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U.S. Military Withdrawal and Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan: Frequently Asked Questions

CRS Report – U.S. Military Withdrawal and Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan: Frequently Asked Questions, August 20, 2021: “On August 15, 2021, the Taliban entered the Afghan capital of Kabul, completing a rapid takeover over the country that surprised many Afghans and Americans alike. The Taliban’s advance came as the United States was completing the military withdrawal to which it agreed in the February 2020 U.S.-Taliban accord. The fall of the elected Afghan government, supported by billions of dollars in U.S. assistance over the course of nearly two decades, raises significant questions about past, present, and future U.S. policy for Members of Congress. This report provides material related to select questions associated with U.S. policy in Afghanistan, including: Background information useful for understanding the current situation in Afghanistan; The Taliban takeover and Afghan government’s collapse; U.S. policy implications of the Taliban takeover; Social and economic implications of the Taliban takeover; Regional reactions to the Taliban’s takeover; U.S. military operations; and  Budgetary implications of the U.S. withdrawal. Some additional lines of inquiry that Congress may wish to explore with the Executive Branch are included alongside specific topics as appropriate. The report concludes with some strategic considerations Congress may wish to contemplate as it assesses the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for the future.With a general U.S. target date for the completion of the military withdrawal and evacuation operation set at August 31, 2021, the situation on the ground remains extremely fluid. This report will be updated to reflect major changes in U.S. policy or developments in Afghanistan that may significantly affect U.S. decisions…”

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