(Reuters) - The White House is conducting a review of the war in Afghanistan a year after President Barack Obama unveiled his revised strategy to defeat militants and bring security to one of the world’s poorest, most violent nations.
As pressure builds in the West to end an unpopular war that began in late 2001, Obama has said allied forces will begin to hand control of security to Afghan forces next year, with a goal to complete that transition by the end of 2014.
Officials say the new strategy is paying off as higher troop levels and growing participation by Afghan forces have halted the momentum of the insurgents -- even as violence hits an all-time high in recent months and new polling shows Afghans are more pessimistic about their nation’s direction.
Below are facts about the Obama administration’s review of Afghanistan strategy:
WHAT IS THE AFGHANISTAN REVIEW?
The White House’s National Security Council will use the review to assess progress in meeting the goals laid out a year ago and will examine where Afghanistan is today in counterterrorism, security, development and governance.
It will also look at the Afghan government’s plan to broker peace talks with elements of the Taliban movement and the growth and quality of local security forces.
The review essentially asks whether the revamped strategy is working but is not expected to contain recommendations for alternate policies.
It will also examine the success of the U.S. strategy on Pakistan, which is centered around elimination of militant safe havens within that country’s borders.
WHEN WILL THE REVIEW BE MADE PUBLIC?
The review is expected to be given to Congress sometime in December and released to the public in the week of December 13.
WHO CONTRIBUTES TO THE REVIEW?
The review will contain input from U.S. and NATO military officials, the U.S. State Department and other government agencies and the Afghan and Pakistani governments.
It will also draw from media reports and international opinion polls.
HOW WILL ITS CONCLUSIONS BE USED?
Officials say the review may result in tweaking of the way the U.S. military and civilian teams operate in Afghanistan or in a shifting of resources from one part of the country to another. But it is not expected to prompt any major changes to strategy or to operations on the ground.
Reporting by Missy Ryan in Washington; Editing by John O’Callaghan
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.