More information about Afghanistan is available on the Afghanistan Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic ties with Afghanistan in 1935. In 2012, the United States and Afghanistan concluded the Strategic Partnership Agreement to strengthen our bilateral relationship, support Afghanistan’s capabilities as a partner, and improve the lives of the Afghan people. On February 29, 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed the Doha Agreement, which led to the August 30, 2021, withdrawal of U.S. and Allied forces from Afghanistan. Since the forcible takeover by the Taliban in August 2021, culminating in the fall of Kabul on August 15, the United States has shifted to a position of pragmatic engagement in Afghanistan. The United States has not yet made a decision as to whether to recognize the Taliban or any other entity as the Government of Afghanistan or as part of such a government. The U.S. has undertaken significant efforts in coordination with the international community to assist the Afghan people during a period of humanitarian and economic catastrophe.
U.S. Counterterrorism Concerns
The Doha Agreement memorialized the United States’ commitment to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, as well as commitments from the Taliban to prevent any group or individual, including Al Qa’ida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies as well as a pledge by the Taliban to engage in intra-Afghan negotiations with other Afghan groups to form a post-settlement government. The United States continues to engage with the Taliban to ensure they fully abide by these commitments.
U.S. Assistance to the Afghan People
Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, the United States has stopped providing assistance for the purpose of the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The United States has changed the nature and scope of its activities in Afghanistan to focus instead on humanitarian aid and targeted assistance to help meet basic human needs and avoid a complete and imminent economic collapse. As part of these efforts, the United States has led the international response to deliver humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people working through UN agencies and NGOs, providing $775 million in such assistance as of July 2022. The United States has advanced efforts to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance and help fulfill the basic needs of Afghans in the priority areas of food security/agriculture, health, and education. Beyond basic needs, the United States has also supported programs designed to improve human rights in Afghanistan, particularly those of women, girls, and minority communities. The United States remains the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.
The United States has made significant efforts, in coordination with other members of the international community, to avoid a collapse of the Afghan economy without benefiting the Taliban. These efforts have boosted financial sector liquidity and helped Afghan banks retain access to the international financial system.
The United States engages with Taliban representatives to urge the establishment of a credible process to form an inclusive government that fully reflects Afghanistan’s rich diversity, including meaningful representation of women and minority communities. The Doha Agreement provided a pathway for the Taliban to participate in intra-Afghan negotiations to create a post-settlement government. The United States continues to support such efforts.
Afghanistan’s Membership in International Organizations
Afghanistan and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. Afghanistan also is a Partner for Cooperation with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and joined the World Trade Organization in 2016. However, none of these organizations have accepted credentials from Taliban representatives on behalf of Afghanistan.
The Department of State suspended operations at U.S. Embassy Kabul, effective August 31, 2021, and in February 2022, established the Afghanistan Affairs Unit (AAU) in Doha, Qatar as the U.S. diplomatic mission to Afghanistan. The AAU manages our diplomacy with Afghanistan, including consular affairs, administering humanitarian assistance, and working with allies, partners, and regional and international stakeholders to coordinate our engagement and messaging to the Taliban. As of December 2021, Qatar serves as the United States’ protecting power in Afghanistan and may provide consular and other services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan. The Afghan Embassy and two consulates in the United States ceased operations on March 23, 2022.