprus Process” consisting of proIranian Afghan exiles.
The Bonn Agreement. Immediately after the September 11 attacks, Brahimi
was brought back as U.N. mediator and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1378
(November 14, 2001 ) called for a “central” role for the United Nations in establishing
For an analysis of U.S. reconstruction initiatives in Afghanistan, with a focus primarily on
economic reconstruction, see U.S. Government Accountability Office, Afghanistan
Reconstruction, GAO-05-742 (July 2005).
In June 1996, the Administration formally imposed a ban on U.S. sales of arms to all
factions in Afghanistan, a policy that had been already in place less formally. Federal
Register, vol. 61, no. 125 (June 27, 1996), p. 33313.
a transitional administration and inviting member states to send peacekeeping forces
to promote stability and aid delivery. After the fall of Kabul in November 2001, the
United Nations invited the major Afghan factions, most prominently the Northern
Alliance and that of the former King — but not the Taliban — to a conference Bonn,
Germany. On December 5, 2001, the factions signed the “Bonn Agreement ,” which
held the following provisions.
It formed a 30-member interim administration to govern until the
holding in June 2002 of an emergency loya jirga, which would
choose a government to run Afghanistan until a new constitution is
approved and national elections held (planned for June 2004).
Hamid Karzai was selected to chair the interim administration,
weighted toward the Northern Alliance (17 out of 30 of the
positions). This bloc held the key posts of Defense (Fahim), Foreign
Affairs (Dr. Abdullah Abdullah), and Interior (Yunus Qanooni).
The three ethnic Tajiks, in their mid-40s, were close aides to Ahmad
Shah Masud. It was agreed that, in the interim, Afghanistan would
abide by the constitution of 1964. 11
It authorized an international peace keeping force to maintain
security, at least in Kabul. Northern Alliance forces were directed
to withdraw from Kabul. The agreement also referenced the need to
cooperate with the international community to counter narcotics
trafficking, crime, and terrorism.
The Bonn Agreement was endorsed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1385
(December 6, 2001), and the international peacekeeping force was authorized by
Security Council Resolution 1386 (December 20, 2001). 12
Hamid Karzai was selected to lead Afghanistan because he is a credible Pashtun
leader who tends to seek factional compromise rather than by intimidating his
opponents with the use of armed force. Karzai, who is about 50 years old, is leader
of the powerful Popolzai tribe of Durrani Pashtuns ; he became tribal leader when
his father was assassinated, allegedly by Taliban agents, in Quetta, Pakistan in 1999.
Karzai attended university in India. He was deputy foreign minister in Rabbani’s
government during 1992-1995, but he left the government and supported the Taliban
as a Pashtun alternative to Rabbani. He broke with the Taliban as its excesses
unfolded and forged alliances with other anti-Taliban factions, including the Northern
Alliance. Some of his several brothers have lived in the United States, including
Qayyum Karzai, who won a parliament seat in the September 18, 2005, election.
Permanent Constitution. An “emergency” loya jirga (June 2002) put a
popular imprimatur on the new transition government. In preparation, former King
The last loya jirga that was widely recognized as legitimate was held in 1964 to ratify a
constitution. Najibullah convened a loya jirga in 1987 to approve pro-Moscow policies; that
gathering was widely viewed by Afghans as illegitimate.
Text of Bonn agreement at [http://www.runiceurope.org/german/frieden/afghanistan/talks/
Zahir Shah returned to Afghanistan on April 18, 2002. By the time of the meeting,
381 districts of Afghanistan had chosen the 1,550 delegates to it, of which about 200
were women. At the assembly, the former King and Rabbani withdrew from
leadership candidacy and Karzai was selected to continue as leader until presidential
elections (to be held June 2004). On its last day (June 19, 2002), the assembly
approved a new cabinet similar to the previous one, but it did not form a parliament.
Subsequently, a 35-member constitutional commission, appointed in October
2002, drafted the permanent constitution and unveiled in November 2003. It was
debated by 502 delegates, selected in U.N.-run caucuses, at a “constitutional loya
jirga (CLJ)” during December 13, 2003 - January 4, 2004. The CLJ, chaired by
Sibghatullah Mojadeddi (who is discussed above), ended with approval of the
constitution with only minor changes from the draft. Most significantly, members
of the Northern Alliance factions and their allies did not succeed in measurably
limiting the power of the presidency by setting up a prime minister-ship. There were
broad concerns that a prime minister might emerge as a rival to the presidency.13
Instead, significant powers were given to an elected parliament at the CLJ, such as
the power to veto senior official nominees and the ability to impeach a president.
Some experts believe that the strong presidency places undue weight on Karzai’s
incumbency and self-restraint. According to the permanent constitution:
Two vice presidents run on the same election ticket as the president,
and one succeeds him in the event of the president’s death. They
serve a five-year term, and presidents are limited to two terms. If
no presidential candidate receives at least 50%, a run-off is to be
held within two weeks.
There is to be a two-chamber parliament, provincial, and district
councils. The lower house (Wolesi Jirga, House of People), to
consist of 249 seats, is to be fully elected at the same time, if
possible, as presidential elections.
The 102-seat upper chamber (Meshrano Jirga, House of Elders) is
to be selected as follows: one-third of the seats (34) are appointed by
the President; another one third (34, one per province) are selected
by provincial councils (which are elected, if possible, the same day
as the parliamentary elections); and a final 34 are selected by the
nearly 400 district councils (elected, if possible, the same day as the
parliamentary elections). The constitution does not stipulate other
roles for the district councils, although some believe they will
ultimately acquire some power to impose local taxes and provide
Constable, Pamela. “Afghan Constitution Seeks Balance.” Washington Post, September
Aizenman, N.C. “Afghans Face a Rocky Road to Next Vote.” Washington Post, February
In the elected lower house, at least 68 of those elected (an average
of two per province x 34 provinces) “should” be women. That
would give women about 25% of the seats in that body. The goal is
to be met through election rules that would give seats to the top
women vote-getters in each province. In the upper house, 50% of
the president’s appointments are to be women, giving women at
least 17 seats (half of the president’s 34 nominees) — about 17% of
Political parties may be established so long as their charters “do not
contradict the principles of Islam,” and they do not have affiliations
with other countries.
Laws “contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of
Islam” are prohibited, and men and women have “equal rights and
duties before the law.” Islamic law is not imposed but court rulings
should be “in accord with [the Hanafi school of] Islamic law, “when
there is no provision in the Constitution or other laws regarding
ruling on an issue.”
Uzbek and Turkmen languages are official languages in regions
inhabited by these ethnic groups. (These provisions were not in the
original draft; Pashtun leaders had wanted the final constitution to
designate Pashto as the sole official language.)
National Elections. The October 9, 2004, presidential voting was orderly and
turnout heavy (about 8.2 million votes cast out of 10.5 million registered voters). On
November 3, 2004, Karzai was declared winner (55.4% of the vote) over his
seventeen challengers on the first round, avoiding a runoff. He was inaugurated on
December 7, 2004, with Vice President Cheney attending.
Parliamentary elections had been intended for April-May 2005 , although they
were subsequently scheduled for September 18, 2005. The provincial councils were
elected that same day. However, because of the difficulty in confirming voter
registration rolls and determining district boundaries, elections for the district
councils, each of which will have small and contentious boundaries, have been put
off until later in 2006. (Because the district elections were not be held at the same
time as the parliamentary and provincial elections, as an interim measure the
provincial councils have chosen 68 of the seats of the upper house, with 34 of them
to be interim seats to be replaced when the district elections are held in 2006.)
According to the U.N. Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA), the
number of candidates certified on July 12 (final certification) were 2,778 candidates
for the lower house of parliament thus far (including about 330 women) and 3,027
candidates for the provincial councils (including 270 women). The election system
was district based. The vote itself was considered mostly successful, with little
violence and only minor reports of potential fraud. Turnout, however, was about
55% (about 6.5 million votes cast), possibly because each ballot contained many
candidate names, and many voters are illiterate.
Final results were delayed until November 12, 2005, because of the need to
examine 2,000 fraud complaints. The 72 political parties registered with the Justice
Ministry tried to elect candidates on a national or regional basis, but party
organizations are weak relative to prominent personalities with relatively narrow
followings. Karzai did not form his own formal party. Yunus Qanooni, Karzai’s
main presidential election challenger, was the top figure in a loose coalition of proNorthern Alliance parliamentary candidates who belong to his “New Afghanistan”
party set up in late 2004. Because Qanooni, Northern Alliance political leader
Rabbani, and other pro-Qanooni candidates won seats in parliament, the bloc was
expected to emerge as a center of opposition or criticism of Karzai in the new
parliament. However, when the new body convened on December 18, the race for
speaker of the lower house was between Qanooni and Karzai ally Abd-i-Rab Rasul
Sayyaf (see above). Qanooni was selected even though Karzai supporters are
believed to constitute a majority in the lower house.
Qanooni immediately said he would step down as “opposition leader” and, as
speaker, work cooperatively with Karzai. The role of opposition leader was
subsequently taken up by Rabbani, who won a seat. The 102-seat upper house,
selected by the provincial councils and Karzai, consists mainly of older, well known
figures, as well as 17 females (half of Karzai’s 34 appointments, as provided for in
the constitution). Karzai appointed former Northern Alliance Defense Minister
Mohammad Fahim to that body as a gesture of reconciliation. The contest for leader
of that body was won by Sibghatullah Mojadeddi (mentioned above) who is viewed
as a mediator among factions. More detail on the various post-Taliban elections,
some of the other winners, and the implications for Afghan politics and policy are
discussed in CRS Report RS21922, Afghanistan: Presidential and Parliamentary
Elections, by Kenneth Katzman.
Addressing Key Challenges to the Transition
Karzai’s government is slowly expanding its writ, although tensions remain
among factions of the national government and between the central government and
some regional leaders. Aside from the security concerns, the political transition is
proceeding steadily but continues to face challenges that are discussed below.
Strengthening Central Government. A key part of the U.S. stabilization
effort is to build the capacity of the Afghan government and keep its disparate
factions working together. In December 2004, a 27-seat cabinet was sworn in,
which balances ethnic factions (among Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and
others) but also tried to emphasize technocratic qualifications (nine have Ph.D’s)
over factional allegiances. The main security ministries, Defense and Interior, were
occupied by Pashtuns, which was widely seen as a move to marginalize the Northern
Alliance faction in government. (Interior Minister Ali Jalali, a Pashtun, resigned in
September 2005 purportedly because Karzai refused to remove some regional
governors allegedly involved in corruption. However, Karzai appointed eight Tajik
ministers, including Foreign Minister and Northern Alliance stalwart Abdullah
Abdullah. Three ministers are women: presidential candidate Masooda Jalal is
Minister of Women’s Affairs; Sediqa Balkhi is Minister for Martyrs and the
Disabled; and Amina Afzali is Minister of Youth. To emphasize his stated
commitment to end the burgeoning narcotics trafficking problem, Karzai created a
Ministry of Counter-Narcotics, headed by Habibullah Qadari. A cabinet reshuffle
might occur early in 2006 now that a parliament has been seated.
The United States and Afghanistan are trying to build democratic traditions at
the local level. The Afghan government’s “National Solidarity Program” seeks to
create local governing councils and empower them to prioritize local reconstruction
projects. Elections to these local councils have been held in several provinces, and
almost 40% of those elected to them have been women. 15 An FY2005 supplemental
appropriations request included, within the $265 million broad democracy category,
$155 million in Economic Support Funds (ESF) for programs including the National
Solidarity Program. The conference report on P.L. 109-13 did not specify how much
of the $1.086 billion in ESF appropriated is allocated for these programs.
Yet, Afghanistan’s central government still lacks administrative capacity. As
part of the U.S. push to build government capacity, the Bush Administration has
formed the 15-person Afghan Reconstruction Group (ARG), placed within the U.S.
Embassy in Kabul, to serve as additional advisors to the Afghan government.
Zalmay Khalilzad, an American of Afghan origin who was President Bush’s envoy
to Afghanistan, became ambassador in December 2003, and he reportedly had
significant influence on Afghan government decisions. 16 Ambassador Ronald
Neumann replaced him in August 2005. To assist the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and
coordinate reconstruction and diplomacy, in 2004 the State Department created an
Office of Afghanistan Affairs, now headed by Ambassador Maureen Quinn.
As a demonstration of high-level U.S. support for Karzai, the Administration
has maintained a pattern of senior visits. Vice President Cheney attended Karzai’s
inauguration in December 2004. In March 2005, Secretary of State Rice, and then
First Lady Laura Bush (March 29) visited Afghanistan, with Secretary Rice visiting
again in October 2005. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld visits every three months.
Funding Issues/ FY2005 Supplemental. The U.S. embassy has expanded
its personnel and facilities to help accelerate the reconstruction process, and it is
improving its physical security capabilities. The conference report on P.L. 109-13
provided a requested $60 million for embassy Kabul operations, as well as the
requested $17.1 million in non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, and de-mining (NADR)
funds for Karzai protection. Additional amounts for Afghan government capacity
($240 million was requested) are not specified. Part of the funds were for contract
security to replace U.S. marines that had guarded the compound. A requested $25
million for Kabul international airport was not provided, 17 although the airport has
now acquired equipment for instrument landing.
Khalilzad, Zalmay (Then U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan). “Democracy Bubbles Up.”
Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2004.
Waldman, Amy. “In Afghanistan, U.S. Envoy Sits in Seat of Power.” New York Times,
April 17, 2004. Afghanistan’s ambassador in Washington is Seyed Jalal Tawwab, formerly
a Karzai aide.
The conference report on the FY2004 supplemental appropriation (P.L. 108-106) provided
$44 million for improvements to the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
Dismantling Independent Militias. Karzai, as well as numerous private
studies and U.S. official statements, cite regional and factional militias as a key threat
to Afghan stability. In his first post-election speech on November 4, 2004, Karzai
said he would continue curbing regional leaders and militias. Some of these local
strongmen have been accused of past human rights abuses in a report released in July
2005 by the “Afghanistan Justice Project. 18 Some argue that Afghans have always
sought substantial regional autonomy. Some critics attribute the continued strength
of regional militias to U.S. policies to use these militias to combat Taliban and Al
Qaeda remnants. Others believe that easily obtained arms and manpower, funded by
narcotics trafficking profits, help to sustain the independence of local militias. Still
others maintain that local militias did not interfere to any great extent in the Afghan
elections in 2004 or 2005 and are not an obstacle to Afghan stability.
Karzai has moved to marginalize regional strongmen. Herat strongman Ismail
Khan was appointed Minister of Water and Energy; he had been removed by Karzai
as governor of Herat Province in September 2004. As noted above, Dostam was
appointed Karzai’s top military advisor, and in April 2005 he “resigned” as head of
his Junbush Melli faction. In July 2004, Karzai removed a charismatic Northern
Alliance commander, Atta Mohammad, from control of a militia in the Mazar- eSharif area, appointing him as governor of Balkh province. Two other militia
leaders, Hazrat Ali (Jalalabad area) and Khan Mohammad (Qandahar area) were
placed in civilian police chief posts; (Hazrat Ali has been elected to the new
parliament.) Karzai removed Pashtun regional leader Ghul Agha Sherzai as Minister
of Public Works and of Urban Development but then returned him to his prior post
as governor of Qandahar, subsequently shifting him to the governorship of Nangarhar
Province, east of Kabul, which has many Pashtuns.
Another commander of concern is former Defense Minister Fahim, although
his appointment to the upper house of parliament now gives him a stake in the
political process. Although he has mostly withdrawn Northern Alliance militia
fighters from Kabul, as required in the Bonn agreement, and turned almost all of his
heavy weapons over to U.N. and Afghan forces as of January 2005 (including four
Scud missiles), he could conceivably still pose a military threat to Karzai’s
government if Karzai continues to marginalize Tajiks/Northern Alliance figures.
DDR and DIAG Programs. A cornerstone of the effort to curb regionalism
is a program, run by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan
(UNAMA) to dismantle identified and illegal militias (Disarmament,
Demobilization, and Reintegration, DDR). This program is run in partnership with
Japan, Britain, and Canada, with participation of the United States. The program first
got off to a slow start because the Afghan Defense Ministry did not enact mandated
reforms (primarily reduction of the number of Tajiks in senior positions) by the
targeted July 1, 2003, date. In September 2003, Karzai acted on the issue, replacing
22 senior Tajik Defense Ministry officials with Pashtuns, Uzbeks, and Hazaras.
The DDR program had initially been expected to demobilize 100,000 fighters,
although that figure was later dropped to just over 60,000 by Afghan officials.
According to UNAMA 63,000 militia fighters identified were disarmed by the time
this phase of the program ended July 8, 2005, and virtually all of those have now
exercised reintegration options: training, starting small businesses, and other
options. The program got a boost from the ousting of Ismail Khan as Herat governor
in August 2004; he permitted many of his militiamen to enter the DDR program after
he was removed. Some studies have criticized the DDR program for failing to
prevent a certain amount of rearmament of militiamen or stockpiling of weapons and
for the rehiring of some militiamen in security programs run by the United States and
its partners. 19
Part of the DDR program is the collection and cantonment of militia weapons.
According to UNAMA, at least 36,000 medium and light weapons have been
collected; of these, 13,400 pieces have been transferred to the ANA. In addition,
10,880 heavy weapons (tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery pieces) have
been collected; this is nearly all of the heavy weapons believed controlled by militia
forces , according to U.S. officials. However, some accounts say that only poor
quality weapons have been collected and that faction leaders maintain secret caches
Since June 11, 2005, the militia disarmament effort has centered on a pool of
perhaps 80,000-100,000 members of 1,800 different “illegal armed groups” —
militiamen that were not part of recognized local forces and were never on the rolls
of the Defense Ministry. The program to disarm them is called the Disarmament of
Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG). As of late 2005, over 11,000 weapons had been
collected from these militia fighters.
Combating Narcotics Trafficking. Narcotics trafficking has been
identified as a growing problem facing the Karzai government. The State
Department’s International Narcotics Strategy Report, released March 4, 2005, says
that Afghanistan is “on the verge of becoming a narcotics state.” In his November
4, 2004 election victory speech, and at a subsequent conference, Karzai called on
Afghans to join a “jihad” against the opium trade, later pledging to destroy
Afghanistan’s poppy fields within two years. He has also urged the Bush
Administration to focus primarily on funding alternative livelihoods that will
dissuade Afghans from growing, rather than on eradication or interdiction. (In April
2005, for example, Afghan farmers in the Qandahar area fought Afghan units who
were attempting to eradicate poppy fields.) The first evidence that some of these
programs might be working was provided in a November 2005 study by the U.N.
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Afghan Counternarcotics Directorate;
that report said that the area devoted to opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan had
dropped 21% over the past year. However, an improved yield caused the overall
opium production to decline by only 2.5%. Narcotics still account for about $2.7
billion in value — still nearly half of Afghanistan’s GDP.
For an analysis of the DDR program, see Christian Dennys. Disarmament, Demobilization
and Rearmament? June 6, 2005, [http://www.jca.apc.org/~jann/Documents/Disarmament
To try to add effectiveness to the U.S. program, the U.S. military has overcome
its initial reluctance to expand its mission in Afghanistan and it is now playing a
greater role in attacking traffickers and their installations. The U.S. military is
reportedly flying Afghan and U.S. counter-narcotics agents (Drug Enforcement
Agency, DEA) on missions and identifying targets; it also evacuates casualties from
any counter-drug operations. The Bush Administration also has taken some new
legal steps against suspected Afghan drug traffickers by indicting them and putting
the legal machinery in place to have them extradited from Afghanistan if caught. 20
In mid-April 2005, a DEA operation successfully caught the alleged leading Afghan
narcotics trafficker, Haji Bashir Noorzai, arresting him after a flight to New York.
Another alleged Afghan trafficker, Baz Mohammad, was extradited from
Afghanistan in October 2005. A detailed discussion of the narcotics trafficking issue,
including U.S. funding to combat this problem in Afghanistan, is provided in CRS
Report RL32686, Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy, by Christopher M.
Funding Issues/FY2005 Supplemental.
narcotics funds are being provided:
Substantial U.S. counter-
For FY2004, the United States provided $220 million to assist
Afghanistan’s counter-narcotics effort and to train Afghan police,
both handled by INL. Of that, $170 million was appropriated in the
FY2004 supplemental appropriation (P.L. 108-106), and $50 million
was provided from the post-September 11 “Emergency Response
Fund.” The supplemental also provided $73 million for Defense
Department counter-narcotics activities in Afghanistan.
The FY2005 regular foreign aid appropriation (P.L. 108-447)
contained no hard earmark for Afghan counter-narcotics.
The FY2005 supplemental appropriation (P.L. 109-13) provided
substantial funds for “Plan Afghanistan” — a $780 million
(proposed FY2005 funds) program to raise public awareness about
the problem, promote alternative livelihoods, and conduct
interdiction and crop eradication. The appropriation included $227
million for DOD counter-narcotics in Afghanistan ($30 million less
than requested); the requested $260 million for INL counternarcotics; the requested $8 million for DEA operations in
Afghanistan; and $34 for counter-narcotics operations of the Afghan
government. The requested $248 million to promote alternative
livelihoods was not specifically provided, nor was $46 million for
aerial eradication, although other funds appropriated for
reconstruction are considered to support the development of
alternative livelihoods. The appropriation also provides for
furnishing Afghan counter-narcotics forces with some weaponry and
Cameron-Moore, Simon. “U.S. to Seek Indictment of Afghan Drug Barons.” Reuters,
November 2, 2004.
equipment, as well as for an audit of how U.S. counter-narcotics
funds are used there.
The request for regular FY2006 foreign aid appropriations asks
$260 million for counter-narcotics and police training purposes.
The conference report on the FY2006 foreign aid appropriation (P.L.
109-102) provides $235 million for these functions. The conference
report also limits Afghan ESF for FY2006 to $225 million unless the
president certifies the Afghan government is fully cooperating with
counter-narcotics efforts, although a waiver is provided for.
The Bush Administration has not imposed sanctions on post-Taliban
Afghanistan even though it has determined that Afghanistan is a major drug transit
or illicit drug producing country. The Administration has not included Afghanistan
on an annual list of countries that have “failed demonstrably to make substantial
efforts” to adhere to international counter-narcotics agreements and take certain
counter-narcotics measures set forth in U.S. law.21 Narcotics trafficking control was
perhaps the one issue on which the Taliban satisfied much of the international
community; the Taliban enforced a July 2000 ban on poppy cultivation, which the
U.N. International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) said in February 2001 had
dramatically decreased cultivation. 22 The Northern Alliance did not issue a similar
ban in areas it controlled.
Reconstructing Infrastructure and the Economy. U.S. and Afghan
officials see the growth in narcotics trafficking as a product of an Afghan economy
ravaged by war and lack of investment. Since 2003, accelerated and somewhat
restructured U.S. economic reconstruction efforts have showcased some evidence of
success, including roads, education, and health, although the United States has not
met all its reconstruction targets, according to a July 2005 report by the Government
Accountability Office. 23 The report noted that in 2004, in contrast to the few prior
years, U.S. efforts focused on reconstruction rather than quick-impact programs.
Roads. Paving of the Kabul-Qandahar roadway project (Phase I),
completed in December 2003. According to USAID, Phase II
paving was completed in November 2004, and several bridges have
been completed. The Qandahar-Herat roadway, funded by the
United States, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, is expected to be completed
by the end of 2005. U.S.-funded ($2.7 million) work began on
March 15, 2005 for a road out of the Panjshir Valley. On September
This is equivalent to the listing by the United States, as Afghanistan has been listed every
year since 1987, as a state that is uncooperative with U.S. efforts to eliminate drug
trafficking or has failed to take sufficient steps on its own to curb trafficking.
Crossette, Barbara. “Taliban Seem to Be Making Good on Opium Ban, U.N. Says.” New
York Times, February 7, 2001.
Numerous other examples of U.S. economic reconstruction initiatives are analyzed in a
General Accounting Office (GAO) report: Afghanistan Reconstruction: Despite Some
Progress, Deteriorating Security and Other Obstacles Continue to Threaten Achievement
of U.S. Goals. GAO Report GAO-05-742, July 2005.
27, 2005, a $20 million road from Qandahar to Tarin Kowt, built by
U.S. military personnel, was inaugurated.
Education and Health. According to U.S. officials, five million
Afghan children are now in school — up from only 900,000 in 2001
— and girls’ attendance is up sharply. Additional work is being
conducted on school and health clinic rebuilding (278 schools and
326 clinics have been built thus far, according to Ambassador Quinn
on September 22, 2005). During her March 29, 2005 visit to
Afghanistan, First Lady Laura Bush announced U.S. grants out of
FY2005 funds of $17.7 million for a private “American University
of Kabul,” and $3.5 million for primary school education. These
grants were part of the approximately $152 million in U.S. funds
programmed for Afghanistan education during FY2003- FY2005 (of
which $85 million was appropriated in the FY2004 supplemental,
P.L. 108-106). Press reports say that some projects are going
uncompleted; a Washington Post report of November 20, 2005, says
that of 1,000 U.S.-funded health clinics and schools to be built by
the end of 2004 at a cost of $73 million, only about 150 have been
completed by November 2005, mostly refurbishments of existing
Agriculture. According to the director of the USAID mission at
U.S. Embassy Kabul in December 2005, USAID has helped
Afghanistan double its agricultural output over the past four years.
Funding/FY2005 Supplemental/FY2006. The FY2005 supplemental (P.L.
109-13) appropriated $1.086 billion in ESF out of the $2 billion requested for all
civilian reconstruction projects. The conference report says the amount “assumes full
funding” for health programs and provincial reconstruction team (PRTs, discussed
below) expenses. Among projects not funded were refurbishment of Kabul Airport,
venture capital funding, industrial park funding, higher education including costs of
a new law school in Kabul, and various long-term construction projects (power
plants, industrial parks, and courthouses). The FY2006 regular foreign aid requests
asks for about $630 million for reconstruction; approximately these amounts are in
the conference report on H.R. 3057 (P.L. 109-102) , including $430 million in
Economic Support Funds (ESF). In a press interview, U.S. Ambassador Ron
Neumann reportedly said (Washington Post, January 3, 2006) that appropriated
funds “will not be enough” for FY2006, and he hopes that there will be more funds
provided in supplemental appropriations.
Implementing Rule of Law/Improving Human Rights Practices.
Virtually all observers agree that Afghans are freer than they were under the Taliban.
The press is relatively free and Afghan political groupings and parties are able to
meet and organize freely, according to the State Department report on human rights
practices for 2004 (released February 28, 2005). However, according to the State
Department and other reports, including an April 2005 report submitted by U.N.
human rights monitor on Afghanistan Cherif Bassiouni, there continue to be abuses
based on ethnicity or political factionalism in many parts of Afghanistan and arbitrary
implementation of justice by local leaders. The State Department International
Religious Freedom report for 2005 (released November 8, 2005) supports accounts
of progress but says there continues to be discrimination against the Shiite (Hazara)
Among specific incidents, some believe the Afghan police mishandled protests
in Jalalabad, Ghazni, and other cities during May 11-13, 2005, which erupted in
response to a May 9 Newsweek story that U.S. interrogators in Guantanamo Bay had
mishandled and dishonored the Quran. The unrest resulted in 15 Afghans killed.
Some observers say that the government has reimposed some Islamic
restrictions that characterized Taliban rule, including the code of criminal
punishments stipulated in Islamic law. 24 Some have blamed the increased restrictions
on chief justice Fazl Hadi Shinwari, a religious conservative who was appointed in
late November 2001 by Rabbani, just after the Taliban fled Kabul but before Karzai
took office. On October 23, 2005, Afghanistan’s Supreme Court convicted a male
journalist Ali Nasab (editor of the monthly “Women’s Rights” magazine) of
blasphemy and sentenced him to two years in prison for his articles about apostasy.
The Kabul High Court reduced his sentence to time served and he was freed in
December 2005, easing concerns.
U.S. programs generally focus on building capacity of the judicial system,
including police training and court construction; many of these programs are
conducted in partnership with Italy, which is the “lead” coalition country on judicial
reform. The United States has trained 579 judges as of June 2005, according to
USAID, and it trains prosecutors and court administrators for the Ministry of Justice,
the office of the Attorney General, and the Supreme Court. The conference report
on the FY2005 supplemental (P.L. 109-13) did not specifically appropriate the
requested $25 million for court administration, a law school, and other rule of law
An Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHC) has been formed
to monitor government performance and has been credited in State Department
reports with successful interventions to curb abuses. It is headed by former Women’s
Affairs minister Sima Samar. The FY2004 supplemental appropriation (P.L. 108106), appropriated $5 million to fund the Commission in FY2004. This is the
amount authorized, for each FY2003-2006, for that purpose, in the Afghanistan
Freedom Support Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-327). Another $2 million for the AIHC was
appropriated in P.L. 108-447 (regular FY2005 appropriation). The conference report
on H.R. 3057 (P.L. 109-102) recommends another $2 million for this body.
Advancement of Women.25 The government is widely considered to be
promoting the advancement of women, although the treatment of women remains
subject to Afghanistan’s conservative traditions. The first major development in
post-Taliban Afghanistan was the establishment of a Ministry of Women’s Affairs,
now headed by former presidential candidate Masooda Jalal, which is dedicated to
Shea, Nina. “Sharia in Kabul?” National Review, October 28, 2002.
See also CRS Report RS21865, Assistance to Afghan and Iraqi Women: Issues for
Congress, by Febe Armanios and Rhoda Margesson.
improving women’s rights. That ministry has strived to involve more Afghan women
in business ventures and it has invited Afghan religious scholars to hear
interpretations of the Quran that favor participation of women in national affairs. In
another notable development, in March 2005 Karzai appointed former Minister of
Women’s Affairs Habiba Sohrabi as governor of Bamiyan province, inhabited mostly
by Hazaras. As noted above, the constitution reserves for women at least 25% of the
seats in the upper house of parliament, and several prominent women have won seats
in the new parliament, including some who would have won even if there were no
set-aside for women. Three women are in the cabinet. Women are performing some
jobs, such as construction work, that were rarely held by women even before the
Taliban came to power in 1996, 26 including in the new police force. Press reports
say Afghan women are increasingly learning how to drive. Under the new
government, the wearing of the full body covering called the burqa is no longer
obligatory, although many women continue to wear it by tradition.
The Administration and Congress are taking a continued interest in the
treatment of women in Afghanistan, and U.S. officials have had some influence in
persuading the government to codify women’s rights. After the Karzai government
took office, the United States and the new Afghan government set up a U.S.-Afghan
Women’s Council to coordinate the allocation of resources to Afghan women.
Empowerment of Afghan women was a major feature of First Lady Laura Bush’s
visit to Afghanistan in March 2005. According to the State Department, the United
States has implemented over 175 projects directly in support of Afghan women,
including women’s empowerment, maternal and child health and nutrition, funding
the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, micro-finance projects, and like programs.
Funding to Advance Afghan Women. Recent congressional action
includes the following.
On November 27, 2001, as the Taliban was collapsing, the House
unanimously adopted S. 1573, the Afghan Women and Children
Relief Act, which had earlier passed the Senate. The law (signed
December 12, 2001) calls for the use of unspecified amounts of
supplemental funding (appropriated by P.L. 107-38, which gave the
Office of the President a $40 billion Emergency Response Fund to
respond to the September 11, 2001 attacks) 27 to fund educational
and health programs for Afghan women and children.
The Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-327)
authorized $15 million per year, for FY2003-2006, for the Ministry
of Women’s Affairs.
Amanpour, Christiane. CNN special report on Afghanistan. Broadcast November 2,
For more information on how the appropriated funds were distributed and used, see CRS
Report RL31173, Combating Terrorism: First Emergency Supplemental AppropriationsDistribution of Funds to Departments and Agencies, by James R. Riehl.
The FY2004 supplemental (P.L. 108-106) appropriated $60 million
for programs to assist Afghan women and girls, and expresses the
sense of Congress that the United States seek (in Afghanistan and
Iraq) to promote high level participation of women in legislative
bodies and ministries and ensure their rights in new institutions.
The FY2005 regular foreign aid appropriation, P.L. 108-447,
provides $50 million for Afghan women and girls, of which $7.5
million is to go to small grants to women’s businesses. Another $6
million is appropriated in that law for maternal and child health care
in Afghanistan . On March 11, 2005, the Administration announced
a $2.275 million grant (FY2005 funds) to the Ministry of Women’s
Affairs, during a visit to the United States by Minister Masooda
Jalal. The conference report on P.L. 109-13, an FY2005
supplemental, recommends $5 million be used for women’s
organizations’ capacity building.
The conference report on the FY2006 foreign aid appropriation (P.L.
109-102 recommends $50 million in funding for programs
benefitting women and girls, including $7.5 million to train and
equip Afghan women-run NGOs.
Post-War Security Operations and Force Capacity Building
The top security priority of the Administration has been to prevent Al Qaeda
from regrouping there and to reduce security threats to the Afghan government. The
pillars of the U.S. security effort are (1) combat operations by U.S. and other
coalition forces in Afghanistan; (2) peacekeeping by a NATO-led International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF); (3) U.S. and NATO expansion of “provincial
reconstruction teams” (PRTs); and (4) the equipping and training of an Afghan
National Army and a police force.
Counter-Insurgency Combat/Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
The United States military (U.S. Central Command, CENTCOM) has about 18,000
troops in Afghanistan , and nineteen coalition countries are contributing another
approximately 2,000 combat troops to OEF. These include forces from Britain
(several hundred); Australia (300); France (200, as well as French combat aircraft
flying strikes from Bagram air base north of Kabul, Tajikistan, and Qatar); Romania,
Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, New Zealand, and Germany. Additional assistance
comes from Japanese naval refueling capabilities in the Arabian sea; several
countries, reporting to the U.S. Fifth Fleet command in Bahrain, participate in a
patrol mission for the Arabian Sea to prevent the movement of Al Qaeda and other
militants across those waters. The commander of U.S./OEF forces in Afghanistan
is Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry (as of May 3, 2005, replacing Lt. Gen David Barno),
who heads the “Combined Forces Command (CFC),” headquartered near the U.S.
Embassy in Kabul. The operational commander is Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya.
U.S. forces along with Afghan troops continue on the offensive against
insurgents . Among major recent operations, the United States and Afghanistan
conducted “Operation Mountain Viper” (August 2003); “Operation Avalanche,”
(December 8-30, 2003); “Operation Mountain Storm” (March-July 2004) against
Taliban remnants in and around Uruzgan province (home province of Mullah Umar);
“Operation Lightning Freedom” (December 2004-February 2005); and “Operation
Pil (Elephant)” in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan (mid-October 2005).
U.S. commanders believe that the combat, coupled with overall political and
economic reconstruction, is defeating the insurgency, although insurgents attacks
have escalated somewhat since April 2005. Since then, Taliban and Hikmatyar
insurgents, apparently mimicking suicide and roadside bombing tactics used in the
Iraq insurgency, have stepped up their operations in Afghanistan. Recent insurgent
attacks have focused on aid workers, U.S. and Afghan soldiers and police, Afghan
teachers whose classes contain girls, pro-Karzai clerics, and politicians. Seven
parliamentary candidates were assassinated during the campaign. Some attribute the
stepped up attacks to a reinforcement of the Taliban insurgents by Al Qaeda
militants who cross the border from Pakistan, but Gen. Eikenberry in December 2005
said he does not see indications that insurgents in Afghanistan are receiving active
help from insurgents in Iraq. Karzai said in September 2005 that the U.S. -Afghan
effort should now emphasize preventing the infiltration of insurgents from Pakistan
and economic incentives to lure away potential insurgents, rather than on combat.
Of the most significant recent attacks, on June 1, 2005 a mosque in Qandahar
was bombed, killing 40 Afghans, including Kabul’s police chief. On September 28,
2005, a suicide bomber killed nine Afghan soldiers. Four Americans were killed in
an August 29, 2004, bombing of a U.S. security contractor (DynCorp) facility in
Kabul. A suicide bomber killed ten Afghans at a provincial market in Uruzgan
province, not far from where Ambassador Neumann was meeting. Two Swedish
international peacekeepers (ISAF, see below) were killed in the normally quiet
mostly Uzbek city of Mazar-e-Sharif in November 2005.
The Taliban insurgent command structure apparently is still intact. As noted
above, Mullah Umar remains active. Some top aides have been captured, but others,
such as Jalaludin Haqqani, Mullah Akhtar Usmani, and Mullah Dadullah are still at
large. In addition, in April 2005 Taliban remnants started a clandestine radio station,
“Voice of Shariat,” suggesting the movement still has substantial resources. On the
other hand, in early October 2005, Pakistan arrested and subsequently extradited to
Afghanistan the Taliban’s chief “spokesman,” Abdul Latif Hakimi.
Several Taliban militants have renounced their past and joined the political
process under Karzai’s offers of amnesty. According to press reports, about 50-60
militants, including several key Taliban and Hikmatyar activists, have joined the
reconciliation process, which is headed by Sibghatullah Mojadeddi. In January 2005,
U.S. forces in Afghanistan released 81 detained Taliban fighters at Karzai’s request.
Another Taliban figure, its former ambassador to Pakistan, was released by U.S.
forces in September 2005. As noted above, several Taliban figures, including its
foreign minister Wakil Mutawwakil, ran in the parliamentary elections. Karzai has
said about 100-150 of the top Taliban leadership would not be eligible for amnesty
or political engagement.
The Hunt for Al Qaeda and Other Militants. U.S. Special Operations
Forces in Afghanistan (and in Pakistan) continue to hunt for bin Laden and his close
ally, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Bin Laden reportedly escaped the U.S.-Afghan offensive
against the Al Qaeda stronghold of Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan in December
2001. 28 The two are now widely believed to be on Pakistan’s side of the border.
As noted above, another target of OEF is the Hikmatyar faction (Hizb-e-Islami
Gulbuddin, HIG) allied with Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents. On February 19,
2003, the U.S. government formally designated Hikmatyar as a “Specially
Designated Global Terrorist,” under the authority of Executive Order 13224, but it
is not formally designated as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” Executive Order
13224 subjects named terrorists and terrorist-related institutions to financial and
other U.S. sanctions. The HIG is included in the section on “other terrorist groups”
in the State Department’s report on international terrorism for 2004, released April
2005. Some accounts suggest that a Special Operations team ambushed in June 2005
might have searching for Hikmatyar; a U.S. helicopter sent to rescue the team was
apparently shot down, killing the 16 aboard.
Longer Term U.S. Military Presence. Even if the Taliban insurgency is
defeated completely, it appears that the United States will maintain a long-term
presence in Afghanistan . President Karzai told visiting Defense Secretary Rumsfeld
on April 13, 2005, that Afghanistan would ask President Bush for a long-term
security pact with the United States that might include permanent bases, although
Rumsfeld reportedly was non-committal. On May 8, 2005, Karzai summoned about
1,000 delegates to a national consultation in Kabul on the proposal to allow
permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan; delegates reportedly supported an indefinite
presence of international forces to maintain security but urged Karzai to delay a firm
decision. On May 23, 2005, Karzai and President Bush issued a “joint declaration”
providing for U.S. forces to have access to Afghan military facilities, in order to
prosecute “the war against international terror and the struggle against violent
extremism.” The joint statement did not give Karzai his requested increased control
over facilities used by the U.S. forces, over U.S. operations, or over the disposition
of prisoners taken in the course of operations.
Some of the bases, both in and near Afghanistan, that are used in support of U.S.
operations in Afghanistan and that could form part of a longer-term U.S. presence to
ensure Afghanistan’s security include the following.
Bagram Air Base north of Kabul, the operational hub of U.S. forces
in Afghanistan. 29 Bagram, along with thirteen other airfields in
Afghanistan, handle the 150 U.S. aircraft (including helicopters) in
the country. The FY2005 supplemental (P.L. 109-13) provides a
total of about $52 million for various projects to upgrade facilities
at Bagram, including a control tower and an operations center, but
a $57 million fuel storage tank farm for Bagram was not
For more information on the search for the Al Qaeda leadership, see CRS Report
RL33038, Al Qaeda: Profile and Threat Assessment, by Kenneth Katzman.
Harris, Kent. “Buildings Going Up at Bagram Air Base as U.S. Forces Dig In for the
Long Haul.” Stars and Stripes, March 15, 2005.
Qandahar airfield, just outside that city, which bases about 500 U.S.
military personnel. The FY2005 supplemental provides $16 million
for an ammunition supply facility at Qandahar.
Shindand Air Base , 20 miles from the Iranian border , which has
been used by U.S. forces since October 2004, after the dismissal of
Herat governor Ismail Khan, whose forces controlled the facility.
Karshi-Khanabad airbase in Uzbekistan housed about 1,750 U.S.
military personnel (900 Air Force, 400 Army, and 450 civilian) in
supply missions to Afghanistan when used. In July 2005, following
U.S. criticism of the May 2005 crackdown on unrest in the city of
Andijon, Uzbekistan formally demanded that the United States
discontinue use of the base within six months. U.S. forces have
ceased using it , and in November 2005 the Defense Department
reportedly paid Uzbekistan $23 million in reimbursements owed for
use of the facility.
The Peter Ganci base at Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan , which has
about 1, 000 U.S. military personnel , as well as refueling and cargo
aircraft. Leadership of Kyrgyzstan changed in April 2005 in a
revolution against former President Askar Akayev, but Secretary of
Defense Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Rice reportedly received
assurances about continued U.S. use of the base during their visits
to Kyrgyzstan in July 2005 and October 2005, respectively.
However, Kyrgyzstan reportedly wants the United States to pay
more for use of the facility to cover environmental clean-up costs
associated with U.S. use of it.
Several bases in the Persian Gulf are used to support the
Afghanistan mission, including Al Dhafra in the UAE , Al Udeid in
Qatar, and several airfields in Oman. P.L. 109-13 appropriates $1.4
million to upgrade Al Dhafra.
On April 21, 2005, Turkey said it would extend for another year an
agreement allowing the United States to use Incirlik air base to
supply U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
OEF Costs and Casualties. As of January 11, 2006, 255 U.S. military
personnel have been killed in OEF, of which 208 (plus one DOD civilian) have died
in or around Afghanistan. In 2005, 90 U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan,
double the 2004 number — another indication of greater insurgent lethality. The
others died in other theaters of the war, such as in Africa and the Middle East. No
reliable Afghan casualty figures for the war on the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been
announced, but estimates by researchers of Afghan civilian deaths generally cite
figures of “several hundred” civilian deaths.
Incremental costs of U.S. operations in Afghanistan appear to be relatively
stable at about $900 million to $1 billion per month. About $13 billion in
incremental costs were incurred in FY2002. The FY2004 supplemental
appropriation provided about $11 billion for Operation Enduring Freedom for
FY2004 (P.L. 108-106). Supplemental FY2005 funds for Afghanistan combat were
provided in P.L. 108-287 and P.L. 109-13. 30
International Security Force (ISAF)/NATO. 31 In 2006, international forces
will be assuming from the United States a greater share of the security burden . The
Bonn Agreement and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1386 (December 20, 2001)
created an international peacekeeping force for Afghanistan: the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF). 32 ISAF was initially limited to Kabul but
broadened with NATO’s takeover of command of ISAF (August 2003) and
NATO/ISAF’s assumption of control over additional provincial reconstruction teams
(PRTs, see below) in western and northern Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005.33 That
process will continue in 2006 as NATO/ISAF takes over additional PRTs and, along
with that, some of the combat mission, in southern and eastern Afghanistan (by July
2006). A British-led 6,000 person “Regional Command South” will be formed, with
The expansion agreement represents a quieting of the initial opposition of
NATO nations France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain to mixing peacekeeping
with anti-insurgent combat. The resolution of the differences came in late 2005 when
NATO agreed on a formula under which a deputy commander of ISAF would be
“dual-hatted” — reporting to the OEF combat mission as well as the ISAF command
structure. In December 2005, NATO adopted rules of engagement that will allow
NATO/ISAF forces to perform combat missions, although perhaps not as
aggressively as the combat that has been conducted by U.S. forces. In conjunction
with the assumption of greater NATO/ISAF responsibility, President Bush stated on
January 4, 2006, that U.S. force levels in Afghanistan will drop to about 16,500 in
2006. NATO/ISAF force levels will correspondingly increase to about 15,000, from
the current level of about 12,000. (During 2002-2004, ISAF’s force was about 6,400
troops from all 26 NATO countries, plus 10 non-NATO countries.) Table 6 lists
each contributing country to ISAF and forces contributed.
Currently, the core of NATO/ISAF is the Kabul Multinational Brigade (4,400
personnel), which was headed by Canada until August 2004, then by the
“Eurocorps,” a rapid response force composed of forces from France, Germany,
Information on U.S. military costs and funding requests for these operations is analyzed
in CRS Report RL33110, The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Enhanced Base Security Since
9/11, by Amy Belasco.
As noted above, six countries (in addition to the United States) are providing forces to
OEF, and twelve countries are providing forces to both OEF and ISAF.
Its mandate was extended on September 13, 2005, until October 2006 (U.N. Security
Council Resolution 1623).
In October 2003, NATO endorsed expanding its presence to several other cities,
contingent on formal U.N. approval. That NATO decision came several weeks after
Germany agreed to contribute an additional 450 military personnel to expand ISAF into the
city of Konduz. The U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1510 (October 14, 2003)
formally authorizing ISAF to deploy outside Kabul.
Spain, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Turkey took over the lead force role in February
2005, and Italy became lead in August 2005. Britain is slated to take over the lead
in April 2006 as head of an “Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.” At the headquarters
level, there are 600 personnel from 15 contributing nations. ISAF coordinates with
Afghan security forces and with OEF forces as well, and it assists the Afghan
Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism in the operation of Kabul international
airport. The United States currently contributes a small amount of force to ISAF (89
troops), primarily to coordinate U.S. assistance to ISAF.
Some U.S. officials are skeptical that NATO can assume greater security
responsibilities, because of its chronic personnel and equipment shortages. Those
shortages eased somewhat in December 2003 when NATO identified additional
equipment for ISAF operations, including 12 helicopters from Germany, the
Netherlands, and Turkey; and aircraft and infantry from various nations. Britain will
be bringing additional equipment, including Apache attack helicopters, when it
becomes lead force in NATO/ISAF in 2006.
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). NATO/ISAF expansion in
Afghanistan builds on a U.S. initiative to use its military presence to promote
reconstruction. That effort, inaugurated in December 2002, is based on the
establishment of provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) — military-run enclaves
that provide safe havens for international aid workers to help with reconstruction and
to extend the writ of the Kabul government. PRT activities can range from resolving
local disputes to coordinating local reconstruction projects, although the U.S.-run
PRTs focus mostly on counter-insurgency. Each U.S.-run PRT is composed of U.S.
forces ( 50-100 U.S. military personnel); Defense Department civil affairs officers;
representatives of USAID, State Department, and other agencies; and Afghan
government (Interior Ministry) personnel. Most PRTs, including those run by partner
forces, have personnel to train Afghan security forces. Plans are to eventually
establish PRTs in most of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Some aid agencies say they
have felt more secure since the PRT program began, fostering reconstruction activity
in areas of PRT operations. 34 However, other relief groups do not want to associate
with any military force because doing so might taint their perceived neutrality.
Partner countries now run eleven PRTs . As part of the expansion of
NATO/ISAF responsibility in Afghanistan, in mid 2005 Italy (with Spain) took over
and began new PRTs in the west. In August 2005 Canada’s 1,250 troops, police, and
foreign affairs officers took over the key U.S.-led PRT in Qandahar (outside
NATO/ISAF auspices). Under current plans for transition to NATO/ISAF security
leadership: Italy (with Spain), through their PRTs, will have primary control for
Western Afghanistan; Germany (with Turkey and France) will take over the PRTs
and the leadership role in the north from Britain; and Britain (with Canada, the
Netherlands, and Australia) will control the south in partnership with the United
States through the “Regional Command South” vehicle discussed above. However,
the plan for the south was thrown into some disarray in late 2005 when Netherlands
officials and parliamentarians balked at the potential dangers Dutch soldiers would
Kraul, Chris. “U.S. Aid Effort Wins Over Skeptics in Afghanistan.” Los Angeles Times,
April 11, 2003.
face in the south, especially the Uruzgan Province PRT that it is to take over. The
United States and NATO have moved to reassure the Netherlands that U.S. combat
capability will be available to assist the Dutch contingent, which is to number 1,400
when it deploys to the south. However, a Dutch decision is still pending. Under the
current plans, the United States will continue to control the eastern sector of
Afghanistan for the foreseeable future (and to be present in force in the south), where
combat is substantial. The list of existing PRTs is shown in Table 7. (One U.S.-run
PRT is under NATO auspices.)
The FY2004 supplemental appropriations provided $50 million in Economic
Support Funds (ESF) for “PRT projects” (P.L. 108-106). The conference report on
the FY2005 supplemental (P.L. 109-13) says that ESF for PRT reconstruction-related
programs are provided ($87 million was requested for this function).
Afghan National Army (ANA). U.S. forces (“Office of Security Cooperation
Afghanistan,” OSC-A), in partnership with French, British, and other forces, are
training the new ANA. U.S. officers in Afghanistan say the ANA is beginning to
become a major force in stabilizing the country and a national symbol. The ANA
deployed to Herat in March 2004 to help quell factional unrest there and to
Meymaneh in April 2004 in response to Dostam’s militia movement into that city.
In December 2005, Gen. Eikenberry highlighted the fact that the ANA had deployed
outside Afghanistan to assist relief efforts for victims of the October 2005 Pakistan
earthquake. The United States has built four regional bases for the ANA, in Herat,
Gardez, Qandahar, and Mazar-e-Sharif. The ANA now has at least some presence
in most of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, working with the PRTs and assisted by
embedded U.S. trainers. Coalition officers are conducting heavy weapons training
for a heavy brigade as part of the “Kabul Corps,” based in Pol-e-Charki, east of
As of January 2006, the ANA numbers about 27,000 troops, with another 6,000
in training. These comprise 40 battalions, of which 24 are combat battalions. On the
other hand, about 31,000 have been trained to date, suggesting that some desertion
or absentee problem persists. U.N. statements say that the ANA is expected to reach
its “target strength” of 43,000 by the end of 2007, three years ahead of its original
schedule. Earlier plans to build an ANA of 70,000 by 2007 have apparently been
A June 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office cites progress but
also notes problems such as ANA equipment shortages. 35 There have been
personnel problems that likely continue as well. At the time the United States first
began establishing the ANA, Northern Alliance figures reportedly weighted
recruitment for the national army toward its Tajik ethnic base. Many Pashtuns, in
reaction, refused recruitment or left the ANA program. U.S. officials in Afghanistan
say this problem has been alleviated with better pay and more involvement by U.S.
special forces, as well as the appointment of additional Pashtuns in senior Defense
Government Accountability Office Report GAO-05-575. “Afghanistan Security.” June
2005. Available at [http://www.gao.gov].
Ministry positions. 36 The naming of a Pashtun, Abdul Rahim Wardak, as Defense
Minister in December 2004 has also reduced desertions among Pashtuns. To provide
ethnic balance, the chief of staff is Gen. Bismillah Khan, a Tajik who was a Northern
Alliance commander; Khan conducted an official visit to the United States in October
2005. U.S. officers in Afghanistan add that some recruits take long trips to their
home towns to remit funds to their families, and often then return to the ANA after
a long absence. Fully trained recruits are paid about $70 per month. The FY2005
foreign aid appropriation (P.L. 108-447) contains a provision requiring that ANA
recruits be vetted for past involvement in terrorism, human rights violations, and drug
An Afghan Air Force, a carryover from the Afghan Air Force that existed prior
to the Soviet invasion, remains, although it has virtually no aircraft to fly. It has
about 400 pilots, as well as 28 aging helicopters and a few cargo aircraft. Russia
overhauled 11 of these craft in 2004, but the equipment is difficult to maintain. In
May 2005, representatives of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said
the United States is considering obtaining for Afghanistan additional transport planes
and helicopters, although the equipment might not necessarily be U.S. equipment,
according to DSCA. Afghan pilots are based at Bagram air base. Afghanistan is
seeking the return of 26 aircraft, including some MiG-2s that were flown to safety in
Pakistan and Uzbekistan during the past conflicts in Afghanistan.
ANA Funding and Armament. Equipment, maintenance, and logistical
difficulties continue to plague the ANA, according to U.S. commanders and outside
observers. Thus far, weaponry for the ANA has come primarily from Defense
Ministry weapons stocks — with the concurrence of former Defense Minister Fahim
who controlled those stocks — from international donors, 37 primarily from the former
East bloc38 and from the DDR program discussed above. In October 2005, Russia
announced it would give the ANA four helicopters and other non-lethal military aid
and equipment; it has already provided about $100 million in military aid to postTaliban Afghanistan. According to a GAO report of June 2005, the United States has
drawn-down $287 million worth of defense articles (including M-113 armored
personnel carriers) and services for the ANA during FY2002-FY2004, plus $11
million worth of military trucks and armored personnel vehicles. On June 16, 2005,
the President authorized an additional draw-down of $161.5 million. In FY2006,
Afghanistan is eligible to receive grant Excess Defense Articles (EDA) under
Section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act.
According to the June 2005 GAO report, the United States provided about $4.1
billion during FY2002-FY2005 to support the ANA (and Afghan national police).
U.S. funds appropriated for Peacekeeping Operations (PKO funds) are used to cover
Gall, Carlotta. “In a Remote Corner, an Afghan Army Evolves From Fantasy to Slightly
Ragged Reality.” New York Times, January 25, 2003.
International donors have supplied an estimated $193 million worth of weapons and funds
to help build the ANA. For example, in May 2005, Egypt delivered 16,000 weapons to the
Report to Congress Consistent With the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002, July
ANA salaries. ($20 million in such funds was provided in FY2004; $23.8 million
will be provided for FY2005, and $18 million is requested for FY2006). In recent
The FY2004 supplemental (P.L. 108-106) provided $287 million in
foreign military financing (FMF) to accelerate ANA development.
The FY2005 regular foreign aid appropriation (P.L. 108-447)
earmarked $400 million in FMF for the ANA.
The FY2005 supplemental (P.L. 109-13) provided the requested
$1.285 billion for DOD operations to train and equip the ANA. Of
that amount, $290 million is to reimburse the U.S. Army for funds
already obligated to train and equip the Afghan forces.
The FY2006 Defense Appropriation (P.L. 109-148) provides up to
$500 million in DOD operations and maintenance funds for DOD to
equip and train the ANA and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
Afghan National Police. Some Afghan officials believe that building up a
credible and capable national police force is at least as important as building the
ANA. Some Afghans do not believe the ANA should have a role in maintaining
internal security, and that this should be the role of the police. The United States and
Germany are training the Afghan National Police (ANP) force. The U.S. effort has
been led by State Department/INL, primarily through a contract with DynCorp, but
the Defense Department is beginning to play a role in that effort, particularly in
“police reform.” About 55,000 ANP are on duty, trained by the United States and
Germany (police senior levels). The force is targeted for 62,000 by early 2006.
There are seven police training centers around Afghanistan. Part of the training
consists of courses in human rights principles and democratic policing concepts.
However, the ANP work in the communities they come from, often embroiling them
in local factional or ethnic disputes. The June 2005 GAO report, cited above, notes
progress and continued problems, including the continued influence of local leaders
on the national police.
The State Department (INL) has placed 30 U.S. advisors in the Interior Ministry
to help it develop the national police force and counter-narcotics capabilities.
According to the State Department, the United States has completed training of the
first unit of National Interdiction Unit officers under the Counter-Narcotics Police
of Afghanistan. U.S. trainers are also building Border Police and Highway Patrol
forces (which are included in the figures cited above).
Funding. In recent appropriations, the FY2005 supplemental (P.L. 109-13)
provides $360 million (of $400 million requested) in State Department INL funds to
train the ANP. Another $58.5 million was requested for FY2006 out of a total INL
request of $260 million for Afghanistan counter-narcotics and police training. The
conference report on P.L. 109-102 funds $235 million for INL Afghanistan
operations, meaning the request, including training of the ANP, is almost fully
funded. International donors have furnished $120 million in cash for the ANP and
provided another $126 million in equipment and training.
Although most of Afghanistan’s neighbors believe that the fall of the Taliban
has stabilized the region, some experts believe that some neighboring governments
are attempting to manipulate Afghanistan’s factions to their advantage, even though
six of Afghanistan’s neighbors signed a non-interference pledge (Kabul Declaration)
on December 23, 2002.
Afghan officials are trying to normalize relations with Pakistan even though
they assert that Pakistan has failed to prevent Taliban remnants from operating there.
Pakistan had been the most public defender of the Taliban movement when it was in
power, viewing it as an instrument with which to build an Afghan central
government strong enough to prevent fragmentation of Afghanistan while at the same
time sufficiently friendly and pliable to provide Pakistan strategic depth against rival
India. Pakistan was one of only three countries (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates are the others) to formally recognize it as the legitimate government.
Pakistan publicly ended its support for the Taliban in the aftermath of the September
11, 2001, attacks.
After the September 11 attacks, Pakistan provided the United States with
requested access to Pakistani airspace, some ports, and some airfields for OEF.
Pakistan also has arrested over 550 Al Qaeda fighters, some of them senior
operatives, and turned them over to the United States. Among those captured by
Pakistan are top bin Laden aide Abu Zubaydah (captured April 2002); alleged
September 11 plotter Ramzi bin Al Shibh September 11, 2002); top Al Qaeda
planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (March 2003); and most recently a top planner,
Abu Faraj al-Libbi (May 2005).
Following failed assassination attempts in December 2003 against President
Musharraf, Pakistani forces accelerated efforts to find Al Qaeda forces along the
Pakistan-Afghanistan border, in some cases threatening tribal elements in these areas
who are suspected of harboring the militants. In March 2004, about 70,000 Pakistani
forces began a major battle with about 300-400 suspected Al Qaeda fighters in the
Waziristan area, reportedly with some support from U.S. intelligence and other
indirect support. Pakistan now has approximately 74,000 forces poised near the
north Waziristan area of Pakistan, and the U.S. military acknowledged in April 2005
that it is training Pakistani commandos to fight Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan. 40
At the same time, Pakistan has been widely criticized for insufficient efforts to
find and arrest Taliban figures who might be in Pakistan. Some suspect that Pakistan
is seeking to protect its interests by fashioning a strong Pashtun-based component for
For further discussion, see Rashid, Ahmed. “The Taliban: Exporting Extremism.”
Foreign Affairs, November-December 1999.
Gall, Carlotta. “U.S. Training Pakistani Units Fighting Qaeda.” New York Times, April
a post-Taliban government. Pakistan is wary that any Afghan government might fall
under the influence of India, which Pakistan says is using its diplomatic facilities in
Afghanistan to train and recruit anti-Pakistan insurgents. Pakistan says it is too
difficult to distinguish Afghan Taliban from Pakistani nationals. On July 19, 2005,
Pakistan arrested five suspected senior Taliban leaders, including a deputy to Mullah
Umar, and, as noted above, in October 2005 it captured Taliban spokesman Hakimi.
Despite the improving climate between these neighbors, there are occasional
border clashes, apparently caused by the lack of clear border delineation, and the
presence of independent armed factions on the Afghan side of the border or
aggressive commanders on the Pakistani side. The most recent border clash was on
January 4, 2005. Pakistan wants the government of Afghanistan to pledge to abide
by the “Durand Line,” a border agreement reached between Britain (signed by Sir
Henry Mortimer Durand) and then Afghan leader Amir Abdul Rahman Khan in
1893, separating Afghanistan from what was then British-controlled India (later
Pakistan after the 1947 partition). As of October 2002, about 1.75 million Afghan
refugees have returned from Pakistan since the Taliban fell. About 300,000 Afghan
refugees remain in Pakistan.
Iran perceives its key national interests in Afghanistan as exerting its traditional
influence over western Afghanistan, which Iran borders and was once part of the
Persian empire, and to protect Afghanistan’s Shiite minority. Iranian firms are also
profiting from reconstruction work in western Afghanistan. After the fall of the
Taliban in late 2001, President Bush warned Iran against meddling in Afghanistan.
Partly in response to the U.S. criticism, in February 2002 Iran expelled Karzaiopponent Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, although it did not arrest him. Since then, the Bush
Administration has accused Iran of trying to build influence over the interim
government, although such criticism has lessened as the pro-Iranian Northern
Alliance has been marginalized in the government. For his part, Karzai has said that
Iran is an important neighbor of Afghanistan. Iran did not strongly oppose Karzai’s
firing of Iran ally Ismail Khan in September 2004, although Iran has opposed the
subsequent U.S. use of the Shindand air base. 41 Iran is said to be helping Afghan law
enforcement with anti-narcotics along their border. About 300,000 Afghan refugees
have returned from Iran since the Taliban fell, but about 1.2 million remain, mostly
integrated into Iranian society.
Iran’s position in Afghanistan was improved substantially by the fall of the
Taliban, which Iran saw as a threat to its interests in Afghanistan, especially after
Taliban forces captured Herat (the western province that borders Iran) in September
1995. Iran subsequently drew even closer to the Northern Alliance than previously,
providing its groups with fuel, funds, and ammunition, 42 and hosting fighters loyal
to Ismail Khan. In September 1998, Iranian and Taliban forces nearly came into
Rashid, Ahmed. “Afghan Neighbors Show Signs of Aiding in Nation’s Stability.” Wall
Street Journal, October 18, 2004.
Steele, Jonathon, “America Includes Iran in Talks on Ending War in Afghanistan.”
Washington Times, December 15, 1997.
direct conflict when Iran discovered that nine of its diplomats were killed in the
course of the Taliban’s offensive in northern Afghanistan. Iran massed forces at the
border and threatened military action, but the crisis cooled without a major clash,
possibly out of fear that Pakistan would intervene on behalf of the Taliban. Iran has
confirmed that it offered search and rescue assistance in Afghanistan during the U.S.led war to topple the Taliban, and it also allowed U.S. humanitarian aid to the Afghan
people to transit Iran.
The interests and activities of India in Afghanistan are almost the reverse of
those of Pakistan. India’s goal is to deny Afghanistan from providing “strategic
depth” to Pakistan, and India supported the Northern Alliance against the Taliban in
the mid-1990s. According to Indian officials, Pakistan wants to have the option of
installing another pro-Pakistan government there. 43 India saw the Taliban’s hosting
of Al Qaeda as a major threat to India itself because of Al Qaeda’s association with
radical Islamic organizations in Pakistan dedicated to ending Indian control of parts
of Jammu and Kashmir. Some of these groups have committed major acts of
terrorism in India.
India is currently considering co-financing, along with the Asian Development
Bank, several power projects in northern Afghanistan. In other signs of cooperation,
in January 2005 India, among other joint projects announced, promised to help
Afghanistan’s struggling Ariana national airline and to begin India Air flights from
Delhi to Kabul.
Russia, Central Asian States, and China
Some neighboring and nearby states take an active interest not only in Afghan
stability, but in the U.S. military posture that supports OEF.
Russia. During the 1990s, Russia supported the Northern Alliance against the
Taliban with some military equipment and technical assistance in order to blunt
Islamic militancy emanating from Afghanistan. 44 Russia, which is also still stung by
its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, apparently views Northern
Alliance figures as instruments with which to rebuild Russian influence in
Afghanistan. In October 2005, Russia announced it would supply the ANA with
helicopters. Although Russia supported the U.S. effort against the Taliban and Al
Qaeda in Afghanistan out of fear of Islamic (mainly Chechen) radicals, more recently
Russia has sought to reduce the U.S. military presence in Central Asia. Russian fears
of Islamic activism emanating from Afghanistan may have ebbed since 2002 when
Russia killed a Chechen of Arab origin known as “Hattab” (full name is Ibn alKhattab), who led a militant pro-Al Qaeda Chechen faction. The Taliban
government was the only government in the world to recognize Chechnya’s
These views were expressed by Indian officials during a visit to India in December 2004.
Risen, James. “Russians Are Back in Afghanistan, Aiding Rebels.” New York Times, July
independence, and some Chechen fighters fighting alongside Taliban/Al Qaeda
forces have been captured or killed.
Central Asian States. During Taliban rule, Russian and Central Asian
leaders grew increasingly alarmed that radical Islamic movements were receiving
safe haven in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan, in particular, has long asserted that the group
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), allegedly responsible for four simultaneous
February 1999 bombings in Tashkent that nearly killed President Islam Karimov, is
linked to Al Qaeda. 45 One of its leaders, Juma Namangani, reportedly was killed
while commanding Taliban/Al Qaeda forces in Konduz in November 2001.
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan do not directly border Afghanistan, but IMU guerrillas
have transited Kyrgyzstan during past incursions into Uzbekistan. 46
These countries generally supported the Northern Alliance against the Taliban;
Uzbekistan supported Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostam, who was part of that
Alliance, as discussed above. In 1996, several of these states banded together with
Russia and China into a regional grouping called the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization to discuss the Taliban threat. It includes China, Russia, Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Reflecting Russian and Chinese efforts to
limit U.S. influence in the region, the group issued a statement in early July 2005,
reiterated by a top official of the group in October 2005, that the United States should
set a timetable for ending its military presence in Central Asia.
Despite the Shanghai Cooperation Organization statements, Tajikistan,
Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are all, for now, holding to their pledges of facility
support to OEF. Tajikistan, heavily influenced by Russia, was initially reluctant to
allow the United States the use of military facilities in Tajikistan. However, on
September 26, 2001, Moscow officially endorsed the use by the United States of
three air bases in Tajikistan, paving the way for Tajikistan to open facilities for U.S.
use, which it did formally offer in early November 2001. France has consistently
based some combat aircraft there for the OEF effort. In July 2003, Afghanistan and
Tajikistan agreed that some Russian officers would train some Afghan military
officers in Tajikistan. As noted above, since December 2001 Kyrgyzstan has hosted
U.S. air operations at Manas airport. Under a July 2002 agreement, Kazakhstan
allows coalition aircraft to use Kazakhstan’s airports in case of an emergency or
short-term need related to the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
Of the Central Asian states that border Afghanistan, only Turkmenistan chose
to seek close relations with the Taliban leadership when it was in power, possibly
viewing engagement as a more effective means of preventing spillover of radical
Islamic activity from Afghanistan. Turkmenistan’s leader, Saparmurad Niyazov,
saw Taliban control as facilitating construction of a natural gas pipeline from
Turkmenistan through Afghanistan (see below). The September 11 events stoked
Turkmenistan’s fears of the Taliban and its Al Qaeda guests and the country publicly
supported the U.S.-led war. No OEF forces have been based in Turkmenistan.
The IMU was named a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in
Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1999, pp. 14, 92.
China. A major organizer of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China
has a small border with a sliver of Afghanistan known as the “Wakhan corridor” (see
map). China had become increasingly concerned about the potential for Al Qaeda
to promote Islamic fundamentalism among Muslims (Uighurs) in northwestern
China. A number of Uighurs fought in Taliban and Al Qaeda ranks in the U.S.-led
war, according to U.S. military officials. In December 2000, sensing China’s
increasing concern about Taliban policies, a Chinese official delegation met with
Mullah Umar. China did not, at first, enthusiastically support U.S. military action
against the Taliban. Many experts believe this is because China, as a result of
strategic considerations, was wary of a U.S. military buildup nearby. In addition,
China has been an ally of Pakistan, in part to balance out India, a rival of China.
During the Soviet occupation, Saudi Arabia channeled hundreds of millions of
dollars to the Afghan resistance, primarily the Hikmatyar and Sayyaf factions. Saudi
Arabia, which itself practices the strict Wahhabi brand of Islam practiced by the
Taliban, was one of three countries to formally recognize the Taliban government.
The Taliban initially served Saudi Arabia as a potential counter to Iran, but IranianSaudi relations improved after 1997 and balancing Iranian power ebbed as a factor
in Saudi policy toward Afghanistan. Drawing on its intelligence ties to Afghanistan
during that era, Saudi Arabia worked with Taliban leaders to persuade them to
suppress anti-Saudi activities by Al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia apparently believed that
Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan drew Saudi Islamic radicals away from Saudi
Arabia itself and thereby reduced their opportunity to destabilize the Saudi regime.
Some press reports indicate that, in late 1998, Saudi and Taliban leaders discussed,
but did not agree on, a plan for a panel of Saudi and Afghan Islamic scholars to
decide bin Laden’s fate. Other reports, however, say that Saudi Arabia refused an
offer from Sudan in 1996 to extradite bin Laden to his homeland on the grounds that
he could become a rallying point for opposition to the regime.
According to U.S. officials, Saudi Arabia cooperated extensively, if not
publicly, with OEF. It broke diplomatic relations with the Taliban in late September
2001 and quietly permitted the United States to use a Saudi base for command of
U.S. air operations over Afghanistan, but it did not permit U.S. aircraft to launch
strikes in Afghanistan from Saudi bases. The Saudi position has generally been to
allow the United States the use of its facilities as long as doing so is not publicized.
U.S. and International Aid to Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s economy and society are reemerging after decades of warfare that
left about 2 million dead, 700,000 widows and orphans, and about 1 million Afghan
children who were born and raised in refugee camps outside Afghanistan. In addition
to 3.6 million Afghan refugees at the start of the U.S.-led war, 47 another 500,000
Afghans were displaced internally before U.S. military action began, according to
About 1.5 million Afghan refugees were in Iran; 2 million in Pakistan; 20,000 in Russia;
17,000 in India, and 9,000 in the Central Asian states.
Secretary General Annan’s April 19, 2001, report. Since January 2002, more than
3.5 million Afghan refugees have returned. The Afghan economy grew 30% in 2002,
25% in 2003, 11% in 2004, and it is expected to grow 15% for 2005. Some
international investors are returning, and a luxury hotel opened in November 2005.
Still, the Afghan government lacks large revenue sources, and international donors,
U.N. agencies, and NGOs are required to provide international assistance to
Afghanistan. The U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) supervises
Afghan repatriation and Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan.
U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan
During the 1990s, the United States became the largest single provider of
assistance to the Afghan people. During Taliban rule, no U.S. aid went directly to
that government — monies were provided through recognized NGOs and relief
organizations. Between 1985-1994, the United States did have a cross-border aid
program for Afghanistan, through which aid was distributed in Afghanistan via U.S.
aid workers in Pakistan. Citing the difficulty of administering a cross-border
program, there was no USAID mission for Afghanistan from the end of FY1994
until the reopening of the U.S. Embassy in late 2001. Table 1 breaks down FY1999FY2002 aid by program, and the other tables cover FY2003- FY2005. A history of
U.S. aid to Afghanistan prior to 1999 (FY1978-FY1998) is in Table 5.48
Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 and Amendments. A key
post-Taliban aid authorization bill, S. 2712, the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act
of 2002 (P.L. 107-327, December 4, 2002), as amended, authorized the following:
$60 million in total counter-narcotics assistance ($15 million per
year for FY2003-FY2006);
$30 million in assistance for political development, including
national, regional, and local elections ($10 million per year for
$80 million total to benefit women and for Afghan human rights
oversight ($15 million per year for FY2003-FY2006 for the Afghan
Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and $5 million per year for FY20032006 to the National Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan);
$1.7 billion in humanitarian and development aid ($425 million per
year for FY2003-FY2006);
$300 million for an Enterprise Fund;
$550 million in draw-downs of defense articles and services for
Afghanistan and regional militaries. (The original law provided for
$300 million in drawdowns. That was increased to $450 million by
P.L. 108-106, an FY2004 supplemental appropriations); and
$1 billion ($500 million per year for FY2003-FY2004) to expand
ISAF if such an expansion takes place.
In some cases, aid figures are subject to variation depending on how that aid is measured.
The figures cited might not exactly match figures in appropriated legislation; in some, funds
were added to specified accounts from monies in the September 11-related Emergency
The total authorization, for all categories for all years, is over $3.7 billion. For
the most part, the humanitarian, counter-narcotics, and governance assistance targets
authorized by the act have been met or exceeded by successive appropriations.
However, no Enterprise Funds have been appropriated , and ISAF expansion has
been funded by contributing nations, not U.S. appropriations.
A subsequent bill (S. 2845, P.L. 108-458, December 17, 2004), that
implemented the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, contains a subtitle
called “The Afghanistan Freedom Support Act Amendments of 2004.” The subtitle
mandates the appointment of a U.S. coordinator of policy on Afghanistan and
requires additional Administration reports to Congress, including (1) on long-term
U.S. strategy and progress of reconstruction — an amendment to the report required
in the original law; (2) on how U.S. assistance is being used; (3) on U.S. efforts to
persuade other countries to participate in Afghan peacekeeping; and (4) a joint State
and Defense Department report on U.S. counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan.
The law also contains several “sense of Congress” provisions recommending more
rapid DDR activities; expansion of ISAF; and new initiatives to combat narcotics
trafficking. The law does not specify dollar amounts for U.S. aid for FY2005 and
FY2006, authorizing “such sums as may be necessary” for FY2005 and FY2006.”
FY2006. For FY2006, the Administration requested a total of $920 million for
Afghanistan, as follows: $43 million for child survival and health ; $430 million to
train and equip the ANA; $260 million for State Department police training and
counter-narcotics ; $18 million for Karzai protection ; $18 million for peacekeeping
operations; and $150 million for “other.” The conference report on H.R. 3057
appropriates $931.4 million, more than fully funding the Administration request.
This amount is lower than the $954 million of the House version but higher than the
$920 million in the Senate version. As noted above, the U.S. Ambassador to
Afghanistan said in a press interview in December 2005 that the FY2006 funds
appropriated — of which about $630 million are for reconstruction — are insufficient
to accomplish U.S. goals.
Beyond FY2006. The Afghanistan Freedom Support Act authorizes funding
through FY2006. On December 2, 2005, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ron
Neumann signed an agreement with the Afghan Finance Minister under which the
United States pledges to provide Afghanistan with $5.5 billion in aid over the next
five years. The agreement reportedly sets out plans for U.S. support to programs
including education, health care, and economic and democratic development. It is
not clear whether the purported figures include funding for the ANA, the national
police, counter-narcotics, and other security-related programs.
Additional Forms of U.S. Assistance. Since the fall of the Taliban, the
U.S. Treasury Department (Office of Foreign Assets Control, OFAC) has unblocked
over $145 million in assets of Afghan government-owned banking entities that were
frozen under U.S. sanctions imposed on the Taliban in 1999, and another $17 million
in privately-owned Afghan assets. These funds were used for currency stabilization;
mostly gold held in Afghanistan’s name in the United States to back up
Afghanistan’s currency. Together with its allies, over $350 million in frozen funds
were released to the Afghan government. The Overseas Private Investment
Corporation (OPIC) has made available total investment credits of $100 million. The
United States also successfully pressed the International Air Transport Association
to pay Afghanistan $20 million in overflight fees that were withheld because of U.N.
sanctions on the Taliban.
World Bank/Asian Development Bank. In May 2002, the World Bank
reopened its office in Afghanistan after 20 years. On March 12, 2003, it announced
a $108 million loan to Afghanistan, the first since 1979. In August 2003, the World
Bank agreed to lend Afghanistan an additional $30 million to rehabilitate the
telecommunications system, and $30 million for road and drainage rehabilitation in
Kabul. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been playing a major role in
Afghanistan and has pledged $800 million in loans and grants and $200 million in
project insurance for Afghanistan. Since December 2002, the bank has loaned
Afghanistan $372 million of road reconstruction, fiscal management and governance,
and agricultural development. The Bank has also granted Afghanistan about $90
million for power projects, agriculture reform, roads, and rehabilitation of the energy
sector. One of its projects in Afghanistan was funding the paving of a road from
Qandahar to the border with Pakistan. In December 2004, the Bank approved an
additional loan of $80 million to restore and improve key sections of the road system.
International Reconstruction Pledges. Afghan leaders say that
Afghanistan needs $27.5 billion for reconstruction for 2002-2010. At a 2002 Tokyo
donors’ conference, total pledges for reconstruction amounted to $2 billion for 2002
and $4.5 billion over five years, as follows: European Union, $495 million in 2002;
Japan, $500 million over 30 months; Germany, $362 million over four years; Saudi
Arabia, $220 million over three years; Iran, $560 million over five years; Pakistan,
$100 million over five years; India, a $100 million line of credit; South Korea, $45
million over 30 months; and United Kingdom, $86 million in 2002. In March 2003,
the EU announced an additional $410 million donation for 2003-2004.
In April 2004 international donors meeting in Berlin pledged $8.2 billion for
Afghanistan for 2004-2006, of which about $4.5 billion (including U.S. funds) was
to be provided in 2004. Other pledges for 2004-2006 included European Union ($2.2
billion); Canada (200 million); Japan ($400 million); World Bank loans ($900
million); Asia Development Bank loans ($560 million); India ($225 million); and
Iran ($155 million). Another donors’ meeting was held in Kabul on April 4, 2005,
primarily to reaffirm and structure previous pledges rather than attract new promises
of aid. At the meeting, Afghan leaders insisted that international aid be channeled
through the Afghan government, curbing the prerogatives of NGOs in assisting the
Afghan people. Another donors’ conference is to take place later in January 2006.
The government is trying to generate a growing portion of its budget
domestically. In concert with efforts to weaken regional leaders and force customs
revenue to be remitted to the central government, Kabul now raises domestically
over one-third of its $600 million annual budget. Karzai also has sought to reassure
international donors by establishing a transparent budget and planning process.
Promoting Long-Term Economic Development. In an effort to find a
long-term solution to Afghanistan’s acute humanitarian problems, the United States
has tried to promote major development projects as a means of improving Afghan
living standards and political stability over the long term. During 1996-98, the
Clinton Administration supported proposed natural gas and oil pipelines through
western Afghanistan as an incentive for the warring factions to cooperate. A
consortium led by Los Angeles-based Unocal Corporation proposed a $2.5 billion
Central Asia Gas Pipeline (CentGas) that would originate in southern Turkmenistan
and pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan, with possible extensions into India. 49
The deterioration in U.S.-Taliban relations after 1998 largely ended hopes for
the pipeline projects while the Taliban was in power. Immediately after the August
20, 1998 U.S. strikes on bin Laden’s bases in Afghanistan, Unocal suspended all its
Afghan pipeline-related activities, including a U.S.-based training program for
Afghans for the project. It subsequently withdrew from its consortium. A rival
consortium led by Bridas of Argentina continued to try to win the project.
Prospects for the project have improved in the post-Taliban period. In a summit
meeting in late May 2002 between the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and
Pakistan, the three countries agreed to revive the gas pipeline project. Sponsors of
the project held an inaugural meeting on July 9, 2002 in Turkmenistan, signing a
series of preliminary agreements. They recommitted to it on March 1, 2005, although
financing for the project is unclear. Some U.S. officials view this project as a
superior alternative to a proposed gas pipeline from Iran to India, transiting Pakistan.
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and WTO
Membership. The United States is trying to build on Afghanistan’s post-war
economic rebound. Following a meeting with Karzai on June 15, 2004, President
Bush announced the United States and Afghanistan would negotiate a bilateral trade
and investment framework agreement (TIFA). These agreements are generally seen
as a prelude to a broader but more complex bilateral free trade agreement. On
December 13, 2004, the 148 countries of the World Trade Organization voted to start
membership talks with Afghanistan.
Residual Issues From Past Conflicts
A few issues remain unresolved from Afghanistan’s many years of conflict.
Among them are the “Stinger” anti-aircraft missiles provided to the mujahedin during
the Soviet occupation, and the elimination of land mines.
Stinger Retrieval. Beginning in late 1985 and following an internal debate,
the Reagan Administration provided “hundreds” of man-portable “Stinger” antiaircraft missiles to the mujahedin for use against Soviet combat helicopters and
aircraft. Prior to the U.S.-led war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, common
estimates suggested that 200-300 Stingers remained at large in Afghanistan out of
about 2,000 provided during the war against the Soviet Union, although more recent
Other participants in the Unocal consortium include Delta of Saudi Arabia, Hyundai of
South Korea, Crescent Steel of Pakistan, Itochu Corporation and INPEX of Japan, and the
government of Turkmenistan. Some accounts say Russia’s Gazprom would probably
receive a stake in the project. Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Moscow), October 30, 1997, p. 3.
estimates put the number below 100.50 The Stinger issue resurfaced in conjunction
with 2001 U.S. war effort, when U.S. pilots reported that the Taliban fired some
Stingers at U.S. aircraft during the war. No hits were reported. Any Stingers that
survived the anti-Taliban war are likely controlled by Afghans now allied to the
United States and presumably pose less of a threat. However, there are concerns that
remaining Stingers could be sold to terrorists for use against civilian airliners. In
February 2002, the Afghan government found and returned to the United States
“dozens” of Stingers. 51 In late January 2005, the Afghan intelligence service began
a new push to buy remaining Stingers back, at a reported cost of $150,000 each. 52
In 1992, after the fall of the Russian-backed government of Najibullah, the
United States reportedly spent about $10 million to buy the Stingers back, at a
premium, from individual mujahedin commanders. The New York Times reported
on July 24, 1993, that the buy back effort failed because the United States was
competing with other buyers, including Iran and North Korea, and that the CIA
would spend about $55 million in FY1994 in a renewed Stinger buy-back effort. On
March 7, 1994, the Washington Post reported that the CIA had recovered only a
fraction (maybe 50 or 100) of the at-large Stingers.
The danger of these weapons has become apparent on several occasions. Iran
bought 16 of the missiles in 1987 and fired one against U.S. helicopters; some
reportedly were transferred to Lebanese Hizballah. India claimed that it was a
Stinger, supplied to Islamic rebels in Kashmir probably by sympathizers in
Afghanistan, that shot down an Indian helicopter over Kashmir in May 1999. 53 It was
a Soviet-made SA-7 “Strella” man-portable launchers that were fired, allegedly by
Al Qaeda, against a U.S. military aircraft in Saudi Arabia in June 2002 and against
an Israeli passenger aircraft in Kenya on November 30, 2002. Both missed their
targets. SA-7s have been discovered in Afghanistan by U.S.-led forces, most recently
in December 2002.
Mine Eradication. Land mines laid during the Soviet occupation constitute
one of the principal dangers to the Afghan people. The United Nations estimates that
5 -7 million mines remain scattered throughout the country, although some estimates
by outside organizations are significantly lower. An estimated 400,000 Afghans have
been killed or wounded by land mines. U.N. teams have succeeded in destroying one
million mines and are now focusing on de-mining priority-use, residential and
commercial property, including land surrounding Kabul. As shown in the U.S. aid
table for FY1999-FY2002 (Table 1), the U.S. de-mining program was providing
about $3 million per year for Afghanistan, and the amount increased to about $7
million in the post-Taliban period. Most of the funds have gone to HALO Trust, a
British organization, and the U.N. Mine Action Program for Afghanistan.
Saleem, Farrukh. “Where Are the Missing Stinger Missiles? Pakistan,” Friday Times.
August 17-23, 2001.
Fullerton, John. “Afghan Authorities Hand in Stinger Missiles to U.S.” Reuters,
February 4, 2002.
“Afghanistan Report,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. February 4, 2005.
“U.S.-Made Stinger Missiles — Mobile and Lethal.” Reuters, May 28, 1999.
Table 1. U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY1999-FY2002
($ in millions)
U.S. Department of
and USAID Food For
Peace (FFP), via
and Migration (PRM)
via UNHCR and
Office of Foreign
Aid to Afghan
Refugees in Pakistan
$42.0 worth of
Iran, and to
$7.0 to various
NGOs to aid
tons for May
Title II, and
$14.03 for the
$7.0 to Halo
went to similar
Office of Transition
Dept. of Defense
$50.9 ( 2.4
Table 2. U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY2003
(in millions, same acronyms as Table 1)
From the FY2003 Foreign Aid Appropriations (P.L. 108-7)
Non-Proliferation, Demining, AntiTerrorism (NADR)
Total from this law:
From the FY2003 Supplemental (P.L. 108-11)
Road Construction (ESF, KabulQandahar road)
Afghan government support (ESF)
Military Aid (FMF)
(to train Afghan national army)
Total from this law:
Total for FY2003
Table 3. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2004
(in millions, same acronyms as previous tables)
From the FY2004 Supplemental (P.L. 108-106)
Disarmament, Demobilization, and
Reintegration (DDR program)
Support to Afghan government
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs)
Private Sector/Power Generation
Afghan National Army (FMF)
Total from this law:
From the FY2004 Regular Appropriations (P.L. 108-199)
Afghan women (ESF)
Judicial reform commission (ESF)
Aid to communities and victims of U.S.
military operations (ESF)
Other reconstruction ESF
Total from this law:
Total for FY2004
Table 4. U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY2005
From the FY2005 Regular Appropriations (P.L. 108-447
ESF to assist Afghan governing
FMF to train and equip the ANA
Assistance to benefit women and girls
Agriculture, private sector investment,
environment, primary education,
reproductive health, and democracybuilding
Child and maternal health
Afghan Independent Human Rights
Total from this law
From First FY2005 Supplemental (P.L. 108-287)
FMF for training and equipping the ANA
(and the Iraqi security forces)
From Second FY2005 Supplemental (P.L. 109-13)
DoD funds to train and equip Afghan
DoD counter-narcotics operations
ESF for reconstruction and democracy
and governance (including alternative
INL Afghan police training
Karzi protection (NADR funds)
Commanders’ Emergency Response
Program (CERP), mostly for counternarcotics
DEA operations in Afghanistan
Operations of U.S. Embassy Kabul
Total from this law
Total from all FY2005 laws
(plus ANA portion of $500 million
for ANA and Iraqi forces)
Table 5. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY1978-FY1998
(Title I and II)
Military (Incl. Regional
(Soviet invasion - December 1979)
Source: U.S. Department of State.
* Includes $3 million for demining and $1.2 million for counternarcotics.
** Includes $3.3 million in projects targeted for Afghan women and girls, $7 million in earthquake
relief aid, 100,000 tons of 416B wheat worth about $15 million, $2 million for demining, and
$1.54 for counternarcotics.
Table 6. ISAF Contributing Nations
(As of December 2005)
Non-NATO Partner Nations
(to increase to 1400)
Total ISAF force
(to increase to about 3,000)
Note: See NATO’s Afghanistan page at
Table 7. Provincial Reconstruction Teams
U.S. (Netherlands to take
over in early 2006)
NATO/ISAF and Partner-Run PRTs
Qandahar (as of 9/05)
NATO/Italy (with Spain)
NATO/Italy (with Spain)
satellite outposts in Sari
Pol, Samangan, and
NATO/Britain (will switch
to Germany in 2006)
NATO/ Britain (with
Norway and Finland)
NATO/Spain (with Italy)
New Zealand (not
Table 8. Major Factions in Afghanistan
Muhammad Umar Pashtun
Islamic Society (dominant Burhannudin
party in the “Northern
groups, mostly in the
south and east. No
official presence in
Much of northern
Ismail Khan (part of
Ismail Khan (now Tajik
Herat Province and
removed as Herat
Eastern Shura (Council)
Agha Shirzai is
Movement of Afghanistan Dostam (now in
secular, Uzbek Mazar-e-Sharif,
ModerateIslam Southern, eastern
Khost, Tarin Kowt,
Small groups around
Jalalabad and in the
with Taliban and Al
Paghman (west of
Appendix 1: U.S. and International Sanctions Lifted
Virtually all U.S. and international sanctions on Afghanistan, some imposed
during the Soviet occupation era and others on the Taliban regime, have now been
On January 10, 2003, President Bush signed a proclamation making
Afghanistan a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences
(GSP), eliminating U.S. tariffs on 5,700 Afghan products.
Afghanistan was denied GSP on May 2, 1980, under Executive
Order 12204 (45 F.R. 20740). This was done under the authority of
Section 504 of the Trade Act of 1974 [19 U.S.C. § 2464].
On April 24, 1981, controls on U.S. exports to Afghanistan of
agricultural products and phosphates were terminated. Such controls
were imposed on June 3, 1980, as part of the sanctions against the
Soviet Union for the invasion of Afghanistan, under the authority of
Sections 5 and 6 of the Export Administration Act of 1979 [P.L. 9672; 50 U.S.C. app. 2404, app. 2405].
In mid-1992, the George H.W. Bush Administration determined that
Afghanistan no longer had a “Soviet-controlled government.” This
opened Afghanistan to the use of U.S. funds made available for the
U.S. share of U.N. organizations that provide assistance to
On March 31, 1993, after the fall of Najibullah in 1992, President
Clinton, on national interest grounds, waived restrictions provided
for in Section 481 (h) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
mandating sanctions on Afghanistan including bilateral aid cuts and
suspensions, including denial of Ex-Im Bank credits; the casting of
negative U.S. votes for multilateral development bank loans; and a
non-allocation of a U.S. sugar quota. Discretionary sanctions
included denial of GSP; additional duties on country exports to the
United States; and curtailment of air transportation with the United
States. Waivers were also granted in 1994 and, after the fall of the
Taliban, by President Bush.
On May 3, 2002, President Bush restored normal trade treatment to
the products of Afghanistan, reversing the February 18, 1986
proclamation by President Reagan (Presidential Proclamation 5437)
that suspended most-favored nation (MFN) tariff status for
Afghanistan (51 F.R. 4287). The Foreign Assistance Appropriations
for FY1986 [Section 552, P.L. 99-190] had authorized the President
to deny any U.S. credits or most-favored-nation (MFN) tariff status
On July 2, 2002, the State Department amended U.S. regulations (22
C.F.R. Part 126) to allow arms sales to the new Afghan government,
reversing the June 14, 1996 addition of Afghanistan to the list of
countries prohibited from receiving exports or licenses for exports
of U.S. defense articles and services. Arms sales to Afghanistan had
also been prohibited during 1997-2002 because Afghanistan had
been designated under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-132) as a state that is not cooperating with
U.S. anti-terrorism efforts.
On July 2, 2002, President Bush formally revoked the July 4, 1999
declaration by President Clinton of a national emergency with
respect to Taliban because of its hosting of bin Laden. The Clinton
determination and related Executive Order 13129 had blocked
Taliban assets and property in the United States, banned U.S. trade
with Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan, and applied these
sanctions to Ariana Afghan Airlines, triggering a blocking of Ariana
assets (about $500,000) in the United States and a ban on U.S.
citizens’ flying on the airline. (The ban on trade with Talibancontrolled territory had essentially ended on January 29, 2002 when
the State Department determination that the Taliban controls no
territory within Afghanistan.
U.N. sanctions on the Taliban imposed by Resolution 1267 (October
15, 1999), Resolution 1333 (December 19, 2000),and Resolution
1363 (July 30, 2001) have now been narrowed to penalize only Al
Qaeda (by Resolution 1390, January 17, 2002). Resolution 1267
banned flights outside Afghanistan by its national airline (Ariana),
and directed U.N. member states to freeze Taliban assets.
Resolution 1333 prohibited the provision of arms or military advice
to the Taliban (directed against Pakistan); directing a reduction of
Taliban diplomatic representation abroad; and banning foreign travel
by senior Taliban officials. Resolution 1363 provided for monitors
in Pakistan to ensure that no weapons or military advice was
provided to the Taliban.
P.L. 108-458 (December 17, 2004, 9/11 Commission
recommendations) repeals bans on aid to Afghanistan outright,
completing a pre-Taliban effort by President George H.W. Bush to
restore aid and credits to Afghanistan. On October 7, 1002, he had
issued Presidential Determination 93-3 that Afghanistan is no longer
a Marxist-Leninist country, but the determination was not
implemented before he left office. Had it been implemented, the
prohibition on Afghanistan’s receiving Export-Import Bank
guarantees, insurance, or credits for purchases under Sec. 8 of the
1986 Export-Import Bank Act, would have been lifted. In addition,
Afghanistan would have been able to receive U.S. assistance because
the requirement would have been waived that Afghanistan apologize
for the 1979 killing in Kabul of U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan
Adolph “Spike” Dubs. (Dubs was kidnapped in Kabul in 1979 and
killed when Afghan police stormed the hideout where he was held.)
Figure 1. Map of Afghanistan