CRS – Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy. Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, January 17, 2014.
“Afghanistan has a history of a high degree of decentralization, and resistance to foreign invasion and occupation. Some have termed it the “graveyard of empires…The Obama Administration policy goal is to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for terrorist organizations. The Administration has defined that goal as enabling the Afghan government and security forces to defend the country and govern effectively and transparently. In accordance with a U.S.-Afghanistan joint statement of January 11, 2013, the U.S. security mission formally changed from combat leadership to a “support” role on June 18, 2013. Even with Afghan forces now in the lead, many of the pillars of U.S. and NATO security strategy will remain intact at least until at least the end of 2014. The United States remains partnered with 49 other countries and the Afghan government and security forces. On February 10, 2013, Marine General Joseph Dunford succeeded Lieutenant General John Allen as top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.”