The Strategic Framework for U.S. Efforts in Afghanistan

GAO-10-655R: Published: Jun 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2010.

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The United States and its international partners from over 40 nations have been engaged in efforts to secure, stabilize, and rebuild Afghanistan since 2001. In an effort to establish clear and specific U.S. strategic goals, the President of the United States, in March 2009, outlined the U.S. Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. This strategy emphasizes a strategic goal to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and prevent their return. The strategy was followed by the completion, in August 2009, of a Civilian-Military Campaign Plan for Afghanistan. In December 2009, the President reaffirmed the U.S. strategic goal and underscored the importance of U.S. efforts to secure and stabilize Afghanistan to help ensure the safety of the United States and the American people. To assist the Congress in its oversight of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, this publication (1) identifes and describe key U.S. and international strategies and plans that collectively guide U.S. efforts in Afghanistan; (2) provides examples and information about key efforts to assist Afghanistan; and (3) identifies oversight issues that Congress may wish to consider in its work.

The strategic framework includes relevant strategies--the Afghan National Development Strategy, the U.S. Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Stabilization Strategy. It also includes U.S. plans: the Operation Enduring Freedom Campaign plan, the National Security Council Strategic Implementation Plan, and the U.S. Integrated Civilian-Military Campaign Plan (ICMCP). The ICMCP, describes three lines of effort--security, governance, and development--to be implemented by U.S. civilian and military personnel. Finally, NATO plans include the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Comprehensive Strategic Political Military Plan, and the operational plans for NATO and for NATO's subordinate command--the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

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