This unique report issued in December 2018 has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. The principle goal of the South Asia Strategy is to conclude the war in Afghanistan on terms favorable to Afghanistan and the United States. Over the past 16 months, the United States and its partners have used military force to drive the Taliban towards a durable and inclusive political settlement. There have been some notable developments - the Eid al-Fitr ceasefire and the support for peace from the broader Islamic community - which threatened the legitimacy of the Taliban and may represent leading indicators of success. The Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation (SRAR) has reinforced U.S. diplomatic engagements with Afghans, neighboring states, and interested parties in the broader region. Increased military pressure on the Taliban, international calls for peace, and the new SRAR's engagements appear to be driving the Taliban to negotiations. While an array of challenges remain—Afghan political stability, Afghan security force capacity, and regional spoilers—the combination of military escalation and diplomatic initiative have made a favorable political settlement more likely than at any time in recent memory.
This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Executive Summary * Section 1 - Strategy and Objectives * 1.1 U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan * 1.2 U.S. Objectives in Afghanistan * 1.3 U.S. Counterterrorism Mission * 1.4 NATO-led Resolute Support Mission * 1.5 Indications of Progress * Section 2 - Threat Assessment * 2.1 Importance of Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations * 2.2 Current Security Conditions * Section 3 - Overview of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces * 3.1 ANDSF Roadmap * 3.2 ANDSF Size, Posture, and assessment * 3.3 Capabilities * Section 4 - Ministry of Defense and Afghan National Army * 4.1 Ministry of Defense * 4.2 Afghan National Army * Section 5 - Ministry of Interior and Afghan National Police * 5.1 Ministry of Interior * 5.2 Afghan National Police * Section 6 - Financing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces * 6.1 Holding the Afghan Ministries Accountable * 6.2 U.S. Contributions * 6.3 International Contributions * 6.4 Afghan Government Contributions
The current military situation inside of Afghanistan remains at an impasse. The introduction of additional advisors and enablers in 2018 stabilized the situation, slowing the momentum of a Taliban march that had capitalized on U.S. drawdowns between 2011 and 2016. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) remain in control of most of Afghanistan's population centers and all of the provincial capitals, while the Taliban control large portions of Afghanistan's rural areas, and continue to attack poorly defended government checkpoints and rural district centers. The ANDSF have continued to excel in offensive operations; the bulk of their casualties have come in defense of isolated checkpoints, command posts, and bases. The ANDSF, with U.S. and coalition support, have limited new Taliban territorial gains and quickly regained control of population centers when attacked. The intensity of the fighting and level of bloodshed on both sides has risen as both sides vie for leverage at the negotiating table.
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