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Before the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

For Release on Delivery: 
Expected at 10:00 a.m. EST:
Wednesday, March 25, 2009: 

Iraq And Afghanistan: 

Security, Economic, and Governance Challenges to Rebuilding Efforts 
Should Be Addressed in U.S. Strategies: 

Statement of Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers: Managing Director, 
International Affairs & Trade: 


GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-09-476T, testimony before the House Armed Services 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

From fiscal year 2001 through July 2008, Congress provided more than 
$808 billion to the Department of Defense (DOD) for the Global War on 
Terrorism, including military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Moreover, since fiscal year 2003, about $49 billion has been provided 
to U.S. agencies for reconstruction and stabilization in Iraq and $32 
billion for similar efforts in Afghanistan since fiscal year 2002. In 
February 2009, President Obama announced a new U.S. strategy for Iraq 
and plans to develop a new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan. 

This statement is based on GAO’s extensive body of work—more than 150 
products since 2003—examining U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

What GAO Found: 

While U.S. efforts face unique circumstances in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
success in both countries depends on addressing three common 
challenges: (1) establishing and maintaining a basic level of security, 
(2) building a sustainable economic foundation, and (3) holding 
governments accountable for political commitments and building their 
capacity to govern. These challenges underscore the need for 
comprehensive U.S. strategies that optimize U.S. strategic interests, 
host country priorities, and the international community’s resources 
and expertise. 

In Iraq, much U.S.-funded reconstruction took place prior to July 2007 
in an environment of deteriorating security. Oil, electricity, and 
water projects were subject to insurgent attacks and threats, which 
raised costs and caused delays. While violence has declined, security 
conditions remain fragile, according to DOD. Iraq’s oil resources 
provide a foundation for economic growth. However, Iraq’s investment in 
infrastructure has been limited, despite budget surpluses. The 
government’s limited capacity to deliver services poses a challenge as 
well. The United States has held the government to commitments to pass 
key legislation and hold elections, but further progress in 
reconciliation, such as legislation to share oil and gas revenues and 
resolve claims over disputed territories, is needed. 

In Afghanistan, a lack of security has put U.S.-funded infrastructure 
projects, development of Afghan security forces, and other efforts at 
risk. Projects have been delayed and costs increased. The drug trade 
helps finance the Taliban and other insurgents and contributes to 
instability. Given Afghanistan’s poor economy, the country’s 
development will depend on foreign assistance. The Afghanistan National 
Development Strategy, established with U.S. and international support, 
is underfunded and may not be financially viable. The Afghan 
government’s lack of capacity also hinders the country from meeting its 
development goals. The ministries do not have the personnel with the 
expertise to maintain U.S. and other donor-financed infrastructure 
projects, and corruption exacerbates this problem. 

As it further defines and develops its strategies for Iraq and 
Afghanistan, the Administration should incorporate characteristics of 
an effective national strategy. Both strategies should clearly define 
the objectives of U.S. efforts and measures to assess progress; 
identify risks; estimate costs; and integrate U.S., international, and 
host country efforts. For example, the strategy for Iraq should clarify 
what conditions the United States expects to achieve to ensure that 
troops are drawn down responsibly. The U.S. strategy for Afghanistan 
should estimate the cost of helping the country implement its 
development strategy. It should also assess the risk to U.S. 
infrastructure investments if Afghanistan does not obtain the donor 
assistance and technical capacity to maintain them. Finally, U.S. 
strategies should guide the development and implementation of 
interagency operational plans and sector level plans. 

What GAO Recommends: 

Since 2003, GAO has made recommendations to DOD, the Department of 
State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other 
agencies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of U.S. efforts in 
Iraq and Afghanistan. In particular, GAO has recommended that the U.S. 
government develop detailed and updated strategies and operational 
plans to guide these efforts. The agencies have efforts under way to 
implement some of these recommendations. 

View [hyperlink,] or key 
components. For more information, contact Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers 
at (202) 512-3101 or 

[End of section] 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: 

I am pleased to be here today to discuss challenges to rebuilding Iraq 
and Afghanistan and the importance of comprehensive U.S. strategies and 
plans to guide these efforts. U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan 
include building or repairing infrastructure needed to provide 
electricity, water, and other essential services; developing security 
forces; and strengthening government capabilities. 

The Bush Administration established high-level goals--or desired end 
states--for U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, U.S. 
efforts were aimed at ensuring that no safe haven for terrorists exists 
and fostering a peaceful, united, stable, and democratic country, well 
integrated into the international community, and acting as a full 
partner in the war on terror. In Afghanistan, the United States has 
sought to eliminate a safe haven for terrorists and gain a reliable, 
stable ally in the war on terror that was moderate and democratic, with 
a thriving private sector economy, capable of governing its territory 
and borders, and respectful of the rights of all its citizens. In 
February 2009, President Obama announced a new U.S. strategy for Iraq 
and stated that his administration was developing a new comprehensive 
strategy for Afghanistan. 

My statement today is based on GAO's extensive body of work examining 
U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2003, we have issued more 
than 150 products related to these two countries, and currently have 
additional work ongoing in both. We have conducted extensive on-the- 
ground work in both countries, involving our office teams in Iraq and 
multiple field visits. Our reports incorporate and analyze information 
from and meetings with Iraqi and Afghan officials; U.S. officials in 
Iraq, Afghanistan, and Washington, D.C., including the Departments of 
Defense (DOD), State (State), Justice, Energy, and the Treasury 
(Treasury); the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the 
Army Corps of Engineers; the Defense Intelligence Agency; and the Drug 
Enforcement Administration. In addition, we obtained and analyzed 
information from representatives of coalition military forces and 
commands, including the U.S.-led Multinational Force-Iraq (MNF-I) and 
the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and 
international organizations, including the United Nations (UN), the 
International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. Our work was conducted 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. A list of GAO reports and 
testimonies related to these topics can be located at [hyperlink,]. For further 
information relating to our work on Iraq and Afghanistan, go to 


In Iraq, a U.S.-led coalition undertook military operations in 2003 and 
removed the ruling Ba'ath regime from power. Since then, Iraq has 
formed a constitutional government, and the United States has led 
efforts to stabilize and rebuild the country. The United States has 
employed numerous strategies and plans to address the security and 
reconstruction needs of Iraq since late 2003. In January 2007, to 
address the high levels of violence, the Bush Administration announced 
The New Way Forward strategy. The documents that comprise this strategy 
and the phase that follows clearly state the importance that the 
administration placed on continued U.S. support for Iraq, but only 
articulated goals and objectives for the near-term phase that ended in 
July 2008. Under a November 2008 security agreement between the United 
States and Iraq,[Footnote 1] the United States must withdraw all of its 
forces by the end of 2011, unless the two countries mutually agree to 
extend the deadline. 

In Afghanistan, U.S.-led coalition forces forcibly removed the Taliban 
regime from power in 2001 in response to its protection of al Qaeda 
terrorists that attacked the United States. Less than 2 months later, 
the UN established a framework for a new Afghan government. Since then, 
Afghanistan has formed a constitutional government. Both the United 
States and the international community have important roles in 
stabilization and reconstruction efforts. In 2008, the Afghan 
government, with the support and cooperation of the United States and 
others in the international community, finalized the 5-year Afghanistan 
National Development Strategy, defining the vision, principles, and 
goals for the country's development. In the final days of the Bush 
Administration, DOD issued a report to Congress that included "a 
description of the comprehensive strategy of the United States for 
security and stability".[Footnote 2] 

The United States faces fundamentally different economic situations in 
its effort to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. (See appendix I for 
comparative information on the two countries.) 

* By 2003, Iraq's infrastructure had deteriorated due to neglect from 
the previous regime, international sanctions, and years of conflict. 
However, Iraq's economy is based on the world's third largest oil 
reserves, and, with a per capita income of about $4,000, it is 
classified as a middle income country by the World Bank. Iraq has a 
population of 29 million, about 74 percent of which is literate, and 
life expectancy at birth is 70 years. The country has a network of 
roads, railway service, and 19 airports with paved runways over 1,000 
feet. About 67 percent of Iraq's population is urban. The country 
consists predominantly of broad plains, and it has access to the 
Persian Gulf. 

* By 2001, almost 3 decades of war and years of drought had destroyed 
Afghanistan's government, judicial and economic institutions, and its 
infrastructure. Afghanistan has very limited accessible natural 
resources and with a per capita income of about $800 is classified as a 
low income country. It has a population of 33 million, approximately 28 
percent of which is literate, and life expectancy at birth is 45 years. 
The country has limited paved roads, no railway, and four airports with 
paved runways over 1,000 feet. About 24 percent of Afghanistan's 
population is urban. Afghanistan has a land area about one-third larger 
than Iraq and is predominantly mountainous and land-locked. 

The level of insurgent violence has changed drastically in both Iraq 
and Afghanistan during the past several years, as illustrated in figure 
1. In mid-2008, the number of enemy attacks per month in Afghanistan 
first surpassed that of Iraq. As of February 2009, attack levels were 
slightly higher in Iraq than Afghanistan. 

Figure 1: Enemy-Initiated Attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan Per Month, 
May 2003 through February 2009: 

[Refer to PDF for image: multiple line graph] 

This graph plots the number of average daily attacks per month in Iraq 
and in Afghanistan during the time period of June 2003 through February 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Defense data. 

[End of figure] 

As of January 2009, the United States had about 144,000 troops in Iraq 
as part of MNF-I. According to DOD and MNF-I officials, the United 
States plans to reduce the number of combat troops to about 128,000 by 
September 2009. This troop drawdown would represent two combat brigades 
and their support units, reducing the number of U.S. brigades from 14 
to 12. 

The United States had about 32,800 troops in Afghanistan as of January 
2009, including 13,900 deployed to the NATO-led ISAF and 18,900 
deployed to U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom efforts. According to 
DOD officials, an additional 17,700 U.S. troops will be deployed to 
Afghanistan, most of them under ISAF command. 

U.S. Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq Faced Security, Economic, and 
Governance Challenges: 

Establishing and Maintaining a Basic Level of Security Is Essential for 
Progress in Reconstruction: 

At the outset of the U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq, the United 
States assumed that it would face a permissive security situation that 
would enable reconstruction to progress quickly and steadily. However, 
a lack of security, among other factors, undermined U.S. efforts to 
restore essential services--oil production, electricity generation, and 
water treatment--to a standard acceptable to and accessible by all 
Iraqi citizens. Since 2003, U.S. agencies have provided about $10 
billion for reconstruction activities in the oil, electricity, and 
water sectors. Most U.S. reconstruction funds were spent in the 
deteriorating security environment that existed in Iraq prior to July 
2007. Numerous security problems resulted in delays in the design and 
execution of projects, increased the cost of providing security 
services for contractors and sites, and reduced scopes of work. In the 
oil sector, insurgents attacked oil pipelines, destroyed other key 
infrastructure, threatened workers, compromised the transport of 
materials, and hindered project completion and repairs. In the 
electricity sector, insurgents repeatedly sabotaged major transmission 
and fuel lines, cutting power to various parts of the country. 
Moreover, poor security has prevented the successful implementation of 
long-term training programs for Iraqi citizens to create the local 
capacity needed to operate and maintain U.S.-funded projects. Figure 2 
illustrates the number of enemy-initiated attacks in Iraq since May 

Figure 2: Enemy-Initiated Attacks Per Month in Iraq, May 2003 through 
February 2009: 

[Refer to PDF for image: multiple line graph] 

The following are plotted against a timeline of June 2003 through 
February 2009: 
Total average daily attacks; 
Average daily attacks on coalition; 
Average daily attacks on Iraqi security forces; 
Average daily attacks on civilians. 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Defense data. 

[End of figure] 

Although the security situation remains fragile, according to DOD, 
violence has decreased significantly over the past 2 years: enemy- 
initiated attacks decreased from a peak of about 180 per day in June 
2007 to about 30 per day in February 2009. Security gains have largely 
resulted from (1) the increase in U.S. combat forces that allowed a 
change in tactics and the adoption of counterinsurgency techniques, (2) 
the creation of nongovernmental security forces such as Sons of Iraq, 
and (3) the Mahdi Army's declaration of a cease fire. 

To help achieve security in Iraq and facilitate the eventual drawdown 
of U.S. troops, the United States has provided about $22 billion since 
2003 to develop Iraqi security forces and transfer security 
responsibilities to the Iraqi government. Further, the Iraqi army and 
police forces nearly doubled in size from about 320,000 personnel in 
January 2007 to just over 600,000 in October 2008. Although many Iraqi 
units are leading counterinsurgency operations, DOD reports that only 
about 10 percent of all Iraqi army units are deemed capable of 
performing operations without coalition assistance.[Footnote 3] Several 
factors have complicated the development of capable Iraqi security 
forces, including the lack of a single unified force, sectarian and 
militia influences, continued dependence on U.S. and coalition forces 
for combat support, and Iraqi training and leadership shortages. 

Despite a Substantial Budget Surplus, Iraq Has Spent Few Resources on 
Reconstruction Projects Necessary for Economic Growth: 

The United States had assumed that, after an initial U.S. investment in 
restoring Iraq's infrastructure, Iraq and the international community 
would take financial responsibility for Iraqi reconstruction. However, 
the Iraqi government's spending on infrastructure for the oil 
production, electricity, and water sectors has not been adequate to 
meet the needs of the Iraqi people for essential services. 

With large oil reserves, Iraq possesses the resources to finance its 
own reconstruction. Nevertheless, although Iraq has generated budget 
surpluses since 2005, it has spent small percentages of its capital 
investment budgets on needed infrastructure projects. As table 1 
illustrates, from 2005 through 2008, Iraq generated an estimated $164 
billion in cumulative revenues, primarily from crude oil export sales, 
but spent only about $117 billion. As of December 2008, Iraq had 
amassed an estimated cumulative surplus of about $47 billion. 

Table 1: Iraqi Revenues, Expenditures, and Surpluses, 2005-2008: 

Total Revenues: 
2005: $24.1 billion; 
2006: $32 billion; 
2007: $39.9 billion; 
2008: $67.8 billion; 
Total 2005-2008: $163.8 billion. 

Ministry of Finance Expenditures: 
2005: $17.6 billion; 
2006: $22.8 billion; 
2007: $26.6 billion; 
2008: $49.3 billion; 
Total 2005-2008: $116.5 billion. 

2005: $6.5 billion; 
2006: $9.2 billion; 
2007: $13.3 billion; 
2008: $18.3 billion; 
Total 2005-2008: $47.3 billion. 

Source: GAO analysis of CBI and IMF data and the Iraqi Ministry of 
Finance's budget. 

Note: GAO previously projected that Iraq could have a cumulative 
surplus of between $67 billion and $79 billion by the end of 2008. The 
revised estimate presented here reflects the impact of declining oil 
prices and increased spending by the Iraqi government during the second 
half of 2008. 

[End of table] 

The international community has offered Iraq almost $12 billion in 
loans to help finance reconstruction projects. As of January 2009, Iraq 
had entered into agreements to borrow only about one-third of this 
amount. In addition, international donors have provided about $5.6 
billion in bilateral or multilateral grants. To help Iraq attract 
foreign investment, some official creditors have forgiven loans taken 
under the previous regime. Treasury officials estimate that Iraq's debt 
to foreign creditors has shrunk from about $120 billion at the end of 
2004--an amount almost 5 times the size of Iraq's economy at the time-
-to between about $49 and $77 billion in January 2009. 

Despite its substantial budget surplus and international assistance, 
Iraq has not spent the resources it set aside for reconstruction 
efforts essential to its economic recovery. As table 2 indicates, Iraq 
has spent about 12 percent, or $2 billion, of the $17.2 billion it 
allocated for reconstruction activities in the oil, electricity, and 
water sectors. In contrast, U.S. agencies have spent almost 90 percent, 
or $9.5 billion, of the $10.9 billion Congress made available for 
investment activities in these sectors since fiscal year 2003. 
Moreover, Iraqi ministries have consistently spent far higher 
percentages of their operational budgets, which include employee 
compensation, than they have of their investment budgets, which include 
infrastructure construction costs. 

Table 2: U.S. and Iraq Allocations and Spending for Selected Sectors 
(U.S. dollars in billions): 

Sector: Oil; 
Investment Needed: $25-75[B] billion; 
U.S. Government: March 2003-October 2008: $2.7 billion; 
U.S. Government: March 2003-June 2008: $2.5 billion; 
Government of Iraq: 2005-2008: $10.8 billion; 
Government of Iraq: 2005-2008: $0.7 billion. 

Sector: Electricity; 
Investment Needed: $27-54[C] billion; 
U.S. Government: March 2003-October 2008: $5.3 billion; 
U.S. Government: March 2003-June 2008: $4.8 billion; 
Government of Iraq: 2005-2008: $5.2 billion; 
Government of Iraq: 2005-2008: $0.8 billion. 

Sector: Water resources; 
Investment Needed: $14[D] billion; 
U.S. Government: March 2003-October 2008: $2.9 billion; 
U.S. Government: March 2003-June 2008: $2.2 billion; 
Government of Iraq: 2005-2008: $1.3 billion; 
Government of Iraq: 2005-2008: $0.6 billion. 

Investment Needed: $66-143 billion; 
U.S. Government: March 2003-October 2008: $10.9 billion; 
U.S. Government: March 2003-June 2008: $9.5 billion (87%); 
Government of Iraq: 2005-2008: $17.2 billion; 
Government of Iraq: 2005-2008: $2.0 billion (12%). 

Source: GAO analysis of Iraq Ministry of Finance budgets and 
expenditures and State, DOD, USAID, and Treasury data. 

Note: The Iraqi figures refer to investment expenses that include 
capital goods and capital projects. The sums may differ from totals due 
to rounding. 

[A] This refers to funds disbursed by U.S. agencies and funds expended 
by the respective Iraqi ministries. 

[B] Investment needed in the oil sector to achieve a production target 
of 6 million barrels per day, according to the Ministry of Oil. 

[C] Investment needed in the electricity sector to provide reliable 
electricity across Iraq by 2015, according to the Ministry of 
Electricity and U.S. government officials. 

[D] World Bank estimate. 

[End of table] 

Oil exports account for about 90 percent of Iraq's revenue, and the 
government's ability to fund reconstruction efforts and provide 
essential services to its population depends, in part, on sustaining 
and increasing oil production and exports. In the preliminary 2009 
Iraqi budget, the Iraqi government projects a budget deficit of $16 
million, in part due to lower expected oil revenues. According to 
Treasury, Iraq's cumulative budget surpluses would sufficiently cover 
this deficit. 

Ensuring Political Commitment and Improving Government Capacity Are 

To promote national reconciliation and unify the country, the Iraqi 
government committed in 2006 to address political grievances among 
Iraq's Shi'a, Sunni, and Kurd populations. In 2007, the Bush 
Administration pledged to hold the Iraqi government to this commitment, 
with some results. Since September 2007, after considerable debate and 
compromise among Iraq's political blocs, the Iraqi government has 
enacted five of seven laws intended to promote national reconciliation, 
including de-Ba'athification reform, amnesty, provincial powers 
legislation, and two election laws. In addition, the Iraqi government 
has successfully held five elections since 2005, including provincial 
elections in January 2009, intended to address Sunni concerns about 
lack of representation on Provincial Councils. 

Nonetheless, the Iraqi government still has key political commitments 
to meet. In particular, it has not enacted hydrocarbon legislation, 
which would define the sharing of oil and gas revenues for all Iraqis 
and could promote international investment. Further, Iraq has not 
completed a constitutional review or mandated processes to deal with 
claims over disputed territories, especially oil-rich Kirkuk, where 
political tensions remain high, according to a December 2008 DOD 
report.[Footnote 4] Nor has Iraq passed a law to demobilize militias. 

The success of the Iraqi government's efforts to increase its 
legitimacy and counter the insurgent threat depend, in large part, on 
its ability to expand oil exports and provide essential services, such 
as electricity and clean water, to all Iraqi communities. However, 
capacity problems have limited the Iraqi government's progress in 
meeting the need for these services. For example, based on U.S. and UN 
reporting, inadequate operating and maintenance practices and the lack 
of skilled technicians inhibit an effective electrical infrastructure. 
As a result, although improvements have been made, Iraq continues to 
experience electrical shortages despite billions of dollars invested. 

Iraq's government faces several challenges in building its capacity to 
govern. Its ministries have significant shortages of personnel who can 
formulate budgets, procure goods and services, and perform other vital 
ministry tasks. U.S. mission assessments have noted the Iraqi 
government's limited capacity to provide services to the Iraqi people 
due to weak technical expertise, limitations in managers' skills, and 
an inability to identify and articulate strategic priorities, among 
other factors. Also, despite measures to strengthen the Inspectors 
General and other Iraqi anti-corruption entities, corruption is 
pervasive in the ministries. In 2008, Transparency International ranked 
Iraq 178 out of 180 countries on its Corruption Perception Index--worse 
than its 2005 ranking. According to a December 2008 DOD report, this 
corruption is an impediment to reconstruction and stabilization. 
[Footnote 5] 

The United States has altered its approach to Iraqi government capacity 
development over time. Since 2005, multiple U.S. agencies have led 
individual efforts to improve the capacity of Iraq's ministries without 
having an overall integrated strategy. In 2007, the U.S. strategy for 
Iraq emphasized the need to build capacity in Iraq's ministries and 
help the government execute its capital investment budgets. In 
response, U.S. capacity development efforts shifted emphasis to helping 
Iraqi ministries overcome their inability to spend their capital 
investment budgets. In June 2008, State and Treasury created a new 
Public Financial Management Action Group to help integrate and 
coordinate U.S. government assistance to improve budget execution. 
Also, State has hired a contractor to develop a strategic planning 
document for ministry capacity development in Iraq. 

U.S. Efforts in Afghanistan Face Security, Economic, and Governance 

As Security Situation Worsens, U.S. Focuses on Building Afghan National 
Security Forces and Combating Narcotics Trafficking: 

Security and stability in Afghanistan have deteriorated in the past 3 
years. In the first several years of the war, Afghanistan was 
relatively stable and secure and attacks by Taliban insurgents on U.S. 
soldiers were rare. However, since 2006, the insurgency has reasserted 
itself, resulting in an escalation of violence, especially against U.S. 
and coalition forces. As illustrated in figure 3, enemy attacks on 
civilians as well as Afghan and coalition forces increased from an 
average of about 5 per day in January 2006 to around 25 per day in 
February 2009. 

Figure 3: Enemy-Initiated Attacks Per Month in Afghanistan, May 2003 
through February 2009: 

[Refer to PDF for image: multiple line graph] 

The following are plotted against a timeline of June 2003 through 
February 2009: 
Total average daily attacks; 
Average daily attacks on ISAF/coalition forces; 
Average daily attacks on Afghanistan security; 
Average daily attacks on civilians. 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Defense data. 

[End of figure] 

Insurgents have increasingly used improvised explosive devices and 
focused on infrastructure projects as their targets. This violence has 
had deleterious effects on U.S. and allied security and support 
operations as well as reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. For 
example, DOD and State officials have reported that the efforts to 
train Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are hindered by inadequate 
force protection and a shortage of personnel. Furthermore, according to 
USAID, a wide range of development programs, including road 
reconstruction and power generation, faced significant cost increases 
and were delayed or abandoned due to a lack of security. 

Since 2002, the United States has provided about $18 billion for the 
development of ANSF, which are comprised of the Afghan National Army 
and the Afghan National Police. This has been a keystone effort in 
achieving the long-term security that would allow the drawdown of U.S. 
and allied security forces. However, progress has been relatively slow. 
According to DOD, as of December 2008, only about 18 army units and 18 
police units were considered fully capable of performing their 
missions. We previously reported that ANSF development efforts face a 
number of significant challenges, including: 

* Addressing shortages in staff to train and equip the ANSF; 

* Improving the recruitment and retention of ANSF personnel, especially 
for leadership and specialty skill positions, such as those involving 
logistics, medical support, and engineering; 

* Completing the retraining of the Afghan police to address corruption 
and improve professional standards; 

* Developing the ability of ANSF units to fully safeguard and account 
for weapons and sensitive equipment. 

Counternarcotics in Afghanistan has been another key U.S. undertaking 
to achieve a secure environment. Afghanistan provides over 90 percent 
of the world's opium, which is refined into heroin. This drug trade 
helps fund the Taliban and other anti-government groups and has 
undermined the Afghan government's effort to address internal security 
problems, build political stability, and establish legitimate economic 
growth and the rule of law. Since 2002, the United States has provided 
nearly $3 billion for counternarcotics programs. State, DOD, USAID, and 
Department of Justice components, including the Drug Enforcement 
Administration, have supported poppy eradication, interdiction, justice 
reform and prosecution, public information, and alternative 

Since 2005, poppy cultivation has become more localized. Dramatically 
reduced in northern Afghanistan, it has greatly increased in the south. 
In 2008, 98 percent of Afghanistan's opium was cultivated in 7 of its 
34 provinces, all in the south, where many of the insurgent attacks 
occur. One province, Helmand, accounted for 66 percent of the total. 
USAID's Alternative Development Program has had mixed results so far. 
Although it exceeded targets for providing alternative employment and 
agricultural training to Afghans in traditional poppy-growing regions, 
it fell short of its goals for reducing the number of hectares devoted 
to opium poppy production between 2005 and 2007, according to USAID's 
Office of Inspector General. 

In December 2008, acknowledging that global and regional terrorists 
finance their activities with drug money, DOD changed its rules of 
engagement for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, allowing DOD greater 
involvement in counternarcotics, and ISAF has also expanded its role. 
We have recently initiated a review of U.S. counternarcotics efforts in 
Afghanistan to assess their impact on the drug trade, security, and 
economic development. 

Given Weak Economic Conditions, Afghanistan Is Highly Dependent on 
Sustained Foreign Development Assistance: 

Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest countries and ranks near the 
bottom in virtually every development indicator, including life 
expectancy; literacy; nutrition; and infant, child, and maternal 
mortality. Nearly three decades of war and extended drought have 
devastated Afghanistan's infrastructure, economy, and government. 
Furthermore, Afghanistan's prospects for growth are severely limited by 
weak economic factors, such as low government revenue, high rates of 
inflation, and limited access to credit for most Afghan citizens. 

Given these circumstances, Afghanistan will be highly dependent for the 
foreseeable future on foreign aid to achieve its economic development 
objectives, which the Afghan government has articulated in its 
Afghanistan National Development Strategy. However, this strategy does 
not appear financially viable, given the country's fiscal constraints, 
without additional foreign aid. As table 3 below shows, Afghanistan's 
planned expenditures for economic development exceed anticipated 
revenues, including both domestic revenues and donor contributions; 
this shortfall is expected to increase over time. Donor assistance 
accounts for about 90 percent of Afghanistan's total funding during the 
2008-2009 budget year, but this assistance is expected to decline to 
about 70 percent of total funding by the 2012-2013 Afghan budget year. 

Table 3: Overall Funding and Expenditures for the Afghanistan National 
Development Strategy by Budget Year, in Millions of U.S. Dollars: 

Total funding: 
2008/09: $7,400; 
2009/10: $6,064; 
2010/11: $6,165; 
2011/12: $6,009; 
2012/13: $5,819; 
Total: $31,457. 

Domestic revenue: 
2008/09: $887; 
2009/10: $1,104; 
2010/11: $1,351; 
2011/12: $1,611; 
2012/13: $1,911; 
Total: $6,864. 

Total donor assistance: 
2008/09: $6,513; 
2009/10: $4,960; 
2010/11: $4,814; 
2011/12: $4,398; 
2012/13: $3,908; 
Total: $24,593. 

Total expenditures: 
2008/09: $7,903; 
2009/10: $9,286; 
2010/11: $10,236; 
2011/12: $11,038; 
2012/13: $11,637; 
Total: $50,100. 

Total shortfall: 
2008/09: $503; 
2009/10: $3,222; 
2010/11: $4,071; 
2011/12: $5,029; 
2012/13: $5,818; 
Total: $18,643. 

Source: Afghanistan National Development Strategy. 

[End of table] 

The United States and other international partners have undertaken 
numerous infrastructure and development projects with the Afghan 
National Development Strategy as their guiding document. As of December 
2008, the United States has provided nearly $9 billion for economic and 
social development projects. However, the Afghan government lacks the 
resources and capacity to sustain these projects. For example, as we 
reported in 2008, although the United States and its international 
partners have constructed a vital network of new roads in Afghanistan 
to support trade and economic growth, the Afghan government did not 
establish a sustainable maintenance program.[Footnote 6] Hence, for the 
foreseeable future, the Afghan government will have to rely on 
technical and financial assistance from the international community to 
maintain the roads. To be effective over the long term, infrastructure 
programs will need to be designed and implemented with an accompanying 
stream of operational and maintenance funding. 

USAID has reported some notable successes in basic education and health 
development in Afghanistan. In 2008, according to USAID, more than 6 
million children attended school in Afghanistan, including almost 2 
million girls, compared with less than 1 million children and no girls 
under the Taliban. In September 2008, 80 percent of the population had 
access to health care, up from 8 percent in 2001. If sustained, these 
types of improvements have the potential to help bolster Afghanistan's 
long-term economic development. 

Limited Government Capacity Impedes Afghanistan's Ability to Meet 
Reconstruction Objectives: 

The Afghanistan National Development Strategy established a 
comprehensive set of objectives, which include bringing about peace and 
security, eliminating corruption, developing the economy, increasing 
the participation of women, and ensuring appropriate care of the 
environment, among others. To help achieve these objectives, the Afghan 
government has committed to a broad range of social, economic, and 
government reforms, with the United States contributing nearly $2 
billion since 2002 for democracy, governance, and rule of law 

A lack of Afghan capacity in almost all aspects of governance remains a 
major constraint to fulfilling reform commitments and achieving the 
objectives of the Afghan National Development Strategy. Afghanistan's 
history of limited availability of education and essential services has 
resulted in a widespread lack of literacy and job skills, which poses 
problems for Afghan government ministries in recruiting qualified 
government personnel, such as police, prosecutors, investigators, and 
trained administrative staff. Often, even senior Afghan officials lack 
basic computer skills, according to U.S. officials, making it difficult 
to use modern management systems. U.S. and UN officials have noted a 
lack of literacy among some senior provincial government officials. 
Moreover, according to U.S. officials, retention of trained Afghan 
staff has been difficult for government ministries, which must compete 
with the international donor community for trained staff. 

As a result, Afghanistan lacks the capacity to sustain and maintain 
many programs and projects put in place by donors. For example, as we 
reported in 2008, a fragmented institutional organization within the 
Afghan government was a factor impeding the establishment of a 
sustainable road maintenance program.[Footnote 7] In addition, USAID's 
Inspector General found that, for a U.S.-funded project to establish 
urban water and sanitation systems, Afghan system operators were not 
adequately trained. In addition, the cognizant Afghan ministries did 
not have adequate plans in place to ensure financial and operational 
sustainability. According to U.S. officials, most major official 
development programs include capacity building, and USAID has noted 
overall improvement among government ministries and institutions in 
recent years, particularly in the Ministries of Finance, Education, 
Public Health, and Rural Rehabilitation and Development. However, none 
was rated by USAID as capable of achieving its mission without 

Afghanistan's capacity problems are exacerbated by corruption, a 
significant problem in the country. In 2008, Afghanistan was ranked 176 
out of 180 countries on Transparency International's Corruption 
Perception Index--worse than its 2005 ranking. According to the 
Afghanistan National Development Strategy, the causes of corruption in 
Afghan public administration can be attributed to a variety of factors, 
including weak legislative and regulatory frameworks and limited 
enforcement; nontransparent personnel policies and low wages for public 
officials; and the availability of illegal profits through the opium 
trade. Furthermore, the sudden influx of substantial amounts of donor 
money into a system already weak from poorly regulated procurement 
practices increases the risk of corruption and the waste of resources. 

U.S. Efforts Should Be Guided by Comprehensive U.S. Strategies and 
Operational Plans: 

In February 2009, President Obama outlined a new strategy for Iraq 
consisting of three parts: (1) the responsible removal of combat 
brigades, (2) sustained diplomacy on behalf of a more peaceful and 
prosperous Iraq, and (3) comprehensive U.S. engagement across the 
region. According to DOD, the United States plans to reduce the number 
of troops in Iraq to about 128,000 by September 2009 and to no more 
than 50,000 by the end of August 2010. In Afghanistan, President Obama 
announced plans to deploy 17,000 additional troops and indicated that 
he intends to send more. He also announced plans to develop a new U.S. 
strategy for Afghanistan. 

In clarifying its new U.S. strategy for Iraq and developing a new 
strategy for Afghanistan, the Administration should consider several 
desirable characteristics of an effective national strategy that we 
identified in previous reports.[Footnote 8] These include discussion of 
the strategy's goals, objectives, and measures; risks and threats; 
future costs and resources needed; roles and responsibilities of U.S. 
government agencies; and integration with international organizations 
and host governments. 

* Goals, objectives, and measures. Given the significant challenges in 
both Iraq and Afghanistan, the Administration should clearly articulate 
the overall objectives for U.S. efforts, such as the security, 
economic, and political conditions it expects the countries to achieve 
with U.S. assistance. Further, the Administration should measure 
progress in achieving those conditions. For Iraq, the Administration 
has emphasized the importance of a responsible drawdown of U.S. forces 
but has not yet defined this term.[Footnote 9] 

* Risks and threats. U.S. strategies should assess potential 
vulnerabilities, such as internal and external risks to security, 
economic, and governance conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Furthermore, the Administration should consider how to mitigate and 
address these risks and threats. For example, the strategy for Iraq 
should consider how the United States would respond if it does not 
achieve the conditions for a responsible drawdown consistent with the 
security agreement between the United States and Iraq. The strategies 
should also assess the risk that the Iraqi and Afghan governments will 
not be able to maintain U.S.-funded infrastructure investments due to a 
lack of financial resources or technical capacity, particularly in 
Afghanistan, where the national development plan is not financially 
viable without donor assistance. For Afghanistan, the U.S. strategy 
should address risks posed by neighboring countries that can profoundly 
influence security and stability--particularly Pakistan. The 
Administration should also develop strategies to minimize those risks. 
In February 2009, we recommended that the United States establish a 
comprehensive plan for countering terrorist threats in Pakistan that 
have tended to destabilize Afghanistan.[Footnote 10] 

* Future costs and resources. U.S. strategies should indicate the 
funding resources needed to achieve their objectives, as well as the 
troop levels the United States expects to commit and the length of time 
it expects to provide these resources. For example, the costs of 
drawing down U.S. forces in Iraq and ramping them up in Afghanistan 
will be considerable but have not been fully estimated. In addition, 
the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan should estimate the cost of helping 
Afghanistan meet the goals of the Afghanistan National Development 

* U.S. agency roles and responsibilities and integration with 
international organizations and host governments. A wide variety of 
U.S. agencies and international organizations have significant roles in 
Iraq and Afghanistan, including DOD, the Departments of State, 
Treasury, and Justice, USAID, the UN, and the World Bank. Comprehensive 
U.S. strategies should discuss mechanisms and approaches for 
integrating and coordinating their efforts. On a U.S. interagency 
level, these mechanisms should help ensure that roles and 
responsibilities are clearly defined and that all the elements of U.S. 
national power, including military, diplomatic, intelligence, law 
enforcement, economic, and development assistance, are focused 
effectively on achieving U.S. objectives. Furthermore, in clarifying 
the U.S. strategy in Iraq, the United States needs to consider how to 
transition from a predominantly military presence to a civilian one as 
U.S. forces draw down. On an international level, the role, 
responsibilities, commitments, and activities of all the organizations 
involved, including the host governments themselves, should be clearly 
defined and coordinated to prioritize the spending of limited resources 
and avoid unnecessary duplication. 

U.S. national strategies guide the development and implementation of 
operational plans. However, to date, U.S. government agencies have not 
developed a comprehensive set of plans for U.S. operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. See figure 4 for a depiction of existing U.S. strategies, 
operational and sector plans for Iraq and Afghanistan, and gaps we have 

Figure 4: U.S. Strategies and Plans for Iraq and Afghanistan: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 


Country’s strategy: International Compact for Iraq; 
U.S. strategies and plans: 
* The New Way Forward (Jan. 2007 – July 2008); 
* President Obama outlined a new U.S. strategy in Feb. 2009. 

Interagency operational plans: 
U.S. strategies and plans: Multinational Forces-Iraq (MNF-I)/U.S. 
Embassy; 2009 Joint Campaign Plan. 

Sector level plans: 
U.S. strategies and plans: Examples: 
* Security forces development plan; 
* Integrated energy plan has not been completed; 
* Ministry capacity building plan has not been developed. 


Country’s strategy: Afghanistan National Development Strategy; 
U.S. strategies and plans: 
* DOD report under the Bush Administration described “a comprehensive 
[U.S.] strategy” for Afghanistan; 
* President Obama announced plans in Feb. 2009 to develop a new 
comprehensive strategy. 

Interagency operational plans: 
U.S. strategies and plans: None identified. 

Sector level plans: 
U.S. strategies and plans: Examples: 
* Counternarcotics strategy; 
* Security forces development plans are not detailed and coordinated; 
* USAID plan for 2005-2010 is being updated. 

Source: GAO analysis of State, DOD, and USAID data. 

[End of figure] 

For Iraq, the United States established an interagency plan--the MNF-I/ 
U.S. Embassy Joint Campaign Plan--for the implementation of U.S. 
efforts in Iraq. According to DOD, the United States is pursuing 
efforts along five lines of operation: political, security, economic, 
diplomatic, and rule of law. As the Administration further defines the 
new U.S. strategy for Iraq, the 2009 Joint Campaign Plan should also be 
revised and link the administration's high-level strategic objectives 
to the objectives of tactics and activities on the ground. In 
accordance with U.S. military doctrine and consistent with the U.S. 
strategy, the updated plan should clearly articulate the end state for 
U.S. military operations and the conditions to be achieved for drawing 
down troops.[Footnote 11] State, DOD, USAID, and Department of Justice 
officials we met with did not provide us a comparable interagency 
operational plan for Afghanistan. 

The United States has developed a number of operational plans at the 
sector level to guide U.S. efforts, such as an interagency 
counternarcotics strategy for Afghanistan. However, plans are still 
needed in other key areas. For Iraq, we recommended that State lead the 
development of an integrated energy plan as well and a plan for 
building ministry capacity.[Footnote 12] For Afghanistan, DOD and State 
have not developed coordinated and detailed plans for building and 
sustaining the ANSF. Without these plans, Congress cannot readily 
assess progress of these efforts or conduct necessary oversight. 
[Footnote 13] This is particularly important given the challenges 
facing the ANSF development effort, its estimated cost of $2 billion 
per year, and the recent decision to increase the Afghan army from 
80,000 to 134,000 troops. 


Since 2003, GAO has made recommendations to DOD, State, USAID, and 
other agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their 
efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our recommendations address the wide 
range of security, economic development, and governance challenges that 
these agencies face. In responding to these challenges, we have 
recommended that the U.S. government develop detailed and comprehensive 
strategies, interagency operational plans, and sector plans to guide 
its efforts. These strategies and plans should be updated as 
circumstances change to reflect new considerations of U.S. strategic 
objectives and interests, projected costs, risks, and other vital 

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, this concludes my prepared 
statement. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments: 

For questions regarding this testimony, please contact Jacquelyn 
Williams-Bridger at (202) 512-3101 or 

In addition, the following staff contributed to this testimony or the 
GAO work upon which it is based: Johana Ayers; Jeffrey Baldwin-Bott; 
Kathryn Bernet; Margaret Best; Ann Borseth; Monica Brym; Burns 
Chamberlain; Joseph Carney; Carole Coffey; Thomas Costa; Lynn Cothern; 
Laura Czohara; Aniruddha Dasgupta; Karen Deans; Martin de Alteriis; 
Lucia DeMaio; Timothy DiNapoli; Mark Dowling; Mattias Fenton; Etana 
Finkler; Walker Fullerton; Richard Geiger; Cindy Gilbert; Elizabeth 
Guran; Rhonda Horried; David Hancock; Albert Huntington; John Hutton; 
Julia Jebo; Hynek Kalkus; Bruce Kutnick; Drew Lindsey; Guy Lofaro; 
Armetha Liles; Judy McCloskey; James Michels; Tetsuo Miyabara, Kathleen 
Monahan; Mary Moutsos; Alise Nacson; Valérie Nowak; Marcus Oliver; 
Suzanne Perkins; Sharon Pickup; Jason Pogacnik; Emily Rachman; 
Elizabeth Repko; Michael Rohrback; Mona Seghal; Jena Sinkfield; Audrey 
Solis; and William Solis; Pierre Toureille; and Sonja Ware. 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Comparative Information on Iraq and Afghanistan: 

Indicator: Area; 
Iraq: 166,858 square miles (about twice the size of Idaho); 
Afghanistan: 250,001 square miles (slightly smaller than Texas). 

Indicator: Border countries; 
* Iran; 
* Jordan; 
* Kuwait; 
* Saudi Arabia; 
* Syria; 
* Turkey; 
* China; 
* Iran; 
* Pakistan; 
* Tajikistan; 
* Turkmenistan; 
* Uzbekistan. 

Indicator: Terrain; 
Iraq: Predominantly broad plains; 
Afghanistan: Mostly rugged mountains. 

Indicator: Population; 
Iraq: About 29 million; 
Afghanistan: About 33 million. 

Indicator: Ethnic groups; 
Iraq: * Arab: 75% to 80%; 
* Kurdish: 15% to 20%; 
* Turkoman, Assyrian, or other: 5%; 
* Pashtun: 42%; 
* Tajik: 27%; 
* Hazara: 9%; 
* Uzbek: 9%; 
* Aimak: 4%; 
* Turkmen: 3%; 
* Baloch 2%; 
* Other 4%. 

Indicator: Religions; 
* Shia Muslim: 60%-65%; 
* Sunni Muslim: 32%-37%; 
* Christian or other: 3%; 
* Sunni Muslim: 80%; 
* Shia Muslim:19%; 
* Other: 1%. 

Indicator: Languages; 
* Arabic; 
* Kurdish (official in Kurdish Region); 
* Turkoman; 
* Assyrian (Neo Aramaic); 
* Armenian; 
* Afghan Persian or Dari (official): 50%; 
* Pashto (official): 35%; 
* Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen): 11%; 
* 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai): 4%. 

Indicator: Urban population as percentage of total population; 
Iraq: 67%; 
Afghanistan: 24%. 

Indicator: Type of government; 
Iraq: Parliamentary democracy; 
Afghanistan: Islamic republic. 

Indicator: Administrative divisions; 
Iraq: 18 governorates (or provinces) and 1 region (Kurdistan Regional 
Afghanistan: 34 provinces. 

Indicator: Political Stability[A]; 
Iraq: 0.5 percentile; 
Afghanistan: 1.4 percentile. 

Indicator: Corruption Perception Index (CPI)[B]; 
Iraq: 1.3; Iraq is ranked 178 out of 180 countries; 
Afghanistan: 1.5; Afghanistan is ranked 176 out of 180 countries. 

Indicator: Gross domestic product (GDP) in billions of U.S. dollars 
(official exchange rate); 
Iraq: $93.8; 
Afghanistan: $12.9. 

Indicator: GDP purchasing power parity (PPP), in billions of U.S. 
Iraq: $113.9; 
Afghanistan: $26.3. 

Indicator: GDP per capita (PPP); 
Iraq: $4,000; 
Afghanistan: $800. 

Indicator: Domestic revenue as percentage of GDP[C]; 
Iraq: 75.9%; 
Afghanistan: 7%. 

Indicator: Grants as a percentage of government revenue[C]; 
Iraq: 2.1%; 
Afghanistan: 135.7%. 

Indicator: Literacy (age 15 and over can read and write); 
Iraq: 74% (male: 84.1%; female: 64.2%); 
Afghanistan: 28% (male: 43.1%; female: 12.6%). 

Indicator: Life expectancy at birth; 
Iraq: 69.9 years; 
Afghanistan: 44.6 years. 

Indicator: Infant mortality rate; 
Iraq: 44 deaths/1,000 live births; 
Afghanistan: 152 deaths/1,000 live births. 

Indicator: Average daily enemy-initiated attacks[D]; 
Iraq: About 30 in February 2009; high of about 180 in June 2007; 
Afghanistan: About 25 in February 2009; high of about 45 in Sept. 2008. 

Indicator: U.S. forces[E]; 
Iraq: 144,100 troops; 
Afghanistan: 32,800 troops. 

Indicator: Reconstruction and other assistance, in billions of U.S. 
Iraq: $26.24; 
Afghanistan: $13.88. 

Indicator: Assistance for development of security forces, in billions 
of U.S. dollars[F]; 
Iraq: $22.47; 
Afghanistan: $17.98. 

Note: Data source is the CIA 2008 World Factbook unless otherwise 

[A] World Bank World Wide Governance Indicators, 2007. The political 
stability and absence of violence indicator measures the perceptions of 
the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown 
by unconstitutional or violent means, including domestic violence and 
terrorism. Countries are ranked on a percentage basis from 0 to 100. 

[B] Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, 2008. This 
index measures the perceived levels of public-sector corruption in a 
given country and is a composite index, drawing on different expert and 
business surveys. The 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index scores 180 
countries on a scale from zero (highly corrupt) to ten (highly clean). 

[C] International Monetary Fund, 2007/2008 and GAO calculations. 

[D] Defense Intelligence Agency, January 2009. 

[E] DOD; data as of January 2009. 

[F] GAO analysis of funding reports from Departments of State, Defense, 
and the Treasury; Army Corps of Engineers; USAID; and the Special 
Inspector General for Iraq. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 


[1] Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of 
Iraq on the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the 
Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in 
Iraq, Nov. 17, 2008. The agreement took effect Jan. 1, 2009. 

[2] DOD, Report to Congress in Accordance with the 2008 National 
Defense Authorization Act (Section 1230, P.L. 110-181), Report on 
Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan (Washington, 
D.C.: Jan. 2009). 

[3] See DOD, Report to Congress in Accordance with the Department of 
Defense Supplemental Appropriations Act 2008 (Section 9204, Public Law 
110-252), Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq (Washington, D.C.: 
Dec. 2008). 

[4] See DOD, Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq. 

[5] See DOD, Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq. 

[6] See GAO, Afghanistan Reconstruction: Progress Made in Constructing 
Roads, but Assessments for Determining Impact and a Sustainable 
Maintenance Program Are Needed, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: July 8, 

[7] See [hyperlink,]. 

[8] See GAO, Rebuilding Iraq: More Comprehensive National Strategy 
Needed to Help Achieve U.S. Goals, [hyperlink,], (Washington, D.C.: Jul. 11, 
2006); Combating Terrorism: Evaluation of Selected Characteristics in 
National Strategies Related to Terrorism, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 3, 
2004); and Defense Management: Comprehensive Strategy and Periodic 
Reporting Are Needed to Gauge Progress and Costs of DOD's Global 
Posture Restructuring, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: May 26, 

[9] See GAO, Iraq: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: March 24, 

[10] See GAO, Combating Terrorism: The United States Lacks 
Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe 
Haven in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 2008). 

[11] See [hyperlink,]. 

[12] See GAO, Stabilizing and Rebuilding Iraq: U.S. Ministry Capacity 
Development Efforts Need an Overall Integrated Strategy to Guide 
Efforts and Manage Risk, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 2007); 
and Rebuilding Iraq: Integrated Strategic Plan Needed to Help Restore 
Iraq's Oil and Electricity Sectors, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: May 15, 

[13] See GAO, Afghanistan Security: Further Congressional Action May Be 
Needed to Ensure Completion of a Detailed Plan to Develop and Sustain 
Capable Afghan National Security Forces, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: June 18, 

[End of section] 

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