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The current international security mission terminates at the end of 2014 and will likely transition to a smaller mission consisting mostly of training the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF). The “residual force” that will likely remain in Afghanistan after 2014 is expected to consist of about 6,000-
Fearing instability after 2014, some ethnic and political faction leaders are reviving their militia forces should the international drawdown lead to a major Taliban push to retake power. No matter the size of an international residual force, some in the Administration remain concerned that Afghan stability after 2014 is at risk from weak and corrupt Afghan governance and insurgent safe havens in Pakistan. U.S. and partner country anti-
The United States and other donors continue to fund development projects, increasingly delegating project implementation to the Afghan government. U.S. officials assert that Afghanistan might be able to exploit vast mineral and agricultural resources, as well as its potentially significant hydrocarbon resources, to prevent a major economic downturn as international donors scale back their involvement. Even if these efforts succeed, Afghanistan will likely remain dependent on foreign aid indefinitely. The anticipated U.S. aid for FY2014 is over $10 billion, including $7.7 billion to train and equip the ANSF. Administration officials have said that economic aid requests for Afghanistan are likely to continue roughly at recent levels through at least FY2017.