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NATO Formally Ends its Mission in Afghanistan
Jan 06, 2015

NATO has formally ended its 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan. On January 1 the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission which has suffered 3,485 military deaths since 2001was replaced by a NATO training and support mission. In addition to training, American soldiers have also been authorized to hunt the remnants of Al-Qaeda in 2015, despite the formal end of the combat mission. NATO's Afghan deployment began after the 9/11 attacks against the US.

About 13,000 foreign troops, mostly Americans, will remain in the country from January 1 under a new two-year mission that will continue the coalition's training of Afghan security forces. U.S. Defence Secretary announced recently that 1000 more soldiers than originally planned would remain in Afghanistan in 2015. Additional troops were necessary because planned troop commitments by NATO allies had been slow to materialize, not because of a marked resurgence in attacks by the Taliban.

The security of Afghanistan will be fully in the hands of the country's 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police. But NATO allies, together with many partner nations, will remain to train, advise and assist them.

More than a decade after this long and expensive mission began, the Taliban are still active and gaining in strength, launching a number of attacks in recent months. 2014 has been the bloodiest in Afghanistan since 2001, with at least 4,600 members of the Afghan security forces died in the fight against the Taliban.

 


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