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U.S. Relations With Afghanistan

Fact Sheet
October 29, 2015


More information about Afghanistan is available on the Afghanistan Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


On May 2, 2012, the United States and Afghanistan signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America, a 10-year strategic partnership agreement (SPA) that reflects a shared commitment to combating terrorism and to promoting peace, democratic values and economic opportunity in Afghanistan and the region.. Following the entry into force of the Agreement on July 4, 2012, President Obama designated Afghanistan a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) on July 6, 2012. Afghanistan is the first country to be designated an MNNA since 2004.

The SPA marked the culmination of over 10 years of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. During that time, the core U.S. goal in Afghanistan has been to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida and its affiliates, and to prevent their return to Afghanistan.

At the July 2012 Tokyo Conference, the United States and other international partners committed to continue providing extraordinary development assistance to Afghanistan through the 2014 transition and the ensuing transformation decade. The U.S. Government continues to support a broad-based government in Afghanistan, representative of all Afghans.

U.S. Security Support for Afghanistan

The United States has provided security support for Afghanistan since 2001, with U.S. force levels peaking at roughly 100,000 in 2011. Twenty-eight NATO Allies and 18 partner nations also contributed troops to the mission in Afghanistan. U.S. and international force levels began to decline in mid-2011 as Afghan military capabilities improved. In early 2014, U.S. force levels had declined to approximately 9,800 troops, and in October 2015 President Obama announced that the United States will retain that level through most of 2016 before drawing down to a level of 5,500 troops. There were 2,238 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan between 2001 and the end of 2014. There have been 16 fatalities in 2015, all from non-combat incidents. Over 20,000 U.S. service members have been wounded in action.

On September 30, 2014, the United States and Afghanistan signed a Bilateral Security Agreement providing the framework for a continued mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) after December 31, 2014. On the same day, the United States, Afghanistan, and our NATO allies signed the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, ensuring that international efforts to train, advise, and assist the ANDSF would also continue after 2014.

On January 1, 2015 the United States and NATO formally ended their combat role in Afghanistan and the ANDSF took full responsibility for securing their country. The United States and NATO continue to support the ANDSF through train, advise, and assist efforts, however, Afghan forces now lead all combat operations.

U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan

The United States has made a long-term commitment to help Afghanistan build a secure state with a democratic government that respects human rights. Through the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, the United States and other international donors committed to provide Afghanistan $16 billion in aid through 2015 and continue assistance at levels commensurate with the last decade through 2017. In its turn, Afghanistan committed to strengthen governance, build a legislative framework to ensure a credible, transparent and inclusive transfer of power, and make the structural changes to ensure that the government remains solvent and Afghan citizens can participate in a growing economy. In September 2015, the Afghan government reported on its progress in meeting Tokyo Framework benchmarks and updated and clarified these commitments in a new “Self-Reliance Through Mutual Accountability Framework.” The United States and others in the international community currently support Afghanistan with a broad array of assistance programs. We provide significant support to help Afghan security forces become more effective, professional, and sustainable and focus our development assistance on promoting economic growth, building the capacity of civilian institutions, improving the performance of the justice system, and helping the government maintain the gains made over the last decade in health, education and women’s rights. The United States also provides support for Afghan civil society, promotes increased respect for human rights, helps to fight the illegal trade in narcotics, and continues to provide significant humanitarian support. We also use our assistance programs as a means to support Afghan efforts to address official corruption and work to increase the participation of Afghan women and girls in all productive aspects of Afghan society.

The United States supports the Afghan government efforts to promote peace, security, economic development, and improved relations with its regional partners. The United States uses bilateral incentive programs and the Self-Reliance Through Mutual Accountability Framework to hold the Afghan Government accountable, to encourage it to take actions to combat corruption and improve governance, and to provide better services for the people of Afghanistan, while maintaining and expanding on the important democratic reforms and advances in women’s rights that have been made since 2001. Secretary Kerry and President Ghani announced in March 2015 an up to $800 million “New Development Partnership” that will help to maintain and build on the development gains made over the last decade and promote Afghanistan’s self-reliance by incentivizing Afghan solutions to specific development challenges.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Afghanistan signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States in 2004.There is no Bilateral Taxation Treaty between the United States and Afghanistan. Efforts are underway to improve the business climate, including strengthening Afghanistan’s commercial regulatory and legal framework to attract foreign trade and investment, as well as to stimulate additional trade with the United States through trade capacity development. Afghanistan is also working towards membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Afghanistan’s Membership in International Organizations

Afghanistan and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Afghanistan also is a Partner for Cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and is working toward accession to the WTO.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan is P. Michael McKinley; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.

Afghanistan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2341 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-483-6410).

More information about Afghanistan is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Afghanistan Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Afghanistan Page
U.S. Embassy: Afghanistan
USAID Afghanistan Page | USAID Afghanistan Mission Page
History of U.S. Relations With Afghanistan
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information

Source: U.S Department of State


Robert Williams

Editor in Chief


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Robert Williams

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