Order Code RL30588
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Afghanistan: Post-War Governance,
Security, and U.S. Policy
March 17, 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 planned political transition was completed with the convening of
a parliament in December 2005, 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. Women are participating in economic and political life, including as
ministers, provincial governors, and senior levels of the new parliament. 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
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. That transition will permit U.S. force levels to drop
to a planned level of about 16,500 by mid-2006, although the reduction has raised
concerns among Afghan officials that the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan is
waning. To build security institutions and assist reconstruction, the United States
gave Afghanistan about $4.35 billion in FY2005, including funds to equip and train
Afghan security forces. Another $931 million is provided for in the conference
report on the regular FY2006 aid appropriation (P.L. 109-102). In February, the
Administration requested $1.1 billion in aid for FY2007 and about $2.5 billion in
supplemental FY2006 funds, of which about $2.4 billion is to go to Afghan security
force development and Defense Department counter-narcotics support efforts there.
This paper will be updated as warranted by major developments. See also CRS
Report RS21922, Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government, by Kenneth
Katzman; and CRS Report RL32686, Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy, by
Christopher M. Blanchard.
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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Strengthening Central Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Curbing Regional Strongmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Combating Narcotics Trafficking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Reconstructing Infrastructure and the Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Implementing Rule of Law/Improving Human Rights Practices . . . . . 17
Advancement of Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Post-War Security Operations and Force Capacity Building . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Counter-Insurgency Combat/Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) . . . 20
International Security Force (ISAF)/NATO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Afghan National Army (ANA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Afghan National Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Regional Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Pakistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Iran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Russia, Central Asian States, and China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Central Asian States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Saudi Arabia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
U.S. and International Aid to Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 and Amendments . . . . . . 35
FY2006 Regular and FY2006 Supplemental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
FY2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Additional Forms of U.S. Assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
World Bank/Asian Development Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
International Reconstruction Pledges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Promoting Long-Term Economic Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and WTO
Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Residual Issues From Past Conflicts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Stinger Retrieval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Mine Eradication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Appendix 1: U.S. and International Sanctions Lifted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
List of Figures
Figure 1. Map of Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
List of Tables
Major Security-Related Indicators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY1999-FY2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY2005 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY1978-FY1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
ISAF Contributing Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Provincial Reconstruction Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Major Factions in Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Afghanistan: Post-War Governance,
Security, and U.S. Policy
Background to Recent Developments
Prior to the founding of a 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 (1929-1933), and then by King Mohammad Zahir
Zahir Shah’s reign (1933-1973) is remembered fondly by many older 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 he could limit Soviet support for communist
factions in Afghanistan, Zahir Shah also entered into a significant political and arms
purchase relationship with the Soviet Union.
Afghanistan’s slide into instability began in the 1970s when the diametrically
opposed Communist Party and Islamic movements grew in strength. While receiving
medical treatment in Italy, Zahir Shah was overthrown by his cousin, Mohammad
Daoud, a military leader. Daoud established a dictatorship with strong state control
over the economy. Communists overthrew Daoud in 1978, led by Nur Mohammad
Taraki, who was displaced a year later by Hafizullah Amin, leader of a rival faction.
They tried to impose radical socialist change on a traditional society, in part by
redistributing land and bringing more women into government, sparking rebellion by
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 mujahedin1 (Islamic fighters). Upon their invasion, the Soviets
replaced Hafizullah Amin with an ally, Babrak Karmal.
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
The term refers to an Islamic guerrilla; literally “one who fights in the cause of Islam.”
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. On September 13, 1991, Moscow and
Washington agreed 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.2
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 the mujahedin regime began April 18, 1992.3
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
GDP per capita
GDP real growth
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%
$21.5 billion (purchasing power parity)
$800 (purchasing power parity)
$8 billion bilateral, plus $500 million multilateral. U.S. said
Feb. 8, 2006, that the $108 million in debt to U.S. would be
fruits, nuts, carpets, semi-precious gems, hides, opium
5 million barrels per day
3.6 billion barrels of oil, 36.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, according
to Afghan government on March 15, 2006
food, petroleum, capital goods, textiles
Source: CIA World Factbook, 2005, Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington D.C.
The Mujahedin Government and Rise of the Taliban4
The fall of Najibullah exposed the serious differences among the mujahedin
parties. The leader of one of the smaller parties (Afghan National Liberation Front),
Islamic scholar Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, became president for an initial two months
(April-May 1992). Under an agreement among the major 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 without 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
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.
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. Taliban members viewed the Rabbani government as corrupt, antiPashtun, 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 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, 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 measure, 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 reportedly in command of Taliban
militants. On January 10, 2006, he issued a statement rejecting an overture to
reconcile with the government.
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, on
the grounds that they represented un-Islamic idolatry. (The pro-Taliban governor of
Bamiyan at the time of the destruction, 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. 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 1998.5 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 on 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.6 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. 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-e-Sharif, leading
For more information on bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organization, see CRS Report
RL33038 : Al Qaeda: Profile and Threat Assessment, 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.
to the fall of the city and the Taliban’s collapse. Dostam was a
candidate for president in the October 9, 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. During the various Afghan wars, the main Hazara Shiite
grouping was Hizb-e-Wahdat (Unity Party, an alliance of eight
smaller groups); it joined Rabbani’s 1992-1996 government. Hizbe-Wahdat was supported by Iran, whose population is Shiite. Hizbe-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, who led a large faction of Hizb-e-Wahdat; he is now one of
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 election.
Pashtun Islamists/Sayyaf. Abd-I-Rab Rasul Sayyaf, headed a
Pashtun-dominated mujahedin faction called the Islamic Union for
the Liberation of Afghanistan. He 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 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. He chairs the
body’s international relations committee.
Bush Administration Policy Pre-September 11, 2001
Prior to the September 11 attacks, Bush Administration policy toward the
Taliban differed only slightly from Clinton Administration policy — applying
pressure short of military, while retaining some dialogue with the Taliban. 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.7 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 Resolution
Drogin, Bob. “U.S. Had Plan for Covert Afghan Options Before 9/11.” Los Angeles
Times, May 18, 2002.
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 Taliban foreign ministry aide Rahmatullah Hashemi, to discuss
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 undisputed 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
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. air-strikes 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 on November
9, 2001. Northern Alliance forces — the commanders of which had initially
promised U.S. officials his forces would not enter the city itself — entered Kabul
three days later. The Taliban subsequently lost the south and east to pro-U.S.
Pashtun commanders, such as Hamid Karzai; he 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
Pashtun commander Abdul Haq entered Afghanistan in October 2001 without
coordination with 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 (Paktia Province) 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 declared major OEF combat operations ended.
Post-War Stabilization and Reconstruction8
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, particularly the “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 warring
factions.9 Other efforts included 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 and
another centered on former King Zahir Shah.
The Bonn Agreement. Immediately after the September 11 attacks, Brahimi
was brought back as U.N. mediator. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1378 was
adopted on November 14, 2001, calling for a “central” role for the United Nations
in establishing 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” that
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.
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 with 17 out of 30 of the
positions, including 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 1964.10
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).11
Hamid Karzai, about 51, was selected to lead Afghanistan because he is a credible
Pashtun leader who sought factional compromise rather than intimidation of his
opponents through armed force. He has led the powerful Popolzai tribe of Durrani
Pashtuns since 1999, when his father was assassinated, allegedly by Taliban agents, in
Quetta, Pakistan. 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 2005 election.
Permanent Constitution. An “emergency” loya jirga (June 2002) put a
popular imprimatur on the transition government. Former King Zahir Shah returned
to Afghanistan in April 2002 for the meeting, for which 381 districts of Afghanistan
chose 1,550 delegates, of which about 200 were women. At the assembly, the
former King and Rabbani withdrew from leadership candidacy and Karzai was
selected to remain leader until presidential elections (to be held June 2004). On its
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/
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, 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. 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. According to the permanent
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. A
candidate must achieve more than 50% to avoid a run-off.
There is a two-chamber parliament, provincial, and district councils.
The lower house of parliament (Wolesi Jirga, House of People),
consists 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: onethird 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 local services.12
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, a goal to be
met through election rules that give seats to the top women votegetters in each province. In the upper house, 50% of the president’s
appointments are women, giving women at least 17 seats (half of the
president’s 34 nominees) — about 17% of that body.
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.
Aizenman, N.C. “Afghans Face a Rocky Road to Next Vote.” Washington Post, February
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
were intended for April-May 2005 but were delayed until September 18, 2005. The
provincial councils were elected that same day. 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, were
put off until later in 2006. As an interim measure, the provincial councils chose 68
of the seats of the upper house, 34 of which are interim seats to be replaced when
the district elections are held.
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. 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. When the new body convened on December 18, this bloc, joined
by others, selected Qanooni for speaker of the lower house over Karzai ally Abd-iRab Rasul Sayyaf. Qanooni subsequently said he would work cooperatively with
Karzai; the role of “opposition leader” was subsequently taken up by Rabbani, who
won a seat, although he told CRS in Kabul in March 2006 that he supports “reform”
and not opposition to Karzai.
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 leader of that body is Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, who was slightly
injured in a bombing of his convoy in March 2006. More detail on the various
elections are discussed in CRS Report RS21922, Afghanistan: Presidential and
Parliamentary Elections, by Kenneth Katzman.
Addressing Key Challenges to the Transition
The political transition has proceeded and Karzai’s government is slowly
expanding its writ, but Afghanistan continues to face challenges beyond the ongoing
insurgency discussed later.
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 that
balanced ethnic factions 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 retaining Foreign Minister Dr. 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 CounterNarcotics, headed by Habibullah Qadari. A cabinet reshuffle is expected in 2006
now that a parliament has been seated and is empowered to confirm cabinet
appointments. Parliament has voted to confirm the cabinet selections individually,
potentially forcing Karzai to appoint more ministers from rival factions than would
have been the case had it opted to confirm them en bloc.
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.13 Observers in Kabul told
CRS in March 2006 that the program is viewed as a success.
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.
However, observers in Kabul say the group, now mostly focused on helping
Afghanistan attract private investment, is phasing out. 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.14 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, First Lady Laura Bush visited.
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.
President Bush made his first visit on March 1, 2006 , during a broader South Asia
Funding Issues/Supplementals. The U.S. embassy, now housed in a new
building, has expanded its personnel and facilities to help accelerate the
reconstruction process. An FY2005 supplemental (P.L. 109-13) provided a requested
$60 million for embassy Kabul operations, as well as a requested $17.1 million in
non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, and de-mining (NADR) funds for Karzai protection.
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,15 although the airport has now acquired equipment for instrument landing.
An FY2006 supplemental request submitted February 16, 2006, asks $50 million for
the State Department’s “Diplomatic and Consular Programs” for security costs of
protecting U.S. facilities and personnel (provided in the House-passed FY2006
supplemental bill, H.R. 4939) and $16 million (FY2007 funds) for security
requirements for USAID to operate in Afghanistan (not provided in H.R. 4939).
Curbing Regional Strongmen. Karzai, as well as numerous private studies
and U.S. official statements, cite regional and factional militias as a key threat to
Afghan stability. 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.16
Some argue that Afghans have always sought substantial regional autonomy , and
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 recent Afghan elections and are not an obstacle
to Afghan stability.
Karzai has moved to marginalize some regional strongmen. Herat governor
Ismail Khan was removed by Karzai in September 2004 and was later appointed
Minister of Water and Energy. On the other hand, he was tapped by Karzai to help
calm Herat after Sunni-Shiite clashes there in February, clashes that some in Kabul
believe were stoked by Khan himself to demonstrate his continued influence in Herat.
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 charismatic Northern Alliance commander Atta Mohammad from control
of a militia in the Mazar-e-Sharif area, appointing him as governor of Balkh
province. Afghan parliamentarians told CRS in February 2006 that Atta had recently
purged several Balkh government officials for alleged narcotics trafficking
involvement. 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
The conference report on the FY2004 supplemental appropriation (P.L. 108-106) provided
$44 million for improvements to the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
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.
As noted above, former Defense Minister Fahim was appointed by Karzai to the
upper house of parliament. The move gives him a stake in the political process and
reduces his potential to activate Northern Alliance militia loyalists against Karzai.
Fahim has also turned almost all of his heavy weapons over to U.N. and Afghan
forces as of January 2005 (including four Scud missiles).
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
Part of the DDR program was 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,
about 11,000 heavy weapons (tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery pieces)
have been collected, nearly all of the heavy weapons believed controlled by militia
forces. However, some accounts say that only poor quality weapons have been
collected and that faction leaders maintain secret caches of weapons.
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. However, UNAMA officials told CRS in Kabul that only
“several hundred” groups (five or more fighters) are of sufficient concern to merit
disarmament efforts. The program to disarm them is called the Disarmament of
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
Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG). As of late January 2006, over 16,850 weapons had
been collected from these militia fighters, according to UNAMA. No payments are
available to fighters disarmed under the program, and the program depends on
persuasion and negotiation rather than direct use of force against the illegal groups.
Combating Narcotics Trafficking. Narcotics trafficking is widely regarded
as a major problem; 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. 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.
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.18
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 for counter-narcotics, is provided in CRS Report RL32686,
Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy, by Christopher M. Blanchard.
The Bush Administration has not imposed sanctions on post-Taliban
Afghanistan despite identifying Afghanistan as a major drug transit and 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.19 Narcotics trafficking control was perhaps the one
issue on which the Taliban satisfied much of the international community; the
Cameron-Moore, Simon. “U.S. to Seek Indictment of Afghan Drug Barons.” Reuters,
November 2, 2004.
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.
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.20 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.21 The report noted that in 2004, in contrast to the few prior
years, U.S. efforts focused on reconstruction rather than quick-impact programs. The
five-year development strategy outlined in the “Afghanistan Compact” adopted at the
January 31-February 1, 2006, London conference on Afghanistan reinforces the
sectors below as priorities.
Roads. Ambassador Neumann told CRS in February 2006 that
expanding road building is a major U.S. priority to expand the writ
of the Afghan government and build a viable legitimate economy.
Some projects have been completed, such as the Kabul-Qandahar
roadway project (Phase I, completed December 2003, and Phase II,
completed November 2004). The Qandahar-Herat roadway, funded
by the United States, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, was largely
completed in late 2005. U.S.-funded ($2.7 million) work began on
March 15, 2005 for a road out of the Panjshir Valley. On September
27, 2005, a $20 million road from Qandahar to Tarin Kowt, built by
U.S. military personnel, was inaugurated. A new U.S. focus is a
Khowst-Gardez road and roads in Badakhshan Province.
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. About 525,000 girls were
enrolled in school during 2005, according to UNAMA. 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). About $152 million
in U.S. funds were 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,
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.
only about 150 have been completed by November 2005, mostly
refurbishments of existing buildings.
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.
Electricity. The Afghanistan Compact states that by 2010, the goal
is for electricity to reach 65% of households in urban areas and 25%
in rural areas. The FY2006 supplemental request asks for $32
million in funds mostly for a key electricity transmission project
(Northeast Transmission Project). The House-passed bill (H.R.
4939) defers $28 million for that project but provides $5 million for
the Northwest Kabul Power turbine generator.
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 appropriation (P.L. 109-102) contained about
$630 million for civilian sector reconstruction. Of that amount, according to USAID,
a total of $405.8 million is budgeted for FY2006 for the sectors discussed above
(infrastructure, agriculture, health, and education). Funding for reconstruction
(power projects) requested in the FY2006 supplemental is discussed above. The
requested $11 million in costs to write off Afghanistan’s debt is also deferred in H.R.
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, but there are also abuses based on ethnicity or political
factionalism and arbitrary implementation of justice by local leaders, according to the
State Department report on human rights practices for 2005 (released March 8,
2005).22 According to the report, “The lack of an effective police force, poor
infrastructure and communications, instability, and insecurity hampered
investigations of unlawful killings, bombings, or civilian deaths...” 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) minority.
Some observers say that the government has reimposed some Islamic
restrictions that characterized Taliban rule, including the code of criminal
For text, see [http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61704.htm]
punishments stipulated in Islamic law.23 Some have blamed the restrictions on chief
justice Fazl Hadi Shinwari, a religious conservative who was appointed in late
November 2001 by Rabbani (who was temporarily in charge in Kabul 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 over 500 judges, 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 programs.
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 conference report on P.L. 109-102 earmarked
another $2 million for this body; it had been receiving about $5 million per year, in
line with what was authorized by the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002
Funding Issues. As noted above, USAID has budgeted $280 million for
democracy and rule of law programs for FY2006. The funding includes support for
the new parliament, civil society programs, media, and rule of law programs.
Advancement of Women.24 The government is widely considered to be
promoting the advancement of women, although numerous abuses continue to be
reported by the State Department, primarily resulting from 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 improving women’s
rights. That ministry involved more Afghan women in business ventures, and it has
promoted 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
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.
even before the Taliban came to power in 1996, 25 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 Issues. 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)26 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.
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. The conference report on P.L. 109-13, an FY2005
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.
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. In conjunction with the assumption of greater NATO/ISAF
responsibility (discussed below), President Bush stated on January 4, 2006, that U.S.
force levels in Afghanistan will drop to about 16,500 in 2006. 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. 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-Afghanistan (CFC-A),” 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, although the frequency and intensity of such missions appears to be
diminishing as insurgent tactics have shifted somewhat to greater use of suicide
attacks rather than small-unit 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 (October 2005).
U.S. commanders believe that the combat, coupled with overall political and
economic reconstruction, is defeating the insurgency, although insurgents attacks
escalated somewhat after 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 and threaten to increase
attacks when spring melts the mountain snows and roads open up. 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. Afghan, U.S., and
UNAMA officials, in conversations with CRS in Kabul in February 2006, attributed
the stepped up attacks to a reinforcement of the Taliban insurgents by Al Qaeda
militants who cross the border from Pakistan. Others believe that Afghan insurgents
might be mimicking the tactics used in Iraq or even receiving help from militants
coming from Iraq.
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. 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
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 (who some believe heads a completely separate insurgent
faction), 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.
Some experts believe that Taliban and other insurgents have incited recent riots
against the United States and NATO-led forces. Such riots took place in January and
February 2006 over the Danish publication of cartoons unflatteringly depicting the
Prophet Mohammad. In one such demonstration on February 21, Afghan students
demonstrating in Jalalabad shouted support for Osama bin Laden.
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, headed by 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.
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
2001.27 The two are now widely believed to be on Pakistan’s side of the border.
For more information on the search for the Al Qaeda leadership, see CRS Report
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, subjecting it to financial
and other U.S. sanctions. It is not formally designated as a “Foreign Terrorist
Organization,” but it 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, an outcome that Afghan leaders say they want. 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
OEF, and numbers of troops in surrounding countries (as of November 2005,
according to Defense Department figures provided to CRS), include the following.
Bagram Air Base. This base, north of Kabul, is the operational hub
of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.28 About 500 U.S. military personnel
are based there. Bagram, along with thirteen other airfields in
Afghanistan, handles the 150 U.S. aircraft (including helicopters)
in the country and substantial infrastructure is being added to it. A
hospital is being constructed on the facility; one of the first
permanent structures to be built there. 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.
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. This airfield, just outside Qandahar, bases about
500 U.S. military personnel. The FY2005 supplemental provides
$16 million for an ammunition supply facility at Qandahar.
Shindand Air Base. This base is 20 miles from the Iranian border.
It has been used by U.S. forces and combat aircraft since October
2004, after the dismissal of Herat governor Ismail Khan, whose
forces controlled the facility.
Karshi-Khanabad Airbase. This Uzbekistan base housed about
1,750 U.S. military personnel (900 Air Force, 400 Army, and 450
civilian) in supply missions to Afghanistan. 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.
Peter Ganci Base. This base at Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan has
about 1,100 U.S. military personnel as well as refueling and cargo
aircraft. Leadership of Kyrgyzstan changed in April 2005 in an
uprising against 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,
in February 2006, Kyrgyzstan’s president Kurmanbek Bakiyev said
the United States should pay $200 million per year to use the facility
instead of the $2 million it now pays.
Persian Gulf Bases. Several bases in the Persian Gulf are used to
support the Afghanistan mission, including Al Dhafra in the UAE
(about 1,800 U.S. military personnel in UAE) and Al Udeid in Qatar
(10,000 U.S. personnel in Qatar). P.L. 109-13 appropriates $1.4
million to upgrade Al Dhafra. Military facilities in Bahrain house
U.S. naval command headquarters from which CENTCOM, along
with several partner countries reporting to the U.S. Fifth Fleet,
patrol the Arabian Sea to prevent the movement of Al Qaeda and
other militants, as well as contraband such as narcotics, across those
waters. (About 5,100 U.S. military personnel are in Bahrain.)
Incirlik Air Base. 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.
(About 2,100 U.S. military personnel are in Turkey.)
OEF Costs and Casualties. As of March 17, 2006, 278 U.S. military
personnel have been killed in OEF, of which 221 (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 per month. Supplemental FY2005 funds for Afghanistan
combat were provided in P.L. 108-287 and P.L. 109-13, 29 and additional military
operations funds were requested in the FY2006 supplemental request.
International Security Force (ISAF)/NATO. 30 In 2006, international forces
will be assuming from the United States a greater share of the security burden,
although other NATO nations see their role primarily as peacekeeping and
promoting reconstruction. 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). 31 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) in northern and western Afghanistan (Stage 1 in 2004
and Stage 2 in 2005, respectively). 32 That process will continue in 2006 as
NATO/ISAF takes over additional PRTs and, along with that, some of the combat
mission, in southern Afghanistan (by July 2006). As part of this Stage 3, a
British/Canadian/Dutch-led 6,000 person “Regional Command South” will be
formed, with U.S. participation (and U.S. forces serving under NATO/ISAF
command). The new command had been held up over opposition in the Dutch
parliament to their country’s deployment, but the parliament voted on February 3,
2006, to permit the move. In conjunction with the restructuring, NATO/ISAF force
levels will increase to about 15,000, from the current level of about 12,000. NATO
is expected to announce a timetable for the NATO/ISAF takeover of eastern
Afghanistan (Stage 4) at the NATO summit in November 2006. U.S. military
officials in Kabul told CRS in February 2006 that once the transition is completed,
OEF might technically cease and CFC-A might close. (During 2002-2004, ISAF’s
force was about 6,400 troops from all 26 NATO countries, plus 10 non-NATO
nations.) Table 7 lists each contributing country to ISAF and the approximate
number of forces contributed.
The expansion agreement represents a quieting of the initial opposition of
European NATO nations to mixing reconstruction-related peacekeeping with anti29
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.
insurgent combat. The differences began to resolve in late 2005 when NATO agreed
on a formula under which a deputy commander of ISAF would be “dual-hatted” —
commanding the OEF combat mission as well reporting to 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 conducted by the U.S.-led OEF forces. U.S. officials
have tried to reassure Afghan leaders that U.S. forces will still be operating in sectors
controlled by NATO/ISAF and available to conduct combat missions. The United
States currently contributes a small amount of force to ISAF (89 troops), primarily
to coordinate U.S. assistance to ISAF.
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, Spain, Belgium, and
Luxembourg. Turkey took over the lead force role in February 2005, and Italy
became lead in August 2005. The overall commander of ISAF in Afghanistan is
Italian Gen. Mauro Del Vecchio. Britain is slated to take over the lead (“ISAF 9 ”)
in May 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 (where Dutch combat aircraft also are located).
Some U.S. and Afghan officials are skeptical not only about NATO’s
commitment to combating insurgents but also about its capabilities. NATO has had
chronic personnel and equipment shortages for the Afghanistan mission. 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, and the Netherlands will be deploying
additional Apache helicopter and F-16 aircraft to help protect its forces in the south.
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 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 (50100 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. Many U.S. PRTs in
restive regions are “co-located” with “forward operating bases” of 300-400 U.S.
combat troops. 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. 33 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, but that will increase to 13 in
conjunction with the formation of the “Regional Command South.” Some other
countries, including Turkey, are considering taking over other PRTs, and U.S.
officials in Kabul told CRS in February 2006 that there is a move to turn over the
lead in the PRTs to civilians rather than military personnel, presumably State
Department or USAID officials. That process began in early 2006 with the
establishment of a civilian-led U.S.-run PRT in the Panjshir Valley.
In August 2005, in preparation for the NATO/ISAF move into the south, Canada
took over the key U.S.-led PRT in Qandahar. Canada will eventually have about
2,200 troops at that PRT under the transition plan. The Netherlands is to take over
the PRT at Tarin Kowt, capital of restive Uruzgan Province, home province of
Mullah Umar. It will have about 1,700 troops there, an addition of about 1,100 from
current levels in Afghanistan. The ongoing violence in Uruzgan is what caused the
Dutch parliament to balk at the depolyment. British forces will take over the PRT
at Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand Province, sending about 3,000 forces there, a
major increase over its approximately 500 troops now in northern Afghanistan. As
noted above, Italy (with Spain), through their PRTs, now have primary control for
western Afghanistan. Germany (with Turkey and France) is taking over the PRTs
and the leadership role in the north from Britain as Britain deploys to the south. The
list of existing PRTs is shown in Table 8. (One U.S.-run PRT is under NATO
U.S. funds support PRT reconstruction projects. USAID spent about $98
million on PRTs (and DDR operations) in FY2005. USAID has allocated $37
million for these operations in FY2006.
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. As of February 2006, the ANA numbers about 29,000 troops
in 40 battalions, (5 Corps) of which 24 are combat battalions. That is close to half
its total target strength of 70,000 that it is expected to reach by 2010. The target
level was reiterated in the Afghanistan Compact adopted in London on February 1,
2006. 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.
Kraul, Chris. “U.S. Aid Effort Wins Over Skeptics in Afghanistan.” Los Angeles Times,
April 11, 2003.
Coalition officers are conducting heavy weapons training for a heavy brigade as part
of the “Kabul Corps,” based in Pol-e-Charki, east of Kabul.
A June 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office cites progress but
also notes problems such as ANA equipment shortages. 34 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 at least partly alleviated with better pay and more
involvement by U.S. Special Forces, as well as the appointment of additional
Pashtuns in senior Defense Ministry positions. 35 The naming of a Pashtun, Abdul
Rahim Wardak, as Defense Minister in December 2004 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 visited 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 trafficking.
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 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, primarily from the former East bloc36 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 post-Taliban Afghanistan. In
May 2005, Egypt delivered 16,000 weapons to the ANA.
Government Accountability Office Report GAO-05-575. “Afghanistan Security.” June
2005. Available at [http://www.gao.gov].
Gall, Carlotta. “In a Remote Corner, an Afghan Army Evolves From Fantasy to Slightly
Ragged Reality.” New York Times, January 25, 2003.
Report to Congress Consistent With the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002, July
According to a GAO report of June 2005, the United States drew 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
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 62,000 ANP are on duty, including 3,000 in training,
approximately the target size of the force. They are trained by the United States and
Germany (senior levels). There are seven police training centers around Afghanistan,
which includes training 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).
Security Forces Funding. According to the June 2005 GAO report, the
United States provided about $4.1 billion during FY2002-FY2005 to support the
ANA and ANP. U.S. funds appropriated for Peacekeeping Operations (PKO funds)
are used to cover ANA salaries. ($20 million in such funds was provided in FY2004;
$23.8 million will be provided for FY2005, and $18 million for FY2006). In recent
An 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. An FY2005
supplemental (P.L. 109-13) provided $1.285 billion in DOD funding
to train and equip the ANA and ANP. (The account shifted to DOD
funds instead of assistance funds controlled by the State
Department.) Of that amount, $290 million is to reimburse the U.S.
Army for funds already obligated to train and equip the Afghan
The regular FY2006 appropriation (P.L. 109-102) provides $235
million for INL Afghanistan operations (including narcotics-related),
meaning the Administration request for about $60 million to train
the ANP is almost fully funded.
The FY2006 supplemental requested in February 2006 asks $2.197
billion in additional DOD funding to equip and train the Afghan
security forces, including ANA and ANP. The House-passed
FY2006 supplemental (H.R. 4939) provides $1.851 billion for this
purpose but withholds $346 million for construction of police
International donors have furnished $120 million in cash for the
ANP and provided another $126 million in equipment and training.
Table 1. Major Security-Related Indicators
( March 2006)
U.S. Forces (OEF)
16,500 (June 2006)
OEF Partner Forces
no announced change
15,000 (July 2006)
Afghan National Army
Afghan National Police
62,000 (including 3,000 in
Legally Armed Fighters
(Disarmed by DDR program
by June 2005)
significant illegal groups
(five or more fighters)
remain, but 16,850 weapons
collected thus far
goal is no remaining
illegal groups by 2010
$1.685 billion (FY2005
regular and supplemental)
supplemental request plus
$60 million in regular
FY2006 approp. for ANP
from Illegal Armed Groups
Security Forces Funding
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, but relations
were set back in March 2006 when Afghan leaders openly asserted that Pakistan has
failed to prevent Taliban remnants from operating there. Pakistan’s President Pervez
Musharraf retorted that Afghanistan’s information on Taliban suspects operating in
Pakistan is old and unreliable. Afghan leaders continue to resent Pakistan because
it was 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. Afghan
officials say that officials in Pakistan’s military and security services continue to
harbor ambitions of returning the Taliban to power in Afghanistan. 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.
For its part, 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 arrested and turned over to
Afghanistan Taliban spokesman Hakimi.
The United States has praised Pakistan for its efforts against Al Qaeda. 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). A U.S.
Predator drone-launched January 13, 2006, strike on Damadola village in Pakistan
targeted Zawahiri, according to U.S. officials, but his subsequent video appearance
proved that the strike did not succeed. It also caused anti-U.S. demonstrations in
Pakistan because some civilians apparently were killed in the strike; press sources say
up to four Al Qaeda militants were hit in it.
For further discussion, see Rashid, Ahmed. “The Taliban: Exporting Extremism.”
Foreign Affairs, November-December 1999.
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. 38
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, in some cases to the
detriment of Afghan firms. 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 Karzai-opponent Gulbuddin Hikmatyar,
although it did not arrest him. Since then, the Bush Administration criticism of
Iranian “meddling” 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. 39 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.
Even though Iran’s position in Afghanistan has waned since 2004, it is still
greatly enhanced from the time 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
Gall, Carlotta. “U.S. Training Pakistani Units Fighting Qaeda.” New York Times, April
Rashid, Ahmed. “Afghan Neighbors Show Signs of Aiding in Nation’s Stability.” Wall
Street Journal, October 18, 2004.
ammunition,40 and hosting fighters loyal to Ismail Khan. In September 1998, Iranian
and Taliban forces nearly came into 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. 41 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 it has begun India Air flights
between Delhi and Kabul. It has also renovated the well known Habibia High School
in Kabul and committed to a $25 million renovation of Darulaman Palace as the
permanent house for Afghanistan’s parliament.
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. 42 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
Steele, Jonathon, “America Includes Iran in Talks on Ending War in Afghanistan.”
Washington Times, December 15, 1997.
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
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
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. 43 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. 44
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 allows
access primarily to French combat aircraft, and Kazakhstan allows use of facilities
in case of emergency.) In July 2003, Afghanistan and Tajikistan agreed that some
Russian officers would train some Afghan military officers in Tajikistan.
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.
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
The IMU was named a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in
Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1999, pp. 14, 92.
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
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 war45 another 500,000
Afghans were displaced internally before U.S. military action began, according to
Secretary General Annan’s April 19, 2001, report. Since January 2002, more than
3.5 million Afghan refugees have returned. Despite robust economic growth since
the war ended, the return of some international investors, and new construction such
as the luxury hotel that opened in November 2005, 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 2 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 6.46
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
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.
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
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.
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. 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 did not specify dollar amount authorizations for FY2005 and
FY2006 Regular and FY2006 Supplemental. For FY2006, the
Administration requested a total of $920 million in regular appropriations for
Afghanistan, as follows:
$43 million for child survival and health
$430 million in Economic Support Funds
$260 million for State Department counter-narcotics
$18 million for Karzai protection (NADR)
$18 million for peacekeeping operations
$150 million for Development Assistance (DA).
The conference report on H.R. 3057 appropriates $931.4 million, more than
fully funding the Administration request. According to State Department budget
documents, approximately these amounts are being provided for each category of aid
FY2006 Supplemental. 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 civilian reconstruction — are
insufficient to accomplish U.S. goals. To address continuing needs, on February 16,
2006, the Administration submitted a supplemental FY2006 request, including about
$2.5 billion in funds for Afghanistan activities as follows:
$2.197 billion in Department of Defense funds for an “Afghan
Security Forces Fund” to continue the effort to equip and train the
ANA and ANP. The House-passed H.R. 4939 provides $1.851
billion, deferring $346 million in police facilities construction;
$192.8 million in Defense Department funds for U.S. military
assistance to U.S. and Afghan counter-narcotics efforts in
Afghanistan. The House-passed H.R. 4939 provides $156.8 million;
$43 million in ESF for Afghanistan, including $11 million for the
subsidy cost to forgive the $108 million in Afghan debt to the United
States and $32 million for emergency power sector projects needed
for a larger “Northeast Transmission Project” that will supply
electricity to Kabul and other northern cities and reduce
Afghanistan’s need to import diesel fuel. The House-passed H.R.
4939 provides $5 million for Kabul power generation ;
$16 million for FY2007 security requirements for USAID to operate
in Afghanistan (deferred by H.R. 4939);
$3.4 million in “Migration and Refugee Assistance” to support
shelter for Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan (H.R. 4939
funds the request ); and
$50 million for the State Department’s “Diplomatic and Consular
Programs” for security costs of protecting U.S. facilities and
personnel (provided by H.R. 4939).
FY2007. 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
U.S. aid plan is reportedly programmed for 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 securityrelated programs. On February 6, 2006, the Administration released its budget for
FY2007, which included a request for the following for Afghanistan:
$42.8 million for Child Survival and Health (CSH);
$150 million in Development Assistance (DA);
$610 million in ESF (an increase of about $190 million over what is
being provided in ESF for FY2006);
$297 million for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
(INCLE) for counter-narcotics operations (an increase of about $60
million over what is being provided for FY2006);
$1.2 million in International Military Education and Training
no funds specifically requested for Karzai protection (NADR) or
Peacekeeping Operations (PKO); and a
total request of about $1.1 billion, in line with the Administration
pledge at the February 1, 2006, “London Conference.”
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 said that
Afghanistan needs $27.5 billion for reconstruction for 2002-2010. At donors
conferences in 2002 (Tokyo), Berlin (April 2004), and Kabul (April 2005), about
$9.5 billion in non-U.S. contributions were pledged. However, only about half has
been received as of January 2006. At the London conference in February 2006,
another $6 billion (non-U.S.) in pledges was made for the next five years. Of the
new pledges, Britain pledged about $900 million. The London conference also
leaned toward the view of Afghan leaders that a higher proportion of the aid be
channeled through the Afghan government rather than directly by the donor
community. In exchange, the Afghan government is promising greater financial
transparency and international (United Nations) oversight to ensure that international
contributions are used wisely and effectively.
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), which is now estimated to cost $3.7 billion to
construct, that would originate in southern Turkmenistan and pass through
Afghanistan to Pakistan, with possible extensions into India. 47 The deterioration in
U.S.-Taliban relations after 1998 largely ended hopes for the pipeline projects while
the Taliban was in power.
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, and all
three continued to express support for the project at a February 2006 meeting of their
oil ministers, 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,
Afghanistan’s prospects also appeared to brighten by the announcement in
March 2006 of an estimated 3.6 billion barrels of oil and 36.5 trillion cubic feet of
gas reserves. Experts believe these amounts, if proved, could make Afghanistan
relatively self-sufficient in energy and possibly able to provided some exports to its
neighbors. Some Afghan leaders believe the government needs to better develop
other resources such as copper and coal mines that have gone unused.
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.
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.
Residual Issues From Past Conflicts
A few issues remain unresolved from Afghanistan’s many years of conflict.
Stinger Retrieval. Beginning in late 1985 and following an internal debate,
the Reagan Administration provided about 2,000 man-portable “Stinger” anti-aircraft
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, although more recent estimates
put the number below 100. 48 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. 49 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. 50
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. 51 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
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.
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 2), the U.S. de-mining program was providing
about $3 million per year for Afghanistan, and the amount increased to about $7
million in the post-Taliban period. Most of the funds have gone to HALO Trust, a
British organization, and the U.N. Mine Action Program for Afghanistan. The
Afghanistan Compact adopted in London in February 2006 states that by 2010, the
goal should be to reduce the land area of Afghanistan contaminated by mines by
Table 2. U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY1999-FY2002
($ 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 3. U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY2003
($ in millions, same acronyms as Table 2)
From the FY2003 Foreign Aid Appropriations (P.L. 108-7)
Total from this law:
From the FY2003 Supplemental (P.L. 108-11)
(ESF, Kabul-Qandahar road)
Afghan government support (ESF)
Military Aid (FMF)
(to train Afghan national army)
Total from this law:
Total for FY2003
Table 4. 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
Counter-narcotics/police training (INCLE)
Afghan National Army (FMF)
Anti-Terrorism/Afghan Leadership Protection
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 5. U.S. Aid to Afghanistan, FY2005
($ in millions)
From the FY2005 Regular Appropriations (P.L. 108-447)
Assistance to Afghan governing institutions (ESF)
Train and Equip ANA (FMF)
Assistance to benefit women and girls
Agriculture, private sector investment,
environment, primary education, reproductive
health, and democracy-building
Child and maternal health
Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission
Total from this law
From Second FY2005 Supplemental (P.L. 109-13)
DOD funds to train and equip Afghan security
DOD counter-narcotics operations
Reconstruction and democracy and governance,
including alternative livelihoods (ESF)
Karzi protection (NADR funds)
Commanders’ Emergency Response Program
(CERP), mostly for counter-narcotics
DEA operations in Afghanistan
Operations of U.S. Embassy Kabul
Total from this law
Total from all FY2005 laws
Table 6. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY1978-FY1998
($ in millions)
Military (Incl. Regional
(Soviet invasion - December
Source: U.S. Department of State.
a. Includes $3 million for demining and $1.2 million for counternarcotics.
b. 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 7. ISAF Contributing Nations
( As of January 2006)
Non-NATO Partner Nations
(increasing to 1,700)
Total ISAF force
(to increase to about 2,000)
Note: See NATO’s Afghanistan page at
Table 8. Provincial Reconstruction Teams
U.S. (Netherlands to
assume in mid-2006, with
by 200 Australian forces)
U.S. (Britain to assume)
U.S. (Turkey may assume)
U.S. (State Dept. lead)
NATO/ISAF and Partner-Run PRTs
Qandahar (as of 9/05)
NATO/Italy (with Spain)
NATO/Italy (with Spain)
to take lead in 2006)
NATO/Spain (with Italy)
New Zealand (not
Table 9. Major Factions in Afghanistan
groups, mostly in
the south and east.
Islamic Society (dominant Burhannudin
party in the “Northern
Much of northern
Ismail Khan (part of
Herat Province and
removed as Herat
Movement of Afghanistan Dostam (now in
and in the
with Taliban and
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