Uncertainties about the 2014 security, political, and economic transitions pervaded Afghanistan in 2013. The failure in 2013 to sign a U.S.-Afghan security agreement permitting the presence of U.S. troops after 2014 deepens those anxieties. As ISAF forces continued to withdraw from Afghanistan, Afghan security forces now have primary responsibility for Afghanistan’s security but still face critical challenges and an undefeated Taliban. Peace negotiations have been stalled. Politics were dominated by the upcoming 2014 presidential election that can renew the legitimacy of the existing political system or throw the country into turmoil.

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