U.S. congressional actions relating to Afghanistan

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In October 2001, the U.S. military, with substantial assistance from the Northern Alliance, invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban government. The Taliban had been harboring members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, who had one month prior attacked the U.S. (see 9/11 attacks). The Taliban was easily overthrown (though remnants resurfaced continually), and the U.S. began aiding the country in establishing a new government. This page deals with congressional actions pertaining to Afghanistan.



Contents

110th Congress

Afghanistan Freedom and Security Support Act of 2007

The bill, considered by the House on June 6, 2007, reauthorized a 2002 measure aimed at aiding the Afghanistan government. Specifically, it addressed the following[1]:


Non-military assistance

Included with spending and strategies to reduce poppy growing was support of economic and democratic development, as well as increased monitoring and coordination of the assistance. The bill reaffirmed U.S. policy to work with Afghanistan and neighboring countries to assure that sovereignty and territorial integrity and political independence of those countries would not be threatened and to support the goal of an independent and neutral Afghanistan. Those goals would be accomplished with continued deployment of U.S. troops to Afghanistan.[2]

A pilot program was ordered to test the effectiveness of substituting poppy crops for others and to provide information on what measures are needed to implement such a replacement and provide assistance. The bill also authorized assistance in apprehending individuals who organize, facilitate and profit from the drug trade and to destroy drug laboratories.[3]

Assistance was offered for Afghan women and girls, independent human rights and other humanitarian organizations within the country. Also, assistance was provided for energy development and short-term energy supply through local energy sources, new power generation and energy transportation, as well as short-term energy resources such as diesel fuel to create electricity.[4]

Democracy and education

Democracy building funding was increased to help build Afghan governmental institutions at the national, provincial and local levels. The Secretary of State was required to establish a pilot program to provide scholarships to undergraduate and graduate Afghan students for public policy scholarships in the U.S. The program would also be available to Afghan expatriates.[5]

Military assistance

A $300 million drawdown was authorized for the Department of Defense to provide equipment and services from existing materiel inventory and the president is authorized to provide a subsidy up to 5% for the acquisition of U.S. defense items to other countries participating in military operations in Afghanistan.[6]

Humanitarian assistance for war victims

Continued assistance for families of Afghan civilians or innocent Afghans who had suffered a serious loss during military operations was authorized. The president was required to report on the feasibility of expanding the program to assess providing assistance to families who had lost a primary source of income and on providing money in excess of $2,500 to families of Afghan civilians and to explore other payments.[7]

Passage

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), passed 406-10.[8]


Articles and resources

See also

References

  1. Robert McElroy, "U.S. & the World," TheWeekInCongress, June 8, 2007.
  2. Robert McElroy, "U.S. & the World," TheWeekInCongress, June 8, 2007.
  3. Robert McElroy, "U.S. & the World," TheWeekInCongress, June 8, 2007.
  4. Robert McElroy, "U.S. & the World," TheWeekInCongress, June 8, 2007.
  5. Robert McElroy, "U.S. & the World," TheWeekInCongress, June 8, 2007.
  6. Robert McElroy, "U.S. & the World," TheWeekInCongress, June 8, 2007.
  7. Robert McElroy, "U.S. & the World," TheWeekInCongress, June 8, 2007.
  8. Robert McElroy, "U.S. & the World," TheWeekInCongress, June 8, 2007.

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