The mission of the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) is economic stabilization in order to reduce violence, enhance stability, and restore economic normalcy in areas where unrest and insurgency have created a synchronous downward spiral of economic hardship and violence. TFBSO was formed by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2006 and reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
TFBSO creates stabilization by developing economic opportunities through a range of efforts, including encouraging investment by U.S. and international businesses; developing a country’s natural resources in a way that is economically sound and environmentally responsible; and assisting indigenous industrial development and growth.
TFBSO programs cover four main areas of the Afghan economy which require short-term, strategic investment with the greatest potential for long-term stability and growth.
Minerals are a key resource for Afghanistan’s economic development. They generate significant revenue and create a large numbers of jobs in exploration, extraction, processing, and other supporting industries such as construction, power, and logistics. Accelerating development of these resources could create more than $2 billion in annual royalty and tax revenues for the Afghan government. TFBSO works with the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines (MoM), United States Geological Survey (USGS), Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS), and private-sector geologists to help Afghanistan develop its mining industry in a socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible way and to attract international mining companies to invest in Afghanistan.
Access to affordable energy resources is a critical component for the development and stabilization of any nation. Although a nascent natural gas and oil sector is developing, billions of dollars of hydrocarbon resources remain undeveloped, jeopardizing energy security as Afghanistan continues to be dependent on imported fuels and electricity. TFBSO works in partnership with the Afghan government to accelerate the development of the hydrocarbon sector, thereby increasing domestic oil and natural gas production. This not only provides the Afghan government with much-needed revenue, but also attracts private investors to business opportunities driven by the availability of these fuels.
Investment and Entrepreneurship
TFBSO promotes business growth and entrepreneurship by providing business management consulting to small and medium-sized enterprises and conducting due diligence on Afghan companies to develop a pipeline for potential investors. TFBSO experts in financial analysis, accounting, business strategy, operations management, and engineering provide business management consulting to small and medium-sized enterprises and introduce these firms with potential global investment partners. Working closely with international financial institutions and private investment fund managers, the Investment Team prepares the business landscape of Afghanistan for unfamiliar investors.
TFBSO is helping revitalize traditional Afghan industries, such as hand-knotted carpet weaving, food processing, cashmere production, and artisan products to reintroduce these high-value goods to the international market. These sectors represent Afghanistan’s largest exports and hundreds of thousands of jobs across Afghanistan, in both urban and rural areas. TFBSO works closely with Afghan businesses to bring their products to international standards and facilitates access to international buyers. Renewing traditional Afghan industries and connecting the best of Afghanistan’s agricultural and artisan products to the global marketplace results in new jobs, increased revenue and raises Afghanistan’s international business profile as a country of great natural and human resources.