International Security Assistance Force

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"ISAF" redirects here. For the sailing body, see International Sailing Federation
International Sailing Federation
The International Sailing Federation is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the world governing body for the sport of sailing....

. For other uses, see ISAF (disambiguation)

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 established by the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1386
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1386, adopted unanimously on December 20, 2001, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly resolutions 1378 and 1383 , the Council authorised the establishment of the International Security Assistance Force to assist...

 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement
Bonn Agreement (Afghanistan)
Officially the Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-Establishment of Permanent Government Institutions, the Bonn Agreement was the initial series of agreements intended to re-create the State of Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in response to the...

. It is engaged in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

.

ISAF was initially charged with securing Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 and surrounding areas from the Taliban, al Qaeda and factional warlords, so as to allow for the establishment of the Afghan Transitional Administration
Afghan Transitional Administration
The Afghan Transitional Administration was the name of a temporary administration of Afghanistan put in place by the 2002 Loya Jirga and followed the Afghan Interim Administration which was installed after the Bonn Conference.-Background:Following the US Invasion in Afghanistan, a UN sponsored...

 headed by Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

. In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorized the expansion of the ISAF mission throughout Afghanistan, and ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country. Since 2006, ISAF has been involved in more intensive combat operations in southern Afghanistan, a tendency which continued in 2007 and 2008. Attacks on ISAF in other parts of Afghanistan are also mounting.

Troop contributors include the United States
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, United Kingdom
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Turkey
Turkish Armed Forces
The Turkish Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of Turkey. They consist of the Army, the Navy , and the Air Force...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

. The intensity of the combat faced by contributing nations varies greatly, with the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Denmark sustaining substantial casualties in intensive combat operations.

Jurisdiction



For almost two years, the ISAF mandate did not go beyond the boundaries of Kabul. According to General Norbert Van Heyst
Norbert van heyst
Lieutenant General Norbert Van Heyst is a senior commander in the German Army. In early 2003 he was appointed the commander of the International Security Assistance Force. On August 11, 2003, control of ISAF was handed to NATO with Van Heyst being replaced by Lieutenant General Goetz Gliemeroth,...

, such a deployment would require at least an extra ten thousand soldiers. The responsibility for security throughout the whole of Afghanistan was to be given to the newly-reconstituted Afghan armed forces
Military of Afghanistan
The military of Afghanistan is composed of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Army Air Force . Being a landlocked country, Afghanistan has no navy, and the private security forces who are sometimes seen wearing military uniforms are not part of Afghanistan's military...

. However, on 13 October 2003, the Security Council voted unanimously to expand the ISAF mission beyond Kabul in Resolution 1510. Shortly thereafter, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

 said that Canadian soldiers (nearly half of the entire force at that time) would not deploy outside Kabul.

On 24 October 2003, the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Bundestag
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

 voted to send German troops to the region of Kunduz
Kunduz
Kunduz also known as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. It is linked by highways with Mazari Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Tajikistan's border to the north...

. Around 230 additional soldiers were deployed to that region, marking the first time that ISAF soldiers operated outside of Kabul.

After the Afghan National Assembly and Provincial Council elections in the fall of 2005, the Canadian base Camp Julien
Camp Julien
Camp Julien was the main base for the Canadian contingent of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan.The camp was named after Corporal George Patrick Julien, a Canadian soldier who was awarded the Military Medal as a Private, for his actions at Hill 187 in Korea in May 1953...

 at Kabul closed, and remaining Canadian assets moved to Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in preparation for a significant deployment in January 2006.

At 31 July 2006, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force assumed command of the south of the country, ISAF Stage 3, and by 5 October also of the east of Afghanistan, ISAF stage 4.

ISAF is mandated by the United Nations Security Council Resolution
United Nations Security Council Resolution
A United Nations Security Council resolution is a UN resolution adopted by the fifteen members of the Security Council; the UN body charged with "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security"....

s 1386
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1386
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1386, adopted unanimously on December 20, 2001, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly resolutions 1378 and 1383 , the Council authorised the establishment of the International Security Assistance Force to assist...

, 1413
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1413
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1413, adopted unanimously on May 23, 2002, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly Resolution 1386 and resolutions 1368 and 1373 on terrorism, the Council extended the authorisation of the International Security...

, 1444
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1444
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1444, adopted unanimously on November 27, 2002, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly resolutions 1386 and 1413 and resolutions 1368 and 1373 on terrorism, the Council extended the authorisation of the...

, 1510
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1510
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1510, adopted unanimously on October 13, 2003, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly resolutions 1386 , 1413 and 1444 , and resolutions 1368 and 1373 on terrorism, the Council extended the authorisation of the...

, 1563
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1563
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1563, adopted unanimously on September 17, 2004, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly resolutions 1386 , 1413 , 1444 and 1510 , and resolutions 1368 and 1373 on terrorism, the Council extended the authorisation...

, 1623
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1623
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1623, adopted unanimously on September 13, 2005, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly resolutions 1386 , 1413 , 1444 , 1510 and 1563 , and resolutions 1368 and 1373 on terrorism, the Council extended the...

, , , (with an abstention from Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 due to the lack of clarity in the wording pertaining to the coalition Force's maritime interception component, which has not appeared in any of the Security Council's previous resolutions.) and Resolution 1917
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1917
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1917, adopted unanimously on March 22, 2010, after recalling its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular resolutions 1868 , 1662 and 1659 , the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan until March...

 (2010). The last of these extended the mandate of ISAF to 23 March 2011.

The mandates the different governments give to their forces differ from country to country. Some governments wish to take a full part in counter-insurgency
Counter-insurgency
A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency involves actions taken by the recognized government of a nation to contain or quell an insurgency taken up against it...

 operations; some are in Afghanistan for NATO alliance reasons; some are in the country partially because they wish to maintain their relationship with the United States federal government, and, possibly, some are there for domestic political reasons. This means that ISAF suffers from a certain lack of united aims.

History


The initial ISAF headquarters was based on 3rd UK Mechanised Division, led at the time by Major General John McColl
John McColl
General Sir John Chalmers McColl KCB, CBE, DSO is the current Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. He was sworn in on 26 September 2011. He was formerly Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.-Army career:...

. This force arrived in December 2001. Until ISAF expanded beyond Kabul, the Force consisted of a roughly division-level headquarters and one brigade covering this capital, the Kabul Multinational Brigade. The brigade was composed of three battle groups, and was in charge of the tactical command of deployed troops. ISAF headquarters serves as the operational control center of the mission.

ISAF command originally rotated among different nations on a 6-month basis. However, there was tremendous difficulty securing new lead nations. To solve the problem, command was turned over indefinitely to NATO on 11 August 2003. This marked NATO's first deployment outside Europe or North America.
  • Eighteen countries were contributing to the force in February 2002. It was expected to grow to 5,000 soldiers
  • In February 2002 South Korea
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

     sent a medical contingent of 99 soldiers.
  • In June 2002: Major General Hilmi Akin Zorlu of Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     took command. During this period, Turkish troops increased from about 100 to 1,300.
  • Between February and July 2002, Portugal
    Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

     sent a sanitary team and an air team to ISAF.
  • In November 2002 ISAF, consisting of 4,650 troops from over 20 countries, was led by Turkey. Around 1,200 German troops were serving in the force alongside 250 Dutch soldiers operating as part of a German-led battalion.
  • On 10 February 2003 Lieutenant General Norbert van Heyst
    Norbert van heyst
    Lieutenant General Norbert Van Heyst is a senior commander in the German Army. In early 2003 he was appointed the commander of the International Security Assistance Force. On August 11, 2003, control of ISAF was handed to NATO with Van Heyst being replaced by Lieutenant General Goetz Gliemeroth,...

    , on behalf of Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     and the Netherlands took command of ISAF. His Deputy was Brigadier General Bertholee
    Rob Bertholee
    Lieutenant General Rob A.C. Bertholee is an officer of the Royal Netherlands Army. He is currently the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army. He has a wife and one daughter.-Military career:...

     of the Netherlands. The mission HQ was formed from HQ I. German/Dutch Corps
    I. German/Dutch Corps
    1 German/Netherlands Corps is a multinational formation consisting of units from both the Royal Dutch Army and German Army. It is also part of NATO's Response Force, a military force consisting of approximately 25,000 troops. The Corps' headquarters are situated in Münster , formerly the...

     (1GNC), including staff from the UK, Italy, Turkey and Norway amongst others.
  • In March 2003 ISAF was composed of 4,700 troops from 28 countries.
  • Service in ISAF by NATO personnel from 1 June 2003 onward earns the right to wear the NATO Medal
    NATO Medal
    The NATO Medal is an international military decoration which is awarded to various militaries of the world under the authority of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization . It is manufactured by Eekelers - Centini, International, of Hemiksem, Belgium...

     if a servicemember meets a defined set of tour length requirements.
  • On 7 June 2003 in Kabul, a taxi packed with explosives rammed a bus carrying German ISAF personnel, killing four soldiers and wounding 29 others; one Afghan bystander was killed and 10 Afghan bystanders were wounded. The 33 German soldiers, after months on duty in Kabul, were en route to the Kabul International Airport for their flight home to Germany. At the time, Germans soldiers made up more than 40% of ISAF.
  • A study by Care International in the summer of 2003 reported that Kosovo
    Kosovo
    Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

     had one peacekeeper to 48 people, East Timor
    East Timor
    The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

     one for every 86, while Afghanistan has just one for every 5,380 people.

Stage 1: to the north – completed October 2004

  • On 11 August 2003, NATO took command of ISAF. ISAF consisted of 5,000 troops from more than 30 countries. About 90% of the force were contributed by NATO nations. 1,950 were Canadian, by far the largest single contingent. About 2,000 German troops were involved. Romania had about 400 troops at the time.
  • The first ISAF rotation under the command of NATO was led by Lieutenant General Goetz Gliemeroth, Germany, with Canadian Army Major General Andrew Leslie
    Andrew Leslie
    Lieutenant-General Andrew Brooke Leslie, CMM, MSC, MSM, CD is the Chief of Transformation of the Canadian Forces, and a former Chief of the Land Staff.-Background:...

     as his deputy. Canada had been originally slated to take over command of ISAF on 11 August.
  • 13 October 2003: Resolution 1510 passed by the UNSC opened the way to a wider role for ISAF to support the Government of Afghanistan beyond Kabul.
  • In December 2003, the North Atlantic Council
    North Atlantic Council
    North Atlantic Council is the most senior political governing body of NATO established by Article 9 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The NAC can be held at the Permanent Representative Level , or can be composed of member states' Ministers of State, Defense, or Heads of Government. The NAC has the...

     authorised the Supreme Allied Commander
    Supreme Allied Commander
    Supreme Allied Commander is the title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances. It originated as a term used by the Western Allies during World War II, and is currently used only within NATO. Dwight Eisenhower served as Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary...

    , General James Jones, to initiate the expansion of ISAF by taking over command of the German-led PRT in Kunduz. The other eight PRTs operating in Afghanistan in 2003 remained under the command of Operation Enduring Freedom, the continuing US-led military operation in Afghanistan. On 31 December 2003, the military component of the Kunduz PRT was placed under ISAF command as a pilot project and first step in the expansion of the mission. Six months later, on 28 June 2004, at the Summit meeting of the NATO Heads of State and Government in Istanbul
    Istanbul
    Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

    , NATO announced that it would establish four other provincial reconstruction teams in the north of the country: in Mazar-i-Sharif, Meymana, Feyzabad
    Fayzabad, Badakhshan
    See also: Faizabad Fayzabad is the provincial capital and largest city in Badakhshan Province, in northern Afghanistan, with around 50,000 people. It is situated in Fayzabad District and is at an altitude of 1,200 m. It is located in the northeast of Afghanistan, on the River Kokcha...

     and Baghlan
    Baghlan
    Baghlan is a city in northern Afghanistan, in the eponymous province, Baghlan Province. It is located three miles east of the Kunduz River, 35 miles south of Khanabad, and about 1,700 metres above sea level in the northern Hindu Kush...

    . After the completion of Stage 1 the ISAF's area of operations then covered some 3,600 square kilometres in the north and the mission was able to influence security in nine Northern provinces of the country.
  • As late as November 2003, the entire ISAF force had three helicopter
    Helicopter
    A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

    s.
  • On 9 February 2004 Lieutenant General Rick Hillier
    Rick Hillier
    General Rick Hillier, CMM, MSC, CD , is the former Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces. He held this appointment from February 4, 2005 to July 1, 2008. He retired on July 1, 2008, and was replaced by former Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff Walter Natynczyk...

     of Canada took command, with Major General Werner Korte
    Werner Körte
    Werner Körte was a German surgeon who was a native of Berlin. He was the brother of archaeologist Gustav Körte and philologist Alfred Körte ....

     of Germany as deputy. During this timeframe, Canada was the largest contributor to the ISAF force, contributing 2,000 troops.
  • In May 2004, Turkey sent three helicopters and 56 flight and maintenance personnel to work in ISAF.
  • In July 2004, Portugal sent 24 soldiers and one C-130 Hercules cargo plane to assist ISAF.
  • On 7 August 2004: General Jean-Louis Py, commander of Eurocorps
    Eurocorps
    Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

     took command of ISAF. Eurocorps contributors deploying to Afghanistan included France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    , Germany, Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    , Belgium
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

     and Luxembourg
    Luxembourg
    Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

    . Canada reduced its forces to about 800 personnel.
  • In September 2004, a Spanish battalion
    Battalion
    A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

     (about 800 personnel) arrived to provide the ISAF Quick Reaction Force, and an Italian Army
    Italian Army
    The Italian Army is the ground defence force of the Italian Armed Forces. It is all-volunteer force of active-duty personnel, numbering 108,355 in 2010. Its best-known combat vehicles are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro tank destroyer and the Ariete tank, and among its aircraft...

     battalion (up to 1,000 troops) arrived to provide the in-theatre Operational Reserve Force. With a force of 100, Georgia
    Georgia (country)
    Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

     became the first Commonwealth of Independent States
    Commonwealth of Independent States
    The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

     country to send an operational force to Afghanistan.
  • Stage 1 (North) was completed at October 2004 under the Regional Command of Germany.

Stage 2: to the west – completed September 2005

  • In February 2005: General Ethem Erdagi (Turkey) took command
  • On 10 February 2005, NATO announced that ISAF would be further expanded, into the west of Afghanistan. This process began on 31 May 2006, when ISAF took on command of two additional Provincial Reconstruction Team
    Provincial reconstruction team
    A Provincial Reconstruction Team is a unit introduced by the United States government, consisting of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, working to support reconstruction efforts in unstable states. PRTs were first established in Afghanistan in late 2001 or...

    s, in the provinces of Herat and Farah and of a Forward Support Base (a logistic base) in Herat. At the beginning of September, two further ISAF-led PRTs in the west became operational, one in Chaghcharan, capital of Ghor province, and one in Qala-e-Naw, capital of Baghdis province, completing ISAF's expansion into the west. The extended ISAF mission led a total of nine PRTs, in the north and the west, providing security assistance in 50% of Afghanistan's territory.
  • As the area of responsibility was increased, ISAF also took command of an increasing number of PRTs, with the aim of improving security and facilitating reconstruction outside the capital. The first nine PRTs (and lead nations) were based at Baghlan
    Baghlan
    Baghlan is a city in northern Afghanistan, in the eponymous province, Baghlan Province. It is located three miles east of the Kunduz River, 35 miles south of Khanabad, and about 1,700 metres above sea level in the northern Hindu Kush...

     (Netherlands, then Hungary at October 2006), Chaghcharan
    Chaghcharan
    Chaghcharān , in historical literature as Chakhcherān, formerly known as Ahangaran, is a town and district in central Afghanistan, which serves as the capital of Ghor Province...

     (Lithuania), Farah
    Farah, Afghanistan
    Farah is a city in western Afghanistan, situated at 650 m altitude, and located on the Farah River. It is the capital of Farah Province, and has a population of approximately 109,409....

     (U.S.), Fayzabad
    Fayzabad, Badakhshan
    See also: Faizabad Fayzabad is the provincial capital and largest city in Badakhshan Province, in northern Afghanistan, with around 50,000 people. It is situated in Fayzabad District and is at an altitude of 1,200 m. It is located in the northeast of Afghanistan, on the River Kokcha...

     (Germany), Herat
    Herat
    Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

     (Italy), Kunduz (Germany), Mazar-i-Sharif (UK, then Denmark/Sweden, now Sweden and Finland), Maymana (UK, then Norway), Qala-e Naw
    Qala i Naw, Afghanistan
    Qala i Naw is a town in Qala i Naw District and the capital of Badghis Province, of north-west Afghanistan. Its population is estimated 9,000 in 2006.It has a small airport, Qala i Naw Airport....

     (Spain).
  • In May 2005 ISAF Stage 2 took place, doubling the size of the territory ISAF was responsible for. The new area was the former US Regional Command West
    Regional Command West
    Regional Command West is a multinational military formation, part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. It is tasked with controlling Herat Province, Farah Province, Badghis Province and Ghor Province, which have a population of about 3,156,000 people...

     consisting of Badghis, Farah, Ghor, and Herat Provinces.
  • 5 August 2005: Italian General Mauro del Vecchio
    Mauro del Vecchio
    General Mauro Del Vecchio , of the Italian army, commanded the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan from August 2005 to May 2006. He was succeeded by British general David Richards.- Life and career :...

     assumed command of ISAF. During 2005 Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

     commanded four multinational military operations: in Afghanistan, Bosnia
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

    , Kosovo
    Kosovo
    Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

     and Albania
    Albania
    Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

    .
  • September 2005: ISAF Stage 2 was completed under the Regional Command of Italy. In September 2005, the Alliance also temporarily deployed 2,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to support the 18 September provincial and parliamentary elections.
  • On 27 January 2006, it was announced in the British Parliament that ISAF would replace U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom troops in Helmand Province
    Helmand Province
    Helmand is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the southwest of the country. Its capital is Lashkar Gah. The Helmand River flows through the mainly desert region, providing water for irrigation....

    . The British 16th Air Assault Brigade became the core of the force in Helmand Province.
  • In February 2006, the Netherlands decided to expand the troop contribution with an extra 1,400 soldiers.
  • On 22 May 2006, a British Army
    British Army
    The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

     WAH-64 Apache gunship fired a Hellfire missile to destroy a French armored jeep that had been disabled during a firefight with Taliban forces in North Helmand province the previous day, as it was decided that attempting to recover the vehicle would have been too dangerous. This is the first time UK Apaches have opened fire in a hostile theatre and this would be, in a fashion, the WAH-64's first "combat kill".

Stage 3: to the south – completed July 2006


  • On 8 December 2005, meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

    , the Allied Foreign Ministers endorsed a plan that paved the way for an expanded ISAF role and presence in Afghanistan. The first element of this plan was the expansion of ISAF to the south in 2006, also known as Stage 3. At the completion of this stage the ISAF assumed command of the southern region of Afghanistan from US-led Coalition forces, expanding its area of operations to cover an additional six provinces – Day Kundi, Helmand, Kandahar
    Kandahar Province
    Kandahar or Qandahar is one of the largest of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in southern Afghanistan, between Helmand, Oruzgan and Zabul provinces. Its capital is the city of Kandahar, which is located on the Arghandab River. The province has a population of nearly...

    , Nimroz, Uruzgan and Zabul – and taking on command of four additional PRTs. The expanded ISAF led a total of 13 PRTs in the north, west and south, covering some three-quarters of Afghanistan's territory. The number of ISAF forces in the country also increased significantly, from about 10,000 prior to the expansion to about 20,000 after.
  • 4 May 2006: United Kingdom General David Richards
    David Richards (general)
    General Sir David Julian Richards, GCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Gen is a senior British Army officer, currently the Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces. He succeeded Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup in this role on 29 October 2010...

     assumed command of the ISAF IX force in Afghanistan. The mission is led by the Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
  • 31 July 2006, Stage 3 was completed: The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force also assumed command in six provinces of the south. Regional Command South
    Regional Command South
    Regional Command is a multinational military formation, part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. It is responsible for provincial reconstruction and security in Kandahar, Lashkar Gah, Qalat and Tarin Kowt. The Command also has responsibility for the provinces of Nimruz...

     was established at Kandahar. Led by Canada, 8,000 soldiers are now positioned there.
  • With the Taliban regrouping, especially in its birthplace of Kandahar province bordering Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    , NATO launched its biggest offensive against the guerrillas at the weekend of 2 September and 3 September 2006 (Operation Medusa
    Operation Medusa
    Operation Medusa was a Canadian-led offensive by major elements of the International Security Assistance Force, Afghan National Army and an A-Team from the 3rd Special Forces Group, as part of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. It aimed to establish government control over an area of Kandahar...

    ). NATO says it has killed more than 250 Taliban fighters, but the Taliban says NATO casualty estimates are exaggerated.
  • On 7 September 2006, a British soldier was killed and six wounded when their patrol strayed into an unmarked minefield in Helmand, the major drug-growing province west of Kandahar.
  • On 28 September 2006, the North Atlantic Council gave final authorization for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (NATO-ISAF) to expand its area of operations to 14 additional provinces in the east of Afghanistan, boosting NATO's presence and role in the country. With this further expansion, NATO-ISAF will assist the Government of Afghanistan in providing security throughout the whole of the country. The expansion will see the NATO-ISAF controlling 32,000 troops from 37 countries, although the alliance is already struggling to find extra troops to hold off a spiraling Taliban-led insurgency in the volatile south.

Stage 4: ISAF takes responsibility for entire country – completed October 2006

  • On 5 October 2006, ISAF implemented the final stage of its expansion, by taking on command of the international military forces in eastern Afghanistan from the US-led Coalition. In addition to expanding the Alliance's area of operations, the revised operational plan also paved the way for a greater ISAF role in the country. This includes the deployment of ISAF OMLTs to Afghan National Army units at various levels of command.
  • 10,000 more coalition troops moved under NATO command. 31,000 ISAF troops are now in Afghanistan. 8,000 US troops continue training and counter-terrorism separately.
  • 21 October 2006: The Canadian government grew increasingly frustrated over the unwillingness of mainly European NATO members to deploy troops to help fight mounting Taliban resistance in the south.

ISAF Post Stage 4: October 2006 to present


  • November 2006: A study by the Joint Co-ordinating and Monitoring Board, made up of the Afghan government, its key foreign backers and the UN, suggested that more than 3,700 people died from January to November 2006. The majority of the dead appear to be insurgents, but it is estimated that 1,000 civilians have also been killed this year, along with members of the Afghan National Army
    Afghan National Army
    The Afghan National Army is a service branch of the military of Afghanistan, which is currently trained by the coalition forces to ultimately take the role in land-based military operations in Afghanistan. , the Afghan National Army is divided into seven regional Corps. The strength of the Afghan...

    , ISAF, and U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom forces.
  • 28–29 November 2006: NATO summit at Riga (Latvia). Combat curbs were the most contentious issue at the two-day summit in Latvia, following tension over the reluctance of France, Germany, Spain and Italy to send their troops to southern Afghanistan. Countries agreeing to ease the restrictions on deployment against the Taliban insurgency include the Dutch, Romanians and smaller nations such as Slovenia and Luxembourg. France, Germany, Spain and Italy have said they will now send help to trouble zones outside their areas, but only in emergencies. The summit also saw several countries offer additional troops and training teams. France agreed to send more helicopters and aircraft. NATO commanders say they believe they can move an extra 2,500 troops around the country now some smaller members have relaxed their mission conditions.
  • 15 December 2006: ISAF starts a new offensive, Operation Baaz Tsuka
    Operation Falcon Summit
    Operation Falcon Summit was a Canadian-led operation in the Battle of Panjwaii and on a larger scale, the 2001–present War in Afghanistan....

     (Falcon's Summit), against the Taliban in the Panjaway
    Panjwaye District
    Panjwai is a district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It is known as the birthplace of the Taliban. It is located about west of Kandahar city...

     Valley in Kandahar province.
  • 4 February: US General Dan K. McNeill
    Dan K. McNeill
    Dan Kelly McNeill is a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He served Commander, Coalition Forces, Afghanistan from 2002 to 2003 and as Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command from 2004 to 2007...

     replaced British General David Richards as commander of ISAF. He was expected to place a heavier emphasis on fighting than peace deals, analysts said at the time. Meanwhile observers and commanders are expecting a new Taliban "spring offensive", and NATO commanders are asking for more troops.
  • 6 March 2007: NATO-ISAF launched Operation Achilles
    Operation Achilles
    Operation Achilles was a NATO operation, part of the war in Afghanistan. Its objective was to clear the Helmand province of the Taliban. The operation began on March 6 of 2007 and the offensive was the largest NATO based operation ever held in Afghanistan to date...

    , an offensive to bring security to northern Helmand and set the conditions for meaningful development that will fundamentally improve the quality of life for Afghans in the area. The operation will eventually involve more than 4,500 Nato troops and nearly 1,000 Afghan soldiers in Helmand province, according to the alliance. It focuses on improving security in areas where Taliban extremists, narco-traffickers and other elements are trying to destabilize the Government of Afghanistan and to intend to empower village elders. The overarching purpose is to assist the government to improve its ability to begin reconstruction and economic development in the area. Strategically, the goal is also to enable the government to begin the Kajaki
    Kajaki
    Kajaki is a village in southern Afghanistan, and is split between two townsteads, Kajaki 'Olya, and Kajaki Sofla. It is the district centre of Kajaki District in Helmand Province. North east of the village is an important hydro power station for electricity and irrigation projects, the Kajaki Dam...

     hydro-energy project.
  • On 2 June 2008, General David D. McKiernan
    David D. McKiernan
    David D. McKiernan is a retired United States Army four-star general who served in Afghanistan as Commander, International Security Assistance Force from June 3, 2008 to June 15, 2009. He served concurrently as Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan from October 6, 2008 to June 15, 2009.Prior to...

    , US Army, assumed command of ISAF. its troops number around 55,100. There are troops from 26 NATO, 10 partner and 2 non-NATO / non-partner countries,
  • FEbruary 6–7, 2009: UK forces mount Operation Diesel
    Operation Diesel
    Operation Diesel was a raid by 700 British troops from the Royal Marines 45 Commando, 42 Commando, and the 3 Commando Brigade's Reconnaissance Force, as well as armoured infantry and close reconnaissance from 1st Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment on a Taliban drug factory and arms...

     raid in Helmand province.
  • 27 April and 19 May 2009: ISAF launched Operations Zafar and Zafar 2 in the Helmand Province. Operation Zafar lasted one week and Operation Zafar 2 lasted four days. Both operations were preparing for Operation Panther's Claw
    Operation Panther's Claw
    Operation Panchai Palang, or Panther's Claw, was a British-led military operation of the Afghan War in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. It aimed to secure various canal and river crossings to establish a permanent International Security Assistance Force presence in the area...

    .
  • 29 May 2009: ISAF launched Operation Mar Lewe
    Operation Mar Lewe
    Operation Mar Lewe was a three-day International Security Assistance Force operation started in the early hours of Friday 29 May 2009 when the Taliban were attacked as the Afghan Security Forces and British Army struck at enemy positions around the village of Yatimchay, south of Musa Qaleh,...

     around the village of Yatimchay, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of Musa Qaleh, Helmand Province. Operation Mar Lewe lasted three-days. "Mar Lewe" is Pashtu for "snake wolf."

  • 15 June 2009: General Stanley A. McChrystal
    Stanley A. McChrystal
    Stanley Allen McChrystal is a retired four-star general in the United States Army. His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan...

    , US Army, assumed command of NATO forces.
  • 19 June 2009: ISAF launched Operation Panther's Claw
    Operation Panther's Claw
    Operation Panchai Palang, or Panther's Claw, was a British-led military operation of the Afghan War in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. It aimed to secure various canal and river crossings to establish a permanent International Security Assistance Force presence in the area...

     to secure control of various canal and river crossings in Helmand Province and to establish a lasting ISAF presence in an area described by Lt Col Richardson as "one of the main Taliban strongholds" ahead of the 2009 Afghan presidential election.
  • 2 July 2009: ISAF launched Operation Strike of the Sword
    Operation Strike of the Sword
    Operation Strike of the Sword or Operation Khanjar was a US-led offensive in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. About 4,000 Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade as well as 650 Afghan troops were involved, supported by NATO planes. The operation began when units moved into the...

     or Operation Khanjar in Helmand Province. This operation is the largest U.S. Marine offensive since the battle of Fallujah
    Fallujah
    Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Fallujah dates from Babylonian times and was host to important Jewish academies for many centuries....

    , Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

     – Operation Phantom Fury
    Operation Phantom Fury
    The Second Battle of Fallujah was a joint U.S., Iraqi, and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War. It was led by the U.S...

     in 2004.
  • 23 June 2010: Lieutenant General Sir Nick Parker, British Army, former deputy commander of ISAF, assumes interim command after the resignation of General McChrystal.
  • 4 July 2010: General David Petraeus
    David Petraeus
    David Howell Petraeus is the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sworn in on September 6, 2011. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a four-star general serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander...

    , US Army, assumed command of NATO forces; Petraeus was formally approved by the US Senate
    United States Senate
    The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

     to replace McChrystal on 30 June 2010.


Colombia had planned to deploy around 100 soldiers in Spring 2009. These forces were expected to be demining experts. General Freddy Padilla de Leon
Freddy Padilla de León
General Freddy Padilla de León is a retired General of the Army of Colombia and currently serves as Ambassador of Colombia to Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Vienna...

 announced to CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 that operators of Colombia's Special Forces Brigade were scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in either August or September 2009.
However the Colombians are not listed as part of the force as of June 2011.

Three NATO states have announced withdrawal plans: Canada in 2011, Poland in 2012, and the United Kingdom in 2015.

The United States said it would end combat operations in Afghanistan in mid July 2011. This would not involve a total withdrawal; combat operations in Iraq ended, but sizable advisory forces remained. In any case, the deadline has now been extended to 2014.

Security and reconstruction



Since 2006 the insurgency of the Taliban has been intensifying, especially in the southern Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 parts of the country, areas that were the Taliban's original power base in the Afghan Civil War.

In NATO-ISAF took over command of the south on 31 July 2006, British, Dutch, Canadian and Danish ISAF soldiers in the provinces of Helmand, Uruzgan and Kandahar have come under almost daily attack. British commanders say the fighting for them is the fiercest since the Korean War, fifty years ago. BBC reporter Alistair Leithead, embedded with the British forces, called it in an article "Deployed to Afghanistan's hell".

Because of the security situation in the south, NATO-ISAF commanders have asked member countries to send more troops. On 19 October, for example, the Dutch government decided to send more troops, because of the many attacks by suspected Taliban on their Task Force Uruzgan
Task Force Uruzgan
The Netherlands Army Task Force Uruzgan was part of NATO's Regional Command South, International Security Assistance Force, in Afghanistan. The Dutch lead one of the four Provincial Reconstruction Teams in the southern region of the country...

, which makes it very difficult to complete the reconstruction work they came to accomplish.

ISAF and the illegal opium economy




Prior to October 2008, ISAF had only served an indirect role in fighting the illegal opium economy in Afghanistan through shared intelligence with the Afghan government, protection of Afghan poppy crop eradication units and helping in the coordination and the implementation of the country's counter narcotics policy. Dutch ISAF forces have, for example, used military force to protect eradication units that came under attack.

Crop eradication often affects the poorest farmers who have no economic alternatives on which to fall back. Without alternatives, these farmers can no longer feed their families, causing anger, frustration and social protest. Thus, being associated with this counter productive drug policy, the ISAF soldiers on the ground find it difficult to gain the support of the local population.

Though problematic for NATO, this indirect role has allowed NATO to avoid the opposition of the local population who depend on the poppy fields for their livelihood. In October 2008, NATO altered its position in an effort to curb the financing of insurgency by the Taliban. Drug laboratories, and drug traders became the targets, and not the poppy fields themselves.

In order to appease France, Italy and Germany, the deal involved the participation in an anti-drugs campaign only of willing NATO member countries, was to be temporary, and was to involve cooperation of the Afghans.

On 10 October 2008, during a news conference, after an informal meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Budapest, Hungary, NATO Spokesman James Appathurai said:

Military and civilian casualties


ISAF military casualties, and the civilian casualties caused by the war and Coalition/ISAF friendly fire
Friendly fire
Friendly fire is inadvertent firing towards one's own or otherwise friendly forces while attempting to engage enemy forces, particularly where this results in injury or death. A death resulting from a negligent discharge is not considered friendly fire...

, have become a major political issue, both in Afghanistan and in the troop contributing nations. Increasing civilian casualties threaten the stability of President Hamid Karzai's government.

ISAF command structure as of 2010




Throughout the four different regional stages of ISAF the number of Provincial Reconstruction Team
Provincial reconstruction team
A Provincial Reconstruction Team is a unit introduced by the United States government, consisting of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, working to support reconstruction efforts in unstable states. PRTs were first established in Afghanistan in late 2001 or...

s began growing. The expansion of ISAF, during October 2006, to all provinces of the country brought the total number of teams to twenty-four (24). The teams are led by different members of the NATO-ISAF mission. Another new PRT at Wardak
Chaki Wardak District
Chaki Wardak or Čak-e-Wardak , literally : The Head of Wardak , is a district in the south of Wardak Province, Afghanistan. Its population was estimated at 83,376 in 2005, the last year for which figures are available...

 was installed in November 2006, which is led by Turkey. This brought the number to 25. The overall NATO-ISAF mission is led by the Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, at Brunssum
Brunssum
Brunssum is a municipality and a town in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands. Brunssum was formerly a center of coal mining in the Netherlands and there are a few active mines remaining in the area...

, Netherlands.

The main HQ is located in the capital city of Kabul. There are six (6) Regional Commands, each with subordinate Task Forces and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (as of October 2010):

The lower strength numbers of the ISAF forces are as of 6 October 2008. The numbers also reflect the situation in the country. The north and west are relatively calm, while ISAF and Afghan forces in the south and east are almost under daily attack.
  • HQ ISAF at Kabul (Composite)
    • Commander ISAF directs three subordinate formations after a 2009 reorganisation. The Intermediate Joint Command (sometimes reported as ISAF Joint Command) has been established to run the tactical battle, on the lines of Multi-National Corps Iraq. Lieutenant General David Rodriguez
      David M. Rodriguez
      David M. Rodriguez is a United States Army general who currently serves as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command. He previously served as Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan from March 2010 to July 11, 2011...

       commands the IJC. V Corps is being deployed from Germany to provide the IJC headquarters. Commander ISAF also supervises the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan
      NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan
      The NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan operates under a dual-hatted command, with one commander for both the US-led Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan and the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan...

       and Special Operations Forces.
  • Regional Command Capital
    Regional Command Capital
    Regional Command Capital is a multinational military formation, part of the International Security Assistance Force. The headquarters is in Kabul. Since 6 August 2006, Regional Command Capital is the new name given to the former Kabul Multinational Brigade...

    (Kabul) (approx. strength: 5,420)
    • The command of this region is rotating among Turkey, France and Italy. At the moment, November 2009, Turkey is the leading nation in this region. The headquarters is in Kabul. On 31 October 2009 the Turkish Brigadier General Levent ÇOLAK took over command from a French Brigadier General. Most of the French forces in Afghanistan
      French forces in Afghanistan
      French forces in Afghanistan have been involved in the ongoing War in Afghanistan since late 2001. They operate within two distinct frameworks:* the International Security Assistance Force , carried out by NATO on a United Nations mandate...

       are in RC-C. Strength in 2010 appx. 6,150, including three battalions in Kabul. Nearly all of the more than forty contributors have troops deployed to Kabul. The city has been under joint Afghan/coalition control since 2002 but came repeatedly under attacks of insurgent fighters.
    • Kabul International Airport
      Kabul International Airport
      -Facilities:The airport has two terminal buildings, the modern for international flights and the Soviet built one for domestic flights. Several hangars along the runway are for military aircraft...

       KAIA (Belgium, Hungary, Greece, Hungary as of December 2010)
      • As of October 2009, the Bulgaria
        Bulgaria
        Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

        n Infantry Company, part of the Bulgarian contingent (Herat
        Herat
        Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

        , Kandahar
        Kandahar
        Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

        ) provides the security of the outer perimeter of KAIA
        Kabul International Airport
        -Facilities:The airport has two terminal buildings, the modern for international flights and the Soviet built one for domestic flights. Several hangars along the runway are for military aircraft...

        , is so called Ground Defence Area – GDA. The Bulgarian company is under the command of the Belgium
        Belgium
        Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

         Force Protenction Group.

  • Regional Command North (approx. 4,400)
    • HQ RC(N), Camp Marmal
      Camp Marmal
      Camp Marmal is the largest base of the Bundeswehr outside of Germany. It is located outside of Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, at the foot of the Hindu Kush mountains. The camp was opened in September 2005...

      , HQ Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province
      Balkh Province
      Balkh is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the north of the country and its name derives from the ancient city of Balkh, near the modern town...

    • RC-N is led by Germany. Since 30 November 2009 the German Brigadier General Frank Leidenberger took over command of RC-North. Strength: appx. 5,750, to be raised. Other forces in RC-N include units from the United States of America, Croatia, Norway, Belgium, Sweden and Hungary et al. The situation in RC-N as deteriorated. Hotspots include Kunduz in northern Afghanistan and Faryab in the northwest.
    • Manoeuvre battalions, including QRF
    • Task Force 47 (special forces, see :de:Task Force 47)
    • PRT MAZAR-I-SHARIF in Balkh province (Sweden and Finland)
    • PRT FEYZABAD (DEU) in Badakhshan province
      Badakhshan Province
      Badakhshan is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, consisting of 28 districts. It is located in the north-east of the country, between the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya. It is part of the Badakhshan region.-Geography:...

       (Germany)
    • PRT KONDUZ in Kunduz province (Germany)
    • PRT POL-E KHOMRI in Baghlan Province (Hungary)
    • PRT Meymaneh
      PRT Meymaneh
      The Provincial Reconstruction Team in Meymaneh is an International Security Assistance Force command. It is classified by NATO, as a "Provincial Reconstruction Team". It consists of soldiers and civilians from Norway, Latvia, Macedonia, Iceland and the USA. It conducts joint operations with Afghan...

       in Faryab Province
      Faryab Province
      Fāryāb is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the north of the country. Its capital is Maymana. The majority of the population is Uzbek.-History:...

       (Norway)


  • Regional Command West
    Regional Command West
    Regional Command West is a multinational military formation, part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. It is tasked with controlling Herat Province, Farah Province, Badghis Province and Ghor Province, which have a population of about 3,156,000 people...

    (approx. 2,980)
    • HQ RC(W) in HERAT, Herat province
      Herat Province
      Herat is one the 34 provinces of Afghanistan; together with Badghis, Farah, and Ghor provinces, it makes up the South-western region of the country...

       (Italy)
    • Commander as of May 2010 Brig.Gen. Claudio Verto (ITA). Strength: appx 4,440
    • Forward Support Base HERAT (Spain)
    • Manoeuvre elements, Task Force 45 (special forces task force see :it:Task Force 45)
    • PRT HERAT in Herat province (Italy)
    • Shindand Air Base, Herat province
    • PRT FARAH in Farah province
      Farah Province
      Farah is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the southwest of the country. Its capital is Farah. Farah is a spacious and sparsely populated province that lies on the Iranian border...

       (USA)
    • PRT QALA-E-NOW in Badghis province
      Badghis Province
      Bādghīs is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in northwestern Afghanistan, between the Murghab and Hari rivers, extending as far northward as the edge of the desert of Sarakhs. It includes the Chul formations through which the Turkmen-Afghan boundary runs...

       (Spain)
    • PRT CHAGHCHARAN in Ghor province (Lithuania)
  • Regional Command South
    Regional Command South
    Regional Command is a multinational military formation, part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. It is responsible for provincial reconstruction and security in Kandahar, Lashkar Gah, Qalat and Tarin Kowt. The Command also has responsibility for the provinces of Nimruz...

    (approx. 35,000)
    • HQ RC(S) at Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar Province
      Kandahar Province
      Kandahar or Qandahar is one of the largest of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is located in southern Afghanistan, between Helmand, Oruzgan and Zabul provinces. Its capital is the city of Kandahar, which is located on the Arghandab River. The province has a population of nearly...

       (rotates Canada, UK)
    • Forward Support Base Kandahar (Multinational)
    • Task Force Kandahar (Canadian Forces in Kandahar City and western Kandahar Province)
    • Task Force Spartan
    • Task Force Thunder
    • Task Force Lightning
    • Combined Team Uruzgan
    • Combined Team Zabul
    • Kandahar PRT in Kandahar City (Canada)
    • Uruzgan PRT in Tarin Kowt
      Tarin Kowt
      Tarinkot or Tarin Kowt is the capital of Orūzgān province in southern Afghanistan in Tarin Kowt District. It is a town of about 10,000 people, with some 200 small shops in the city's bazaar...

      , Uruzgan Province (US, Australia)
    • Zabul PRT in Qalat, Zabul Province
      Zabul Province
      Zabul is a historic province of Afghanistan. Zabul became an independent province from neighbouring Kandahar in 1963, with Qalat being named the provincial capital. It should not be confused with the city Zabol, on the Iranian side of the border with Afghanistan.- Political and security situation...

       (USA, Romania)
    • Regional Command South also includes the provinces of Nimruz and Daykundi
  • Regional Command East
    Regional Command East
    Regional Command is an international military formation, of roughly division size, which is one of the components of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The United States Army has usually provided the force headquarters...

    (HQ Bagram Airfield) (approx. 18,800)
    • Apart from additional manoeuvre elements, RC-E heads 13 Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in the eastern and central provinces of Afghanistan. The headquarters is located in Bagram. Other forces in RC-E include units from France, Turkey, New Zealand, Poland and the Czech Republic et al. The province has been a staging ground for costly engagements. Hotspots include Kapisa, Nurestan and Konar. Current commander is Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn (USA). The commander also directs the U.S. national force Combined Joint Task Force 1. Lead nation and main contributor is the United States. Strength: appx. 23,950, to be raised.
    • Task Force White Eagle
      Task Force White Eagle
      Task Force White Eagle is a brigade sized detachment of Polish Land Forces in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The brigade is under the command of the US 1st Cavalry Division.-Structures:...

       (Polish forces' brigade in Ghazni Province
      Ghazni Province
      Ghazni is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. Babur records in his Babur-Nama that Ghazni is also known as Zabulistan It is in the east of the country. Its capital is Ghazni City...

      )
    • Forward Support Base BAGRAM (USA)
    • PRT LOGAR in Logar Province (Czech Republic)
    • PRT SHARANA in Paktika province
      Paktika Province
      Paktika is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the south-east of the country. Most of the population is Pashtun. Its capital is Sharan.-Political and military situation:...

       (USA)
    • PRT KHOST in Khost province
      Khost Province
      Khost is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the east of the country. Khost province used to be part of Paktia province in the past...

       (USA)
    • PRT METHER LAM in Laghman province (USA)
    • PRT BAMYAN in Bamyan province (New Zealand)
    • PRT PANJSHIR in Panjshir province
      Panjshir Province
      Panjshir is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. Containing the Panjshir Valley, in April 2004 it was created from parts of Parwan Province, which now lies along its southwestern border. Panjshir's population is about 139,000 and covers an area of 3,610 square kilometers...

       (USA)
    • PRT JALALABAD in Nangarhar province
      Nangarhar Province
      Nangarhar is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan in the east of the country. Its capital is the city of Jalalabad. The population of the province is 1,334,000, which consists mainly of ethnic Pashtuns with a sizable community of Arabs and Pashais....

       (USA)
    • PRT GHAZNI in Ghazni province
      Ghazni Province
      Ghazni is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. Babur records in his Babur-Nama that Ghazni is also known as Zabulistan It is in the east of the country. Its capital is Ghazni City...

       (Poland, USA)
    • PRT ASADABAD in Kunar province
      Kunar Province
      Kunar is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northeastern part of the country. Its capital is Asadabad. It is one of the four "N2KL" provinces...

       (USA)
    • PRT PARWAN (Republic Of Korea)
    • PRT NURISTAN (USA)
    • PRT WARDAK (Turkey)
    • PRT GARDEZ in Paktia province (USA)
  • Regional Command Southwest
    Regional Command Southwest
    Regional Command is an international military formation, of roughly division size, which is one of the components of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. It was formed in July 2010 largely from an area previously in Regional Command South. It is headquartered at Camp...

    (HQ Camp Leatherneck
    Camp Leatherneck
    Camp Leatherneck is a 1,600 acre United States Marine Corps base located in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade initially developed Camp Leatherneck in 2008 in preparation of its forces deploying to Afghanistan. The forward element of the II Marine Expeditionary Force...

    ) (approx. 27,000)
    • Regional Command Southwest was established in July 2010. It is responsible for security in the Helmand and Nimroz provinces in southwestern Afghanistan. Along with the Afghan government and security forces, seven other nations contribute to RC (SW) to bring security to the region. Those nations include the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Georgia, The Kingdom of Denmark, and the Republic of Estonia. Marine Major General Richard P. Mills
      Richard P. Mills
      Richard Paul Mills is an American educator most notable for having served as the Commissioner of Education for both Vermont and New York States.-Early life and career:...

      , the commander of RC (SW), made history by being the first U.S. Marine to command a NATO regional command in combat.
    • Task Force Helmand
      Task Force Helmand
      Task Force Helmand is the name given to a military unit of the International Security Assistance Force in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Task Force Helmand is currently part of Regional Command Southwest and consists of military forces from countries such as Estonia and the U.K....

       (U.K. forces in central and northeast Helmand Province)
    • Task Force Leatherneck
      Task Force Leatherneck
      Task Force Leatherneck or MEB-Afghanistan is a a Marine Air-Ground Task Force currently operating in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The name was originally given to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade during its 2009-10 for Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Regional Command South...

       (U.S. Marines in northern, southern, and western Helmand Province)
    • Helmand PRT
      Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team
      The Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team is helping the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan deliver government and security in the southern province of Helmand.- History :...

       in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province
      Helmand Province
      Helmand is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the southwest of the country. Its capital is Lashkar Gah. The Helmand River flows through the mainly desert region, providing water for irrigation....

       (UK, Denmark, Estonia)

Contributing nations


All NATO members have contributed troops to the ISAF, as well as some other partner states of the NATO. The numbers are based in part from the NATO when more recent numbers are available they are given.

NATO nations


All troop figures are as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat, and are current as of 18 October 2011. Source ISAF Website.

286 The Albanian contribution to ISAF operations in Afghanistan currently consists of 440 soldiers in three locations. The main contingent is composed of a company under Italian command in the province of Herat. Albania also has a squad of soldiers under Turkish command in Kabul and a contribution to a joint medical team with the Czech contribution. The latest contingent is composed of 222 soldiers of the 8th Regiment. – 520 The mission is named BELU ISAF 21. Their main task is to provide security at Kabul International Airport
Kabul International Airport
-Facilities:The airport has two terminal buildings, the modern for international flights and the Soviet built one for domestic flights. Several hangars along the runway are for military aircraft...

, while detachments (KUNDUZ 16) assist in the northern PRTs of Kunduz
Kunduz
Kunduz also known as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. It is linked by highways with Mazari Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Tajikistan's border to the north...

 and Mazar-i-Sharif. In September 2008, OGF 4 started: four F-16s with about 140 support personnel deployed. They operate from Kandahar Airport. The Belgian Air Force operated close together with the Dutch F-16 fighter jets already deployed there. The Belgians are planning the send four more F-16s, along with 150 more troops and plan to stay at least through 2010. 1 Belgian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. – 767 In December 2009, the Bulgarian Minister of Defence Nikolay Mladenov
Nikolay Mladenov
Nickolay Evtimov Mladenov is a Bulgarian politician who has been Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov since 2010. He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2007 to 2009 and was Minister of Defense from 27 July 2009 to 27 January...

 said that the Bulgarian contingent in Afghanistan, which is divided in two military bases in Kabul and Kandahar, will be consolidated in Kandahar and that it could add up to 100 troops in Afghanistan in 2010. In July 2011, Bulgaria sent 165 more soldiers making the total number of contributing forces to 767. – 529 in Kandahar. Canadian Forces have been actively engaged in fighting the Taliban in the dangerous South and have suffered a high proportion of the allied casualties
Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan
The number of Canadian Forces' fatalities resulting from Canadian military activities in Afghanistan is the largest for any single Canadian military mission since the Korean War between 1950 and 1953...

. The Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 are officially there
Canada's role in the invasion of Afghanistan
Canada did not have a significant role in the first few months of the invasion of Afghanistan that began on October 7, 2001, and the first contingents of regular Canadian troops arrived in Afghanistan only in January–February 2002. Canada took on a larger role starting in 2006 after the Canadian...

 to help train Afghan National Army and police, facilitate reconstruction, and provide security, but in 2006, with the situation in Kandahar Province turned increasingly violent, the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 have participated in several operations and battles
Military operations of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Since October 7, 2001 following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan.-Background:From May 1996, Osama bin Laden had been living in Afghanistan along with other members of al-Qaeda, operating terrorist training camps in a loose alliance with the...

 since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan in 2001. The Canadian Air Force
Canadian Forces Air Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force , formerly Canadian Forces Air Command, is one of three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 have a major presence in Afghanistan, including three CC-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 cargo planes, two CP-140 surveillance planes, six CH-147 Chinook
CH-47 Chinook
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. Its top speed of 170 knots is faster than contemporary utility and attack helicopters of the 1960s...

 transport helicopters, six Mil Mi-8
Mil Mi-8
The Mil Mi-8 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. The Mi-8 is the world's most-produced helicopter, and is used by over 50 countries. Russia is the largest operator of the Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter....

 leased for one year from Skylink Aviation
SkyLink Aviation
SkyLink Aviation Inc. is a Canadian based international aviation group that specializes in Project Management, Air Charters, Aviation Support, Aircraft Maintenance, Air Courier, Executive Air Charters as well as Flight Planning and Clearance Services....

, eight CH-146 Griffon
CH-146 Griffon
The Bell CH-146 Griffon is the Canadian military variant of the Bell 412EP, a multi-use utility helicopter. The CH-146 is used in a wide variety of roles, including aerial firepower, reconnaissance, search and rescue and aero-mobility tasks....

 utility helicopters and three CU-170
IAI Heron
The IAI Heron is a Medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle developed by the Malat division of Israel Aerospace Industries. It is capable of Medium Altitude Long Endurance operations of up to 52 hours' duration at up to 35,000 feet...

 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The Canadian Army
Canadian Forces Land Force Command
The Canadian Army , previously called Land Force Command, is responsible for army operations within the Canadian Forces. The current size of the Army is 19,500 regular soldiers and 16,000 reserve soldiers, for a total of around 35,500 soldiers...

 have increased their presence with main battle tanks, some ten Leopard C2 and twenty Leopard 2A6M CAN
Leopard 2
The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the early 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and twelve...

, approximately one hundred LAV III
LAV III
The LAV III armoured vehicle is the latest in the Generation III Light Armoured Vehicle series built by General Dynamics Land Systems, entering service in 1999. It is based on the Swiss MOWAG Piranha IIIH 8x8....

 armoured vehicles and currently use six 155 mm M777 howitzer
M777 howitzer
The M777 howitzer is a towed 155 mm artillery piece, successor to the M198 howitzer in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army. The M777 is also used by the Canadian Army, and has been in action in Afghanistan since February 2006 along with the associated GPS-guided Excalibur...

s in Afghanistan. 157 Canadian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. As of 2011 all Canadian combat forces have withdrawn from Afghanistan. – 317 Troops and 12 civilians are involved in three locations, additional platoon is on its way to bolster this number, bringing total troop numbers to 350 by the end of 2010/11. Croatian parliament voted on extra troop numbers on 7 December with all party supporting troop increase, although parliament did recognize that additional increases in troop numbers might be possible during 2011 and 2012 to help train local army and police units. – 623 Troops are involved in four locations, as of July 2010, 720 awaited in 2011 and 640 in 2012, when the withdrawing will start. The largest unit was deployed as PRT Logar composed of 192 troops and 7 civilians in Logar Province, in place since 19 March 2008. Four BMP-2
BMP-2
The BMP-2 is a second-generation, amphibious infantry fighting vehicle introduced in the 1980s in the Soviet Union, following the BMP-1 of the 1960s....

 IFVs are part of PRT Logar. Field Hospital at Kabul International Airport was deployed in March 2007 and consists of 81 medical and 13 NBC protection personnel. Eight helicopter pilots and technicians are part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT). Also, four weather forecast specialists and two air traffic controllers are part of the Czech contingent deployed to Kabul International Airport. A third unit was sent to Afghanistan at the end of April 2007, and involves 35 members of the Czech Military Police Special Operations Group, who are attached to British forces in the Southern Helmand province. Fourth unit was deployed in July 2008 and is composed of 63 troops who are in charge of force protection at Dutch FOB Hadrain in Uruzgan Province. The Czechs also donated 12 helicopters to the Afghan National Army Air corps, fly 3 Mi-17 helicopters in Pakitika Province and announced to deploy one C-295
EADS CASA C-295
The EADS CASA C-295 is a twin-turboprop tactical military transport aircraft manufactured by Airbus Military in Spain.-Design and development:...

 in 2011. 4 Czech soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. – 750 The major Danish military contribution is a battle group, which is currently operating with British forces in the Green Zone in the central part of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. The battle group consists of two mechanized infantry companies, a tank platoon and a flight of light reconnaissance helicopters. The battle group also consists of combat support and support units. In the nearby Kandahar Province, troops from the Royal Danish Air Force take part in manning the Kandahar Airfield Crisis Establishment (KAF CE), which is running the airfield. But Danish troops are also deployed to other parts of Afghanistan. In northern Afghanistan app. twenty troops are serving in the German-led PRT in Feyzabad. In western Afghanistan ten troops are serving in the Lithuanian led PRT in Chagcharan. There is also a small contribution to HQ ISAF in Kabul and to the staffing of Kabul International Airport. There is also a RDAF presence with the NATO AWACS contingent in Mazar-i-Sharif. In Helmand Danish troops are involved in the worst fighting their armed forces have undertaken since the Second Schleswig War of 1864. Denmark has lost 42 soldiers in Afghanistan since 2002. A recent survey] has determined that Denmark by far has the highest count of casualties relative to population. This has sparked controversy whether Denmark should withdraw troops to more safe regions in Afghanistan. – 159 The majority of Estonian troops have been deployed to PRT Lashkar-Gah in the southern province of Helmand, together with the forces of the United Kingdom and Denmark. 9 Estonian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.

3,932 French forces are deployed in the Surobi District and in Kapisa Province
Kapisa Province
Kapisa is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the north-east of the country. Its capital is Mahmud-i-Raqi, and other districts include Kohistan, Nijrab and Tagab. The population of Kapisa is estimated to be 364,900, although there has never been an official estimate...

 under the command of the Lafayette Brigade. Six French Dassault Mirage 2000D fighters and two C-135F
C-135 Stratolifter
|-See also:-External links:* at Globalsecurity.org...

 refueling aircraft were based at Dushanbe Airport
Dushanbe Airport
Dushanbe International Airport is an airport located in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. Work has begun on upgrading facilities at the airport. Funds made available from unnamed sources will finance enhancements to the runway and apron and the upgrade of the terminal buildings to handle...

 in Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 but relocated to Kandahar on 26 September 2007; from there they conduct operations in support of ISAF. An assortment of 200 naval, air force and army special forces personnel were withdrawn from Southern Afghanistan in early 2007, but around 50 remained to train Afghan forces. On 26 February 2008 it was reported that Paris would deploy hundreds of troops to eastern Afghanistan to free up American soldiers, who would then be able to assist Canadian forces in the flashpoint southern province of Kandahar. Shortly afterwards, 700 troops were deployed reinforce the French activities in Surobi and Kapissa. The deployment marked a significant change in French policy in Afghanistan. The French Prime Minister, François Fillon
François Fillon
François Charles Armand Fillon is the Prime Minister of France. He was appointed to that office by President Nicolas Sarkozy on 17 May 2007. He served initially until 13 November 2010 when he resigned from being prime minister before a planned cabinet reshuffle.On 14 November 2010, Sarkozy...

, later announced that 100 additional troops and Aérospatiale Gazelle
Aérospatiale Gazelle
The Aérospatiale Gazelle is a five-seat light helicopter, powered by a single turbine engine. It was designed and manufactured in France by Sud Aviation . It was also manufactured under licence by Westland Aircraft in the United Kingdom , by SOKO in Yugoslavia and ABHCO in Egypt...

 helicopters would be sent to the country. According to the French newspaper Libération, Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 is planning to send more several hundred troops. France has decided to send Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters to Afghanistan in the second quarter of 2009. In April 2010, French president Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 ruled out sending additional troops to Afghanistan in the near future. 75 French troops have been killed in Afghanistan. However, in the summer of 2010, 250 reinforcements were announced by the French Chief of the Defense Staff, the admiral Edouard Guillaud. These reinforcments (an additonal OMLT) arrived in October 2010, bringing the number French forces in Afghanistan to 4,000. – 5,000 Total makes Germany the third-largest troop contributor to ISAF. Germany leads Regional Command North based in Mazar-i-Sharif. The task of the German forces is to assist the Afghan government with security and reconstruction in the four northern provinces of Kunduz, Takhar
Takhar Province
Takhār is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It was established in 1964 when Qataghan Province was divided into three provinces: Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar. It is in the north-east of the country. Its capital is Taloqan. Its salt mines are one of Afghanistan's major mineral resources...

, Baghlan and Badakhshan. Germany leads the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in the provinces of Kunduz and Badakhshan. The mandate issued by the Bundestag does not allow the Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

 to take part in combat operations against the Taliban insurgency
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

 in the south and east of Afghanistan, other than in exceptional circumstances. However, German troops together with allied forces of Regional Command North have conducted own combat operations in northern and northeast Afghanistan, inflicting as many as 650 casualties upon insurgents. Germany has agreed to send 850 additional troops in 2010, raising the mandate ceiling to 5,350 troops. 53 German troops and 3 police officers have been killed in Afghanistan. 156 service members have been wounded in action. In the 2006 German troops controversy
2006 German troops controversy
In October 2006, German troops in Afghanistan were in the centre of an international scandal of them posing with human skulls. Six servicemen were suspended over the first case, and a total of 23 were being investigated in connection with the incident....

, 23 German soldiers were accused of posing with human skulls in Afghanistan. Following the Kunduz airstrike
Kunduz airstrike
The Kunduz airstrike took place on Friday 4 September 2009 at roughly 2:30 am local time, southwest of Kunduz City, Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, near the hamlets of Omar Kheil by the border of the Chahar Dara and Ali Abad districts...

 on two captured fuel tankers, which killed over 100 civilians, Germany reclassified the Afghanistan deployment in February 2010 as an "armed conflict within the parameters of international law", allowing German forces to act without risk of prosecution under German law. – 153 Some of whom were stationed at Kabul International Airport, while others manned various hospitals. – 415 The Hungarian infantry unit was situated in Kabul, however, on 1 October 2006, Hungary requisitioned its forces and took over responsibility, from the Dutch, for the Provincial Reconstruction Team in the town of Pul-e Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province. Since 1 October 2008, one of the tasks of the Hungarians is to provide security at Kabul International Airport.In 2008 Hungarian special forces deployed to South Afghanistan to special reconnaissance and patrol operations. In 2010 Budapest adds 200 soldiers to the 340 troops it already has in Afghanistan working in reconstruction and training. 6 Hungarian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. – 4, all stationed at ISAF HQ at Kabul International Airport.

3,952 Italian troops currently lead Regional Command West and the PRT in Herat Province. Although the mandate issued by the Parliament of Italy
Parliament of Italy
The Parliament of Italy is the national parliament of Italy. It is a bicameral legislature with 945 elected members . The Chamber of Deputies, with 630 members is the lower house. The Senate of the Republic is the upper house and has 315 members .Since 2005, a party list electoral law is being...

 does not allow Italian forces to take part in the battle against the Taliban insurgency in the south and east of Afghanistan, other than in exceptional circumstances, the current Italian Minister of Defense Ignazio La Russa
Ignazio La Russa
Ignazio Benito Maria La Russa is an Italian politician . He became Minister of Defence in the fourth cabinet of Silvio Berlusconi on 8 May 2008...

 has officially stated in July 2008 that such combat activities have indeed taken place over the last year in the Farah area. Italian contingent including 9 helicopters Agusta A129 Mangusta, 2 C-27 Spartan, 1 C-130, 3 AB-212,3 CH-47. Additionally, in April 2008, 4 AMX International AMX
AMX International AMX
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography*Braybrook, Roy. "Assessing the AMX". Air International, June 1989, Vol 36 No 6. Bromley, UK:Fine Scroll. ISSN 0306-5634. pp. 267–278....

 reconnaissance jets and 3 helicopters AB-412
Bell 412
The Bell 412 is a utility helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It is a development of the Bell 212 model, the major difference being the composite four-blade main rotor.-Design and development:...

, with corresponding 250 personnel (also included), were deployed to Kabul in support of ISAF combat operations in the country. In February 2009 the Italian government decided to boost its contingent by 800 to help out with police training and economic development. 1000 more soldiers will be sent in Afghanistan in 2010, for 3800 in total. 39 Italian troops have been killed in Afghanistan. – 174 troops divided between Kabul and the PRTs in Mazar-i-Sharif and Meymaneh as of December 2007. 3 Latvian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. – 236 In June 2005, ISAF established in Chaghcharan, the capital of Ghor province, a Lithuanian PRT in which Danish, US and Icelandic troops also serve. 1 Lithuanian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. Lithuanian special forces were sent south to help the British forces in their spring offensive. – 11 after December 22, 2009. Luxembourg is working together with Belgium in BELU ISAF 13. The Luxembourgian squad is integrated in a Belgian platoon (two NCOs and seven soldiers) and provides one officer to the staff of the Force Protection group at KAIA. – 429 Norwegian ISAF forces are divided between Meymaneh
Meymaneh
Maymana, Meymaneh or Maimana is the capital of Faryab province, northern Afghanistan, near the Turkmenistan border. It is approximately 400 km northwest of the Afghan capital Kabul.-Location:...

 in Faryab province where they lead a Provincial Reconstruction Team
Provincial reconstruction team
A Provincial Reconstruction Team is a unit introduced by the United States government, consisting of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, working to support reconstruction efforts in unstable states. PRTs were first established in Afghanistan in late 2001 or...

 and Mazar-i-Sharif, where they operate alongside Swedish forces. Four Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 F-16s operated from Kabul airport alongside Dutch F-16s in support of NATO ISAF forces in southern Afghanistan during 2006. Decisions have been made to reinforce the Norwegian contribution with 150 special forces, three Bell 412 helicopters armed with door-mounted machine guns and around 60 personnel from 339 Squadron – code named Norwegian Aeromedical Detachment (NAD) – to be based at Camp Meymaneh for 18 months from 1 April 2008, and 50 troops tasked with training Afghan soldiers. As of March 2008 the deployment of the special forces unit has not been confirmed due to internal disagreements in the Norwegian cabinet
Second cabinet Stoltenberg
Stoltenberg's Second Cabinet is the current government of Norway. Appointed on 17 October 2005, it is a coalition between the Labour Party, the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party, known as the Red–Green Coalition. The cabinet has ten members from the Labour Party, five from the Socialist...

, with the Socialist Left Party
Socialist Left Party (Norway)
The Socialist Left Party or SV, is a Norwegian left-wing political party. At one point one of the smallest parties in Parliament, it became the fourth-largest political party in Norway for the first time in the 2001 parliamentary election, and has been so ever since...

 opposed to the mission. After the attack on the Serena Hotel
2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack
The 2008 Kabul Serena Hotel attack was an attack on the gym of the Kabul Serena Hotel, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, January 14, 2008 for which the Taliban claimed responsibility....

 on 14 January 2008, the decision was made to send a team of military explosives experts to Kabul. Building new compounds for ANA has been one way the Norwegian ISAF contribution has supported the modernisation and expansion of the Afghan military. Nine Norwegian soldiers have been killed in action. – 2,580 Polish brigade-level Task Force White Eagle is responsible for the south-eastern province of Ghazni. The task force is based in 5 different locations around the province: FOB Warrior, COP Qarabagh, FB Giro, FB Four Corners and FOB Ghazni. The Polish contingent operates 70 Rosomak wheeled armoured vehicles and 40 Cougars
Cougar (vehicle)
The Cougar is an armored fighting vehicle designed to be resistant to anti-vehicle mines and improvised munitions.It is a family of armored vehicles produced by Force Protection Inc, which manufactures ballistic and mine-protected vehicles. The automotives are integrated by Spartan Motors...

 on loan from the US. Additionally, 4 Mil Mi-24
Mil Mi-24
The Mil Mi-24 is a large helicopter gunship and attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport with room for 8 passengers. It is produced by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and operated since 1972 by the Soviet Air Force, its successors, and by over thirty other nations.In NATO circles the export...

 and 4 Mil Mi-17
Mil Mi-17
The Mil Mi-17 is a Russian helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude...

 are in use. In December 2009, the Polish Ministry of Defence announced that as of April 2010 it would dispatch additional 60 Rosomaks, 5 Mi-17 and 600 troops. The contingent will also include 400 backup troops based in Poland who could be deployed in Afghanistan at short notice to bring the total number of Polish soldiers operating under ISAF to almost 3,000. In March 2010, the Polish MoD announced that one battalion of the American 101st Airborne Division
101st Airborne Division
The 101st Airborne Division—the "Screaming Eagles"—is a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France, Operation Market Garden, the...

 would be dispatched to Ghazni and would operate under Polish command. 29 Polish troops have been killed in Afghanistan. – 140 The national participation in operations in Afghanistan began in February 2002. A military health detachment composed of the three branches of the Armed Forces remained in Kabul for 3 months in a British campaign hospital of the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force). Followed by a C-130 Detachment who acted from Karachi (Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

), between April and July of that year. NATO took over leadership of ISAF in 2003, and in May 2004, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 became involved in this new mission with a C-130 Detachment and supporting staff of the Portuguese Air Force
Portuguese Air Force
The Portuguese Air Force is the air force of Portugal. Formed on July 1, 1952, with the Aeronáutica Militar and Aviação Naval united in a single independent Air Force, it is one of the three branches of the Portuguese Armed Forces and its origins dates back to 1912, when the military aviation...

, as meteorologists, firefighters, drivers, based at King Abdulaziz International Airport
King Abdulaziz International Airport
King Abdulaziz International Airport is an aviation facility located 19 km to the north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the airport is Saudi Arabia's third largest air facility and busiest airport by passenger. The airport occupies an area of 15 square kilometers...

 (KAIA). After finishing this mission for 1 year, in August 2005, the Portuguese Air Force took command of KAIA with several of its services (for a period of 3 months), but now without aircrafts. The Portuguese Army
Portuguese Army
The Portuguese Army is the ground branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in co-operation with other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the defence of Portugal...

 began between June and August 2005 the task of Rapid Reaction Brigade
Portuguese Rapid Reaction Brigade
The Brigada de Reacção Rápida , is a unit of the Portuguese Army which was known as BAI - Brigada Aerotransportada Independente until 2006...

 (RRB) of the ISAF Command with a light infantry
Light infantry
Traditionally light infantry were soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. Light infantry was distinct from medium, heavy or line infantry. Heavy infantry were dedicated primarily to fighting in tight...

 company
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

 (alternated 4 Commandos companies and 2 of Paratroopers
Parachute Troops School
The ETP - Escola de Tropas Páraquedistas , based in Tancos, Portugal, is a unit of the Portuguese Army and serves as the instruction center for recruitment and training of the Portuguese paratroopers...

), and a TACP
Tactical Air Control Party
The Tactical Air Control Party, commonly abbreviated TACP, is a small team of Army, Marine or Air Force personnel who provide airspace deconfliction and terminal control of Close Air Support at battle group level or below...

 Detachment of the Air Force. Officers
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 and sergeants of the three branches have served in the ISAF HQ and other regional structures, more or less discreet. Between late July 2008 and mid-December a detachment of the Portuguese Air Force, incorporating a C-130 and support staff in various specialties, like maintenance and force protection, totaling some 40 soldiers, met the new mission from Kabul. In addition to a serious injured and several light injureds, the Portuguese army have suffered two dead, the Commando Sergeant João Paulo Roma Pereira on November 18, 2005 and the Paratrooper Soldier Sérgio Miguel Vidal Oliveira Pedrosa on November 24, 2007. – 1,873 Force consists of a battalion in Qalat, Zabul Province. Additionally, a special forces squad (39 personnel) operates from an unknown location, and a training detachment of 47 personnel is in Kabul under the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom. In January 2010, the Supreme Defense Council of Romania announced to send 600 more troops to Afghanistan, boosting its military presence there to more than 1,600 soldiers. 19 Romanian troops have been killed in Afghanistan. – 309 In 2007 on request of NATO command Slovak forces were moved from Kabul to operate in southern Afghanistan. Currently there are 165 guard soldiers providing force protection at Kandahar Airbase. 57 personnel of Multirole engineer company located in Kandahar Airport. Responsible for demining, building and repairing the airport.
53 soldiers of mechanized infantry are holding outpost in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province.
5 personnel are in OMLT team, 4 explosives disposal specialists are part of EOD PALADIN-S Team. 2 personnel are part of reconstruction team in Tarim Kowt. 12 officers are members of commanding staff in - HQ ISAF IJC, RC-S, KAF a PALADIN.
In 2011 elements of 5th Special Forces Regiment will be deployed to Afghanistan and will take part in special operations. – 77 troops (including two civilians – CIMIC programme) performing OMLT tasks (mentoring an Infantry Battalion in Shindad and joint mentoring with Italian army of a Combat Support Battalion in Herat) and placing some commanding positions in Regional Command West and ISAF HQ. – 1,526 troops. The collective Spanish military contribution to ISAF is known as ASPFOR. Spanish forces are divided between Herat Province, where they form a quick-reaction company, an instructors team for Afghan National Army training and a Combat Search & Rescue unit; Kabul, and Badghis Province, where they lead PRT Qala-i-Naw. The deployment involves engineers, infantry, a transport helicopters unit, and a logistics component. Spanish soldiers are constrained by caveats. The mandate issued by the Spanish Parliament does not allow Spanish forces neither to engage Taliban insurgents unless being directly attacked first, nor to move into the south and east of Afghanistan. Spain has rejected three times to lead the ISAF when its shift to do so has come. – 1,840 troops. Turkey's responsibilities include providing security in Kabul (it currently leads RC Capital), as well as in Wardak Province
Wardak Province
Maidan Wardak Province is one of thirty four provinces of Afghanistan located in the central east region of Afghanistan. It has a population of approximately 540,100. The capital of the province is Maidan Shar...

, where it leads PRT Maidan Shahr. Turkey was once the third largest contingent within the ISAF. Turkey's troops are not engaged in combat operations and Ankara has long resisted pressure from Washington to offer more combat troops. In December 2009, after the US President Obama announced he would deploy 30,000 more U.S. soldiers, and that Washington wants others to follow suit, the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, reacted with the message that Turkey would not contribute additional troops to Afghanistan. "Turkey has already done what it can do by boosting its contingent of soldiers there to 1,750 from around 700 without being asked", said Erdogan, who stressed that Turkey would continue its training of Afghan security forces. – 9,500 troops deployed in Helmand Province. The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and Army Air Corps have a major presence in and around the country, including BAE Harrier II GR7 and GR9 attack jets, MQ-9 Reaper
MQ-9 Reaper
The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper is an unmanned aerial vehicle , capable of remote controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for use by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, the CIA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Royal...

 UAV's, C-130 Hercules cargo planes, CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters, Nimrod surveillance planes, Westland Lynx
Westland Lynx
The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil. Originally intended as a utility craft for both civil and naval usage, military interest led to the development of both battlefield and naval variants...

 utility helicopters and Westland WAH-64 Apache
Westland WAH-64 Apache
The AgustaWestland Apache is a licence-built version of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter for the British Army's Army Air Corps. The first eight helicopters were built by Boeing; the remaining 59 were assembled by Westland Helicopters at Yeovil, Somerset in England from...

 attack helicopters. They are officially there to help train Afghan security forces, facilitate reconstruction, and provide security, but in 2006, the situation in the north of Helmand turned increasingly violent, with British troops involved in fierce firefights against the Taliban and anti-coalition militia, particularly in the towns of Sangin
Sangin
Sangin is a town in Helmand province of Afghanistan, with population of approximately 14,000 people. It is located on in the valley of the Helmand River at 888 m altitude, 95 km to the north-east of Lashkar Gah. Sangin is notorious as one of the central locations of the opium trade in the...

, Musa Qala
Musa Qala
Musa Qala is a town and the district center of Musa Qala District in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, at and at 1043 m altitude in the valley of Musa Qala River in the central western part of the district. Its population has been reported in the British press to be both 2,000 and 20,000...

, Kajaki
Kajaki
Kajaki is a village in southern Afghanistan, and is split between two townsteads, Kajaki 'Olya, and Kajaki Sofla. It is the district centre of Kajaki District in Helmand Province. North east of the village is an important hydro power station for electricity and irrigation projects, the Kajaki Dam...

 and Nawzad
Nawzad, Afghanistan
Nawzad is a small town, the centre of Nawzad District in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. It is located at at an altitude of 1221 metres ASL.-Conflict:...

. According to the BBC, on the 30th November 2009 Gordon Brown has announced an increase in British troop numbers, which will bring the total to 10,000 personnel, (500 extra ground troops, and 500 Special Forces) additionally more modified Merlin helicopters will be deployed. The MoD have stated that all the equipment is ready for such a deployment. The deployment would mean British troop levels in the theatre will be the highest since the invasion in 2001. – 90,000 (ISAF figure). Around 93,780 are currently deployed in Afghanistan: 45,780 under the command of NATO-ISAF as of December 2007 and the remaining 48,000 troops are under U.S. command to train the Afghan National Army and to hunt Taliban leaders and al-Qaeda members. There is also a sizable civilian U.S. presence as part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

. In December 2009 President Obama announced an increase of 34,000 US troops from Spring 2010 onwards.

Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) nations

40, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) Sent about 40 troops to serve under German command. Additional 86 troops deployed in summer 2011. – 3, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) They are deployed in Kabul. In 2002, 75 soldiers were temporarily deployed in Kabul and in the year 2005 a contingent of 100 soldiers served in Afghanistan. – 94, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) – 55 senior military officers (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) – 156, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) They are stationed in currently in four provinces of around Mazar-i-Sharif, as all of Finnish troops serve in the PRT Mazar-i-Sharif since early 2009. – 950, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.). On October 13, 2009, Georgia announced that a total amount of 900 Georgian peacekeepers will be deployed by the end of 2010, making the country, to one of the major contributors of peacekeeping and counter insurgency operations in the south-eastern parts of Afghanistan. Further, according to an article of "The Georgian Times", which was released early in December 2009, a deployment of approximately 1,000 Georgian servicemen and servicewomen was expected for January 2010. Georgian Defense Minister, Bacho Akhalaia, reiterated on November 10, 2011 that Georgia would send one more battalion to Afghanistan next year on top of 950 Georgian soldiers already serving in the NATO-led operation, most of them in the Helmand province. The move will make Georgia the largest non-NATO contributor to ISAF. Mr Akhalaia was speaking in presence of visiting NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, at a welcoming ceremony for the return of the Georgian unit from Afghanistan, held at the Vaziani military base outside Tbilisi. Georgian combat troops are deployed in Helmand, Afghanistan where Georgia has thus far suffered 10 deaths and 38 injuries. – 7, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) – 163, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) Macedonia is expected to send 80 reinforcements to back the US surge. – 36 They are currently stationed in two bases, Pol-e-Khomri and Marmal. – 500 (as of latest Source of Swedish Armed Forces Website.) Sweden leads the PRT Mazar-i-Sharif. The main force consists of three mechanized companies operating in Mazar-i-Sharif and also includes helicopters for medical evacuation and an OMLT training Afghan soldiers. Six Swedish Soldiers have been killed in action and 20+ wounded since 2001. The swedish force consists of 891 troops, 9 CV9040, 20 Patria XA-203, 60+ BAE RG32M and 2 Super Puma Medevac helicopters. – 22, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) Military doctors serve in the Lithuanian-led PRT Chagcharan, while one officer works at the ISAF HQ in Kabul.

Non-NATO and non-EAPC nations


1,550, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) Department of Defence. Australia is the largest non-NATO contibuter to the War in Afghanistan. Termed Operation Slipper
Operation Slipper
Operation Slipper is the Australian Defence Force contribution to the war in Afghanistan. The operation commenced in late 2001 and is ongoing...

, the core of the Australian contingent is based in the southern province of Uruzgan. Australia has joint command of Uruzgan Province with the United States (Combined Team Uruzgan). Australia provides the majority of combat forces in Uruzgan. This includes an infantry based Battle Group known as the Mentoring Task Force, which also includes cavalry, engineer, artillery and other supporting assets. The Battle Group's main effort are Operational Mentoring and Liasion Teams (OMLT's), which are embedded with Afghan National Army units at remote Combat Outposts and Forward Operating Bases. The OMLT's conduct almost daily patrolling in the Green Zone with the Afghan National Army, and have ben involved in the heaviest combat experienced by regular Australian Defence Force members since the Vietnam War. Australia also contibutes a 300 strong Special Operations Task Group, code named Task Force 66, which is manned by the SAS Regiment
Australian Special Air Service Regiment
The Special Air Service Regiment, officially abbreviated SASR but commonly known as the SAS, is a special forces unit of the Australian Army...

 and commandos
Australian commandos
The name commando has been applied to a variety of Australian special forces and light infantry units that have been formed since 1941–42. The first Australian "commando" units were formed during the Second World War, where they mainly performed reconnaissance and long-range patrol roles during...

. Task Force 66 operates in Uruzgan, Helmand, Zabul and other surrounding provinces, and has had significant success in both capturing and inflicting large numbers of casualties against the Taliban. Australian Army CH-47D Chinook heavy-lift helicopters serve in Afghanistan as coalition heavy lift transport helicopters, and the Royal Australian Air Force has also committed C-17 Globemaster and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. 32 Australian soldiers have been Killed in Action in Afghanistan, and another 213 have been Wounded in Action. – 350 (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) Republic of Korea redeployed its troops to Afghanistan since July 2010, and it is the PRT leading nation in Parwan Province. Korea also dispatched 4 UH-60 Black Hawks, which are under TACON to 3rd Infantry Division (United States). – 31 (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) – Mongolia sent 74 troops to back the US surge in country. – 191, (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) The majority of the New Zealanders (107) were deployed to Bamian Province in October 2007, where they led the respective Provincial Reconstruction Team. Of the eight remaining personnel, two are instructors are attached to the UK's Afghan National Army Training Team; and six are liaison staff attached to the ISAF, UNAMA, and US-led CJTF-76 HQs, all three of which are located in Kabul. Additionally, twelve logistics personnel are located at Bagram Airfield, and a small number of New Zealand Police
New Zealand Police
The New Zealand Police is the national police force of New Zealand, responsible for enforcing criminal law, enhancing public safety, maintaining order and keeping the peace throughout New Zealand...

 instructors have been involved in training local police forces in Bamian since March 2003. From late 2001 to November 2005, three 6-month rotations of between 40 and 65 New Zealand Special Air Service troops were sent to southern Afghanistan, returning in 2009 until March 2011 and now extended to March 2012. – 21 (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) In May 2007, a five-man medical team was sent to central Afghanistan to set up and run a dental clinic serving local citizens, while training Afghans in dentistry so that they could eventually assume responsibility. Other contributions include a UAV team and a Weapons Locating Radar to provide rocket-launch warnings for Camp Holland.Most Important Personality is Mr. Perri Perri Pizza – 55 (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) – 35 (as of latest ISAF/NATO Placemat. Source ISAF Website.) – The UAE had 170 soldiers serving in Tarin Kowt province in March 2008 as reported by the BBC.

Returned nations

– Republic of Korea's 210-strong contingent was withdrawn by 14 December 2007 due to the expiration of its mandate, despite American calls for its continued presence. The withdrawal had been one of the pledges made to the Taliban captors of 21 South Korean Christian missionaries
2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan
The 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan began on July 19, 2007, when 23 South Korean missionaries were captured and held hostage by members of the Taliban while passing through Ghazni Province of Afghanistan. Two male hostages were executed before the deal was reached between the...

 in July 2007, in return for the hostages' release. The deployment consisted of 60 medics comprising the 'Dongeui' unit and 150 military engineers forming the 'Dasan' unit at Bagram Airbase, north of Kabul. They had been sent to Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Since then, Seoul had only taken the role of providing medical and vocational training by assisting the United States and only two dozen volunteers work inside the U.S. Air Force Base in Bagram, north of Kabul. On 30 June 2008, South Korea thus did return as a member of the coalition, operating a small hospital near the airbase in Bagram with military and civilian personnel, according to a statement of the coalition. In December 2009, the South Korean defence ministry announced it would send 350 troops in 2010 to protect South Korean civilian engineers working on reconstruction. These troops would not engage in any fighting except to protect the base of the South Korean Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and escort and protect the activities of the PRT members. These new troops would be backed by helicopters, armoured vehicles and an unmanned reconnaissance drone to protect the 100 civilian engineers and 40 police. The South Korean contingent would be based in Parwan province, just north of Kabul for 30 months from 1 July 2010. This invoked threats from the side of the Taliban. In a statement e-mailed to international media, Taliban insurgents said Seoul must be ready to face "bad consequences" if the troops were deployed. "On one hand this act is against the Afghanistan independence. On the other hand, it will break their promise they made in 2007 in return to the freedom of 19 of their citizens". The South Korean government said it made no promises to stay out of Afghanistan when it withdrew its troops in 2007.

Withdrawn nations

– On 23 February 2008, the Swiss Ministry of Defence announced that its small deployment had concluded two weeks prior. Two officers had worked alongside German troops in the PRT responsible for the northeastern Kunduz province. The stated reason for the withdrawal was the burden placed on other troops for their protection, which had begun to hinder operations. A total of 31 Swiss soldiers were sent to Afghanistan since the beginning of their country's participation in 2003. – As part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Netherlands deployed aircraft as part of the European Participating Air Force (EPAF) in support of ground operations in Afghanistan as well as Dutch naval frigates to police the waters of the Middle East/Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

. The Netherlands deployed further troops and helicopters to Afghanistan in 2006 as part of a new ISAF security operation in the south of the country. Dutch ground and air forces totalled almost 2,000 personnel during 2006, taking part in combat operations alongside British and Canadian forces as part of NATO's ISAF force in the south. The Netherlands announced in December 2007 that it would begin withdrawing its Dutch Armed Forces
Military of the Netherlands
The Armed forces of the Netherlands consist of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.The service branches consist of:* Koninklijke Landmacht , Royal Netherlands Army....

 troops from Afghanistan, mainly in the province of Uruzgan, in July 2010. Last minute negotiations in February 2010 after a further NATO request did not change this stance, and there was a handover of command to the United States and Australia on 1 August 2010, formally ending the Dutch military mission, though a redeployment task force would remain for the rest of the year to complete the return of vehicles and other equipment to the Netherlands. – Jordanian troops were deployed in December 2001 to establish a 50-bed medical facility in Mazar-i-Sharif. According to the US Department of Defense, the hospital provided care for up to 650 local patients a day, and as of February 2006, over 500,000 people had been treated by the Jordanians.

Contributions of participating nations



Summary of major troop contributions (46 nations, 6 June 2011).

See also

  • Britain's role in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
  • British Forces casualties in Afghanistan since 2001
  • Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan
    Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan
    The number of Canadian Forces' fatalities resulting from Canadian military activities in Afghanistan is the largest for any single Canadian military mission since the Korean War between 1950 and 1953...

  • Coalition casualties in Afghanistan
    Coalition casualties in Afghanistan
    As of November 30, 2011, there have been 2,744 coalition deaths in Afghanistan as part of ongoing coalition operations since the invasion in 2001. In this total, the American figure is for deaths "In and Around Afghanistan" which, as defined by the U.S...

  • German Armed Forces casualties in Afghanistan
    German Armed Forces casualties in Afghanistan
    With a contingent of 5,350 soldiers and policemen, Germany is one of the main contributors of troops to coalition operations in Afghanistan. Although German troops mainly operate in the comparatively quiet north of the country, the Bundeswehr has suffered a number of casualties during participation...

  • Participants in Operation Enduring Freedom

Further reading

  • Sean M. Maloney, Enduring The Freedom: A Rogue Historian In Afghanistan.. Dulles: Potomac Books, Incorporated, 2005, ISBN 1-57488-953-2

External links