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Friday, July 16, 2010

Afghanistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance

Curt Tarnoff
Specialist in Foreign Affairs

The U.S. program of assistance to Afghanistan is intended to stabilize and strengthen the Afghan economic, social, political, and security environment so as to blunt popular support for extremist forces in the region. Since 2001, nearly $48 billion has been appropriated toward this effort.

More than half of U.S. assistance—roughly 57%—has gone to the training and equipping of Afghan forces. The remainder has gone to development and humanitarian-related activities from infrastructure to private sector support, governance and democratization efforts, and counternarcotics programs.

Key U.S. agencies providing aid are the Department of Defense, the Agency for International Development, and the Department of State.

In December 2009, Congress approved the FY2010 State, Foreign Operations appropriations (H.R. 3288, Division F, P.L. 111-117), providing $2 billion in the Economic Support Fund (ESF) and $420 million in the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INCLE) accounts. It also approved the FY2010 DOD appropriations (H.R. 3326, P.L. 111-118), providing $6.6 billion to the Afghan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) and allocating $1 billion for the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) activities in Afghanistan.

On February 1, 2010, the Administration issued its FY2010 supplemental and FY2011 regular budget requests. The supplemental request for foreign operations and DOD foreign assistance programs totals $4.4 billion. The FY2011 regular request equals $16.6 billion.

This report provides a "big picture" overview of the U.S. aid program and congressional action. It describes what various aid agencies report they are doing in Afghanistan. It does not address the effectiveness of their programs. It will be updated as events warrant.

For discussion of the Afghan political, security, and economic situation, see CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman. For greater detail on security assistance provided by the Department of Defense, see CRS Report R40156, War in Afghanistan: Strategy, Military Operations, and Issues for Congress, by Steve Bowman and Catherine Dale. For fuller information on U.S. counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan, see CRS Report RL32686, Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy, by Christopher M. Blanchard. For information on the United Nations effort, see CRS Report R40747, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan: Background and Policy Issues, by Rhoda Margesson.

Date of Report: July 8, 2010
Number of Pages: 23
Order Number: R40699
Price: $29.95

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