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Diplomacy in Action

Strategic Goal 2: Effectively Manage Transitions in the Frontline States

Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
December 16, 2013


The United States' close relationship with interagency partners has enabled the United States to strengthen our national security and provide leadership in conflict areas, such as the Middle East, to promote democratic and political reforms. Countries cannot advance from conflict to peace, fragility to strength, and poverty to prosperity without inclusive, effective democratic institutions.

Afghanistan Agency Priority Goal

Goal: With mutual accountability, assistance from the United States and the international community will continue to help improve the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's (GIRoA) capacity to meet its goals and maintain stability. Bonn Conference commitments call on GIRoA to transition to a sustainable economy, namely improve revenue collection, increase the pace of economic reform, and instill a greater sense of accountability and transparency in all government operations. Strengthen Afghanistan's ability to maintain stability and development gains through transition. By September 30, 2013, U.S. Government assistance delivered will help the Afghan government increase domestic revenue level from sources such as customs and electrical tariffs from 10 percent to 12 percent of gross domestic product.

Progress towards Goal Achievement: Afghan domestic revenues rebounded in the second and third quarters of the Afghan fiscal year (April 21 through September 21, 2013) increasing by 23 percent over the disappointing first quarter and reaching levels similar to those observed 18-21 months prior. Despite the improvement since the first quarter, revenue generation YTD still lags behind revenue collected over the same period last year and falls short of targets set by the International Monetary Fund.

The majority of the growth came from increases in non-tax and miscellaneous revenues. Revenues from extractive industries though uneven and still a small contributor to overall revenue have increased by 71 percent through the first nine months of the Afghan fiscal year. Both customs and tax revenues, the primary drivers of domestic revenue, were extremely stable from the first to second quarter; second to third quarter revenues saw a decline in customs revenue of 12 percent and virtually no change in tax collection. Almost 83 percent of customs revenue came from the major provincial hubs of Herat, Balkh, Kandahar, and Nimroz.

Illustrative Indicator for Strategic Goal 2 and Afghanistan APG:

Afghanistan's Domestic Revenues as a Percentage of Gross Domestic Product
  FY 2012 FY 2013
Target 6.0% 9.0%
Actual 4.9% 6.6%

Description of Indicator: This indicator measures Afghanistan's domestic revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product. Actual values are based on reporting from the Budget Division of the Afghan Ministry of Finance and confirmed by the International Monetary Fund. The Government adjusted their fiscal calendar to begin on December 21st. As such the 13911 Afghan fiscal year only ran three quarters. We have adjusted our targets to reflect that change.

Target Met/Not Met: Target Not Met.

Data Source: Afghan Ministry of Finance, confirmed by the International Monetary Fund.

1 The year of Prophet Muhammad's migration to Medina (622 CE) is fixed as the first year of the Solar Hijri calendar, which is the official calendar of Afghanistan. (back to text)

In Focus.

Creative Solutions for Stabilizing Conflict

Photo showing Jason Lewis-Berry, State Department Field Representative, talking with Father Joseph in Obo, Central African Republic, as U.S. military advisors look on.

Jason Lewis-Berry, State Department Field Representative, talks with Father Joseph in Obo, Central African Republic, as U.S. military advisors look on. Department of State

Founded in January 2012, the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) is a vital part of the U.S. effort to more effectively help prevent conflict and support post-conflict nations recover. It advances U.S. national security by working with partners in priority countries to break cycles of violent conflict, strengthen civilian security, and mitigate crisis. This aligns with the Department's strategic goal two: effectively manage transitions in frontline states.

Guided by local dynamics, strategic planning, and data-driven analysis, CSO works quickly with partners inside and outside government. The Department considers a number of criteria when determining where to apply its effort and resources: opportunity for strategic impact within 18 months, national security priorities, development of women and youth leaders, opportunity to leverage local partnerships, and ability to test and evaluate innovative approaches.

Top-priority initiatives include CSO efforts in Syria, Honduras, and Burma.

  • Syria: Providing moderate Syrian civilian opposition groups with equipment and training to foster cohesiveness, build capacity for civil administration, and prepare for Syria's political transition.
  • Honduras: Reducing drug- and gang-related violence through support for public security reform, civil society empowerment, and community-level violence reduction programs.
  • Burma: Supporting the peacebuilding efforts of the government, minority populations, civil society and other stakeholders, and helping to build trust among parties to conflict, including through landmine risk education.

CSO has also taken action in Afghanistan, Kenya, Liberia, Belize, Central Africa, and South Sudan. Today, CSO is working in more than 20 countries to devise solutions to some of the world's toughest challenges.

Learn more.
For more information, please read the key policy fact sheet:
View video.
A video introduction to CSO may be found at:


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