Since the late 1970s, there has been more or less civil
war in Afghanistan. Defense spending amounted to 1.9 per
cent of GDP until 1978. In 1979 and 1980 these more than
doubled. In 1978, the Soviet Union signed a friendship and
assistance agreement with Afghanistan (China had already
signed a friendship and non-attack agreement in 1960). The
growing opposition to increased Soviet influence resulted in
Christmas 1979 in a Soviet march of about 80,000 men. The
Soviet troops left Afghanistan in 1989 after having reached
120,000 men. Thus, a power vacuum was left open to groups
based outside Afghanistan, resulting in a power takeover by
a Taliban-led administration.
Hamid Karzai's rule in the country during the 1990s was
largely dependent on the presence of the UN-sanctioned,
NATO-led international military operation ISAF, which was
launched in 2001 with the aim of achieving peace and
stability. ISAF was terminated in 2014 and replaced at the
turn of the year by the Resolute Support Mission (RSM),
which aims to provide support and training to the Afghan
security forces. In 2015, the RSM consisted of just over
13,000 men, of which just under 7,000 from the US.
When the ISAF force was at its greatest, in 2011, it
amounted to just over 130,000 men from 48 countries with
leadership from the capital, Kabul. The largest troop
contributing countries were the United States with up to
90,000 men, the United Kingdom with about 9,500 men, Germany
with about 4,800 men, France and Italy with about 3 900 men.
In 2011, Sweden contributed about 500 people. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that AFG stands for Afghanistan.
In addition, there was a US-led military operation in
southern and eastern Afghanistan, Operation Enduring
Freedom, with just over 11,000 men. This operation was
clearly linked to the war on terror. In 2015, it was
replaced by Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
A national defense is under construction. (2015), there
are approximately 170,000 people. The defense is voluntary.
The opposition is mainly Taliban, but rivalry and old
ties between various so-called warlords play a major
political role. The opposition's (terrorist) methods are
characterized by, among other things, suicide bombers,
shooting with lighter grenades and rockets, car bombs and
mines. Some of these methods have gradually become more
sophisticated, creating a breeding ground for speculation
about an increased degree of Iranian involvement.
Defense costs rose in 2012-13 from 3.6 percent to 6.4
percent of GDP.
In mid-2009, the United States sent another 20,000 troops
to Afghanistan to ensure a peaceful parliamentary election
in August. It took 2½ months from the election to an
official election result, giving President Karzai 48% of the
vote, while challenger Abdullah Abdullah got 28%. Ever since
the election, there have been reports of electoral fraud in
favor of the incumbent president. The dilemma was resolved
at the end of October when the Supreme Electoral Commission
announced the "official" result and that a second round of
elections in accordance with the Constitution would be
carried out in November. However, the November election was
canceled when Abdullah resigned. Afghanistan thus got a
president who was demonstrably sitting on the post thanks to
election fraud. The turnout in August was only 35%.
While Denmark marked the annual day of military war
crimes, on September 4, 2009, NATO forces bombed a tanker
truck in the Kunduz province north of Kabul. At the time of
the bombing, at least 125 were killed. Including at least 40
civilians. The Taliban had abducted a tanker that was
stalled in the middle of a river. Civilians in the area
began to empty it of gasoline to get fuel, and while this
work was underway, a North American F-15 fighter sent a
500-pound bomb into the tanker. Kunduz was until 2007
Taliban-free territory. In 2009, the province was almost
totally controlled by the Taliban, and NATO's assassination
merely increased the hatred of the occupying power. In
October, the Danish military announced that it had killed
several civilians in Afghanistan, including a baby in just a
A few days before he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in
December 2009, US Barack Obama announced that the superpower
was transferring another 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan.
They became deployed into southern Afghanistan. By the end
of the year, the Taliban were active in almost all of the
country's provinces, and it was clear that the occupying
forces were losing the battle. In frustration at the
occupation's growing killing of civilians, more and more
Afghans supported the Taliban.
In July 2010, WikiLeaks posted 90,000 Pentagon
confidential documents about the war in Afghanistan on the
Internet. The documents demented the image of the war
otherwise presented in the Western media: that the occupying
forces killed partisans alone. Many hundreds of civilians
were killed each year by the forces of the United States,
Poland, Denmark and other crew nations in the country. It
happened as a result of failure, intelligence or revenge. In
the Berlingske Tidende coverage of the leaked
documents, the thousands of killed civilians became "a strip
of civilians". (WikiLeaks: Afghan War Diary,
2004-2010, UK Guardian 25/7 2010: Afghanistan war
logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of
In August, the New York Times revealed that the
administrative head of Afghanistan's National Security
Council, Mohammed Zia Salehi, had been on the CIA's payroll
for years. Salehi was also involved in a major corruption
scandal and was arrested as early as July for hindering an
investigation by New Ansari, which has channeled several
billion dollars. $ from the corruption out of Afghanistan.
Salehi was under the protection of President Karzai because
Salehi has too much retail knowledge of the corruption in
About 1,000 Taliban prisoners of war escaped in April
2011 from Kandahar prison through an underground tunnel.
Denmark continued its strategic retreat to the cities,
trying to buy the Afghan warlords with US dollars.