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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

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 $83 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.

On December 23, 2011, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2012 (H.R. 2055, P.L. 112-74) was signed into law. The State, Foreign Operations appropriations did not specify account levels for Afghanistan, but from available amounts, the Administration allocated $1.8 billion in Economic Support Fund (ESF), $324 million in International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INCLE), and $64.8 million in Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, and Demining (NADR) funds. The Defense appropriations provided $11.2 billion for the Afghan Security Forces Fund (ASFF), $400 million for the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP), and $400 million for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund. The Administration has allocated about $258 million for the Task Force for Business Stability Operations.

In February 2012, the Administration issued its FY2013 budget request, seeking a total of $2.5 billion in total ESF, INCLE, NADR, and IMET, compared with the $2.3 billion allocated in the previous year. It also requested $5.7 billion for the ASFF, $400 million for CERP, $400 million for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund, and $179 million for the Task Force for Business Stability Operations.

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.

Date of Report: August 21, 2012
Number of Pages: 26
Order Number: R40699
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