The United States recognized Afghanistan in 1921 after its independence from the United Kingdom, and diplomatic relations were established in 1935. The first U.S. Legation in Kabul opened in 1942 and was elevated to embassy status in 1948. However, the embassy closed in 1989 due to safety concerns; it reopened in 2002 after NATO forces overthrew the Taliban. Construction was completed on a new embassy compound in 2005.
The United States military has been engaged in Afghanistan since 2001. In addition to contributing to helping Afghan forces become more effective, professional, and sustainable, U.S. forces are continuing to disrupt and degrade al-Qaeda and Islamic State activities in Afghanistan, through partnered operations with Afghan forces, as well as unilateral operations. Combatting these groups is a continued priority for the United States, as we work to ensure that Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for terrorism.
We focus our development assistance on promoting economic growth, building the capacity of civilian institutions, improving the performance of the justice system, and helping the government maintain, and improve upon, the gains made over the last decade in health, education, and women’s rights. The United States also provides support for Afghan civil society, promotes increased respect for human rights, helps to fight the illegal trade in narcotics, and continues to provide significant humanitarian support.
Following controversial 2014 presidential elections in Afghanistan, the United States helped to mediate a political agreement that called for the United Nations to audit the vote, with the resulting winner becoming President and the runner-up the Chief Executive, a new position created in the agreement. The United States remains firmly committed to the unity government of Afghanistan that emerged from this process, marking the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history. Today the U.S. embassy is in Kabul. For more information on our relationship with Afghanistan, please click here.
Source, United States Department of State, Office of the Historian and Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.