Search Penny Hill Press

Monday, September 19, 2011

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, more than $67 billion has been appropriated toward this effort.

Since FY2002, nearly two-thirds of U.S. assistance—roughly 62%—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 counter-narcotics programs.

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

In April 2011, following a series of continuing appropriations, Congress approved the FY2011 Defense Department and Full-Year Continuing appropriations (H.R. 1473, P.L. 112-10). The legislation provided $12.7 billion in DOD assistance. The broad foreign operations funding accounts from which most non-security Afghanistan aid is drawn were substantially cut, and it is not yet clear how much of the $3.9 billion request will be met. Individual country allocations are not expected to be determined until June 2011.

In February 2011, the Administration issued its FY2012 budget request, including $3.2 billion in foreign operations assistance to Afghanistan and $13.9 billion in DOD aid.

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, Operations, and Issues for Congress, by 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. For details on rule of law programs, see CRS Report R41484, Afghanistan: U.S. Rule of Law and Justice Sector Assistance, by Liana Sun Wyler and Kenneth Katzman.

Date of Report:
August 19, 2011
Number of Pages:
Order Number: R
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail Penny Hill Press or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing