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International Security Assistance Force (10) (ISAF) is a NATOmarker-led security and development mission in Afghanistanmarker established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement.


As of January 2009 its troops number around 55,100 from 26 NATO, 10 partner and 2 non-NATO / non-partner countries, including contributions from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Poland and most members of the European Union and NATO also including Australia, New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Singapore. The intensity of the combat faced by contributing nations varies greatly, with the United Statesmarker, United Kingdommarker and Canadamarker sustaining substantial casualties in intensive combat operations.

ISAF was initially charged with securing Kabulmarker and surrounding areas from the Taliban, al Qaeda and factional warlords, so as to allow for the establishment of the Afghan Transitional Administration headed by Hamid Karzai. 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.


For almost two years, the ISAF mandate did not go beyond the boundaries of Kabul. According to General Norbert Van Heyst, 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-constituted Afghan National Army. However, on 13 October 2003, the Security Council voted unanimously to expand the ISAF mission beyond Kabul (Resolution 1510). Shortly thereafter, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said that Canadian soldiers (nearly half of the entire force at that time) would not deploy outside Kabul.

On 24 October 2003, the Germanmarker Bundestagmarker voted to send German troops to the region of Kunduzmarker. 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 at Kabul closed, and remaining Canadian assets moved to Kandaharmarker 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 Resolutions , , , , , , , , and . The last of these extended the mandate of ISAF to 13 October 2008, albeit with an abstention from Russiamarker 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.

The mandates the different governments are giving to their forces can differ from country to country.


ISAF troops under NATO command (September 2008).
ISAF troops under NATO command (September 2008).
The initial ISAF headquarters was based on 3rd UK Mechanised Division, which was led at the time by Major General John McColl. 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. As the area of responsibility was increased, ISAF also took command of an increasing number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), with the aim of improving security and to facilitate reconstruction outside the capital. The first nine PRTs (and lead nations) were based at Baghlanmarker (Netherlands, then Hungary at October 2006), Chaghcharanmarker (Lithuania), Farahmarker (U.S.), Fayzabadmarker (Germany), Heratmarker (Italy), Kunduz (Germany), Mazari Sharifmarker (UK, then Denmark/Sweden, now Sweden and Finland), Maymanamarker (UK, then Norway), Qala-e Nawmarker (Spain).

Throughout the four different regional stages of ISAF the number of teams 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 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 Brunssummarker, the Netherlands.

The main HQ at Afghanistan is located in the capital city of Kabul. There are five (5) Regional Commands, each with subordinate Task Forces and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (as of October 2008):

The Norwegian base, inside Camp Marmal.
Construction of Camp Marmal at Mazar-i-Sharif.
  • HQ ISAF at Kabul (Composite)
  • Regional Command Capital (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 COLAK took over command from France Brigadier General.
    • HQ ISAF in Kabul (Composite)
    • HQ RC(C)in Kabul (Turkey)
    • Kabul International Airportmarker KAIA (Hungary, previously Belgium)

  • Regional Command South (approx. 35,000)
    • HQ RC(S) at Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar Province (Netherlands) (rotates Canada, Netherlands, UK)
    • Forward Support Base Kandahar (Multinational)
    • Task Force Helmand (U.K. forces in central and northeast Helmand Province)
    • Task Force Leatherneck (U.S. Marines in southern and western Helmand Province) [28314]
    • Task Force Kandahar (Canadian Forces in Kandahar City and western Kandahar Province)
    • Task Force Stryker (U.S. forces in the remainder of Kandahar Province. U.S. and Romanian Forces in Zabul Province)
    • Task Force Uruzgan (Dutch forces in Uruzgan Province)
    • Kandahar PRT in Kandahar Citymarker (Canada) [28315]
    • Helmand PRT in Lashkar Gahmarker, Helmand Province (UK, Denmark, Estonia) [28316]
    • Uruzgan PRT in Tarin Kowtmarker, Uruzgan Province (Netherlands, Australia) [28317]
    • Zabul PRT in Qalat, Zabul Province (USA, Romania) [28318]
    • Regional Command South also includes the provinces of Nimruz and Daykundi

Poland has reached a preliminary agreement with NATO partners on expanding its role in Afghanistan by taking over command of an eastern province, Poland's defence minister said. So at the moment Poland and USA is leading a PRT Ghazni according to the official website of the NATO-ISAF.

The strength of the ISAF forces as of 6 October 2008. The numbers also reflect the situation in the country. The north and west are relatively calm (with some , while ISAF and Afghan forces in the south and east are almost under daily attack.

Security and reconstruction

Since 2006 the insurgency of the Taliban has been intensifying, especially in the southern Pashtun parts of the country, areas that were the Taliban's original power base in the Afghan Civil War.

Since 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 Kandaharmarker 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, 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 to fall back on. Without alternatives, these farmers can no longer feed their families, causing anger, frustration and social protest. Thus, being associated with "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


Overall command

Army ISAF soldier in Kunar Province.
ISAF command 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. That day, Nicholas Burns, the U.S.marker ambassador to NATO wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the mandate of ISAF should be expanded beyond the capital Kabul. One option he suggested would be for NATO to participate in U.S.-led "Provincial Reconstruction Teams" which were already active in trying to enforce security outside Kabul.

As of April 2007, 25 Provincial Reconstruction Teams are active in the country and under the command of different NATO nations.

The history of ISAF command is as follows:

  • 5 August 2005: Italian General Mauro del Vecchio assumed command of the ISAF force in Afghanistan. During 2005 Italymarker commanded four multinational military operations: in Afghanistanmarker, Bosniamarker, Kosovomarker and Albaniamarker.
  • 4 May 2006: United Kingdom General David Richards assumed command of the ISAF IX force in Afghanistan. The mission is led by the Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
  • 4 February 2007: General Dan K. McNeill, US Army, assumed command of NATO forces.
  • 2 June 2008: General David D. McKiernan, US Army, assumed command of NATO forces.
  • 15 June 2009: General Stanley A. McChrystal, US Army, assumed command of NATO forces.

Regional command

Regional command - South (RC-S)

The command of the region is rotating among Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The headquarters is located in Kandahar.

  • 28 February 2006: Canadian Brigadier-General David Fraser assumed Command of Regional Command South.
  • 1 November 2006: Dutch Major-General Ton van Loon led Regional Command South in Afghanistan for a six months period. [28319]
  • 1 May 2007: British Major-General Jacko Page
  • 1 February 2008: Canadian Major-General Marc Lessard took command for a nine-month period.
  • 1 November 2008: the Dutch Major-General Mart de Kruif took command of this region.

Regional command - East (RC-E)

The Regional Command East is led by the United States, Combined Joint Task Force - 82. The headquarters is located in Bagram. The commander is Major-General Curtis Scaparrotti. He is also the commander of the troops of the US-led coalition Operation Enduring Freedom.

Contributing nations

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

ISAF is also being backed by the 90,000 troops of the Afghan National Army and 80,000 Afghan policemen, who are described by the British Ministry of Defence as "fully equipped and trained".

Summary of major troop contributions (42 nations, 22 October 2009):

Current ISAF contributors in dark green, potential future contributors in light green , and former contributors in blue.

ISAF total - 67,700.

- 34,800 - 9,000 - 4,365
- 3,095 - 2,830 - 2,795
- 1,910 - 2,160 - 720
- 1,350 - 990 - 460
- 1,000 - 750 - 530
- 480 - 480 - 290
- 500 - 360 - 245
- 250 - 165 - 90
- 300 - 250 - 175
- 165 - 173 - 289
- 130 - 145 - 145
- 9 - 10 - 8
- 2 - 33 - 7
- 4 - 10 - 25

NATO nations

  • 250 (as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website). The Albanian contribution to ISAF operations in Afghanistan currently consists of 251 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. Prime Minister Sali Berisha stated in an interview he has ordered a doubling of the Albanian contingent to assist NATO partners in providing security for the upcoming Afghan elections.

  • 530 (as of December 1, 2009. Source Belgian Army Website). The mission is named BELU ISAF 21. Their main task is to provide security at Kabul International Airportmarker, while detachments (KUNDUZ 16) assist in the northern PRTs of Kunduzmarker and Mazari Sharifmarker. In September 2008, OGF 4 started: four F-16s with about 140 support personnel deployed. They operate from Kandahar Airportmarker. The Belgian Air Force will operate close together with the Dutch F-16 fighter jets already deployed there.[28320]. The Belgians are planning the send four more F-16s, along with 150 more troops and plan to stay at least through 2010.

  • 460 (as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website).

  • 290 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website. Troops are involved in three locations. Croatian government announced that it will increase number of Croatian troops in Afghanistan to 550.

  • 480 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website. Troops are involved in four locations, as of February 2009. The largest unit was deployed as a Provincial Reconstruction Team composed of 192 troops and 7 civilians in Lowgar Province, in place since 19 March 2008. Four BMP-2 IFVs are part of PRT Lowgar. 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.

  • 750 as of November 23 2009. Source ISAF Website. The main part of the Danish military contribution consists of a battle group, which is currently operating with British forces in the Green Zone in the central part of the 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. 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 30 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. Denmark's leader recently said his country's commitment depends on whether Afghanistan's Nov. 7 presidential runoff produces a credible leader (the runoff was cancelled).

  • 289 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website. 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.

  • 3,095 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website. The French forces are deployed in Kabul under operation Pamir XVII and in Kapisa Province, a recurrent five-month deployment that was last renewed in December 2007. Six French Dassault Mirage 2000D fighters and two C-135F refuelling aircraft were based at Dushanbe Airportmarker in Dushanbemarker, Tajikistanmarker but relocated to Kandaharmarker on 26 September 2007; from there they conduct operations in support of ISAF. A French naval force, including the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, was also situated in the nearby Indian Oceanmarker. 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 was planning to deploy hundreds of fresh troops to eastern Afghanistan in an attempt to free up American soldiers, who would then be able to assist their Canadian neighbours in the flashpoint southern province of Kandahar. The deployment would mark a significant change in French policy in Afghanistan. The French Prime Minister, François Fillon, has announced that 100 additional troops with Aérospatiale Gazelle helicopters are to be sent in the country. According to the French newspaper Libération, Sarkozy is planning to send more several hundreds troops. France has decided to send Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters to Afghanistan in the second quarter of 2009.. According to French foreign policy observers, Sarkozy could decide by the end of the year 2010 to send new French reinforcements, almost 5,000 soldiers more.
  • 4,520 as of November 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website, making Germany the third-largest troop contributor to ISAF. Germany leads Regional Command North, which is based in Mazari Sharif. The task of German forces is to assist the Afghan government with security and reconstruction in the four northern provinces of Kunduz, Takhar, Baghlanmarker and Badakhshanmarker. Germany leads the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in the provinces of Kunduz and Badakhshan. A number of German troops are stationed at a supply and staging base in Uzbekistanmarker (these are included in the troop figure). Additionally, in April 2007, six Panavia Tornado reconnaissance jets, with 188 corresponding personnel (also included), were deployed to Mazar i Sharif in support of ISAF combat operations in the country. The mandate issued by the Bundestag does not allow the Bundeswehr to take part in combat operations against the Taliban insurgency 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, killing as many as 300 Taliban since April 2009 and leading to the arrest of many others. In June 2008, Germany agreed to send 1,000 additional forces to Afghanistan to safeguard the upcoming presidential elections. As of May 2009, 37 German soldiers and three policemen were killed in Afghanistan, 26 of which by hostile activities. Also 133 German troops and police officers have been wounded by hostile activities..

    The Bundestagmarker is scheduled to vote on the mission in December 2009.
    A temporary extension is regarded as likely. It is claimed that other European nations will follow Germany's lead.

  • 145 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website, some of whom were stationed at Kabul International Airportmarker, while others manned various hospitals.

  • 360 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website. 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 Khumrimarker, the capital of Baghlan provincemarker. Hungary expects to send 60 more troops over the next five months. Since 1 October 2008, their main task is to provide security at Kabul International Airport.

  • 2,795 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website. Italian troops currently lead Regional Command West, and the PRT in Herat Province. Although the mandate issued by the Parliament of Italy 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 has officially stated in July 2008 that such combat activities have indeed taken place over the last year in the Farahmarker area.. On September 18 2006 Italian special forces, of Task-Force 45 and the Air Assault Infantry of the ‘Trieste’ infantry regiment of the Rapid Reaction Corps composed of Italian and Spanish forces, took part in ‘Wyconda Pincer’ operation in the districts of Bala Buluk and Pusht-i-Rod, in Farah province. Italian forces killed at least 70 Taliban . Italian contingent including 5 helicopters Agusta A129 Mangusta, 2C-27 Spartan, 1 C-130, 3 AB-212,3 CH-47. Additionally, in April 2008, 4 Panavia Tornado reconnaissance jets and 3 helicopters AB-412, 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 and 2 more Panavia Tornado ( total 3,650 ) to help out with police training and economic development.

  • 175 troops (as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website) divided between Kabul and the PRTs in Mazar-i-Sharif and Meymaneh as of December 2007.

  • 250 as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website. In June 2005, ISAF established in Chaghcharanmarker, the capital of Ghor province, a Lithuanian PRT in which Danish, US and Icelandic troops also serve. Lithuanian special forces were sent south to help the British forces in their spring offensive.

  • 8 as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website. 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.

  • 480 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website. Norwegian ISAF forces are divided between Meymanehmarker in Faryab province where they lead a Provincial Reconstruction Team; and Mazar-e-Sharifmarker, where they operate alongside Swedish forces. Four Royal Norwegian Air Force 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, with the Socialist Left Party opposed to the mission. After the attack on the Serena Hotel 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. Four Norwegian soldiers have been killed in action.

Polish Mil Mi-24 in Ghazni Province.

  • 1910 as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website, most of whom operate in the south-eastern provinces of Ghazni and Paktika. An unknown number of Polish special forces are deployed in the flashpoint southern province of Kandaharmarker. Additionally, 400 soldiers and eight helicopters (four Mil Mi-17 and four Mil Mi-24) are to be sent in 2008. On 19 April, Poland took over Ghazni Province in east Afghanistan. The President of Poland announced on April 8 that 320 additional combat troops would be sent to safeguard elections.

  • 145 as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website. The national participation in operations in Afghanistanmarker began in February 2002. A military health detachment composed of the three branches of the Armed Forces remained in Kabulmarker 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 (Pakistanmarker), between April and July of that year. NATO took over leadership of ISAF in 2003, and in May 2004, Portugalmarker became involved in this new mission with a C-130 Detachment and supporting staff of the Portuguese Air Force, as meteorologists, firefighters, drivers, based at King Abdulaziz International Airportmarker (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 began between June and August 2005 the task of Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of the ISAF Command with a light infantry company (alternated 4 Commandos companies and 2 of Paratroopers), and a TACP Detachment of the Air Force. Officers 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 in November 18 2005 and the Paratrooper Soldier Sérgio Miguel Vidal Oliveira Pedrosa in November 24 2007.

Romanian soldiers in southern Afghanistan.

  • 990 personnel as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website, consisting of a battalion in Qalatmarker. 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.

  • 245 as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website. Multifunctional engineer company located in Kabul International Airport. Responsible for demining, building and repairing the airport. Slovakia's parliament agreed in June 2008 to send up to 176 additional troops in 2009.

  • 130 troops in Herat Province as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website.

Spanish soldiers at an airbase in Afghanistan.

  • 1000 troops as of October 22 2009. 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; Kabulmarker, and Badghis Provincemarker, 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.

  • 720 as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website. Turkey's responsibilities include providing security in Kabul (it currently leads the Kabul Command), as well as in the as the central-eastern province of Wardak Province, where it leads PRT Maidan Shahr. Turkey was once the third largest contingent within the ISAF.

British patrol in Helmand province.

  • 9,000 troops deployed in Helmand Province as of October 22 2009. Source ISAF Website. The Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps have a major presence in and around the country, including BAE Harrier II GR7 attack jets, C-130 Hercules cargo planes, CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters, Nimrod surveillance planes, Westland Lynx utility helicopters and Westland WAH-64 Apache 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 Sanginmarker, Musa Qalamarker, Kajakimarker and Nawzadmarker. 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 in December 2009/January 2010 will mean British troop levels in the theatre will be the highest since the invasion in 2001.

US soldiers provide security during a meeting with the district governor in Sabari, Afghanistan, March 6, 2007.

  • 34,800 as of October 22, 2009. Source ISAF Website Around 32,500 are currently deployed in Afghanistan: 23,550 under the command of NATO-ISAF as of December 2007 and the remaining 10,000 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 sizeable civilian U.S. presence as part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. In February 2009 President Barack Obama announced additional 17,000 troops to be deployed in the near future.

Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) nations

  • 0, as of October 22 2009. Will send about 30 troops early next year to serve under German command
  • 4, as of October 22 2009. 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.
  • 90, as of October 22 2009. The country announced that it will further increase its troops by the end of 2009.
  • - 10 senior military officers as of October 22 2009
  • 165, as of October 22 2009. They are stationed in currently in four provinces of around Mazari Sharif, as all of Finnish troops serve in the PRT Mazari Sharif since early 2009.
  • 174, as of November 18 2009..In October 13, 2009, Georgia announced that a total amount of 1,900 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.
  • 33, as of November 12 2009.
  • 165, as of October 22 2009.

  • 430 as of October 22 2009 , as of October 2009 Sweden leads the PRT Mazari Sharif.
  • 10, as of October 22 2009. 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

  • 1,350, as of October 22, 2009. The core of the Australian contingent is based in the southern province of Uruzgan. Of these, an unspecified number are members of the Dutch-led PRT Tarin Kowtmarker and are based at Kamp Holland; while 300 are members of a Special Operations Task Group (involving the Australian SAS), which provides security for the PRT. A further 111 soldiers are logistics, command and liaison personnel deployed to Kandaharmarker and Kabul; while 75 personnel form the Air Force Control and Reporting Centre, situated at Kandahar International Airportmarker, which is responsible for managing air traffic in Afghan airspace. Some Australian units are involved in both Operation Slipper, the Australian military's designation for its operations in Afghanistan, and its Iraqi equivalent, Operation Catalyst; including HMAS Arunta and two P-3 Orion reconnaissance aircraft operating in the Persian Gulf, a small number of soldiers in an anti-IED task force, and liaison personnel at Australia's Baghdad-based regional military HQ Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has confirmed that Australia will send 280 more soldiers to permanently increase the strength of the Australian contingent to the ISAF mission. He also stated 120 soldiers would also be temporarily deployed before the upcoming elections.

  • 7 as of October 22, 2009. Jordanian troops were deployed in December 2001 to establish a 50-bed medical facility in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in the northern Balkh province. According the US Department of Defense, the hospital provides care for up to 650 local patients a day, and as of February 2006, over 500,000 people had been treated by the Jordanians.[28321]

  • 9 as of October 22, 2009. 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.

  • 25 as of October 22, 2009. - The UAE had 170 soldiers serving in Tarin Kowt province in March 2008 as reported by the BBC.

Expected contributions

  • - Colombia plans to deploy around 100 forces in Spring 2009. These forces are expected to be demining experts. General Freddy Padilla de Leon has announced to CBS that operators of Colombia's Special Forces Brigade will be deployed to Afghanistan in either August or September 2009.

  • - Montenegro will send 40 soldiers to Afghanistan, according to the Defense Minister. A military medical team and squad will be sent at the beginning of 2010, and two officers will be sent under German command in September-October of that year.

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.

  • - South 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 missionaries in July 2007, in return for the hostages' release. The deployment consisted of 60 medics comprising the 'Dongui' unit and 150 military engineers forming the 'Dasan' unit at Bagram Airbasemarker, north of Kabul. They had been sent to Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003 respectively. One South Korean soldier, Yoon Jang-ho, was killed by a suicide bomber in February 2007.. On 30 June 2008, South Korea 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.

  • - Serbia had, in late 2006, contributed 5 specialists in airport security.. In October 2003, Serbia and Montenegro announced that they were willing to send 1,000 combat troops and police officers to join the American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States accepted the offer and would function as an operational command for the troops. In December 2003, the number of troops to be sent to Afghanistan was at 700. The previous announcements were withdrawn after parliamentary elections so no Serban troops are serving with ISAF.

Announced withdrawals

  • - The Netherlands announced in December 2007 that it will begin withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan in July 2010. "I do not have assurances that other countries will be ready to replace Netherlands troops, but I am certain that Dutch troops will leave in 2010," Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said. "I indicated that in writing ... to the NATO secretary general, who has confirmed it." In January 2009, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende reiterated that the 1,600 Dutch troops in Afghanistan would end their mission in 2010, saying "We will stop in Uruzgan in 2010." He ruled out the possibility of the Netherlands keeping its troops in Afghanistan past 2010 with any force comparable to its current deployment.
  • - Canada has announced that it will withdraw the bulk of its troops from Afghanistan in 2011. In September 2008, Conservative leader Stephen Harper pledged that Canada will withdraw the bulk of its military forces in Afghanistan in 2011, saying a decade at war is enough. He acknowledged that neither the Canadian public nor the troops themselves had any appetite to stay longer in the war and said that only a small group of advisers might remain.

Coalition casualties in Afghanistan

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan

 Includes also the civilian casualties since the arrival of NATO/ISAF.

Expansion of ISAF’s presence in Afghanistan

Geographically depiction of the four ISAF stages (January 2009).
Geographically depiction of the four ISAF stages (January 2009).

ISAF Stage 1: to the north - completed October 2004

  • In December 2003, the North Atlantic Council authorised the Supreme Allied Commander, General James Jones, to initiate the expansion of ISAF by taking over command of the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduzmarker. 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 Kunduzmarker 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 Istanbulmarker, NATO announced that it would establish four other provincial reconstruction teams in the north of the country: in Mazar-e-Sharifmarker, Meymana, Feyzabad and Baghlanmarker. 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.
  • Authorized by the United Nations Security Council (Resolution 1386) on 20 December 2001, eighteen countries were contributing to the force, which was expecting to grow to 5,000 soldiers
  • In February 2002 South Koreamarker sent a medical contingent of 99 soldiers.
  • Between February and July 2002, Portugalmarker 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 Turkeymarker. Around 1,200 German troops were serving in the force alongside 250 Dutch soldiers operating as part of a German-led battalion.
  • In March 2003 ISAF was composed of 4,700 troops from 28 countries.
  • On 7 June 2003 in Kabul, a taxi packed with explosives rammed a bus carrying Germanmarker 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 Airportmarker 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 Kosovomarker had one peacekeeper to 48 people, East Timormarker one for every 86, while Afghanistan has just one for every 5,380 people.
  • August 2003, NATO is taking command and co-ordination 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 Canadianmarker, by far the largest single contingent. However, other reports suggested that about 2,000 German troops were involved. Romania had about 400 troops at the time.
  • 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.
  • As late as November 2003, the entire ISAF force had three helicopters.
  • In May 2004, Turkey sent three helicopters and 56 flight and maintenance personnel to work in ISAF.
  • In July 2004, Portugalmarker sent 24 soldiers and one C-130 Hercules cargo plane to assist ISAF.
  • In August 2004, Britain announced that 6 Royal Air Force Harrier GR7 jets from No. 3 Squadron would deploy to Afghanistan, marking the first time RAF ground-attack jets have been deployed to the country. They fully arrived in September.
  • In September 2004, a Spanishmarker battalion (about 800 men) arrived to provide the ISAF Quick Reaction Force, and an Italian Army battalion (up to 1,000 troops) arrived to provide the in-theatre Operational Reserve Force. With a force of 100, Georgiamarker became the first Commonwealth of Independent States country to send an operational force to Afghanistan.
  • Stage 1 (North) was completed at October 2004 under the Regional Command of Germany.

ISAF Stage 2: to the west - completed September 2005

  • 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 PRTs, in the provinces of Heratmarker 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 Chaghcharanmarker, 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. The Alliance continued to make preparations to further expand ISAF, to the south of the country. In September 2005, the Alliance also temporarily deployed 2,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to support the 18 September provincial and parliamentary elections.
  • 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 consisting of Badghismarker, Farahmarker, Ghor, and Herat Provinces.
  • September 2005: ISAF Stage 2 was completed under the Regional Command of Italy.
  • On 27 January 2006, it was announced in the British Parliament that the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) would be replacing the U.S. troops in Helmand province as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The British 16th Air Assault Brigade would be the core of the force in Helmand Province.

  • In February 2006, the Netherlandsmarker decided to expand the troop contribution with an extra 1,400 soldiers.
  • On 22 May 2006, A British Army 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".

ISAF Stage 3: to the south - completed July 2006

  • On 8 December 2005, meeting at NATOmarker Headquarters in Brusselsmarker, 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, Kandaharmarker, 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.
  • 31 July 2006, Stage 3 was completed: The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force also assumed command in six provinces of the south. Led by Canada, 8,000 soldiers are now positioned there. The Regional Command Center is at Kandaharmarker.
  • With the Taliban regrouping, especially in its birthplace of Kandahar province bordering Pakistanmarker, NATO launched its biggest offensive against the guerrillas at the weekend of 2 September and 3 September 2006 (Operation Medusa). 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.

ISAF Stage 4: ISAF expands to the east, 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.
  • 5 October 2006: NATO has also taken charge of Afghanistan's eastern provinces (NATO-ISAF stage 4), which have been under the control of US forces since the Taliban were ousted five years ago. (10,000 coalition troops more 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 is growing 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: ISAF retains responsibility for entire country - 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, suggests that more than 3,700 people have died so far in 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, the NATO-led international security assistance force, and a separate US contingent of soldiers.
  • 28-29 November 2006: NATO summit at Riga (Latvia). Combat curbs have been 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. Next to this the summit 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 is starting a new offensive, Operation Baaz Tsuka (Falcon's Summit), against the Taliban at the Panjawaymarker Valley at the province Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
  • 4 February: US General Dan McNeill replaced British General David Richards as commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan. McNeill, one of 11 U.S. four-star generals, commanded U.S. troops here in 2002. He is expected to place a heavier emphasis on fighting than peace deals, analysts say. 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 Achillesmarker, 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 Kajakimarker hydro-energy project.
  • 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.
  • 29 May 2009: ISAF launched Operation Mar Lewe around the village of Yatimchay, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of Musa Qalehmarker, Helmand Province. Operation Mar Lewe lasted three-days. "Mar Lewe" is Pashtu for "snake wolf."
  • 19 June 2009: ISAF launched Operation Panther's Claw 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 or Operation Khanjar in Helmand Province. This operation is the largest U.S. Marine offensive since the battle of Fallujahmarker, Iraqmarker - Operation Phantom Fury in 2004.


Ribbon of NATO Medal for Service with ISAF.
This medal may also be awarded with the "ISAF" clasp for service in Afghanistanmarker, as well as the "NTM-I" clasp for service in Iraqmarker for NATOmarker forces.

For U.S. Forces the eligibility for the Non-Article 5 Medal for service with the ISAF are those who are members of units or staffs as set out in the Joint Operations Area taking part in operations in Afghanistan. The area of eligibility is delineated by the political boundaries of the International Security and Assistance Force. The service must be 30 days either continuous or accumulated, from 31 July 2006 to a date to be determined.

See also

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


  1. - (UNSCR 1386)
  2. ISAF Troop Contribution Placement, December 5, 2007
  3. Official Documents System of the United Nations
  4. UNSC Resolution 1510, October 13, 2003
  5. ISAF Chronology
  6. NATO OTANAllied Joint Force Command Brunssum - (ISAF)
  7. [1]
  8. ISAF Facts and Figures - 15 June 2009
  9. ISAF source stored on International Security Assistance Force
  10. BBC report Deployed to Afghanistan's 'Hell'.
  11. The Washington QuarterlyPoppies for Peace: Reforming Afganistans Opium Industry
  12. BBC NEWS | South Asia | Nato to attack Afghan opium labs: BBC News Retrieved on 10 October 2008
  13. NATO Events: Informal Meeting of NATO Defence Ministers - Budapest - 9-10 October 2008 NATO Retrieved on 10 October 2008
  14. BBC NEWS | South Asia | Q&A: Isaf troops in Afghanistan
  15. [2]
  18. [3]
  22. Will the war in Afghanistan bring down NATO?
  23. Ministry of Defence - Current Deployments
  24. Danmarks Radio - Danmark mister flest soldater i Afghanistan
  25. Will the war in Afghanistan bring down NATO?
  26. NATO:: Estonia and NATO:: Estonia’s contribution to rebuilding Afghanistan
  27. France eyes sending troops to Afghan combat zone | Top News | Reuters
  29. GAF Recce Tornados to Afghanistan Luftwaffe (German airforce)
  31. iCasualties | Operation Enduring Freedom
  32. Will the war in Afghanistan bring down NATO?
  33. Hungary plans to boost role in Afghanistan | Reuters
  34. La Russa: "Afghanistan combattiamo da un anno ma Prodi ha taciuto" - Articolo - del 01-07-2008
  38. Will the war in Afghanistan bring down NATO?
  39. Norwegian Government website: F-16s for ISAF in Afghanistan
  40. Official Norwegian Defence Force website: New capacity
  41. Official Norwegian Defence Force website: Helicopters important for the soldiers
  42. Norway to send troops to southern Afghanistan - People's Daily Online
  43. Aftenposten Newspaper: More soldiers to Afghanistan
  44. The Norway Post: Norwegian explosives experts to Afghanistan
  45. Official Norwegian Defence Force website: New "Norwegian" camp
  46. Aftenposten Newspaper: Taliban threaten more attacks in Afghanistan
  47. Aftenposten Newspaper: Fallen soldier comes home
  48. Aftenposten Newspaper: Norwegian fatality in Afghanistan
  49. Aftenposten Newspaper: Soldier's body arrives home
  52. Ejercito de Tierra español
  53. TREVIÑO MARTÍNEZ, Rafael: "Afganistán: ¿qué está fallando?", FUERZA TERRESTRE n.39, march 2007
  56. All missions from Austrian troops (German))
  57. Azerbaijani parliament voted in March to double the number of Azerbaijani peacekeepers serving in Afghanistan to 184
  58. The number of Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Afghanistan likely to be increased
  60. Amount of Finnish troops in Afghanistan almost doubled
  63. Peacekeeping
  64. 7 more officers prepare to depart for Afghanistan
  65. Australian Government, Department of Defence
  67. DefenseLink News Article: Jordanian Military Helps Its Neighbors
  68. New Zealand Police in Afghanistan (Operation Highlands), International Service Group - New Zealand Police
  69. SAS back in NZ, no plans to return - 22 November 2005 - Special Air Service (SAS)
  71. ISAF Contributing Nations
  72. Afghan 'trust' in Arab troops
  78. Last Swiss officers back from Afghanistan - swissinfo
  79. [taliban]Troop Pullout From Afghanistan Starts
  80. S. Korea to complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan next month: International: Home
  82. New York Times
  83. New York Times
  84. Netherlands confirms 2010 Afghanistan pullout
  85. Dutch troops to exit Afghanistan in 2010
  86. Canada Afghan mission 'ends 2011'
  87. Harper says 2011 'end date' for Afghanistan mission
  88. Harper pledges Afghan pullout by 2011
  89. Canada PM: Troops Home From Afghanistan in 2011
  90. Canada won't rethink 2011 Afghanistan pullout after Obama win: Cannon
  91. [4] NATO ISAF missions, - 03 September 2009.
  92. ISAF in Afghanistan CDI, Terrorism Project - 14 February 2002.
  93. More Dutch troops for Afghanistan BBC - 3 February 2006
  94. International Security Assistance Force
  95. Afghan conflict deaths quadruple BBC - Monday, 13 November 2006
  96. Nato hails shift on Afghan combat BBC - 29 November 2006
  97. U.S. general in Afghanistan seen tough on Taliban REUTERS - 5 February 2007
  98. ISAF and Afghan Forces launch major operation in the South NATO Press release - 6 March 2007 and Nato in major anti-Taleban drive BBC - 6 March 2007

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