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Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

CRS – Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, Kenneth Katzman – Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs – October 23, 2013

“The United States and its partner countries are reducing military involvement in Afghanistan as  Afghan security forces assume lead security responsibility throughout the country. The current  international security mission will terminate at the end of 2014 and likely transition to a far  smaller mission consisting mostly of training and mentoring the Afghanistan National Security  Forces (ANSF). The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which peaked at about 100,000 in  June 2011, was reduced to a “pre-surge” level of about 66,000 in September 2012, and is currently about 52,000. That number will fall to 34,000 by February 2014. The size of the “residual force” that will likely remain in Afghanistan after 2014 might be announced later in  2013, with options centering on about 8,000-12,000 U.S. trainers and counterterrorism forces, assisted by about 5,000 partner forces performing similar missions. The U.S. troops that remain after 2014 would do so under a U.S.-Afghanistan security agreement that is under negotiation.  Fearing instability after 2014, some ethnic and political faction leaders are reviving their militia forces should the international drawdown lead to a major Taliban push to retake power.”

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