Joint Declaration of the United States-Afghanistan Strategic
Since the fall of the Taliban regime in December 2001, the United States and
Afghanistan have made great progress in the pursuit of common strategic
objectives. Together we have disrupted international terrorist networks and
worked to ensure that Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven for
terrorists. The United States has supported the Afghan people as they have
established a moderate, representative government. During this time, the U.S.
Government and the American people have demonstrated a commitment to an
Afghanistan that is democratic, free, and able to provide for its own security.
Afghanistan expresses the profound gratitude of the Afghan people to the
people of the United States of America. Thanks to the generosity of the American
people and U.S. leadership, this extraordinary effort has enabled the Afghan
people to regain hope and confidence and to renew their vision for achieving
prosperity and peace.
Afghanistan confronts important challenges to its security and its efforts to
build a government based on democratic principles, respect for human rights,
and a market economy. To address these challenges, Afghanistan proposed that the
United States join in a strategic partnership and establish close cooperation,
including regular, high-level exchanges on the political, security, and
economic issues contained herein and other issues of mutual interest. The
United States and Afghanistan plan to work together to develop appropriate
arrangements and agreements to implement their strategic partnership.
This shared effort will be based on a number of key principles, including a
dedication to the rule of law, protection of the human rights and civil
liberties of all individuals regardless of ethnic affiliations or gender,
support for democratic governance, and reliance on the free market as the best
means to further Afghanistan's economic progress. The strategic partnership's
primary goal will be to strengthen U.S.-Afghan ties to help ensure Afghanistan's
long-term security, democracy, and prosperity. It should contribute to peaceful
and productive relations between Afghanistan and its neighbors. It is not
directed against any third country.
This partnership will serve as the basis for our common efforts to cooperate
in the war against international terror and the struggle against violent
extremism, to promote stability and prosperity in the region, and to remain
steadfast in supporting Afghanistan's campaign to eradicate poppy cultivation,
provide alternate livelihoods assistance, and fight the production and
trafficking of drugs. The partnership will be anchored in the constitutions of
our two countries, and will be guided by the United States and Afghanistan's
respective obligations under the United Nations Charter and other international
agreements and conventions.
Decades of civil war, political violence, and interference in Afghanistan's
internal affairs make Afghanistan's security, sovereignty, independence, and
territorial integrity particularly crucial areas for U.S.- Afghan cooperation.
To enhance Afghanistan's long-term democracy, prosperity, and security, we
intend to work closely together:
FOR DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE
- Support democratic good governance and the development of civil society
based on the rule of law and human rights and encourage broad- based political
participation in Afghanistan.
- Help build strong, lasting Afghan Government and civic institutions and
support political traditions that are efficient and responsive to the needs of
the Afghan people.
- Encourage the advancement of freedom and democracy in the wider
- Support Afghanistan's initiative to restore the country's historic role as
a land bridge connecting Central and South Asia and to shift the pattern of
regional relations from rivalry to economic and political cooperation.
- Foster cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbors and deter
meddling in its internal affairs.
- Support people-to-people exchanges and partnerships to strengthen ties
between American and Afghan society, thereby fostering common outlooks and
collaboration on the challenges and opportunities before us.
- Facilitate and support Afghanistan's integration into regional and world
economies and appropriate international organizations.
- Help develop a legal and institutional framework for a thriving private
sector and an environment favorable to international investment in
- Encourage and facilitate involvement of U.S. businesses in ventures that
accelerate the development of Afghan firms and the private sector.
- Continue the reconstruction of Afghanistan and investments in the people
of Afghanistan and encourage other nations to do so.
- Help organize, train, equip, and sustain Afghan security forces as
Afghanistan develops the capacity to undertake this responsibility.
- Consult with respect to taking appropriate measures in the event that
Afghanistan perceives that its territorial integrity, independence, or
security is threatened or at risk.
- Assist the Afghan Government in security sector reform.
- Continue to conduct counter-terrorism operations in cooperation with
- Support Coalition assistance to the Afghan Government's counter-narcotics
- Continue intelligence sharing.
- Strengthen Afghanistan's ties with NATO.
- Support border security initiatives.
It is understood that in order to achieve the objectives contained herein,
U.S. military forces operating in Afghanistan will continue to have access to
Bagram Air Base and its facilities, and facilities at other locations as may be
mutually determined and that the U.S. and Coalition forces are to continue to
have the freedom of action required to conduct appropriate military operations
based on consultations and pre-agreed procedures.
As Afghan Government capabilities increase, Afghanistan will continue to
cooperate against terrorism, to promote regional security, and to combat the
drug trade; the Afghan Government, over time, will move to assume Afghan
security force sustainment costs; and the Afghan Government intends to maintain
capabilities for the detention, as appropriate, of persons apprehended in the
War on Terror.
As Afghanistan develops its political system, the United States looks to
Afghanistan to respect human rights and develop a just and inclusive society.
Regular, free, and fair democratic elections, a free press, and the active
implementation of Afghanistan's constitution are hallmarks of the necessary
commitment to these principles. The United States relies on the Government of
Afghanistan to maintain its firm commitment against the production, processing,
and trafficking of narcotics and to assume responsibility for countering
narcotics as police, prosecutorial, and prison capacity is developed and
enhanced. Finally, the United States relies on Afghanistan's commitment to
create a legal framework and an environment favorable to private sector and
domestic and international investment that offers economic opportunities to all
The Afghan people have made tremendous sacrifices and shown great courage in
the pursuit of freedom. The United States shares their vision of a country that
is democratic, at peace, and working to improve the lives of all Afghans and
that plays an important and positive role in the affairs of the region and the
world. We are confident that the U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership will play a
central role in helping Afghanistan achieve these goals.
GEORGE W. BUSH
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
PRESIDENT OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN
Source: United States White House Press Office / May 23, 2005