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Point 2: A New Mission in Afghanistan

The United Nations Mandate in Afghanistan

The US carries out its military operations in Afghanistan under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that was created by UN Security Council Resolution 1386 in 2001 and which has been re-authorized every year.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) provides the framework for economic and political assistance to Afghanistan

The mission statement of the ISAF says in part (

"ISAF, in support of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, conducts operations in Afghanistan to reduce the capability and will of the insurgency, support the growth in capacity and capability of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), and facilitate improvements in governance and socio-economic development, in order to provide a secure environment for sustainable stability that is observable to the population ...

"... Where appropriate, and in close cooperation and coordination with GIROA and UNAMA representatives on the ground, ISAF is also providing practical support for R&D efforts, as well as support for humanitarian assistance efforts conducted by Afghan government organizations, international organizations, and NGOs."

Centrality of Al Qaeda in US Mission Statements

President Obama stated in his two major speeches on Afghanistan (March 27, 2009 and December 1, 2009) that our primary goal in Afghanistan is "to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan"

CIA Estimate of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan

However, on June 27, 2010, CIA Director Leon Panetta said that only 50 to 100 Al Qaeda operatives remained in Afghanistan

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