Order Code RL30588 Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy Updated April 30, 2008 Kenneth Katzman Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy Summary U.S. and outside assessments of the effort to stabilize Afghanistan are mixed and subject to debate; the Administration notes progress on reconstruction, governance and security in many areas of Afghanistan, particularly the U.S.-led eastern sector of Afghanistan. However, a November 2007 Bush Administration review of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan reportedly concluded that overall progress was inadequate. This mirrors recent outside studies that contain relatively pessimistic assessments, emphasizing a growing sense of insecurity in areas previously considered secure, increased numbers of suicide attacks, and increasing aggregate poppy cultivation, as well as increasing divisions within the NATO alliance about the relative share of combat among the nations contributing to the peacekeeping mission. Both the official U.S. as well as outside assessments are increasingly pointing to Pakistan as failing — either through lack of attention or deliberate strategy — to prevent Taliban commanders from operating from Pakistan. To try to gain momentum against the insurgency, the United States is considering new initiatives including adding U.S. troops to the still combat-intense south, possibly assuming U.S. command of the southern sector, and increasing direct U.S. action against Taliban concentrations inside Pakistan. Politically, the Afghan government remains reasonably stable. The post-Taliban transition was completed with the convening of a parliament in December 2005; a new constitution was adopted in January 2004, successful presidential elections were held on October 9, 2004, and parliamentary elections took place on September 18, 2005. The parliament has become an arena for factions that have fought each other for nearly three decades to debate and peacefully resolve differences, as well as a center of political pressure on President Hamid Karzai. Major regional strongmen have been marginalized. Afghan citizens are enjoying personal freedoms forbidden by the Taliban, and women are participating in economic and political life. Presidential elections are to be held in the fall of 2009, with parliamentary and provincial elections to follow one year later. To help stabilize Afghanistan, the United States and partner countries are deploying a 47,000 troop NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that now commands peacekeeping throughout Afghanistan, including the restive south. Of those, 19,000 of the 31,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan are part of ISAF. The U.S. and partner forces also run regional enclaves to secure reconstruction (Provincial Reconstruction Teams, PRTs), and are building an Afghan National Army and National Police. The United States has given Afghanistan over $23 billion (appropriated, including FY2008 to date) since the fall of the Taliban, including funds to equip and train Afghan security forces. About $1.05 billion in economic aid is requested for FY2009. Breakdowns are shown in the tables at the end of the paper. This paper will be updated as warranted by major developments. See also CRS Report RS21922, Afghanistan: Government Formation and Performance, by Kenneth Katzman; and CRS Report RL32686, Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy, by Christopher M. Blanchard. Contents Background to Recent Developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Mujahedin Government and Rise of the Taliban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Taliban Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The “Northern Alliance” Congeals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Bush Administration Policy Pre-September 11, 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 September 11 Attacks and Operation Enduring Freedom . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Post-War Stabilization and Reconstruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Political Transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bonn Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Permanent Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 National Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Next Elections and Candidates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Governance Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 U.N. Involvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Expanding Central Government Writ and Curbing “Warlords” . . . . . 12 Provincial Governorships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Human Rights and Democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Combating Narcotics Trafficking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Post-War Security Operations and Force Capacity Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Combat Environment, U.S. Operations, and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Taliban “Resurgence” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Policy Reviews and Further 2008-2009 U.S. Troop Buildup . . . . . . . 23 “Americanizing” the Southern Front? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Feelers to the Taliban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 The NATO-Led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) . . . . . . . . 28 New NATO Force Pledges in 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 National “Caveats” on Combat Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Provincial Reconstruction Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Afghan Security Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Afghan National Army . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Afghan National Police/Justice Sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Tribal Militias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 U.S. Security Forces Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Regional Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Pakistan/Pakistan-Afghanistan Border . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Increased Direct U.S. Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Iran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Russia, Central Asian States, and China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Central Asian States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Saudi Arabia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 U.S. and International Aid to Afghanistan and Development Issues . . . . . . . . . . 44 National Solidarity Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Post-Taliban U.S. Aid Totals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 and Amendments . . . . . . 48 Afghan Freedom Support Act Re-Authorization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 FY2007 and FY2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 International Reconstruction Pledges/Aid/Lending . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Residual Issues From Past Conflicts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Stinger Retrieval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Mine Eradication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Appendix A. U.S. and International Sanctions Lifted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 List of Figures Figure 1. Map of Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 List of Tables Table 1. Afghan and Regional Facilities Used for Operations in Afghanistan . . 27 Table 2. Recent and Pending Foreign Equipment for ANA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Table 3. Major Security-Related Indicators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Table 4. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY1978-FY1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Table 5. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY1999-FY2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Table 6. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Table 7. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Table 8. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2005 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Table 9. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Table 10. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Table 11. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2008 Request/Action . . . . . . . . . 60 Table 12. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Table 13. USAID Obligations FY2002-FY2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Table 14. NATO/ISAF Contributing Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Table 15. Provincial Reconstruction Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Table 16. Major Factions/Leaders in Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 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 territory inhabited by tribes and tribal confederations linked to neighboring nations, not a distinct 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 Shah. 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 who established a dictatorship with strong state involvement in 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 mujahedin (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) in cooperation with Pakistan’s InterService Intelligence directorate (ISI). That weaponry included portable shoulderfired anti-aircraft systems called “Stingers,” which proved highly effective against Soviet aircraft. The mujahedin also hid and stored weaponry in a large network of natural and manmade tunnels and caves throughout Afghanistan. The Soviet Union’s losses mounted, and Soviet domestic opinion turned anti-war. In 1986, after the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev became leader, the Soviets replaced Karmal with the director of Afghan intelligence, Najibullah Ahmedzai (known by his first name). CRS-2 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 perceived strategic value of Afghanistan, causing a reduction in subsequent covert funding.1 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 in northern Afghanistan, who 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, 1992.2 1 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. See “Country Fact Sheet: Afghanistan,” in U.S. Department of State Dispatch, vol. 5, no. 23 (June 6, 1994), p. 377. 2 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. CRS-3 Afghanistan Social and Economic Statistics Population: Ethnic Groups: 31 million Pashtun 42%; Tajik 27%; Uzbek 9%; Hazara 9%; Aimak 4%; Turkmen 3%; Baluch 2%; other 4% Religions: Sunni Muslim (Hanafi school) 80%; Shiite Muslim (Hazaras, Qizilbash, and Isma’ilis) 19%; other 1% Size of Religious Christians - estimated 500 - 8,000 persons; Sikh and Hindu - 3,000 Minorities persons; Bahai’s - 400 (declared blasphemous in May 2007); Jews - 1 person; Buddhist - unknown, but small numbers, mostly foreigners. No Christian or Jewish schools. One church, open only to expatriates. Literacy Rate: 28% of population over 15 years of age GDP: $21.5 billion (purchasing power parity). Double the 2002 figure. GDP Per Capita: $300/yr; but $800 purchasing power parity GDP Real Growth: 12% (2007) Unemployment Rate: 40% Children in 5.7 million, of which 35% are girls. Up from 900,000 in school during School/Schools Built Taliban era. 300,000 children in south cannot attend school due to violence. 8,000 schools built; 140,000 teachers hired since Taliban era. l Afghans With Access 82% with basic health services access - compared to 8% during Taliban to Health Coverage era, although access is more limited in restive areas. Infant mortality has dropped 18% since Taliban to 135 per 1,000 live births. 680 clinics built with U.S. funds since Taliban. Roads Built About 5,000 miles post-Taliban, including ring road around the country. Access to Electricity 20% of the population. Revenues: Expenditures External Debt: Foreign Exchange Reserves: Foreign Investment Major Exports: Oil Production: Oil Proven Reserves: Major Imports: Import Partners: $715 million in 2007; $550 million 2006 $1.2 billion in 2007 (est.); 900 million in 2006 $8 billion bilateral, plus $500 million multilateral. U.S. forgave $108 million in debt to U.S. in 2006 $2.5 billion. $500 billion est. for 2007; about $1 billion for 2006 fruits, raisins, nuts, carpets, semi-precious gems, hides, opium negligible 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 Pakistan 38.6%; U.S. 9.5%; Germany 5.5%; India 5.2%; Turkey 4.1%; Turkmenistan 4.1% Source: CIA World Factbook, January 2008, Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC; President Bush speech on February 15, 2007; International Religious Freedom Report, September 14, 2007; press reports about draft Afghan National Development Strategy. CRS-4 The Mujahedin Government and Rise of the Taliban The fall of Najibullah exposed the differences among the mujahedin parties. The leader of one of the smaller parties (Afghan National Liberation Front), Islamic scholar Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, was president during April - May 1992. Under an agreement among the major parties, Rabbani became President in June 1992 with agreement that he would serve until December 1994. He refused to step down at that time, saying that political authority would disintegrate without a clear successor. Kabul was subsequently shelled by other mujahedin factions, particularly that of nominal “Prime Minister” Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, a Pashtun, who accused Rabbani of monopolizing power. Hikmatyar’s radical Islamist Hizb-e-Islami (Islamic Party) had received a large proportion of the U.S. aid during the anti-Soviet war. Four years of civil war (1992-1996) created popular support for the Taliban as a movement that could deliver Afghanistan from the factional infighting. In 1993-1994, Afghan Islamic clerics and students, mostly of rural, Pashtun origin, many of them former mujahedin who had become disillusioned with continued conflict among mujahedin parties and had moved into Pakistan to study in Islamic seminaries (“madrassas”), formed the Taliban movement. They practiced an orthodox Sunni Islam called “Wahhabism,” akin to that practiced in Saudi Arabia. They viewed the Rabbani government as corrupt, anti-Pashtun, and responsible for civil war. With the help of defections, the Taliban seized control of the southeastern city of Qandahar in November 1994; 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, 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 the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul with most of their heavy weapons; the Taliban took control of Kabul on September 27, 1996. Taliban gunmen subsequently entered a U.N. facility in Kabul to seize Najibullah, his brother, and aides, and then hanged them. Taliban Rule The Taliban regime was led by Mullah Muhammad Umar, who lost an eye in the anti-Soviet war while fighting under the banner of the Hizb-e-Islam (Islamic Party of Yunis Khalis. Umar held the title of Head of State and “Commander of the Faithful,” but he mostly remained in the Taliban power base in Qandahar, rarely appearing in public. Umar forged a close bond with bin Laden and refused U.S. demands to extradite him. Born in Uruzgan province, Umar is about 64 years old. 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. In what CRS-5 many consider its most extreme action, in March 2001 the Taliban blew up two large Buddha statues carved into hills above Bamiyan city as representations of idolatry. The Clinton Administration held talks with the Taliban before and after it took power, but relations quickly deteriorated. 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, DC, 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. 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 gradually became the Clinton Administration’s overriding agenda item with Afghanistan. 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 U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the Clinton Administration progressively pressured the Taliban, imposing U.S. sanctions and achieving adoption of some U.N. sanctions as well. On August 20, 1998, the United States fired cruise missiles at alleged Al Qaeda training camps in eastern Afghanistan, but bin Laden was not hit. Some observers assert that the Administration missed several other opportunities to strike him. Clinton Administration officials say that they did not try to oust the Taliban from power with U.S. military force 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” Congeals. The Taliban’s policies caused different Afghan factions to ally with the ousted President Rabbani and Masud and their ally in the Herat area, Ismail Khan — the Tajik core of the anti-Taliban opposition — into a broader “Northern Alliance.” In the Alliance were Uzbek, Hazara Shiite, and even some Pashtun Islamist factions discussed in the table at the end of this paper (Table 16). ! Uzbeks/General Dostam. One major Alliance faction was the Uzbek militia (the Junbush-Melli, or National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan) of General Abdul Rashid Dostam, who is frequently referred to by some Afghans as one of the “warlords” who gained power during the anti-Soviet war, although Dostam had earlier contributed to efforts to oust Rabbani. ! 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 larger ethnic factions. During the various Afghan wars, the main Hazara Shiite grouping was Hizb-e-Wahdat (Unity Party, an alliance of eight smaller groups). CRS-6 ! Pashtun Islamists/Sayyaf. Abd-I-Rab Rasul Sayyaf, who is now a parliament committee chairman, headed a Pashtun-dominated mujahedin faction called the Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan. Even though his ideology is similar to that of the Taliban, Sayyaf joined the Northern Alliance. Bush Administration Policy Pre-September 11, 2001 Prior to the September 11 attacks, Bush Administration policy toward the Taliban resembled Clinton Administration policy — applying economic and political pressure while retaining dialogue with the Taliban, and refraining from providing military assistance to the Northern Alliance. The September 11 Commission report said that, in the months prior to the September 11 attacks, Administration officials leaned toward such a step and that some officials wanted to assist anti-Taliban Pashtun forces. Other covert options were under consideration as well.3 In a departure from Clinton Administration policy, the Bush Administration stepped up engagement with Pakistan to try to end its support for the Taliban. In accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1333, in February 2001 the State Department ordered the Taliban representative office in New York closed, although the Taliban representative continued to operate informally. In March 2001, Administration officials received Taliban envoy Rahmatullah Hashemi to discuss bilateral issues. Fighting with some Iranian, Russian, and Indian financial and military 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, including almost all provincial capitals. The 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 lacked Masud’s undisputed authority. September 11 Attacks and Operation Enduring Freedom. After the September 11 attacks, the Bush Administration decided to militarily overthrow the Taliban when it refused to extradite bin Laden, judging that a friendly regime in Kabul was needed to enable U.S forces to search for Al Qaeda activists there. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368 of September 12, 2001 said that the Security Council “expresses its readiness to take all necessary steps to respond” (implying force) to the September 11 attacks. In Congress, S.J.Res. 23 (passed 98-0 in the Senate and with no objections in the House, P.L. 107-40) authorized:4 all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist 3 Drogin, Bob. “U.S. Had Plan for Covert Afghan Options Before 9/11.” Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2002. 4 Another law (P.L. 107-148) established a “Radio Free Afghanistan” under RFE/RL, providing $17 million in funding for it for FY2002. CRS-7 attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such organizations or persons. Major combat in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, OEF) began on October 7, 2001. The combat consisted primarily of U.S. air-strikes on Taliban and Al Qaeda forces, facilitated by the cooperation between small numbers (about 1,000) of U.S. special operations forces and the Northern Alliance and Pashtun antiTaliban 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 in the post-war period. 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 they would not enter Kabul — entered the capital on November 12, 2001, to popular jubilation. The Taliban subsequently lost the south and east to pro-U.S. Pashtun leaders, such as Hamid Karzai. The end of the Taliban regime is generally dated as December 9, 2001, when the Taliban surrendered Qandahar and Mullah Omar fled the city, leaving it under tribal law administered by Pashtun leaders such as the Noorzai clan. Subsequently, U.S. and Afghan forces conducted “Operation Anaconda” in the Shah-i-Kot Valley south of Gardez (Paktia Province) during March 2-19, 2002, against 800 Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. In March 2003, about 1,000 U.S. troops raided suspected Taliban or Al Qaeda fighters in villages around Qandahar. On May 1, 2003, then Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld announced an end to “major combat operations.” Post-War Stabilization and Reconstruction5 The war paved the way for the success of a decade-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, or loya jirga. However, U.N.-mediated cease-fires between warring factions always broke down. Non-U.N. initiatives made little progress, 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). Other failed efforts included a “Geneva group” (Italy, Germany, Iran, and the United States) formed in 2000; an Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) contact group; and Afghan exile 5 More information on some of the issues in this section can be found in CRS Report RS21922, Afghanistan: Government Formation and Performance, by Kenneth Katzman. Some of the information in this section is derived from author participation on a congressional delegation to Afghanistan in March 2008. CRS-8 efforts, including one from the Karzai clan (including Hamid Karzai) and one centered on Zahir Shah. Political Transition Immediately after the September 11 attacks, former U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi was brought back (he had resigned in frustration in October 1999). 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 major Afghan factions, most prominently the Northern Alliance and that of the former King — but not the Taliban — to a conference in Bonn, Germany. Bonn Agreement. On December 5, 2001, the factions signed the “Bonn Agreement.”6 It was endorsed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1385 (December 6, 2001). The agreement, reportedly forged with substantial Iranian diplomatic help, given Iran’s support for the Northern Alliance faction: ! ! ! ! formed the interim administration headed by Hamid Karzai. authorized an international peace keeping force to maintain security in Kabul, and Northern Alliance forces were directed to withdraw from the capital. Security Council Resolution 1386 (December 20, 2001) gave formal Security Council authorization for the international peacekeeping force. referred to the need to cooperate with the international community on counter narcotics, crime, and terrorism. The constitution of 1964 applied until a permanent constitution could be drafted.7 Permanent Constitution. A June 2002 “emergency” loya jirga put a representative imprimatur on the transition; it was attended by 1,550 delegates (including about 200 women) from 376 districts. Subsequently, a 35-member constitutional commission 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 Mojadeddi (mentioned above), ended with approval of the constitution with only minor changes. Most significantly, members of the Northern Alliance faction failed to set up a prime minister-ship, but they did achieve limits to presidential powers by having major authorities assigned to an elected parliament, such as the power to veto senior official nominees and to impeach a president. The constitution made former King Zahir Shah honorary “Father of the Nation” - a title 6 7 Text of Bonn agreement at [http://www.ag-afghanistan.de/files/petersberg.htm]. 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. CRS-9 that is not heritable. Zahir Shah died on July 23, 2007.8 The constitution also set out timetables for presidential, provincial, and district elections (by June 2004) and stipulated that, if possible, they should be held simultaneously. Hamid Karzai Hamid Karzai, about 56, was selected to lead Afghanistan because he was a credible Pashtun leader who seeks factional compromise rather than intimidation through armed force. On the other hand, some observers believe him too willing to compromise with rather than confront regional and other faction leaders, and to tolerate corruption, resulting in a failure to professionalize government. Others say he seeks to maintain Pashtun predominance in his government. From Karz village in Qandahar Province, Hamid Karzai 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. Karzai entered Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks to organize Pashtun resistance to the Taliban, supported by U.S. special forces. He became central to U.S. efforts after Pashtun commander Abdul Haq entered Afghanistan in October 2001 without U.S. support and was captured and hung by the Taliban. Some of his several brothers have lived in the United States, including Qayyum Karzai, who won a parliament seat in the September 2005 election. With heavy protection, he has survived several assassination attempts since taking office, including rocket fire or gunfire near his appearances. National Elections. Ultimately, it proved impractical to hold all elections simultaneously. The first election was for president and it was held on October 9, 2004, missing the June deadline. The voting was orderly and turnout heavy (about 80%). On November 3, 2004, Karzai was declared winner (55.4% of the vote) over his seventeen challengers on the first round, avoiding a runoff. Parliamentary and provincial council elections were intended for April-May 2005 but were delayed until September 18, 2005. 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 likely contentious boundaries, have not been held. For the parliamentary election, voting was conducted for individuals running in each province, not as party slates. (There are now 90 registered political parties in Afghanistan, but parties remain unpopular because of their linkages to outside countries during the anti-Soviet war.) When parliament first convened on December 18, 2005, the Northern Alliance bloc, joined by others, selected a senior Northern Alliance figure, who was Karzai’s main competitor in the presidential election, Yunus Qanooni, for speaker of the lower house. In April 2007, Qanooni and Northern Alliance political leader Rabbani organized this opposition bloc, along with 8 Text of constitution: [http://arabic.cnn.com/afghanistan/ConstitutionAfghanistan.pdf]. CRS-10 ex-Communists and some royal family members, into a party called the “National Front” that wants increased parliamentary powers and direct elections for the provincial governors. 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). The leader of that body is Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, the pro-Karzai elder statesman. Next Elections and Candidates. The next presidential elections are expected to be held in the fall of 2009. The Wolesi Jirga voted on February 13, 2008 to hold parliamentary and provincial elections in 2010, separate from the 2009 presidential elections, although discussions on combining all the elections are continuing, given the high cost ($100 million per election). The indecision on this question is holding up U.N. and other efforts to help Afghanistan plan the elections and register voters. An election law was submitted for parliamentary approval in November 2007 and is being considered there. Karzai has said, in a Washington Post interview of January 27, 2008, and again in another interview on April 6, 2008, that he would run for re-election. Qanooni might run again but some say that the senior Northern Alliance leader Burhannuddin Rabbani, who is about 75 years old, might run instead. Some Afghans say independent parliamentarian Ramazan Bashardost, as might former Interior Minister Ali Jalali. Jalali is a Pashtun. There has been speculation in recent press articles that the Afghan-born U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad, who has served as Ambassador to Afghanistan and has been extensively involved in Afghan issues in his U.S. career, might run for President of Afghanistan. Khalilzad has dampened but not outright denied the speculation. Governance Issues With a permanent national government fully assembled, Karzai and the parliament — relations between which are often contentious — are attempting to improve and expand governance throughout the country. In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 28, 2008, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said that the Karzai government controls only 30% of the country, while the Taliban controls 10%, and tribes and local groups control the remainder; U.S. officials in Kabul told CRS in March 2008 they disagree with that assessment as too pessimistic. At the same time, there is a broader debate among Afghans over whether to continue to strengthen central government — the approach favored by Karzai and the United States and most of its partners — or to promote local solutions to security and governance, an approach that some international partners, such as Britain, want to explore. The parliament has asserted itself on several occasions, for example in the process of confirming a post-election cabinet and in forcing Karzai to oust several major conservatives from the Supreme Court in favor of those with more experience in modern jurisprudence. In mid-2007, parliament enacted a law granting amnesty to commanders who fought in the various Afghan wars since the Soviet invasion — some of whom are now members of parliament — in an attempt to put past schisms to rest in building a new Afghanistan. The law was rewritten to give victims the ability to bring accusations of past abuses forward; its status is unclear because Karzai did not veto it but he did not sign it either. CRS-11 In a sign of tension between Karzai and his opposition in parliament, in May 2007, the National Front bloc engineered a vote of no confidence against Foreign Minister Rangeen Spanta and Minister for Refugee Affairs Akbar Akbar for failing to prevent Iran from expelling 50,000 Afghan refugees over a one-month period. Karzai accepted in principle the dismissal of Akbar but deferred Spanta’s dismissal because refugee affairs are not his ministry’s prime jurisdiction. The Afghan Supreme Court has sided with Karzai, causing some National Front bloc members to threaten to resign from the parliament, an action they believe would shake confident in Karzai’s leadership. Spanta remains in his position, to date, but the dispute is unresolved. The Front conducted a walkout of parliament on November 26, 2007, to protest what it said was Karzai’s inattention to parliament’s views on whether or not panic by security forces caused additional deaths following the November 6, 2007, suicide bombing in Baghlan Province that killed 6 parliamentarians and about 70 other persons. On the other hand, on some less contentious issues, the executive and the legislature appear to be working well. Since the end of 2007, the Wolesi Jirga has passed and forwarded to the Meshrano Jirga several laws, including a labor law, a mines law, a law on economic cooperatives, and a convention on tobacco control. The Wolesi Jirga also has recently confirmed Karzai nominees for a new Minster of Refugee Affairs, head of the Central Bank, and the final justice to fill out the Supreme Court. (For further information, see CRS Report RS21922, Afghanistan: Government Formation and Performance.) U.N. Involvement. The international community is extensively involved in Afghan stabilization, not only in the security field but in diplomacy and reconstruction assistance. Some of the debate over the growing role of U.S. partners there was represented in a proposal to create a new position of “super envoy” that would represent the United Nations, the European Union, and NATO in Afghanistan. This would subsume the role of the head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). In January 2008, with U.S. support, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon tentatively appointed British diplomat Paddy Ashdown to this “super envoy” position, but President Karzai rejected the appointment reportedly over concerns about the scope of authority of such an envoy, in particular its potential to dilute the U.S. role in Afghanistan. Karzai might have also sought to show a degree of independence from the international community. Ashdown withdrew his name on January 28, 2008. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1806 of March 20, 2008, extends UNAMA’s mandate for another year and expands it to include some of the “super-envoy” concept. UNAMA is co-chair of the joint Afghan-international community coordination body called the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB), and Resolution 1806 directs UNAMA, in that capacity, to coordinate the work of international donors and strengthen cooperation between the international peacekeeping force (ISAF, see below) and the Afghan government. UNAMA is helping implement the five-year development strategy outlined in a “London Compact,” (now called the Afghanistan Compact) adopted at the January 31February 1, 2006, London conference on Afghanistan. The priorities developed in that document also comport with current drafts of Afghanistan’s own “National Strategy for Development.” The head of UNAMA as of March 2008, and with the CRS-12 expanded powers, is Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide. In speeches in Washington, D.C. in late April 2008, Eide said that additional capacity-building resources are needed, and that some efforts by international donors duplicate each other or are tied to purchasing decisions by Western countries. Expanding Central Government Writ and Curbing “Warlords”. U.S. policy believes that stability and countering corruption and narcotics trafficking depends on expanding the capacity, proficiency, and writ of the Afghan central government. A Washington Post report of November 25, 2007, said that the failure to build capacity, as well as government corruption and compromises with local factions, are major contributors to a sense within the Administration of only limited U.S. success in stabilizing Afghanistan. That same report echoed the concerns of U.S. commanders and officials that Taliban militants are able to infiltrate “ungoverned space,” contributing to the persistence and in some areas the expansion of the Taliban insurgency. On the other hand, a February 2008 U.N. report on the narcotics situation, discussed below, says that governance is improving and growing in northern and parts of relatively restive eastern Afghanistan, contributing to a reduction of opium cultivation there. U.S. officials continue to try to bolster Karzai through repeated statements of support and top level exchanges, including several visits there by Vice President Cheney and one by President Bush (March 1, 2006). President Karzai has visited the United States repeatedly, including two days of meetings with President Bush at Camp David (August 5 and 6, 2007). They met again on September 26, 2007 in the context of U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York, and again on the sidelines of the April 2008 NATO meeting in Bucharest, Romania. A key part of the U.S. strategy to strengthen the central government is to help Karzai curb key regional strongmen and local militias – who some refer to as “warlords.” Karzai has cited these actors as a major threat to Afghan stability because of their arbitrary administration of justice and generation of popular resentment through their demands for bribes and other favors. Some argue that Afghans have always sought substantial regional autonomy, but others say that easily purchased arms and manpower, funded by narcotics trafficking, sustains local militias as well as the Taliban insurgency. Karzai has, to some extent, marginalized most of the largest regional leaders. ! Herat governor Ismail Khan was removed in September 2004 and was later appointed Minister of Water and Energy. On the other hand, Khan was tapped by Karzai to help calm Herat after SunniShiite clashes there in February 2006, clashes that some believe were stoked by Khan to demonstrate his continued influence in Herat. ! In April 2005, Dostam was appointed Karzai’s top military advisor, and in April 2005 he “resigned” as head of his Junbush Melli faction. However, in May 2007 his followers in the north were again restive (conducting large demonstrations) in attempting to force out the anti-Dostam governor of Jowzjan Province. In February 2008, Afghan police surrounded Dostam’s home in Kabul, CRS-13 but did not arrest him, in connection with the alleged beating of a political opponent by Dostam supporters. According to observers in Kabul, Karzai continues to weigh arresting him. ! Another key figure, former Defense Minister Fahim (Northern Alliance) was appointed by Karzai to the upper house of parliament, although he remained in that body only a few months. The appointment was intended to give him a stake in the political process and reduce his potential to activate Northern Alliance militia loyalists. Fahim continues to turn heavy weapons over to U.N. and Afghan forces (including four Scud missiles), although the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says that large quantities of weapons remain in the Panjshir Valley. ! In July 2004, Karzai moved charismatic Northern Alliance figure Atta Mohammad Noor from control of a militia in the Mazar-eSharif area to governor of Balkh province, although he reportedly remains resistant to central government control. Still, his province is now “cultivation free” of opium, according to the U.N.Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports since August 2007. ! Two other large militia leaders, Hazrat Ali (Jalalabad area) and Khan Mohammad (Qandahar area) were placed in civilian police chief posts in 2005; Hazrat Ali was subsequently elected to parliament. Provincial Governorships. Karzai has tried to use his power to appoint provincial governors to extend government authority, although some question his choices and others say he has a limited talent pool of corruption free officials to choose from. The key Afghan initiative to improve local governance is the formation in October 2007 of the “Independent Directorate of Local Governance” headed by Jelani Popal and reporting to the presidential office. This represents and attempt to to institute a more effective and systematic process for selecting capable governors by taking the screening function away from the Interior Ministry. The directorate is also selecting police chiefs and other local office holders, and in many cases has already begun removing allegedly corrupt local officials. Forming the directorate represents an attempt by Karzai to build on his efforts since 2005 to appointed some relatively younger technocrats in key governorships: these include Qandahar governor Asadullah Khalid, Paktika governor Muhammad Akram Khapalwak, Khost governor Jamal, who U.S. commanders say has played a major role in governance progress there, and Paktia governor Abdul Hakim Taniwal. (Taniwal was killed in a suicide bombing on September 10, 2006.) On the other hand, Helmand governor Asadullah Wafa was considered weak and was replaced in March 2008 by Gulab Mangal. Mangal is considered a competent administrator, but he is from Laghman province, not Helmand, somewhat to the consternation of Helmand residents. Other pro-Karzai governors, such as Nangahar’s Ghul Agha Shirzai, are considered corrupt and politically motivated rather than technically competent, although Shirzai is credited with helping weaken the Taliban in Nangahar. In July CRS-14 2007, Karzai removed the governor of Kapisa province for saying that Karzai’s government was weak and thereby failing to curb the Taliban insurgency. DDR and DIAG Programs. A cornerstone of the effort to strengthen the central government was a program, run by UNAMA, to dismantle identified and illegal militias. The program, which formally concluded on June 30, 2006, was the “DDR” program: Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration. The program was run in partnership with Japan, Britain, and Canada, with participation of the United States. The program had gotten off to a slow start because the Afghan Defense Ministry did not reduce the percentage of Tajiks in senior positions by a July 1, 2003, target date, dampening Pashtun recruitment. In September 2003, Karzai replaced 22 senior Tajik Defense Ministry officials with Pashtuns, Uzbeks, and Hazaras, enabling DDR to proceed. The DDR program had initially been expected to demobilize 100,000 fighters, although that figure was later reduced. Figures for accomplishment of the DDR and DIAG programs are contained in the security indicators table later in this paper. Of those demobilized, 55,800 former fighters have exercised reintegration options provided by the program: starting small businesses, farming, and other options. U.N. officials say at least 25% of these have thus far found long-term, sustainable jobs. Some studies 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 programs run by the United States and its partners.9 Part of the DDR program was the collection and cantonment of militia weapons. However, some accounts say that only poor quality weapons were collected. UNAMA officials say that vast quantities of weapons are still kept by the Northern Alliance faction in the Panjshir Valley, although the faction is giving up some weapons to UNAMA slowly, in small weekly shipments. Figures for collected weapons are contained in the table. The total cost of the program was $141 million, funded by Japan and other donors, including the United States. Since June 11, 2005, the disarmament effort has emphasized another program called “DIAG,” Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups. It is run by the Afghan Disarmament and Reintegration Commission, headed by Vice President Khalili. Under the DIAG, no payments are available to fighters, and the program depends on persuasion rather than use of force against the illegal groups. DIAG has not been as well funded as was DDR: it has received $11 million in operating funds. As an incentive for compliance, Japan and other donors made available $35 million for development projects where illegal groups have disbanded. These incentives were intended to accomplish the disarmament, by December 2007, of a pool of as many as 150,000 members of 1,800 different “illegal armed groups”: militiamen that were not part of recognized local forces (Afghan Military Forces, AMF) and were never on the rolls of the Defense Ministry. These goals have not been met in part because armed groups in the south fear the continued Taliban combat activity and refuse to 9 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 %20demobilization%20 rearmament.pdf]. CRS-15 disarm voluntarily, but UNAMA reports that some progress has been achieved, as shown in the security indicators table. U.S. Embassy Operations/Budgetary Support to Afghan Government. A key component of U.S. efforts to strengthen the Afghan government has been maintaining a large diplomatic presence. Zalmay Khalilzad, an American of Afghan origin, was ambassador during December 2003-August 2005; he reportedly had significant influence on Afghan government decisions.10 The current ambassador is William Wood, who previously was U.S. Ambassador to Colombia and who has focused significant attention on the counter-narcotics issue. As part of a 2003 U.S. push to build government capacity, the Bush Administration formed a 15-person Afghan Reconstruction Group (ARG), placed within the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, to serve as advisors to the Afghan government. The group is now mostly focused on helping Afghanistan attract private investment and develop private industries. The U.S. embassy, housed in a newly constructed building, has progressively expanded its personnel and facilities. The tables at the end of this paper discuss U.S. funding for Embassy operations, USAID operations, and Karzai protection. Although the Afghan government has increased its revenue and is covering a growing proportion of its budget, USAID provides funding to help the Afghan government meet gaps in its budget – both directly and through a U.N.-run multidonor Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund, ARTF account. Those aid figures, for FY2002-FY2007, are in Table 13 at the end of the paper. Human Rights and Democracy. The Administration and Afghan government claim progress in building a democratic Afghanistan that adheres to international standards of human rights practices and presumably is able to earn the support of the Afghan people. The State Department report on human rights practices for 2007 (released March 11, 2008)11 said that Afghanistan’s human rights record remained “poor,” but attributed this primarily to weak governance, corruption, drug trafficking, and the legacy of decades of conflict. 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. In debate over a new press law, both houses of parliament have approved a joint version, but Karzai has vetoed it on the grounds that it gives the government too much control over private media. Even in the absence of the law, media policy remains highly conservative; in April 2008 the Ministry of Information and Culture banned five Indian-produced soap operas on the grounds that they are too risque. That came amid a move by conservative parliamentarians to pass legislation to ban loud music, men and women mingling in public, video games, and other behavior common in the 10 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. 11 For text, see [http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100611.htm]. CRS-16 West. Since the Taliban era, more than 40 private radio stations, seven television networks, and 350 independent newspapers have opened. The death penalty has been reinstituted, reversing a 2004 moratorium declared by Karzai. Fifteen convicts were executed at once on October 7, 2007. In January 2008, Afghanistan’s “Islamic council,” composed of senior clerics, backed public executions for convicted murderers and urged Karzai to end the activities of foreign organizations that are converting Afghans to Christianity. The State Department International Religious Freedom report for 2007 (released September 14, 2007 says that “there was an increase in the number of reports of problems involving religious freedom compared to previous years.” There continues to be discrimination against the Shiite (Hazara) minority and some other minorities such as Sikhs and Hindus. In May 2007, a directorate under the Supreme Court declared the Baha’i faith to be a form of blasphemy. Others have noted that the government has reimposed some Islamic restrictions that characterized Taliban rule, including the code of criminal punishments stipulated in Islamic law. Other accounts say that alcohol is increasingly difficult to obtain in restaurants and stores. Some government policies reflect the conservative nature of Afghan society; recent indications of that sentiment were the demonstrations in March 2008 in several Afghan cities against Denmark and the Netherlands for Danish cartoons and a Dutch film apparently criticizing aspects of Islam and its key symbols. On January 25, 2008, in a case that has implications for both religious and journalistic freedom, a young reporter, Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, was sentenced to death for distributing a website report to student peers questioning some precepts of Islam. Karzai has said he will allow the appeal process to play out — and the Supreme Court is likely to overturn that sentence — before considering a pardon for Kambaksh. A previous religious freedom case earned congressional attention in March 2006. An Afghan man, Abd al-Rahman, who had converted to Christianity 16 years ago while working for a Christian aid group in Pakistan, was imprisoned and faced a potential death penalty trial for apostasy — his refusal to convert back to Islam. Facing international pressure, Karzai prevailed on Kabul court authorities to release him on March 29, 2006; he subsequently went to Italy and sought asylum there. His release came the same day the House passed H.Res. 736 calling on the Afghan government to protect Afghan converts from prosecution. Another case was the October 2005 Afghan Supreme Court conviction of a male journalist, Ali Nasab (editor of the monthly “Women’s Rights” magazine), of blasphemy; he was sentenced to two years in prison for articles about apostasy. A Kabul court reduced his sentence to time served and he was freed in December 2005. Afghanistan was placed in Tier 2 in the State Department report on human trafficking issued in June 2007. The government is assessed as making significant efforts to comply with minimum standards for eliminating trafficking. Some reports say that women from China and Central Asia are being trafficked into Afghanistan for sexual exploitation, in some cases to work in night clubs purportedly frequented by members of many international NGOs. An Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has been formed to monitor government performance and has been credited in State Department CRS-17 reports with successful interventions to curb abuses. Headed by former Women’s Affairs minister Sima Samar, it also conducts surveys of how Afghans view governance and reconstruction efforts. The House-passed Afghan Freedom Support Act (AFSA) re-authorization bill (H.R. 2446) would authorize $10 million per year for this Commission until FY2010. Funding Issues. USAID has spent significant funds on democracy and rule of law programs (support for elections, civil society programs, political party strengthening, media freedom, and local governance) for Afghanistan. Funding for FY2002-FY2007 is shown in Table 13. An additional $100 million was requested in further FY2008 supplemental funding, to help prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for 2009, and $248 million for these functions is requested for FY2009. Advancement of Women. According to State Department human rights report, the Afghan government is promoting the advancement of women, but numerous abuses, such as denial of educational and employment opportunities, continue primarily because of Afghanistan’s conservative traditions. A major development in post-Taliban Afghanistan was the formation of a Ministry of Women’s Affairs dedicated to improving women’s rights, although numerous accounts say the ministry’s influence is limited and it is now headed by a male, although the deputy minister is female. Among other activities, it promotes the involvement of women in business ventures. Three female ministers were in the 2004-2006 cabinet: former presidential candidate Masooda Jalal (Ministry of Women’s Affairs), Sediqa Balkhi (Minister for Martyrs and the Disabled), and Amina Afzali (Minister of Youth). However, Karzai nominated only one (Minister of Women’s Affairs Soraya Sobhrang) in the cabinet that followed the parliamentary elections, and she was voted down by opposition from Islamist conservatives in parliament, leaving no women in the cabinet. (The deputy minister is a female.) In March 2005, Karzai appointed a former Minister of Women’s Affairs, Habiba Sohrabi, as governor of Bamiyan province, inhabited mostly by Hazaras. As noted, 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-asides. However, some NGOs and other groups believe that the women elected by the quota system are not viewed as equally legitimate parliamentarians. More generally, women are performing some jobs, such as construction work, that were rarely held by women even before the Taliban came to power in 1996, 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, and fewer women are wearing it than was the case a few years ago. On the other hand, women’s advancement has made women a target of Taliban attacks. Attacks on girls’ schools and athletic facilities have increased in the most restive areas. 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 CRS-18 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. The Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 (AFSA, P.L. 107-327) authorized $15 million per year (FY2003-FY2006) for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. The House-passed AFSA reauthorization (H.R. 2446) would authorize $5 million per year for this Ministry. Appropriations for programs for women and girls, when specified, are contained in the tables at the end of this paper. Combating Narcotics Trafficking.12 Narcotics trafficking is regarded by some as one of the most significant problems facing Afghanistan, generating about 40% of the Taliban’s funds. The U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported in February 2008 that opium cultivation for 2008 will likely be similar to the 2007 record harvest, which was an increased of 34% over the previous year. The State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, (INCSR) released February 29, 2008, said area under cultivation had increased by 17% in 2007 over 2006 levels. Afghanistan is the source of about 93% of the world’s illicit opium supply, and according to UNODC, “... leaving aside 19th Century China, no country in the world has ever produced narcotics on such a deadly scale.” Narcotics now accounts for about $4 billion in value, about 53% of the value of Afghanistan’s legal economy. On the other hand, there are some signs of progress. The February 2008 UNODC report said that the number of “poppy free” provinces is 12, an increase from 6 in 2006, and that cultivation is decreasing in another ten provinces, mostly in the north, where UNODC says governance is increasing. The report said cultivation also decreased sharply in Nangarhar Province (Jalalabad), a key province near the Pakistan border. The acting Minister of Counter-Narcotics, Gen. Khodaidad, said in late April 2008 that overall cultivation will fall in 2008, and that as many as 20 provinces might soon be declared cultivation free, including Nangarhar and Badakshan. Others attribute the apparent drop in cultivation to the large world increase in prices for legal crops. Much of the cultivation growth in recent years has come from Helmand Province (which now produces about 50% of Afghanistan’s total poppy crop) and other southern provinces where the Taliban insurgency is still consistently active, and the February 2008 UNDOC reports said cultivation is increasing in 7 provinces, mostly in the west and south. In response to congressional calls for an increased U.S. focus on the drug problem, in March 2007 the Administration created a post of coordinator for counternarcotics and justice reform in Afghanistan, naming Thomas Schweich of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) to that post. On August 9, 2007, he announced a major new counter-narcotics program and strategy that seeks 12 For a detailed discussion and U.S. funding on the issue, see CRS Report RL32686, Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy, by Christopher M. Blanchard. CRS-19 to better integrate counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency, as well as enhance and encourage alternative livelihoods.13 Part of the widely acknowledged lack of progress has been attributed to disagreements on a counter-narcotics strategy. The Afghan government wants to focus on funding alternative livelihoods that will dissuade Afghans from growing poppy crop, and on building governance in areas where poppy is grown. The Afghan side, backed by some U.S. experts such as Barnett Rubin, believe that narcotics flourish in areas where there is no security, and not the other way around. U.S. officials emphasize eradication. In concert with interdiction and building up alternative livelihoods, the United States has prevailed on Afghanistan to undertake efforts to eradicate poppy fields by cutting down the crop manually on the ground. However, there appears to be a debate between some in the U.S. government, including Ambassador to Afghanistan William Wood, and the Afghan government over whether to conduct spraying of fields, particularly by air. The Ambassador and others in the Bush Administration feel that aerial spraying is the only effective means to reduce poppy cultivation. President Karzai, most recently in an interview with the Washington Post on January 27, 2008, strongly opposes aerial spraying of poppy fields. He and others say that allowing such activity would cause a backlash among Afghan farmers that could produce more support for the Taliban. Others believe that Karzai feels that acquiescing to a U.S.-designed counter-narcotics program would make him look like a puppet of the international community. NATO commanders, who have taken over security responsibilities throughout Afghanistan, are now focusing on interdicting traffickers and raiding drug labs, and overall NATO/ISAF commander Gen. Dan McNeil said in February 2008 that his NATO mandate permits him to conduct counter-narcotics combat when it is clearly linked to insurgent activity. Congress appears to be siding with Karzai; the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriation (P.L. 110-161) prohibits U.S. counter-narcotics funding from being used for aerial spraying on Afghanistan poppy fields. The U.S. military, in support of the effort, is flying Afghan and U.S. counternarcotics agents (Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA) on missions and identifying targets; it also evacuates casualties from counter-drug operations. The Department of Defense is also playing the major role in training and equipping specialized Afghan counter-narcotics police, in developing an Afghan intelligence fusion cell, and training Afghan border police, as well as assisting an Afghan helicopter squadron to move Afghan counter-narcotics forces around the country. The Bush Administration has taken some legal steps against suspected Afghan drug traffickers;14 in April 2005, a DEA operation successfully caught the alleged leading Afghan narcotics trafficker, Haji Bashir Noorzai, arresting him after a flight to New York. The United States is funding a new Counternarcotics Justice Center (estimated cost, $8 million) in Kabul to prosecute and incarcerate suspected traffickers.15 13 Text of the strategy, see [http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/rpt/90561.htm#section1] 14 Cameron-Moore, Simon. “U.S. to Seek Indictment of Afghan Drug Barons.” Reuters, November 2, 2004. 15 Risen, James. “Poppy Fields Are Now a Front Line in Afghanistan War.” New York (continued...) CRS-20 The Bush Administration has repeatedly named Afghanistan (and again in the February 2008 State Department INCSR report discussed above) as a major illicit drug producer and drug transit country, but has not included Afghanistan on a smaller 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.16 The Administration has exercised waiver provisions (the last was published in the Federal Register in May 2006) to a required certification of full Afghan cooperation that was needed to provide more than $225 million in recent U.S. economic assistance appropriations for Afghanistan. A similar certification requirement (to provide amounts over $300 million) is contained in the House version of the FY2008 appropriation (P.L. 110-161). Other provisions on counter-narcotics, such as recommending a pilot crop substitution program and cutting U.S. aid to any Afghan province whose officials are determined complicit in drug trafficking, are contained in the AFSA reauthorization bill (H.R. 2446). Narcotics trafficking control was perhaps the one issue on which the Taliban, when it was in power, satisfied much of the international community; the Taliban enforced a July 2000 ban on poppy cultivation, which purportedly dramatically decreased cultivation.17 The Northern Alliance did not issue a similar ban in areas it controlled. Post-War Security Operations and Force Capacity Building The top security priority of the Administration has been to prevent Al Qaeda and the Taliban from challenging the Afghan government. The pillars of the U.S. security effort are (1) continuing combat operations by U.S. forces and a NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF); (2) U.S. and NATO operation of “provincial reconstruction teams” (PRTs); and (3) the equipping and training of an Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) force. The Combat Environment, U.S. Operations, and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) U.S. and partner country troop levels (U.S. Central Command, CENTCOM) have increased since 2006 to combat a Taliban resurgence. NATO/ISAF has led peacekeeping operations nationwide since October 5, 2006, and about 65% of U.S. troops in Afghanistan (numbers are in the security indicators table below) are under NATO command. The NATO/ISAF force is headed by U.S. Gen. Dan McNeil, who took over in February 2007 from U.K. General David Richards. (In January 2008, President Bush named Gen. David McKiernan to replace McNeil, probably by 15 (...continued) Times, May 16, 2007. 16 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. 17 Crossette, Barbara. “Taliban Seem to Be Making Good on Opium Ban, U.N. Says.” New York Times, February 7, 2001. CRS-21 summer 2008.) The remainder are under direct U.S. command as part of the ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Most U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who are primarily in eastern Afghanistan, now report to Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Schloesser as head of Combined Joint Task Force 101 (CJTF-101), named after the 101st Airborne Division, and headquartered at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. Gen. Schloesser commands OEF but is dual-hatted as commander of ISAF Regional Command-East of the NATO/ISAF mission. Incremental costs of U.S. operations in Afghanistan appear to be running about 2 - 3 billion dollars per month. The FY2008 Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 110-181, Section 1229) requires a quarterly DOD report on the security situation in Afghanistan, along the lines of the similar “Measuring Stability and Security” report required for Iraq. For further information, see CRS Report RL33110, The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11, by Amy Belasco. Prior to the transfer to NATO command, 19 coalition countries — primarily Britain, France, Canada, and Italy — were contributing approximately 4,000 combat troops to OEF, but most of these have now been “re-badged” to the expanded NATOled ISAF mission. A few foreign contingents, such as a small unit from the UAE, remain part of OEF. Until December 2007, 200 South Korean forces at Bagram Air Base (mainly combat engineers) were part of OEF; they left in December 2007 in fulfillment of a July-August 2007, agreement under which Taliban militants released 21 kidnapped South Korean church group visitors in Ghazni province. Two were killed during their captivity. The Taliban kidnappers did not get the demanded release of 23 Taliban prisoners held by the Afghan government. As of April 2008, South Korea is in the process of re-engaging in Afghanistan by taking over the Parwan Province PRT based at Bagram Air Base. Japan provided naval refueling capabilities in the Arabian sea, but the mission ended in October 2007 following a parliamentary change of majority there in July 2007 and the subsequent change of the Prime Minister. The mission was revived in January 2008 when the new government forced through parliament a bill to allow the mission to resume. As part of OEF, the United States leads a multi-national naval anti-terrorist, anti-smuggling, anti-proliferation interdiction mission in the Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea, headquartered in Bahrain. That mission was expanded after the fall of Saddam Hussein to include protecting Iraqi oil platforms in the Gulf. In the four years after the fall of the Taliban, U.S. forces and Afghan troops fought relatively low levels of Taliban insurgent violence. The United States and Afghanistan conducted “Operation Mountain Viper” (August 2003); “Operation Avalanche” (December 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 the east (October 2005). By 2005, U.S. commanders had believed that the combat, coupled with overall political and economic reconstruction, had almost ended the insurgency. The Taliban “Resurgence”. An increase in violence beginning in mid2006 took some U.S. commanders by surprise because the insurgency had been low level for several years, and polls showed that the Taliban are politically unpopular, even in the conservative Pashtun areas. Taliban insurgents, increasingly adapting CRS-22 suicide and roadside bombing characteristic of the Iraq insurgency, nonetheless have been able to step up attacks, particularly in Uruzgan, Helmand, Qandahar, and Zabol Provinces, areas that NATO/ISAF assumed responsibility for on July 31, 2006. The violence triggered debate about whether the resurgence was driven by popular frustration with the widely perceived corruption within the Karzai government and the slow pace of economic reconstruction. Some believe that Afghans in the restive areas were intimidated by the Taliban into providing food and shelter, while others believe that some villages welcome any form of justice, even if administered by the Taliban. Taliban attacks on schools, teachers, and other civilian infrastructure have reportedly caused popular anger against the movement, but others say they appreciate the Taliban’s reputation for avoiding corruption. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen testified on December 11, 2007, that the Taliban support had tripled to about 20% over the past two years. Other developments in 2007 that the United States found worrisome have been the Taliban’s first use of a surface-to-air missile (SAM-7, shoulder held) against a U.S. C-130 transport aircraft, although it did not hit the aircraft. The Afghan government asserts that the increase in the insurgency is because Pakistan is permitting the Taliban safe haven. U.S. commanders say the increase in violence is caused mainly by a higher tempo of U.S./ISAF anti-Taliban operations rather than any increase in Taliban recruitment or capabilities. NATO has countered the violence with repeated offensives, including such major operations as Operation Mountain Lion, Operation Mountain Thrust, and Operation Medusa (August-September 2006). The latter was considered a success in ousting Taliban fighters from the Panjwai district near Qandahar. Operation Medusa also demonstrated that NATO would conduct intensive combat in Afghanistan. In the aftermath of Medusa, British forces — who believe in working more with tribal leaders as part of negotiated local solutions — entered into an agreement with tribal elders in the Musa Qala district of Helmand Province, under which they would secure the main town of the district without an active NATO presence. That strategy failed when the Taliban captured Musa Qala town in February 2007. A NATO offensive in December 2007, approved by President Karzai, retook Musa Qala, although there continue to be recriminations between the Britain, on the one side, and the United States and Karzai, on the other, over the wisdom of the original British deal on Musa Qala. Some Taliban activity continues on the outskirts of the district. During 2007, U.S. and NATO forces, bolstered by the infusion of 3,200 U.S. troops and 3,800 NATO/partner forces, pre-empted an anticipated Taliban “spring offensive.” In a preemptive move, in March 2007, NATO and Afghan troops conducted “Operation Achilles” to expel militants from the Sangin district of northern Helmand Province. One purpose of the operation was to pacify the area around the key Kajaki dam. The Taliban “offensive” largely did not materialize, and U.S. and NATO commanders say their efforts deprived the Taliban of the ability to control substantial swaths of territory. Taliban militants are often killed 50 or 60 at a time by coalition airstrikes because they move in remote areas where they are easily located and struck. The NATO operations, and a related offensive in late April 2007 (Operation Silicon), had a major success on May 12, 2007, when the purportedly ruthless leader of the Taliban insurgency in the south, Mullah Dadullah, was killed CRS-23 by U.S. and NATO forces in Helmand Province. His brother, Mansoor, replaced him as leader of that faction but Mansoor was arrested crossing into Pakistan in February 2008 — arrests and deaths such as these are contributing to U.S. command optimism that it will eventually defeat the Taliban outright.18 A U.S. airstrike in December 2006 killed another prominent commander, Mullah Akhtar Usmani. A key commander in Kunar province, Mullah Ismail, was arrested while crossing over into Pakistan in mid-April 2008. Despite recent losses, several key Taliban leaders are at large and believed to be working with Al Qaeda leaders; some Taliban are able to give interviews to Pakistani (Geo television) and other media stations. In addition to Mullah Umar, Jalaludin Haqqani and his son, Siraj, remain at large, leading an insurgent faction operating around Khost. Haqqani is believed to have contact with Al Qaeda leaders in part because one of his wives is purportedly Arab. The Taliban has several official spokespersons, including Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, and it operates a clandestine radio station, “Voice of Shariat,” and publishes videos. Policy Reviews and Further 2008-2009 U.S. Troop Buildup. Despite the offensives, a perception of growing Taliban strength has taken hold among some observers, as evidenced by, among other indicators: (1) 2007 recording the most casualties, including Taliban fighters, of the war so far: (2) numbers of suicide bombings at a post-Taliban high, including such major bombings as one in Kabul on June 17, 2007, which killed about 35 Afghan police recruits on a bus; a suicide bombing in early November 2007 that killed six parliamentarians, as noted above; the suicide bombing near Qandahar on February 17, 2008 that killed 67 civilians and 13 Afghan police - the most lethal attack since 2002; and (3) expanding Taliban operations in provinces where it had not previously been active, including Lowgar and Wardak (close to Kabul), as well as formerly stable Herat, where there are few Pashtuns sympathetic to the Taliban, although some believe the Taliban were compelled to move north and westward by military pressure by NATO; (4) attacks in Kabul against targets that are either well defended or in highly populated centers, such as the January 14, 2008, attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul (see below); the January 26, 2008, kidnaping of an American aid worker in Qandahar; and, most recently, the April 27, 2008 assassination attempt on Karzai during a military parade celebrating the ouster of the Soviet Union. A parliamentarian was killed. This attack, aspects of which were uncovered beforehand, triggered a move by parliament to vote no confidence in the intelligence director, the Defense Minister, and the Interior Minister. On the other hand, U.S. commanders say that the United States and its allies have made substantial progress reducing Taliban attacks in eastern Afghanistan where U.S. troops mainly operate and are able to achieve significant coverage; one U.S. briefing in January 2008 said that attacks along the eastern Afghan-Pakistan 18 Mansoor Dadullah was one of five Taliban leaders released in March 2007 in exchange for the freedom of kidnapped Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo, but there were reports in January 2008 that Mullah Umar Mullah Umar had dismissed Mansoor because of reported talks with British military officers about his possible defection. CRS-24 border are 40% lower than they were in December 2006. U.S. commanders say they have continued on the offensive during the winter of 2008 to deny the Taliban the ability to regroup and that they anticipate that the Taliban “spring offensive” will again be weak or non-existent in spring 2008, as it was in 2007. U.S. commanders — and a U.N. Secretary General report of March 6, 2008 — say that 70% of the violence in Afghanistan is now occurring in 10% of Afghanistan’s 376 districts, an area including about 6% of the Afghan population. To address the perception of deterioration of the U.S. effort, a reported National Security Council review (reported by the Washington Post on November 25, 2007) found that the Taliban has been able to expand its presence, particularly in “ungoverned” remote areas. The review also reportedly concluded that the United States needed to focus more attention and resources on the Afghan situation than it had previously. Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen largely confirmed the perception that the Afghan battlefield was “under-resourced” in his December 11, 2007 testimony in which he stated that, in Iraq, “the United States does what it must, while in Afghanistan, the United States does what it can.” Other policy reviews have been conducted by the State Department; it evaluated its use of “soft power” to complement the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. Similar findings are emphasized in recent outside assessments of Afghanistan policy, including a report in November 2007 by the Senlis Council;19 a January 2008 study by the Atlantic Council (“Saving Afghanistan: An Appeal and Plan for Urgent Action”) and a January 30, 2008 study by the Center for the Study of the Presidency (“Afghanistan Study Group Report”), as well as in recent hearings, such as the January 31, 2008 hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Americanizing” the Southern Front? As a consequence of the policy reviews and public perceptions, the Administration is taking new steps to keep the pressure on the Taliban in the south, where it remains strongest, as well as to ease strains with key NATO partners. Some policy decisions appear to indicate that the United States might assume greater responsibility for the intense combat in the south. On January 14, 2008, Secretary of Defense Gates approved the deployment of an additional 3,200 Marines to Afghanistan (for seven months), of which about 700 will be for training the Afghan security forces, and the remainder will provide more combat capability in the south. They have arrived and begun to engage in combat in Helmand Province, in late April 2008 expelling Taliban militants from Garmsar district of Helmand. Still, U.S. and NATO commanders in Afghanistan have decided that they needed about three more brigades (about 10,000) to be able to stabilize the still restive southern sector, particularly all of southern Helmand Province. With NATO countries unlikely to fill that entire need, on April 4, 2008, at the NATO summit in Romania, President Bush pledged to further increase U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2009, regardless of the change in U.S. Administration at that time. The 2009 addition could be as much as 7,000 U.S. forces, and there is discussion that the United States might also take over the command rotation for Regional Command South of ISAF. The issue of NATO/ISAF and the positions of contributing countries is discussed further below. 19 Text of the report is at [http://www.senliscouncil.net/modules/publications/Afghanistan_ on_the_brink/documents/Afghanistan_on_the_brink] CRS-25 U.S. and NATO commanders are also increasingly sensitive to losing “hearts and minds” because of civilian casualties resulting from U.S. and NATO operations, particularly air strikes. In a joint meeting on May 21, 2007, President Bush and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that U.S. and NATO operations were seeking to avoid civilian casualties but that such results were sometimes inevitable in the course of fighting the Taliban. President Bush and President Karzai said they discussed the issue during their Camp David meetings in August 2007. With Karzai saying in October 2007 that he had asked for a halt to the use of air strikes, NATO is reportedly examining using smaller air force munitions to limit collateral damage from air strikes, or increased use of ground operations. Feelers to the Taliban. President Karzai believes that an alternative means of combating Taliban militants is to offer talks with Taliban fighters who want to consider ending their fight. Noted above is the reconciliation program (referred to in Afghanistan by its Pashto acronym “PTSD”) headed by Meshrano Jirga speaker Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, which is credited with persuading numerous Taliban figures and commanders to renounce violence and joint the political process. Several Taliban figures, including its foreign minister Wakil Mutawwakil, ran in the parliamentary elections. The Taliban official who was governor of Bamiyan Province when the Buddha statues there were blown up, Mohammad Islam Mohammedi — and who was later elected to the post-Taliban parliament from Samangan Province — was assassinated in Kabul in January 2007. In September 2007, Karzai offered to meet with Mullah Umar himself, appearing thereby to backtrack on earlier statements that about 100-150 of the top Taliban leadership would not be eligible for amnesty. The Taliban rejected the offer, saying they would not consider reconciling until (1) all foreign troops leave Afghanistan; (2) a new “Islamic” constitution is adopted; and (3) Islamic law is imposed. In December 2007, other press reports appeared that European or other intermediaries had been holding secret talks with Taliban figures. Even though it is Karzai’s position that talks with the Taliban could be helpful, two European diplomats working for the United Nations and European Union were expelled by the Afghan government in December 2007, possibly because they allegedly provided the Taliban intermediaries with small gifts as gestures of goodwill. As referenced above, there have been reports that, before his capture, Mansoor Dadullah was in talks with British forces about ending his battles, and some recent news stories say that Siraj Haqqani has been in talks with Pakistani intermediaries about possibly ending Taliban activity inside Pakistan. In April 2008, representatives of the minoritydominated National Front bloc (see above) said they have had some peace talks with Taliban representatives. Whereabouts of Al Qaeda Leaders and Fighters. Complicating the U.S. mission has been the difficulty in locating so-called “high value targets” of Al Qaeda: leaders believed to be in Pakistan but who are believed able to direct Al Qaeda fighters to assist the Taliban. The two most notable are Osama bin Laden himself and his close ally, Ayman al-Zawahiri. They reportedly escaped the U.S.Afghan offensive against the Al Qaeda stronghold of Tora Bora in eastern CRS-26 Afghanistan in December 2001.20 A purported U.S.-led strike reportedly missed Zawahiri by a few hours in the village of Damadola, Pakistan, in January 2006, suggesting that the United States and Pakistan have some intelligence on his movements.21 A strike in late January 2008, in an area near Damadola, killed Abu Laith al-Libi, a reported senior Al Qaeda figure who purportedly masterminded, among other operations, the bombing at Bagram Air Base in February 2007 when Vice President Cheney was visiting. During a visit to the United States in August 2007, Karzai told journalists that U.S. and Afghan officials are no closer than previously to determining bin Laden’s location. Other reports say there are a growing number of Al Qaeda militants now being identified on the Afghan battlefield,22 although senior U.S. officials say that these militants may now be focused on sewing instability in Pakistan more so than in Afghanistan. Another “high value target” identified by U.S. commanders is the Hikmatyar faction (Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, HIG) allied with Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents. His fighters are operating in Kunar and Nuristan provinces, northeast of Kabul. 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.” On July 19, 2007, Hikmatyar injected some optimism into the U.S. mission in Afghanistan by issuing a statement declaring a willingness to discuss a cease-fire with the Karzai government, although no firm reconciliation talks have been held between HIG and the Karzai government. U.S. Military Presence/SOFA/Use of Facilities. U.S. forces operate in Afghanistan under a “status of forces agreement” (SOFA) between the United States and the interim government of Afghanistan in November 2002; the agreement gives the United States legal jurisdiction over U.S. personnel serving in Afghanistan. Even if the Taliban insurgency ends, Afghan leaders say they want the United States to maintain a long-term presence in Afghanistan. On May 8, 2005, Karzai summoned about 1,000 delegates to a consultative jirga in Kabul on whether to host permanent U.S. bases. They supported an indefinite presence of international forces to maintain security but urged Karzai to delay a decision. On May 23, 2005, Karzai and President Bush issued a “joint declaration”23 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 enhanced control over facilities used by U.S. forces, over U.S. operations, or over prisoners taken during operations. Some of the bases, both in and near Afghanistan, that support combat in Afghanistan, include those in the table. In order 20 For more information on the search for the Al Qaeda leadership, see CRS Report RL33038, Al Qaeda: Profile and Threat Assessment, by Kenneth Katzman. 21 Gall, Carlotta and Ismail Khan. U.S. Drone Attack Missed Zawahiri by Hours. New York Times, November 10, 2006. 22 Shanker, Thom. “U.S. Senses a Rise in Activity By Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.” New York Times, December 4, 2007. 23 See [http://www.mfa.gov.af/Documents/ImportantDoc/US-Afghanistan%20Strategic%20 Partnership%20Declaration.pdf]. CRS-27 to avoid the impression that foreign forces are “occupying” Afghanistan, NATO said on August 15, 2006, that it would negotiate an agreement with Afghanistan to formalize the NATO presence in Afghanistan and stipulate 15 initiatives to secure Afghanistan and rebuild its security forces. Table 1. Afghan and Regional Facilities Used for Operations in Afghanistan Facility Use Bagram Air Base 50 miles north of Kabul, the operational hub of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and base for CJTF-82. At least 500 U.S. military personnel are based there, assisted by about 175 South Korean troops. Handles many of the 150 U.S. aircraft (including helicopters) in country. Hospital under construction, one of the first permanent structures there. FY2005 supplemental (P.L. 109-13) provided about $52 million for various projects to upgrade facilities at Bagram, including a control tower and an operations center, and the FY2006 supplemental appropriation (P.L. 109-234) provides $20 million for military construction there. NATO also using the base and sharing operational costs. Qandahar Air Field Just outside Qandahar. Turned over from U.S. to NATO/ISAF control in late 2006 in conjunction with NATO assumption of peacekeeping responsibilities. Shindand Air Base In Farah province, about 20 miles from Iran border. Used by U.S. forces and combat aircraft since October 2004, after the dismissal of Herat governor Ismail Khan, whose militia forces controlled the facility. Peter Ganci Base: Manas, Kyrgyzstan Used by 1,200 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 senior U.S. officials reportedly received assurances about continued U.S. use of the base from his successor, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Bakiyev demanded a large increase in the $2 million per year U.S. contribution for use of the base; dispute eased in July 2006 with U.S. agreement to give Kyrgyzstan $150 million in assistance and base use payments. Incirlik Air Base, Turkey About 2,100 U.S. military personnel there; U.S. aircraft supply U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. use repeatedly extended for one year intervals by Turkey. Al Dhafra, UAE Air base used by about 1,800 U.S. military personnel, to supply U.S. forces and related transport into Iraq and Afghanistan. Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Largest air facility used by U.S. in region. About 5,000 U.S. personnel in Qatar. Houses central air operations coordination center for U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan; also houses CENTCOM forward headquarters. Naval Support Facility, Bahrain U.S. naval command headquarters for OEF anti-smuggling, anti-terrorism, and anti-proliferation naval search missions, and Iraq-related naval operations (oil platform protection) in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. About 5,100 U.S. military personnel there. KarsiKhanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan Not used by U.S. since September 2005 following U.S.-Uzbek dispute over May 2005 Uzbek crackdown on unrest in Andijon. Once housed about 1,750 U.S. military personnel (900 Air Force, 400 Army, and 450 civilian) in supply missions to Afghanistan. Uzbekistan allowed German use of the base temporarily in March 2008, indicating possible healing of the rift. Could also represent Uzbek counter to Russian offer to U.S. coalition to allow use of its territory to transport equipment into Afghanistan. CRS-28 The NATO-Led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)24 As discussed, the NATO-led “International Security Assistance Force” (ISAF, consisting of all 26 NATO members states plus 14 partner countries), now commands peacekeeping operations throughout Afghanistan. The several tables at the end of this paper list contributing countries and forces contributed, areas of operations, and Provincial Reconstruction Teams they control. ISAF was created by the Bonn Agreement and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1386 (December 20, 2001),25 initially limited to Kabul. 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. NATO’s takeover of command of ISAF in August 2003 paved the way for the expansion, and NATO/ISAF’s responsibilities broadened significantly in 2004 with NATO/ISAF’s assumption of security responsibility for northern and western Afghanistan (Stage 1, Regional Command North, in 2004 and Stage 2, Regional Command West, in 2005, respectively). The mission was most recently renewed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1776 (September 19, 2007), which also noted U.N. support for the Operation Enduring Freedom mission. The process continued on July 31, 2006, with the formal handover of the security mission in southern Afghanistan to NATO/ISAF control. As part of this “Stage 3,” a British/Canadian/Dutch-led “Regional Command South” (RC-S) was formed. Britain is the lead force in Helmand; Canada is lead in Qandahar, and the Netherlands is lead in Uruzgan; the three rotate the command of RC-S, although the Netherlands will likely cease participating in the rotation as of mid-2008. “Stage 4,” the assumption of NATO/ISAF command of peacekeeping in fourteen provinces of eastern Afghanistan (and thus all of Afghanistan), was completed on October 5, 2006. As part of the completion of the NATO/ISAF takeover of command, the United States put over half the U.S. troops operating in Afghanistan under NATO/ISAF’s “Regional Command East” (RC-E), although still reporting to a U.S. command in country. The April 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania resulted in some new pledges for NATO and other partner forces to add troops to Afghanistan to meet the agreed requirement of 10,000 total extra forces deemed needed to stabilize the restive south. As of now, the partner forces that are bearing the brunt of combat in southern Afghanistan are Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia. The need to line up new pledges became acute in February 2008, when Canada said it would extend its 2,500 troop deployment until 2009, but not beyond that, unless other 24 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. 25 Its mandate was extended until October 13, 2006, by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1623 (September 13, 2005); and until October 13, 2007, by Resolution 1707 (September 12, 2006). CRS-29 partners contribute 1,000 forces to assist with combat in the Canadian sector (Qandahar province). New NATO Force Pledges in 2008. At and in conjunction with the NATO summit in Bucharest in early April 2008, twelve countries did indicate new pledges, although some are of reconstruction aid rather than troops, and others were restatements of previous pledges. The following were the major pledges: ! France announced a deployment of up to 1,000 forces — a battalion of about 700 plus 200 special forces that formerly were part of OEF. The French forces may be deployed mostly in the U.S.-led eastern sector, freeing up U.S. forces to go to the south. ! Germany turned down a U.S. request to send forces to the combatheavy south, but it pledged in early 2008 to add 500 forces to its sector in the north, mostly to take over a Norway-led rapid reaction force there. (Despite opposition in Germany to the Afghanistan mission, Germany’s parliament voted by a 453-79 vote margin on October 12, 2007, to maintain German troop levels in Afghanistan.) ! Britain plans to deploy about 600 more troops to its already significant 7,800 troop commitment to Afghanistan. These forces will serve in Britain’s sector of the south (very high combat Helmand Province). ! Poland recommitted to its February 2008 announcement that it would add 400 troops to the 1,200 in Afghanistan, but that they would continue to fight alongside U.S. forces as part of RC-E. ! Norway plans to add 200 troops but in the largely passive north, where Norway is deployed. ! Denmark will add about 600 forces to the mission in the south. ! Georgia pledged 500 additional forces for Afghanistan. ! Croatia pledged 200 - 300, which would double its existing force. ! The Czech Republic pledged 120 new forces. ! Azerbaijan pledged an additional 45, more than its existing force there. ! In February 2008, Australia ruled out sending more forces but said it would augment civilian assistance such as training Afghan police and judges and build new roads, hospitals, and schools. Among other unfulfilled pledges (in addition to the 3,200 combat forces the United States has now decided to send) are 3,200 additional trainers that are needed CRS-30 for Afghan security forces. About 700 of the 3,200 Marines that will deploy to Afghanistan by April 2008 will be trainers to address that shortage. Another key point of contention has been NATO’s chronic equipment shortages — particularly helicopters, both for transport and attack — for the Afghanistan mission. Secretary Gates has been pressing for NATO countries to contribute an additional 16 helicopters in southern Afghanistan to relieve a U.S. helicopter battalion that Gates said in testimony would not have its deployment there extended again beyond mid-2008. One idea considered at the NATO meeting in Scotland on December 13, 2007, was for U.S. or other donors to pay for the upgrading of helicopters that partner countries might possess but have inadequate resources to adapt to Afghanistan’s harsh flying conditions. Some NATO countries reportedly are considering jointly modernizing about 20 Russian-made transport helicopters that could be used by all participating nations in Afghanistan. In 2007, to try to compensate for the shortage, NATO chartered about 20 commercial helicopters for extra routine supply flights to the south, freeing up Chinooks and Black Hawks for other missions. The shortages persist even though several partner nations have brought in additional equipment in 2006 in conjunction with taking leading roles in the south, including Apache attack helicopters and F-16 aircraft. Italy has sent “Predator” unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, and six AMX fighter-bomber aircraft.26 Germany notes that it provides six Tornado combat aircraft to assist with strikes in combat situations in the south. NATO/ISAF also 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). In an effort to repair divisions within the Afghanistan coalition, in his December 11, 2007, testimony, Secretary Gates previewed his presentation, at a NATO meeting in Scotland on December 13, 2007, of a “strategic concept paper” that would help coordinate and guide NATO and other partner contributions and missions over the coming three to five years. This is an effort to structure each country’s contribution as appropriate to the politics and resources of that contributor. The concept paper, now titled the “Strategic Vision,” was endorsed by the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in early April 2008. National “Caveats” on Combat Operations. Some progress has been made in persuading other NATO countries to adopt flexible rules of engagement that allow all contributing forces to perform combat missions, although perhaps not as aggressively as do U.S. forces. At the NATO summit in April 2008, NATO countries pledged to continue to work remove their so-called “national caveats” on their troops’ operations that U.S. commanders say limit operational flexibility. Some nations refuse to conduct night-time combat. Others have refused to carry Afghan National Army or other Afghan personnel on their helicopters. Others do not fight after snowfall. These caveats were troubling to those NATO countries with forces 26 Kington, Tom. Italy Could Send UAVs, Helos to Afghanistan. Defense News, June 19, 2006. CRS-31 in heavy combat zones, such as Canada, which feel they are bearing the brunt of the fighting and attendant casualties. There has been some criticism of the Dutch approach in Uruzgan, which focuses heavily on building relationships with tribal leaders and identifying reconstruction priorities, and not on actively combating Taliban formations. Some believe this approach allows Taliban fighters to group and expand their influence, although the Netherlands says this approach is key to a longterm pacification of the south. At the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia, during November 28-29, 2006, some NATO countries, particularly the Netherlands, Romania, and France, pledged to remove some of these caveats, and some have done so. All agreed that their forces would come to each others’ defense in times of emergency anywhere in Afghanistan. (See CRS Report RL33627, NATO in Afghanistan: A Test of the Transatlantic Alliance, by Paul Gallis.) Provincial Reconstruction Teams U.S. and partner officials have generally praised the effectiveness of “provincial reconstruction teams” (PRTs) — enclaves of U.S. or partner forces and civilian officials that provide safe havens for international aid workers to help with reconstruction and to extend the writ of the Kabul government — in accelerating reconstruction and assisting stabilization efforts. The PRTs, a December 2002 U.S. initiative, perform activities ranging from resolving local disputes to coordinating local reconstruction projects, although the U.S.-run PRTs, and most of the PRTs in southern Afghanistan, focus mostly on counter-insurgency. Some aid agencies say they have felt more secure since the PRT program began, fostering reconstruction activity in areas of PRT operations.27 Other relief groups do not want to associate with military force because doing so might taint their perceived neutrality. Secretary Gates and U.S. commanders have attributed recent successes in stabilizing some areas, such as Ghazni and Khost, to the PRTs’ ability to intensify reconstruction by coordinating many different security and civilian activities. In Ghazni, almost all the schools are now open, whereas one year ago many were closed because of Taliban intimidation. In Khost, according to Secretary Gates on December 11, PRT activities focused on road building and construction of district centers that tie the population to the government have led to a dramatic improvement in security over the past year. Bombings there have fallen from one per week in 2006 to one per month now. There are 25 PRTs in operation. In conjunction with broadening NATO security responsibilities, the United States turned over several PRTs to partner countries, and virtually all the PRTs are now under ISAF control, but with varying lead nations. The list of PRTs, including lead country, is shown in Table 15. Each PRT operated by the United States is composed of U.S. forces (50-100 U.S. military personnel); Defense Department civil affairs officers; representatives of USAID, State Department, and other agencies; and Afghan government (Interior Ministry) personnel. Most PRTs, including those run by partner forces, have personnel to train Afghan security forces. Many U.S. PRTs in restive regions are “co-located” with “forward operating bases” of 300-400 U.S. combat troops. U.S. funds support PRT reconstruction projects, as shown in the tables at the report’s end. According to U.S. 27 Kraul, Chris. “U.S. Aid Effort Wins Over Skeptics in Afghanistan.” Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2003. CRS-32 officials, 54 PRT development projects have been completed and 199 (valued at $20 million) are ongoing. USAID funds used for PRT programs are in the table on USAID spending at the end of this paper. In August 2005, in preparation for the establishment of Regional Command South, Canada took over the key U.S.-led PRT in Qandahar. In May 2006, Britain took over the PRT at Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand Province. The Netherlands took over the PRT at Tarin Kowt, capital of Uruzgan Province. Germany (with Turkey and France) took over the PRTs and the leadership role in the north from Britain and the Netherlands when those countries deployed to the south. Representing evolution of the PRT concept, Turkey opened a PRT, in Wardak Province, on November 25, 2006, to focus on providing health care, education, police training, and agricultural alternatives in that region. The Czech Republic will establish a new PRT in Lowgar Province in March 2008. As noted above, South Korea is expected to soon take over the U.S.-run PRT at Bagram Air Base. There also has been a move to turn over the lead in the U.S.-run 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. Afghan Security Forces U.S. forces (“Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan,” CSTC-A, headed as of July 2007 by Gen. Robert Cone), along with partner countries, are training the new Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP). Afghan National Army. U.S. and allied officers say that the ANA, now about 55,000 trained, is becoming a major force in stabilizing the country and a national symbol. Senior U.S. commanders say that some ANA battalions in eastern Afghanistan have progressed to the point where they will be able to conduct operations on their own by spring 2008. The commando forces of the ANA, trained by U.S. Special Operations Forces, are considered well-trained and are taking the lead in some counter-insurgency operations in the U.S.-led eastern sector. However, General McNeill said in April 2008 that it would not be until 2011 that ANA (and ANP) forces would be capable enough – and have sufficient air transport and air support – to allow for a drawdown of international forces. Karzai has pledged in April 2008 to take over security of the Kabul regional command from Italy as of July 2008. ANA battalions, or “Kandaks,” have improved and been stiffened by the presence of U.S. and partner embeds, called “Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams” (OMLTs). Each OMLT has about 12-19 personnel, and U.S. commanders say that the ANA will continue to need embeds for the short term, because embeds give the units confidence they will be resupplied, reinforced, and evacuated in the event of wounding. Coalition officers also are conducting heavy weapons training for a heavy brigade as part of the “Kabul Corps,” based in Pol-e-Charki, east of Kabul. Among the partner countries contributing OMLTs (all or in part) are Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, CRS-33 Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Britain, and the United States. As noted above, about 700 of the extra 3,200 Marines being sent to Afghanistan in early 2008 will be devoted to training the ANA and ANP. The Indian press reported on April 24, 2007, that a separate team from the Indian Army would help train the ANA.28 The United States has built four AMA bases (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 (about 10-20 per battalion). 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. It deployed outside Afghanistan to assist relief efforts for victims of the October 2005 Pakistan earthquake. It is increasingly able to conduct its own battalion-strength operations, according to U.S. officers. In June 2007, the ANA and ANP led “Operation Maiwand” in Ghazni province, intended to open schools and deliver humanitarian aid to people throughout the province. On the other hand, U.S. officers report continuing personnel (desertion, absentee) problems, ill discipline, and drug abuse, although some concerns have been addressed. Some accounts say that a typical ANA unit is only at about 50% of its authorized strength at any given time. 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 close involvement by U.S. forces, and that the force is ethnically integrated in each unit. The naming of a Pashtun, Abdul Rahim Wardak, as Defense Minister in December 2004 also reduced desertions among Pashtuns (he remains in that position). The chief of staff is Gen. Bismillah Khan, a Tajik who was a Northern Alliance commander. 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. Others, according to U.S. observers, often refuse to serve far from their home towns. The FY2005 foreign aid appropriation (P.L. 108-447) requires that ANA recruits be vetted for terrorism, human rights violations, and drug trafficking. Equipment, maintenance, and logistical difficulties continue to plague the ANA. Few soldiers have helmets, many have no armored vehicles or armor. The tables below discusses major equipment donations, as well as the new U.S. equipment being delivered in mid-2008. The Afghan Air Force, a carryover from the Afghan Air Force that existed prior to the Soviet invasion, is expanding gradually after its equipment was virtually eliminated in the 2001-2002 U.S. combat against the Taliban regime. It now has about 400 pilots, as well as 22 helicopters and cargo aircraft. Its goal is to have 61 aircraft by 2011. By May 2008, it is expected to receive an additional 25 surplus helicopters from the Czech Republic and the UAE, bought and refurbished with the help of U.S. funds. 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 28 Indian television news channel NDTV. April 24, 2007. CRS-34 Pakistan and Uzbekistan during the past conflicts in Afghanistan. U.S. plans do not include supply of fixed-wing combat aircraft such as F-16s, which Afghanistan wants, according to U.S. military officials. Table 2. Recent and Pending Foreign Equipment for ANA Country Equipment United States Major $2 billion value in arms delivered between May 2006-end of 2007. Includes several hundred Humvees, 800 other various armored vehicles. Also includes light weapons. Authorized total drawdown ceiling (un-reimbursed by appropriations) is $550 million; H.R. 2446 - AFSA reauthorization — would increase ceiling to $300 million/year. Afghanistan is eligible to receive grant U.S. Excess Defense Articles (EDA) under Section 516 of the Foreign Assistance Act. Hungary 20,500 assault rifles Egypt 17,000 small arms Russia 4 helicopters and other equipment, part of over $100 million military aid to Afghanistan thus far Turkey 24 — 155 mm Howitzers Bulgaria 50 mortars, 500 binoculars Czech Republic 12 helicopters and 20,000 machine guns Estonia 4,000 machine guns plus ammunition Greece 300 machine guns Latvia 337 rocket-propelled grenades, 8 mortars, 13,000 arms Lithuania 3.7 million ammunition rounds Montenegro 1,600 machine guns Poland 110 armored personnel carriers, 4 million ammo rounds Switzerland 3 fire trucks Turkey 2,200 rounds of 155 mm ammo Croatia 1,000 machine guns plus ammo UAE 10 Mi-17 helicopters (to be delivered by May 2008) CRS-35 Afghan National Police/Justice Sector. U.S. and Afghan officials believe that building up a credible and capable national police force is at least as important to combating the Taliban insurgency as building the ANA. There is a widespread consensus that this effort lags that of the ANA by about 18 months, although U.S. commanders say that it is increasingly successful in repelling Taliban assaults on villages and that the ANP (now numbering about 75,300 assigned) is experiencing fewer casualties from attacks. To continue the progress, the U.S. military is conducting reforms to take ANP out of the bureaucracy and onto the streets and it is trying to bring ANP pay on par with the ANA. It has also launched a program called “focused district development” to concentrate resources on developing individual police forces in districts, which is the basic geographic area of ANP activity. (There are about ten “districts” in each of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.) In this program, a district force is taken out and retrained, its duties temporarily performed by more highly trained police, and then reinserted after the training is complete. Gen. Cone said on April 18, 2008 that, thus far, ten districts have undergone this process, which he says will take five years to complete for all of Afghanistan’s districts. The U.S. police training effort was first led by State Department/INL, but the Defense Department took over the lead in police training in April 2005. Much of the training is still conducted through contracts with DynCorp. There are currently seven police training centers around Afghanistan. In addition to the U.S. effort, which includes 600 civilian U.S. police trainers (mostly still Dyncorp contractors) in addition to the U.S. military personnel (see table on security indicators), Germany (technically the lead government in Afghan police training) is providing 41 trainers. The European Union has sent an additional 120 police trainers as part of a 190member “EUPOL” training effort, and 60 other experts to help train the ANP. The EU said in March 2008 the size of the EUPOL training team should be doubled to about 400. To address equipment shortages, in 2007 CSTC-A is providing about 8,000 new vehicles and thousands of new weapons of all types. A report by the Inspectors General of the State and Defense Department, circulated to Congress in December 2006, found that most ANP units have less than 50% of their authorized equipment,29 among its significant criticisms. Many experts believe that comprehensive police and justice sector reform is vital to Afghan governance. Police training now includes instruction in human rights principles and democratic policing concepts, and the State Department human rights report on Afghanistan, referenced above, says the government and outside observers are increasingly monitoring the police force to prevent abuses. However, some governments criticized Karzai for setting back police reform in June 2006 when he approved a new list of senior police commanders that included 11 (out of 86 total) who had failed merit exams. His approval of the 11 were reportedly to satisfy faction leaders and went against the recommendations of a police reform committee. The 29 Inspectors General, U.S. Department of State and of Defense. Interagency Assessment of Afghanistan Police Training and Readiness. November 2006. Department of State report No. ISP-IQ0-07-07. CRS-36 ANP work in the communities they come from, often embroiling them in local factional or ethnic disputes. 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. U.S. trainers are also building Border Police and Highway Patrol forces. U.S. justice sector 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 750 judges, lawyers, and prosecutors, according to President Bush on February 15, 2007, and built 40 judicial facilities. USAID also trains court administrators for the Ministry of Justice, the office of the Attorney General, and the Supreme Court. On February 15, 2007, President Bush also praised Karzai’s formation of a Criminal Justice Task Force that is trying to crack down on official corruption, and the United States, Britain, and Norway are providing mentors to the Afghan judicial officials involved in that effort. Tribal Militias. Since June 2006, Karzai has authorized arming some local tribal militias (arbokai) in eastern Afghanistan, building on established tribal structures, to help in local policing. Karzai argues that these militias provide security and are loyal to the nation and central government and that arming them is not inconsistent with the disarmament programs discussed below. Britain favors expanding the arbokai program to the south, but U.S. military commanders say that this program would likely not work in the south because of differing tribal structures there. U.S. Security Forces Funding. U.S. funds appropriated for Peacekeeping Operations (PKO funds) are used to cover ANA salaries. Recent appropriations for the ANA and ANP are contained in the tables at the end of this paper. As noted in the table, the security forces funding has shifted to DOD funds instead of assistance funds controlled by the State Department. CRS-37 Table 3. Major Security-Related Indicators Force Total Foreign Forces in Afghanistan Current Level About 59,000, of which: 47,000 are NATO/ISAF. (12,000 ISAF in 2005; and 6,000 in 2003.) U.S. forces: 31,000 total, of which 19,000 in NATO/ISAF and 9,000 in OEF. U.S. total is up from about 19,000 in 2005, and will rise further in 2009, according to President Bush on April 5, 2008. U.S. forces deployed at 88 bases in Afghanistan, and include 1 air wing (40 aircraft) and 1 combat aviation brigade (100 aircraft). About 1,000 coalition partner forces in OEF, but not ISAF. 3,200 Marines ordered to deploy in January 2008 have arrived. U.S. Casualties in Afghanistan 425 killed, of which 292 by hostile action. Additional 64 U.S. deaths in other OEF theaters, including the Phillipines and parts of Africa (OEF-Trans Sahara). About 275 partner forces killed. 100+ U.S. killed in 2007, highest yet. 150 U.S. killed from October 2001 - January 2003. NATO Sectors (Regional Commands-South, east, north, west, and central/Kabul) RC-S - 18,000 (Canada, UK, Netherlands rotate lead); RC-E 16,000 (U.S. lead); RC-N - 4,700; RC-W - 2,600 (Italy lead) RC-Kabul - 5,800 (Italy lead but Afghanistan planning to take lead by July 2008). National contingent commands - 6,500 Afghan National Army (ANA) 55,000 trained, with about 40,000 on duty. 63,000 including civilian support. Organized into 33 battalions. Will add 13,000 soldiers by end of 2008; 80,000 is goal by 2009, endorsed in Afghanistan Compact. Afghanistan proposes raising ceiling to 120,000. About 2,000 trained per month. 4,000 are commando forces, trained by U.S. Special Forces. ANA private paid about $150 per month; generals receive about $750 per month. ANA now being outfitted with U.S. M16 rifles and 4,000 up-armored Humvees. Afghan National Police (ANP) 75,300 assigned. Authorized strength: 82,000. Salaries raised to $100 per month in mid-2007 from $70 to counter corruption in the force. 2,600 are counter-narcotics police. 10,000 are border police. U.S. and Partner Trainers Legally Armed Fighters disarmed by DDR About 4,000 U.S. military trainers as Embedded Training Troops and Police Mentoring Teams. Also, 600 civilian U.S. police trainers. Of these, about 900 U.S. military trainers are for ANP. The remaining 3,100 are for ANA training. ANP training assisted by EUPOL (European Union contingent of 190 trainers, organized as OMLTs; see text), and 41 German trainers of senior ANP. 63,380; all of the pool identified for the program Armed Groups disbanded by DIAG 161 illegal groups (five or more fighters) disbanded. Goal is to disband 1,800 groups, of which several hundred groups are “significant.” 5,700 weapons confiscated, 1.050 arrested. Weapons Collected by DDR DDR: 36,000 medium and light; 12,250 heavy. Number of Suicide Bombings 21 in 2005; 123 in 2006; 160 in 2007. Afghan Casualties About 6,000 in 2007 (including Taliban; all types of violence) Number of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) 500+ in 2007 CRS-38 Regional Context 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. In November 2005, Afghanistan joined the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and Afghanistan has observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is discussed below. Pakistan/Pakistan-Afghanistan Border30 Experts differ on the degree to which Pakistan is helping or hindering U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. Afghan leaders continue to resent Pakistan as the most public defender of the Taliban movement when it was in power and they suspect it wants to restore a Taliban-like regime. (Pakistan was one of only three countries to formally recognize it as the legitimate government: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the others.) Pakistan viewed the Taliban as providing Pakistan strategic depth against rival India, and it remains 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, and is using its reconstruction funds to build influence there. Pakistan ended its public support for the Taliban after the September 11, 2001, attacks. During 2001-2006, the Bush Administration generally refrained from criticism of President Pervez Musharraf, instead praising Pakistani accomplishments against Al Qaeda, including the arrest of over 700 Al Qaeda figures, some of them senior, since the September 11 attacks. After the attacks, Pakistan provided the United States with access to Pakistani airspace, some ports, and some airfields for OEF. 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 a top planner, Abu Faraj al-Libbi (May 2005). Others say Musharraf has acted against Al Qaeda only because of its threat to him; for example, he stepped up Pakistani military activities in the tribal areas of Pakistan only after the December 2003 assassination attempts against him by that organization. On the Taliban, Pakistan has consistently faced Afghan criticism. Efforts by Afghanistan and Pakistan to build post-Taliban relations have not recovered from a sharp setback in March 2006, when Afghan leaders stepped up accusations that Pakistan was allowing Taliban remnants, including Mullah Umar, to operating there. In a press interview on February 2, 2007, Musharraf tacitly acknowledged that some senior Taliban leaders might be able to operate from Pakistan but strongly denied that any Pakistani intelligence agencies were deliberately assisting the Taliban. Karzai visited Pakistan on December 27, 2007, to discuss the Taliban safehaven issue and 30 For extensive analysis of U.S. policy toward Pakistan, and U.S. assistance to Pakistan in conjunction with its activities against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, see CRS Report RL33498, Pakistan-U.S. Relations, by K. Alan Kronstadt. CRS-39 other bilateral issues, and reports said his meeting with Musharraf was highly productive, resulting in re-dedication to joint action against militants. While in Pakistan, Karzai met with Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto just hours before she was assassinated on December 27. The latest phase of U.S. attempts to broker cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan began on September 28, 2006, when President Bush hosted a joint dinner for Karzai and Musharraf. It resulted in the two leaders’ agreeing to gather tribal elders on both sides of their border in a series of “peace jirgas” to persuade them not to host Taliban militants. (The first of them, in which 700 Pakistani and Afghan tribal elders participated, was held in Kabul August 9-10, 2007.31 Another is planned, but no date has been announced.) In January 2007, Karzai strongly criticized a Pakistani plan to mine and fence their common border in an effort to prevent infiltration of militants to Afghanistan. Karzai said the move would separate tribes and families that straddle the border. Pakistan subsequently dropped the idea of mining the border, but is building some fencing. As of April 2008, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and U.S. forces have begun setting up six “border coordination centers” to share intelligence on cross-border movement of militants, building on an agreement in May 2007 to share intelligence on extremists’ movements. A U.S. shift toward the Afghan position on Pakistan increased following a New York Times report of February 19, 2007, that Al Qaeda leaders, possibly including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, had re-established some small Al Qaeda terrorist training camps in Pakistan, near the Afghan border. The regrouping of militants is said to be an outgrowth of a September 5, 2006, agreement between Pakistan and tribal elders in this region to exchange an end to Pakistani military incursions into the tribal areas for a promise by the tribal elders to expel militants from the border area. In July 2007, U.S. counter-terrorism officials publicly deemed the agreement a failure. Despite the widespread assessment that the deals had failed, in April 2008, it was reported that the new government, dominated by Musharraf’s opponents who prevailed in February 2008 parliamentary elections, were negotiating a similar “understanding” with members of the Mehsud tribe, among which is militant leader Baitullah Mehsud, believed responsible for harboring Afghan Taliban and for growing militant acts inside Pakistan itself, possibly including the Bhutto killing. Increased Direct U.S. Action. Since September 2007, press reports have said that U.S. military planners are proposing increasing U.S. direct action against militants in Pakistan, partly in partnership with Pakistani border and other forces.32 Responding to the reports, Musharraf — as well as his newly ascendant political opponents in Pakistan — publicly oppose unilateral U.S. action and any presence of U.S. combat forces in Pakistan. In late January 2008, Secretary of Defense Gates said that Pakistan had not yet asked for such U.S. help and that any U.S. troops potentially deployed to Pakistan would most likely be assigned solely to train 31 Straziuso, Jason. Musharraf Pulls Out of Peace Council. Associated Press, August 8, 2007. 32 Tyson, Ann Scott. “Pakistan Strife Threatens Anti-Insurgent Plan.” Washington Post, November 9, 2007. CRS-40 Pakistani border forces, such as the Frontier Corps. However, press reports also say that visits to Pakistan by top U.S. intelligence officials in January 2008 resulted in agreement for more U.S. Predator unmanned aerial vehicle flights over the border regions; the Abu Laith al-Libi strike discussed earlier is believed a product of that enhanced U.S. activity over Pakistan. In addition, U.S. forces in Afghanistan have acknowledged on a few occasion since early 2007 that they have shelled purported Taliban positions inside the Pakistani side of the border, and have done some “hot pursuit” a few kilometers over the border into Pakistan. Suggesting that it can act against the Taliban when it intends to, on August 15, 2006, Pakistan announced the arrest of 29 Taliban fighters in a hospital in the Pakistani city of Quetta. On March 1, 2007, Pakistani officials confirmed they had arrested in Quetta Mullah Ubaydallah Akhund, a top aide to Mullah Umar and who had served as defense minister in the Taliban regime. He was later reported released. 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). It is recognized by the United Nations, but Afghanistan continues to indicate that the border was drawn unfairly to separate Pashtun tribes and should be re-negotiated. As of October 2002, about 1.75 million Afghan refugees have returned from Pakistan since the Taliban fell, but as many as 3 million might still remain in Pakistan, and Pakistan says it plans to expel them back into Afghanistan in the near future. Iran 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. Iran’s assistance to Afghanistan has totaled about $205 million since the fall of the Taliban, mainly to build roads and schools and provide electricity and shops to Afghan cities and villages near the Iranian border. 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, but it did not arrest him. Iran did not oppose Karzai’s firing of Iran ally Ismail Khan as Herat governor in September 2004, although Iran has opposed the subsequent U.S. use of the Shindand air base.33 Iran is said to be helping Afghan law enforcement with anti-narcotics along their border. Karzai, who has visited Iran on several occasions says that Iran is an important neighbor of Afghanistan. During his visit to Washington, DC, in early August 2007, some differences between Afghanistan and the United States became apparent; Karzai publicly called Iran part of a “solution” for Afghanistan, while President Bush called Iran a “de-stabilizing force” there. Still, Karzai received Ahmadinejad in Kabul in mid-August 2007. 33 Rashid, Ahmed. “Afghan Neighbors Show Signs of Aiding in Nation’s Stability.” Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2004. CRS-41 The U.S.-Afghan differences over Iran’s role represent a departure from the past five years, when Iran’s influence with political leaders in Afghanistan appeared to wane, and U.S. criticism of Iran’s role in Afghanistan was muted. However, on April 17, 2007, U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan captured a shipment of Iranian weapons that purportedly was bound for Taliban fighters. On June 6, 2007, NATO officers said they caught Iran “red-handed” shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives, and advanced roadside bombs (“explosively-forced projectiles, EFPs, such as those found in Iraq) to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Another such shipment was intercepted in western Afghanistan on September 6, 2007. Gen. McNeil said the convoy was sent with the knowledge of “at least the Iranian military.” Because such shipments would appear to conflict with Iran’s support for Karzai and for non-Pashtun factions in Afghanistan, U.S. military officers did not attribute the shipments to a deliberate Iranian government decision to arm the Taliban. However, some U.S. officials say the shipments are large enough that the Iranian government would have to have known about them. In attempting to explain the shipments, some experts believe Iran’s policy might be shifting somewhat to gain leverage against the United States in Afghanistan (and on other issues) by causing U.S. combat deaths. There is little dispute that Iran’s relations with Afghanistan are much improved 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 ammunition.34 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 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. About 300,000 Afghan refugees have returned from Iran since the Taliban fell, but about 1.2 million remain, mostly integrated into Iranian society, and a crisis erupted in May 2007 when Iran expelled about 50,000 into Afghanistan. India The interests and activities of India in Afghanistan are almost the exact reverse of those of Pakistan. India’s goal is to deny Pakistan “strategic depth” in Afghanistan, and India supported the Northern Alliance against the Taliban in the mid-1990s. A possible reflection of these ties is that Tajikistan allows India to use one of its air bases; Tajikistan supports the mostly Tajik Northern Alliance. 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. For its part, Pakistan accuses India of using its nine consulates in Afghanistan to spread Indian influence. 34 Steele, Jonathon, “America Includes Iran in Talks on Ending War in Afghanistan.” Washington Times, December 15, 1997. CRS-42 India is becoming a major investor in and donor to Afghanistan. It is cofinancing, along with the Asian Development Bank, several power projects in northern Afghanistan. In January 2005, India 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. Numerous other India-financed reconstruction projects are under way throughout Afghanistan. India, along with the Asian Development Bank, is financing the $300 million project, mentioned above, to bring electricity from Central Asia to Afghanistan. Pakistan is likely to take particular exception to the reported training by India of the ANA, discussed above. 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. Russia provides some humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, although it keeps a low profile in Afghanistan because it still feels humiliated by its withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and senses Afghan resentment of the Soviet occupation. In an effort to try to cooperate more with NATO at least in Afghanistan, in conjunction with the April 2008 NATO summit, Russia agreed to allow NATO to ship non-lethal supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan by land over Russian territory. 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.35 Although Russia supported the U.S. effort against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan out of fear of Islamic (mainly Chechen) radicals, Russia continues to seek 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 al-Khattab), who led a militant pro-Al Qaeda Chechen faction. The Taliban government was the only one 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.36 One of its leaders, Juma Namangani, reportedly was killed while commanding Taliban/Al Qaeda forces in Konduz in November 2001. 35 Risen, James. “Russians Are Back in Afghanistan, Aiding Rebels.” New York Times, July 27, 1998. 36 The IMU was named a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in September 2000. CRS-43 Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan do not directly border Afghanistan, but IMU guerrillas transited Kyrgyzstan during incursions into Uzbekistan in the late 1990s. During Taliban rule, Uzbekistan supported Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostam, who was part of that Alliance. It allowed use of Karshi-Khanabad air base by OEF forces from October 2001 until a rift emerged in May 2005 over Uzbekistan’s crackdown against riots in Andijon, and U.S.-Uzbek relations remained largely frozen. Uzbekistan’s March 2008 agreement with Germany for it to use KarshiKhanabad air base temporarily, for the first time since the rift in U.S.-Uzbek relations developed in 2005, suggests that U.S.-Uzbek cooperation on Afghanistan and other issues might be rebuilt. As a follow-up to this, Uzbekistan at the April 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, proposed to revive the “6 + 2” process of neighbors of Afghanistan to help its stability, but Karzai reportedly opposes this idea as unwanted Central Asian interference in its affairs. In 1996, several of the Central Asian 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 has issued statements, most recently in August 2007, that security should be handled by the countries in the Central Asia region. 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.) 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. It saw Taliban control as facilitating construction of a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan (see above). 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 U.S. 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 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 enthusiastically support U.S. military action against the Taliban, possibly because China was wary of a U.S. military buildup nearby. In addition, China has been allied to Pakistan in part to pressure India, a rival of China. Still, Chinese delegations are visiting Afghanistan to assess the potential for CRS-44 investments in such sectors as mining and energy,37 and a deal was signed in November 2007 as discussed above (China Metallurgical Group). Saudi Arabia During the Soviet occupation, Saudi Arabia channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to the Afghan resistance, primarily the Hikmatyar and Sayyaf factions. Saudi Arabia, a majority of whose citizens practice the strict Wahhabi brand of Islam also 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 Iranian-Saudi relations improved after 1997 and balancing Iranian power ebbed as a factor in Saudi policy toward Afghanistan. Drawing on its reputed intelligence ties to Afghanistan during that era, Saudi Arabia worked with Taliban leaders to persuade them to suppress anti-Saudi activities by Al Qaeda. 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. 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. airstrikes from it U.S. and International Aid to Afghanistan and Development Issues Many experts believe that financial assistance and accelerating reconstruction would do more to improve the security situation than intensified anti-Taliban combat. Afghanistan’s economy and society are still fragile 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. More than 3.5 million Afghan refugees have since returned, although a comparable number remain outside Afghanistan. The U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) supervises Afghan repatriation and Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan. Still heavily dependent on donors, Karzai has sought to reassure the international donor community by establishing a transparent budget and planning process. Some in Congress want to increase independent oversight of U.S. aid to Afghanistan; the conference report on the FY2008 defense authorization bill (P.L. 110-181) established a “special inspector general” for Afghanistan reconstruction, (SIGAR) modeled on a similar outside auditor for Iraq (“Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction,” SIGIR). The law also authorized $20 million for that purpose, although funds have not yet been provided in DOD appropriations. 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. Efforts to build the 37 CRS Conversations with Chinese officials in Beijing. August 2007. CRS-45 legitimate economy are showing some results, by accounts of senior U.S. officials, including expansion of roads and education and health facilities constructed. USAID spending to promote economic growth is shown in Table 13, and U.S. and international assistance to Afghanistan are discussed in the last sections of this paper. Some international investors are implementing projects, and there is substantial new construction, such as the Serena luxury hotel that opened in November 2005 (long considered a priority Taliban target and was attacked by militants on January 14, 2008, killing six) and a $25 million new Coca Cola bottling factory that opened in Kabul on September 11, 2006. Several Afghan companies are growing as well, including Roshan and Afghan Wireless (cell phone service), and Tolo Television. A Gold’s Gym has opened in Kabul as well. The 52-year-old national airline, Ariana, is said to be in significant financial trouble due to corruption that has affected its safety ratings and left it unable to service a heavy debt load, but there are new privately run airlines, such as Pamir Air, Safi Air, and Kam Air. Some Afghan leaders complain that not enough has been done to revive such potentially lucrative industries as minerals mining, such as of copper and lapis lazuli (a stone used in jewelry). However, in November 2007, the Afghan government signed a deal with China Metallurgical Group for the company to invest $2.8 billion to develop Afghanistan’s Aynak copper field in Lowgar Province; the agreement will include construction of a coal-fired electric power plant and a freight railway. The United States is trying to build on Afghanistan’s post-war economic rebound. In September 2004, the United States and Afghanistan signed 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, but negotiations on an FTA have not begun to date. On December 13, 2004, the 148 countries of the World Trade Organization voted to start membership talks with Afghanistan. Another initiative supported by the United States is the establishment of joint Afghan-Pakistani “Reconstruction Opportunity Zones” (ROZ’s) which would be modeled after “Qualified Industrial Zones” run by Israel and Jordan in which goods produced in the zones receive duty free treatment for import into the United States. For FY2008, $5 million in supplemental funding is requested to support the zones. A Senate bill, S. 2776, would authorize the President to proclaim duty-free treatment for imports from ROZ’s to be designated by the President. 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. Afghan officials are said to be optimistic for increased trade with Central Asia now that a new bridge has opened (October 2007) over the Panj River, connecting Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The bridge was built with U.S. assistance. The bridge will further assist what press reports say is robust reconstruction and economic development in the relatively peaceful and ethnically homogenous province of Panjshir, the political base of the Northern Alliance. CRS-46 Another major energy project remains under consideration. During 1996-1998, 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.38 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. Turkmenistan’s new leadership (President Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov, succeeding the late Saparmurad Niyazov) favors the project as well. Some U.S. officials view this project as a superior alternative to a proposed gas pipeline from Iran to India, transiting Pakistan. Some of the more stable provinces, such as Bamiyan, are complaining that international aid is flowing mostly to the restive provinces in an effort to quiet them, and ignoring the needs of poor Afghans in peaceful areas. Later in this paper are tables showing U.S. appropriations of assistance to Afghanistan, including some detail on funds earmarked for categories of civilian reconstruction, and Table 13 lists USAID spending on all of these sectors for FY2002-FY2006. ! 38 Roads. Road building is considered a U.S. priority and has been USAID’s largest project category there, taking up about 25% of USAID spending since the fall of the Taliban. An FY2008 supplemental funding requests asks for $50 million more for roads, particularly to rehabilitate a road that would connect northern Afghanistan with Kabul, running through Bamiyan Province. Roads are considered key to enabling Afghan farmers to bring legitimate produce to market in a timely fashion and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan Gen. Eikenberry said “where the roads end, the Taliban begin.” Among major projects completed: the Kabul-Qandahar roadway project; the Qandahar-Herat roadway, funded by the United States, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, completed by 2006; a road from Qandahar to Tarin Kowt, built by U.S. military personnel, inaugurated in 2005; and a road linking the Panjshir Valley to Kabul. U.S. funds are also building roads connecting remote areas to regional district centers in several provinces in the eastern sector. 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. CRS-47 ! Education. Despite the success in enrolling Afghan children in school since the Taliban era (see statistics above), setbacks have occurred because of Taliban attacks on schools, causing some to close. ! Health. The health care sector, as noted by Afghan observers, has made considerable gains in reducing infant mortality and improving Afghans’ access to health professionals. In addition to U.S. assistance to develop the health sector’s capacity, Egypt operates a 65-person field hospital at Bagram Air Base that instructs Afghan physicians. Jordan operates a similar facility in Mazar-e-Sharif. ! Agriculture. USAID has spent about 5% of its Afghanistan funds on agriculture, and this has helped Afghanistan double its agricultural output over the past five years. Afghan officials say agricultural assistance and development should be a top U.S. priority as part of a strategy of encouraging legitimate alternatives to poppy cultivation. (Another 10% of USAID funds is spent on “alternative livelihoods” to poppy growing, mostly in aid to farmers.) ! Electricity. About 10% of USAID spending in Afghanistan is on power projects. The London Compact states that the goal is for electricity to reach 65% of households in urban areas and 25% in rural areas by 2010. There have been severe power shortages in Kabul, partly because the city population has swelled to nearly 4 million, up from half a million when the Taliban was in power, but power to the capital is more plentiful as of March 2008. An FY2008 supplemental request asks for $115 million more for this sector, particularly to ensure that a 100 Megawatt diesel generator becomes operational for Kabul. The Afghan government, with help from international donors, plans to import electricity from Central Asian and other neighbors beginning in 2009. Another major pending project is the Kajaki Dam, located in unstable Helmand Province. USAID has allocated about $500 million to refurbish the remaining two electricity-generating turbines (one is operating) of the dam (total project estimate, when completed) which, when functional, will provide electricity for 1.7 million Afghans and about 4,000 jobs in the reconstruction. However, progress depends on securing access to the dam; surrounding roads and areas are controlled by or accessible to Taliban insurgents. National Solidarity Program. The United States and the Afghan government are also trying to promote local decisionmaking on reconstruction. The “National Solidarity Program,” largely funded by U.S. and other international donors seeks to create and empower local governing councils to prioritize local reconstruction projects. The assistance, channeled through donors, provides block grants of about $60,000 per project to the councils to implement agreed projects, most of which are water projects. Elections to these local councils have been held CRS-48 in several provinces, and almost 40% of those elected have been women.39 The U.S. aid to the program is part of the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) account. (Of the supplemental FY2008 ESF funds requested, $40 million is to launch the next phase of the National Solidarity Program, and $25 million is for the budgetary support portion of the ARTF account.) 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 relief organizations. Between 1985 and 1994, the United States had a cross-border aid program for Afghanistan, implemented by USAID personnel based in Pakistan. Citing the difficulty of administering this program, there was no USAID mission for Afghanistan from the end of FY1994 until the reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan in late 2001. Post-Taliban U.S. Aid Totals. Since FY2002 and including funds already appropriated for FY2008, the United States has provided over $23 billion in reconstruction assistance, including military “train and equip” for the ANA and ANP and counter-narcotics-related assistance. These amounts do not include costs for U.S. combat operations, which are discussed in CRS Report RL33110, The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11, by Amy Belasco. The tables below depict the aid.40 Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002 and Amendments. A key post-Taliban aid authorization bill, S. 2712, the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act (AFSA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-327, December 4, 2002), as amended, authorized about $3.7 billion in U.S. civilian aid for FY2003-FY2006. For the most part, the humanitarian, counter-narcotics, and governance assistance targets authorized by the act were met or exceeded by appropriations. However, no Enterprise Funds have been appropriated, and ISAF expansion was funded by the contributing partner forces. The act 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 FY2003-FY2005); $80 million total to benefit women and for Afghan human rights oversight ($15 million per year for FY2003-FY2006 for the Afghan 39 Khalilzad, Zalmay (Then U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan). “Democracy Bubbles Up.” Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2004. 40 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 Response Fund. CRS-49 ! ! ! ! Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and $5 million per year for FY2003FY2006 to the 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. A subsequent law (P.L. 108-458, December 17, 2004), implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, contained 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 counter-narcotics initiatives. Afghan Freedom Support Act Re-Authorization. In the 110th Congress, H.R. 2446, passed by the House on June 6, 2007 (406-10), would reauthorize AFSA through FY2010. Some observers say the Senate might take it up early in 2008. The following are the major provisions of the bill: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! A total of about $1.7 billion in U.S. economic aid and $320 in military aid (including draw-downs of equipment) per fiscal year would be authorized. a pilot program of crop substitution to encourage legitimate alternatives to poppy cultivation is authorized. Afghan officials support this provision as furthering their goal of combatting narcotics by promoting alternative livelihoods. enhanced anti-corruption and legal reform programs would be provided. a mandated cutoff of U.S. aid to any Afghan province in which the Administration reports that the leadership of the province is complicit in narcotics trafficking. This provision has drawn some criticism from observers who say that the most needy in Afghanistan might be deprived of aid based on allegations that are difficult to judge precisely. $45 million per year for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, and programs for women and girls is authorized. $75 million per year is authorized specifically for enhanced power generation, a key need in Afghanistan. a coordinator for U.S. assistance to Afghanistan is mandated. CRS-50 ! ! ! ! military drawdowns for the ANA and ANP valued at $300 million per year (un-reimbursed) are authorized (versus the aggregate $550 million allowed currently). authorizes appointment of a special U.S. envoy to promote greater Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation. reauthorizes “Radio Free Afghanistan.” establishes a U.S. policy to encourage Pakistan to permit shipments by India of equipment and material to Afghanistan. FY2007 and FY2008. The tables below show funds appropriated thus far for FY2008, both regular and supplemental. When the supplemental request is factored in, the requests for both FY2007 and FY2008 appear to be somewhat higher than the amounts pledged in a December 2, 2005, U.S.-Afghan agreement under which the United States said it would provide Afghanistan with $5.5 billion in civilian economic aid over the next five years ($1.1 billion per year). 41 International Reconstruction Pledges/Aid/Lending. Afghan leaders said that Afghanistan needs $27.5 billion for reconstruction for 2002-2010. Including U.S. pledges, about $30 billion has been pledged at donors conferences in 2002 (Tokyo), Berlin (April 2004), Kabul (April 2005), the London conference (February 2006), and since then. Of that, about half are non-U.S. contributions. However, not all non-U.S. amounts pledged have been received, although implementation appears to have improved over the past few years (amounts received had been running below half of what was pledged). 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. Only about $3.8 billion of funds disbursed have been channeled through the Afghan government, according to the Finance Minister in April 2007. The Afghan government is promising greater financial transparency and international (United Nations) oversight to ensure that international contributions are used wisely and effectively. Among multilateral lending institutions, 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 also been playing a major role in Afghanistan, loaning (or granting) Afghanistan more than $450 million since December 2002. One of its projects in Afghanistan was funding the paving of a road 41 Among other forms of post-Taliban assistance, over $350 million in U.S. and allied frozen funds were released to the Afghan government after the fall of the Taliban. The U.S. Treasury Department (Office of Foreign Assets Control, OFAC) unblocked over $145 million in assets of Afghan government-owned banking entities frozen under 1999 U.S. Taliban-related sanctions, and another $17 million in privately owned Afghan assets. The funds were used for currency stabilization; mostly gold, held in Afghanistan’s name in the United States, that backs up Afghanistan’s currency. Another $20 million in overflight fees withheld by U.N. Taliban-related sanctions were provided in 2003. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has made available investment credits as well. CRS-51 from Qandahar to the border with Pakistan, and as noted above, it is contributing to a project to bring electricity from Central Asia to Afghanistan. Residual Issues From Past Conflicts A few issues remain unresolved from Afghanistan’s many years of conflict, such as Stinger retrieval and mine eradication. Stinger Retrieval. Beginning in late 1985 following internal debate, the Reagan Administration provided about 2,000 man-portable “Stinger” anti-aircraft missiles to the mujahedin for use against Soviet 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 100.42 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 aircraft. In February 2002, the Afghan government found and returned to the United States “dozens” of Stingers.43 In late January 2005, Afghan intelligence began a push to buy remaining Stingers back, at a reported cost of $150,000 each.44 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 1999.45 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 42 Saleem, Farrukh. “Where Are the Missing Stinger Missiles? Pakistan,” Friday Times. August 17-23, 2001. 43 Fullerton, John. “Afghan Authorities Hand in Stinger Missiles to U.S.” Reuters, February 4, 2002. 44 “Afghanistan Report,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. February 4, 2005. 45 “U.S.-Made Stinger Missiles — Mobile and Lethal.” Reuters, May 28, 1999. CRS-52 an Israeli passenger aircraft in Kenya on November 30, 2002. Both missed their targets. SA-7s were discovered in Afghanistan by U.S. forces in December 2002. Mine Eradication. Land mines laid during the Soviet occupation constitute one of the principal dangers to the Afghan people. The United Nations estimates that 5 -7 million mines remain scattered throughout the country, although some estimates are lower. U.N. teams have destroyed one million mines and are now focusing on de-mining priority-use, residential and commercial property, including lands around Kabul. As shown in the U.S. aid table for FY1999-FY2002 (Table 5), the U.S. demining program was providing about $3 million per year for Afghanistan, and the amount increased to about $7 million in the post-Taliban period. Most of the funds have gone to HALO Trust, a British organization, and the U.N. Mine Action Program for Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Compact adopted in London in February 2006 states that by 2010, the goal should be to reduce the land area of Afghanistan contaminated by mines by 70%. CRS-53 Table 4. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY1978-FY1998 ($ in millions) Fiscal Year 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Devel. Assist. 4.989 3.074 — — — — — 3.369 — 17.8 22.5 22.5 35.0 30.0 25.0 10.0 3.4 1.8 — — — Econ. Other Supp. P.L. 480 (Incl. Regional (ESF) (Title I and II) Military Refugee Aid) — 5.742 0.269 0.789 — 7.195 — 0.347 (Soviet invasion - December 1979) — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 8.9 — — 12.1 2.6 — — 22.5 29.9 — — 22.5 32.6 — — 35.0 18.1 — — 30.0 20.1 — — 25.0 31.4 — — 10.0 18.0 — 30.2 2.0 9.0 — 27.9 — 12.4 — 31.6 — 16.1 — 26.4 — 18.0 — 31.9a — 3.6 — 49.14b Total 11.789 10.616 — — — — — 3.369 8.9 32.5 74.9 77.6 88.1 80.1 81.4 68.2 42.3 45.8 42.5 49.9 52.74 Source: 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 $1.54 for counternarcotics. CRS-54 Table 5. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY1999-FY2002 ($ in millions) U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA) and USAID Food For Peace (FFP), via World Food Program(WFP) State/Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) via UNHCR and ICRC State Department/ Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) State Department/HDP (Humanitarian Demining Program) Aid to Afghan Refugees in Pakistan (through various NGOs) FY2000 FY2001 42.0 worth of wheat (100,000 metric tons under “416(b)” program.) 16.95 for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and to assist their repatriation 7.0 to various NGOs to aid Afghans inside Afghanistan 68.875 for 165,000 metric tons. (60,000 tons for May 2000 drought relief) 131.0 (300,000 metric tons under P.L.480, Title II, and 416(b)) 198.12 (for food commodities) 14.03 for the same purposes 22.03 for similar purposes 136.54 (to U.N. agencies) 6.68 for drought relief and health, water, and sanitation programs 3.0 18.934 for similar programs 113.36 (to various U.N. agencies and NGOs) 2.8 7.0 to Halo Trust/other demining 2.615 5.44 (2.789 for health, training Afghan females in Pakistan) 6.169, of which $3.82 went to similar purposes Counter-Narcotics USAID/ Office of Transition Initiatives Dept. of Defense 5.31 for similar purposes 1.50 0.45 (Afghan women in Pakistan) Foreign Military Financing Anti-Terrorism Economic Support Funds (E.S.F) Peacekeeping Totals FY2002 (Final) FY1999 76.6 113.2 182.6 63.0 24.35 for broadcasting/ media 50.9 ( 2.4 million rations) 57.0 (for Afghan national army) 36.4 105.2 24.0 815.9 CRS-55 Table 6. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2003 ($ in millions, same acronyms as Table 5) FY2003 Foreign Aid Appropriations (P.L. 108-7) Development/Health 90 P.L. 480 Title II (Food Aid) 47 Peacekeeping 10 Disaster Relief 94 ESF 50 Non-Proliferation, De-mining, Anti-Terrorism (NADR) 5 Refugee Relief 55 Afghan National Army (ANA) train and equip (FMF) 21 Total from this law: 372 FY2003 Supplemental (P.L. 108-11) Road Construction (ESF, Kabul-Qandahar road) 100 Provincial Reconstruction Teams (ESF) 10 Afghan government support (ESF) 57 ANA train and equip (FMF) Anti-terrorism/de-mining (NADR, some for Karzai protection) 170 28 Total from this law: 365 Total for FY2003 737 CRS-56 Table 7. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2004 ($ in millions, same acronyms as previous tables) FY2004 Supplemental (P.L. 108-106) Disarmament and Demobilization (DDR program) (ESF) 30 Afghan government (ESF) $10 million for customs collection 70 Elections/democracy and governance (ESF) 69 Roads (ESF) 181 Schools/Education (ESF) 95 Health Services/Clinics (ESF) 49 Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) 58 Private Sector/Power sector rehabilitation 95 Water Projects 23 Counter-narcotics/police training/judiciary training (INCLE) Defense Dept. counter-narcotics support operations Afghan National Army (FMF) 170 73 287 Anti-Terrorism/Afghan Leadership Protection (NADR) 35 U.S. Embassy expansion and security/AID operations 92 Total from this law: (of which $60 million is to benefit Afghan women and girls) 1,327 FY2004 Regular Appropriations (P.L. 108-199) Development/Health 171 Disaster Relief 35 Refugee Relief 72 Afghan women (ESF) 5 Judicial reform commission (ESF) 2 Reforestation (ESF) 2 Aid to communities and victims of U.S. military operations (ESF) 2 Other reconstruction (ESF). (Total FY2004 funds spent by USAID for PRT-related reconstruction = $56.4 million) 64 ANA train and equip (FMF) 50 Total from this law: 403 Other: P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid .085 Total for FY2004 1,727 CRS-57 Table 8. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2005 ($ in millions) FY2005 Regular Appropriations (P.L. 108-447) Assistance to Afghan governing institutions (ESF) 225 Train and Equip ANA (FMF) 400 Assistance to benefit women and girls Agriculture, private sector investment, environment, primary education, reproductive health, and democracy-building 50 300 Reforestation 2 Child and maternal health 6 Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission 2 Total from this law 985 Second FY2005 Supplemental (P.L. 109-13) Other ESF: Health programs, PRT programs, agriculture, alternative livelihoods, government capacity building, training for parliamentarians, rule of law programs (ESF). (Total FY2005 funds spent by USAID for PRT-led reconstruction = $87.89 million.) Aid to displaced persons (ESF) Families of civilian victims of U.S. combat ops (ESF) Women-led NGOs (ESF) DOD funds to train and equip Afghan security forces. Of the funds, $34 million may go to Afghan security elements for that purpose. Also, $290 million of the funds is to reimburse the U.S. Army for funds already obligated for this purpose. 1,073.5 5 2.5 5 1,285 DOD counter-narcotics support operations 242 Counter-narcotics (INCLE) 220 Training of Afghan police (INCLE) 400 Karzi protection (NADR funds) 17.1 DEA operations in Afghanistan 7.7 Operations of U.S. Embassy Kabul 60 Total from this law 3,317 Other: P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid 56.95 Total 4,359 CRS-58 Table 9. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2006 ($ in millions) FY2006 Regular Foreign Aid Appropriations (P.L. 109-102) ESF (ESF over $225 million subject to certification that Afghanistan is cooperating with U.S. counter-narcotics) 430 (Mostly for reconstruction, governance, and democracy-building; Includes $20 million for PRTs) Peacekeeping (ANA salaries) Counter-narcotics (INCLE) 18 235 (Includes $60 million to train ANP) Karzai protection (NADR funds) 18 Child Survival and Health (CSH) 43 Reforestation 3 Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission 2 Aid to civilian victims of U.S. combat operations 2 Programs to benefit women and girls 50 Development Assistance 130.4 Total from this law: 931.4 FY2006 Supplemental Appropriation (P.L. 109-234) Security Forces Fund ESF 1,908 43 (Includes $11 million for debt relief costs, $5 million for agriculture development, and $27 million for Northeast Transmission electricity project) Embassy operations 50.1 DOD Counter-narcotics operations 103 Migration and Refugee aid 3.4 DEA counter-narcotics operations 9.2 Total from this law Other: P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid Total for FY2006 2,116.7 60 3,108.1 CRS-59 Table 10. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2007 ($ in millions) Regular Appropriation (In accordance with Continuing Appropriation P.L. 110-5) ESF 479 (USAID plans $42 million for PRTs) Counter-narc (INCLE) 209.7 Child Survival and Health (CSH) 100.77 Development Assistance (DA) 166.8 IMET 1.138 NADR 21.65 Total This Law 979 DOD Appropriation (P.L. 109-289) Security Forces train and equip 1,500 DOD Counternarcotics support 100 Total Appropriated for FY2007 to date 2,539.77 FY2007 Supplemental (H.R. 2206/P.L. 110-28) ESF P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid U.S. Embassy security Security Forces train and equip INCLE $653 million request/$737 in final law (of which in law: 174 for PRTs; 314 for roads; 40 for power; 155 for rural development; 19 for agriculture (latter two are alternative livelihoods to poppy cultivation); 25 for governance; and 10 for the “civilian assistance program” 30 million also provides $16 million in Migration and Refugee aid for displaced persons near Kabul, and $16 million International Disaster and Famine Assistance 47.2 million requested/79 in final version 5.900 billion requested/5.9064 in final version (includes 3.2 billion for equipment and transportation; 624 million for ANP training; 415 for ANA training; 106 for commanders emergency response, CERP; plus other funds ) no request/47 million in agreement; plus 60 million in DOD aid to counter-narcotics forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, plus 12 million DEA FY2007 supp. 6.870 billion in final version FY2007 Total 10.388 billion (all programs) CRS-60 Table 11. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2008 Request/Action Regular FY2008 Appropriation (H.R. 2764, P.L. 110-161) ESF INCLE IMET Child Survival and Health (CSH) NADR (Karzai protection) Radio Free Afghanistan Afghan Security Forces Funding $543 million total. Of this: $126 million for emergency request (see below); $75 million to benefit women and girls; $20 million for agriculture. $300 million limit subject to counter-narcotics cooperation certification. Regular ESF request was for $693 million 274.8 m., forbids use for aerial spraying 1.7 m. $65.9 m. (incl. $5.9 million for child and maternal clinics) 21.65 3.98 1,350 (For emergency request below) Total appropriated in P.L. 110161 2,261 Revised FY2008 Supplemental Request (Global War on Terrorism) ESF USAID operations Security Forces equip and train U.S. Embassy security U.S. Embassy construction, maintenance NADR Total FY2008 appropriated to date Total FY2008 (if remaining requested FY2008 supp. funds are appropriated) 834 m. request (additional 495 beyond 339 original supplemental request) (Of the additional $495, $325 is for provincial governance, National Solidarity program, election support; $170 is for economic growth, including $115 for power. Another $50 for roads, and another $5 is for Reconstruction Opportunity Zones) 16 2,700 ($1.71 billion for ANA/$980 million for ANP) 162.4 160 5 2.26 b. (Of which $126 million in ESF and $1.35 billion in Security Forces appropriated above) 4.323 b. CRS-61 Table 12. U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan, FY2009 ($ in millions) Budget Request ESF Child Survival and Health 707 (includes 120 for alternative livelihoods, 248 for democracy and governance, 226 for econ. growth, 74 for PRT programs) 52 (Plus 57 more of ESF for health and education) International Counter-Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INCLE) 250 International Military Education and Training (IMET) 1.4 Other non-military accounts Afghan National Security Forces Funding (DOD funds) Total Request 44 (incl. 12 m. in non-emergency food aid) 0 $1.054 billion CRS-62 Table 13. USAID Obligations FY2002-FY2007 ($ millions) Sector FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 Agriculture 27 56 50 77 27 61 298 Alternative Livelihoods 3 1 5 185 121 246 561 Roads 51 142 354 276 250 418 1491 Power 3 77 286 66 136 568 Water 2 1 27 21 1 1 52 Econ. Growth 21 12 84 91 46 68 321 Education 19 21 104 86 51 62 343 Health 8 56 83 111 52 72 381 Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund 38 40 67 87 45 41 317 Support to Afghan Gov’t 3 36 31 15 5 90 Democracy 22 34 132 88 17 81 374 Rule of Law 4 8 21 15 6 13 67 11 56 85 20 210 382 5 6 17 16 4 14 63 Internally Displaced Persons 108 23 10 - 141 Food Aid 159 51 49 - 376 10 10 1436 5830 PRT Programs Program Suppt 57 FY FY2007 FY20022006 (reg. + FY2007 supp) 60 Civilian Assistance Totals 471 462 1171 1510 779 CRS-63 Table 14. NATO/ISAF Contributing Nations (As of April 1, February 2008, [http://www.nato.int/isaf/docu/epub/pdf/isaf_placemat.pdf]) NATO Countries Non-NATO Partner Nations Belgium 360 Albania 140 Bulgaria 400 Austria 2 Canada 2500 Australia 1100 Czech Republic 290 Azerbaijan Denmark 780 Croatia 210 Estonia 120 Finland 100 France 1430 Georgia 1 Germany 3490 Ireland 7 Greece 130 Jordan 90 Hungary 250 Macedonia 130 Iceland 10 New Zealand 110 Italy 2360 Singapore 40 2 Latvia 100 Sweden 350 Lithuania 260 Ukraine 3 Luxemburg 9 Netherlands 1730 Norway 540 Poland 1020 Portugal 170 Romania 530 Slovakia 60 Slovenia 70 Spain 770 Turkey 750 United Kingdom United States 7750 19000 Total ISAF force (approx.) 47,000 CRS-64 Table 15. Provincial Reconstruction Teams (RC=Regional Command) Location (City) Province/Command U.S.-Lead (all under ISAF banner) Gardez Paktia Province (RC-East, E) Ghazni Ghazni (RC-E). with Poland. Bagram A.B. Parwan (RC-C, Central) Jalalabad Nangarhar (RC-E) Khost Khost (RC-E) Qalat Zabol (RC-South, S). with Romania. Asadabad Kunar (RC-E) Sharana Paktika (RC-E). with Poland. Mehtarlam Jabal o-Saraj Laghman (RC-E) Panjshir Province (RC-E), State Department lead Qala Gush Nuristan (RC-E) Farah Farah (RC-W) Partner Lead (all under ISAF banner) PRT Location Province Lead Force/Other forces Qandahar Qandahar (RC-S) Canada Lashkar Gah Helmand (RC-S) Britain. with Denmark and Estonia Tarin Kowt Uruzgan (RC-S) Netherlands. with Australia and 40 Singaporean military medics and others Herat Herat (RC-W) Italy Qalah-ye Now Badghis (RC-W) Spain Mazar-e-Sharif Balkh (RC-N) Sweden Konduz Konduz (RC-N) Germany Faizabad Badakhshan (RC-N) Germany. with Denmark, Czech Rep. Meymaneh Faryab (RC-N) Norway. with Sweden. Chaghcharan Ghowr (RC-W) Lithuania. with Denmark, U.S., Iceland Pol-e-Khomri Baghlan (RC-N) Hungary Bamiyan Bamiyan (RC-E) New Zealand (not NATO/ISAF). 10 Singaporean engineers Maidan Shahr Wardak (RC-C) Turkey Pul-i-Alam Lowgar (RC-E) Czech Republic CRS-65 Table 16. Major Factions/Leaders in Afghanistan Party/ Leader Leader Ideology/ Ethnicity Regional Base Taliban Mullah (Islamic cleric) Muhammad Umar (still at large possibly in Afghanistan)/Jalaludin and Siraj Haqqani. ultraorthodox Islamic, Pashtun Insurgent groups, mostly in the south and east, and in Pakistan Islamic Society (leader of “Northern Alliance”) Burhannudin Rabbani/ Yunus Qanooni (speaker of lower house)/Muhammad Fahim/Dr. Abdullah Abdullah (Foreign Minister 2001-2006). Ismail Khan, a so-called “warlord,” heads faction of the grouping in Herat area. Khan, now Minister of Energy and Water, visited United States in March 2008 to sign USAID grant for energy projects moderate Islamic, mostly Tajik Much of northern and western Afghanistan, including Kabul National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan Abdul Rashid Dostam. Best known for March 1992 secular, break with Najibullah that precipitated his overthrow. Uzbek Subsequently fought Rabbani government (19921995), but later joined Northern Alliance. Commanded about 25,000 troops, armor, combat aircraft, and some Scud missiles, but was unable to hold off Taliban forces that captured his region by August 1998. During OEF, impressed U.S. commanders with horse-mounted assaults on Taliban positions at Shulgara Dam, south of Mazar-e-Sharif, leading to the fall of that city and the Taliban’s subsequent collapse. Karzai rival in October 2004 presidential election, now his top “security adviser.” Mazar-eSharif, Shebergan, and environs Hizb-eWahdat Karim Khalili is Vice President, but Mohammad Shiite, Mohaqiq is Karzai rival in presidential election and Hazara parliament. Generally pro-Iranian. Was part of tribes Rabbani 1992-1996 government, and fought unsuccessfully with Taliban over Bamiyan city. Bamiyan province Pashtun Leaders Various regional governors; central government led by Hamid Karzai. Moderate Islamic, Pashtun Dominant in southern, eastern Afghanistan Hizb-eIslam Gulbuddin (HIG) Mujahedin party leader Gulbuddin Hikmatyar. Lost orthodox Islamic, power base around Jalalabad to the Taliban in Pashtun 1994, and fled to Iran before being expelled in 2002. Still allied with Taliban and Al Qaeda in operations east of Kabul, but may be open to ending militant activity. Leader of a rival Hizb-e-Islam faction, Yunus Khalis, the mentor of Mullah Umar, died July 2006. Small groups around Jalalabad, Nuristan and in southeast Islamic Union orthodox Abd-I-Rab Rasul Sayyaf. Islamic conservative, leads a pro-Karzai faction in parliament. Lived Islamic, many years in and politically close to Saudi Arabia, Pashtun which shares his “Wahhabi” ideology. During antiSoviet war, Sayyaf’s faction, with Hikmatyar, was a principal recipient of U.S. weaponry. Criticized the U.S.-led war against Saddam Hussein after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Paghman (west of Kabul) CRS-66 Appendix A. 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 lifted. ! 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 Afghanistan. ! 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 for Afghanistan. ! 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 CRS-67 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, referencing the 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, 1992, 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 Section 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.) CRS-68 Figure 1. Map of Afghanistan