Afghanistan is a landlocked country located in Central Asia and South Asia. It is bordered by Pakistan to the south and east, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north. The government of Afghanistan is a unitary Islamic republic with a population of over 33 million people. Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of military expenditure in the world. Its defense forces consist of the Afghan National Army (ANA), Afghan Air Force (AAF), Afghan National Police (ANP), and other security and paramilitary forces. The ANA is composed of about 170,000 personnel while the AAF consists of around 10,000 personnel. The ANP includes more than 150,000 personnel and is responsible for maintaining law and order throughout Afghanistan. In addition to these forces, there are also several international military forces present in the country under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Afghanistan.
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.
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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 few months.
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 occupation)
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 the government.
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.