Open Access Articles- Top Results for War in Afghanistan (2015%E2%80%93present)

War in Afghanistan (2015–present)

This article is about the war in Afghanistan from 2015 to the present. For U.S.-led phase of the conflict, see War in Afghanistan (2001–present). For other phases of the conflict, see War in Afghanistan (1978–present).
War in Afghanistan
Part of the war in Afghanistan (1978–present),
the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, and
the War on Terror
File:Presentation of the Resolute Support Colors.jpg
ISAF troops changing mission and beginning the Resolute Support Mission
Date1 January 2015 – present (1 year, 1 month and 2 days)



23x15px Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Advisers, Non-combat support, & Counter-terrorism operations:

23x15px Resolute Support[2]

23x15px Taliban
24px al-Qaeda
23x15px Haqqani network
23x15px Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
23px United Tajik Opposition
Other groups[3]


22px IMU (Until 13 March 2015)[4]

23x15px Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[1]

Commanders and leaders
23x15px Ashraf Ghani
23x15px Barack Obama
23x15px Matteo Renzi

23x15px Mohammed Omar
(Supreme Commander of the Taliban)
23px Ayman al-Zawahiri
(Emir of al-Qaeda)
23pxJalaluddin Haqqani
(Leader of Haqqani Network)

22px Usman Ghazi (Until 13 March 2015)[4]

23x15px Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
(Caliph of ISIL)
23x15px Abu Alaa Afri 
(Deputy Leader of ISIL)[5][6]
25px Hafiz Saeed Khan  [7](ISIL Emir of Wilayat Khorasan)
25px Mullah Abdul Rauf 
(Deputy Emir)[8][9][10]
25px Hafiz Wahidi  (2nd Deputy Emir)[11]
25px Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost (Top Wilayat Khorasan commander)[12][13]

25px Usman Ghazi[14][4]

23x15px ANSF: 352,000[15]

23x15px RSM: 13,000+[16]

23x15px Taliban: 60,000 (tentative estimate)[17]
24px al-Qaeda: 50–100[18][19]

23px Haqqani network: 4,000–15,000[20][21][22]
23x15px ISIL: 300+[23]
Casualties and losses
  • 20+ Afghan soldiers killed and 5 injured[24]
  • 1 American soldier killed[25]

29+ militants killed (by the Afghan Army)[26]

Over 18 militants killed (by NATO airstrikes)[27]

19–20 killed (by the Taliban)[9]
At least 11 militants killed (by NATO and by the Afghan Army) [8][11]

45 captured (by the Taliban)[10]

Civilians killed: 58 (2015–present)[28][29]

The war in Afghanistan (2015–present) refers to the period of the war in Afghanistan following the 2001–2014 phase led by the United States of America. The U.S.-led war followed the September 11 attacks, and it aimed to dismantle al-Qaeda by denying it a safe basis of operation in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power.[30][31] After 2001, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) became increasingly involved, eventually running combat operations, under the direction of a U.S. commander. On 28 December 2014, NATO formally ended combat operations in Afghanistan and transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government via a ceremony in Kabul, marking the beginning of the new phase of the conflict.[32][33]

The planned partial Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, as well as NATO troops, and the transfer of all combat roles from NATO forces to the Afghan security forces occurred between 2011 and 2014. A bilateral security agreement was signed between the US and Afghanistan that would allow NATO troops to remain after the withdrawal date in an advisory and counter-terrorism capacity.[34] The NATO troop presence would amount to approximately 13,000 troops including 9,800 Americans.[35]


Withdrawal of Western troops

As early as November 2012, the U.S. was considering the precise configuration of their post-2014 presence in Afghanistan.[36][37] On 27 May 2014, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end in December 2014. A residual force of 9,800 troops would remain in the country, training Afghan security forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against remnants of al-Qaeda. This force would be halved by the end of 2015, and consolidated at Bagram Air Base and in Kabul. Obama also announced that all U.S. forces, with the exception of a "normal embassy presence," would be removed from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.[38] These plans were confirmed with the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement between the United States and Afghanistan on 30 September 2014.[39]

The Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan, the remnant U.S./NATO special forces organisation, includes a counter-terrorism task force. In the words of the U.S. Special Operations Command Factbook for 2015, this task force '..[c]onducts offensive operations in Afghanistan to degrade the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the Haqqani Networks in order to prevent them from establishing operationally significant safe havens which threaten the stability and sovereignty of Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States.'[40] This task force is similar to previous forces such as Task Force 373.

Conflict history

2015: Afghan forces take the lead

Further information: 2015 in Afghanistan

On 5 January, a suicide car bomber attacked the HQ of EUPOL Afghanistan in Kabul, killing 1 person and injuring 5. The Taliban claimed responsibility.[25] On January 15, Afghan security officials arrested five men in Kabul in relation to their suspected involvement in the 2014 Peshawar school massacre in Pakistan.[41] In mid-January 2015, it was revealed that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant had an active presence in Afghanistan, and that they were trying to recruit more fighters.[1] and have clashed with the local Taliban.[42][9] However, an Afghan military officer stated that he believed the Afghan military could handle any threat that the group presented in the country.[1]

American forces have increased raids against "Islamist militants", moving beyond counter-terrorism missions. This is partially due to improved relations with the United States due to the Ghani presidency. Reasoning used for these raids include protecting American forces, which has been broadly interpreted.[43] One raid, a joint raid by American and Afghan forces arrested six Taliban connected to the 2014 Peshawar school massacre.[44] American Secretary of Defense Ash Carter traveled to Afghanistan in February 2015;[45] during a period when it was discussed that the U.S. would slow down its withdrawal from Afghanistan.[46]

In February 2015, the headquarters element of the U.S. 7th Infantry Division began to deploy to Afghanistan.[47] It will serve as the Resolute Support Mission's Train Advise Assist Command - South headquarters. It will be joined by 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.[48]

On 18 March 2015, Hafiz Wahidi, ISIL's replacement deputy Emir in Afghanistan, was killed by the Afghan Armed Forces, along with 9 other ISIL militants who were accompanying him.[11]

On 19 March 2015, it was reported by Reuters that the U.S. military bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad are likely to remain open beyond the end of 2015, a senior U.S. official said, as the Federal Government of the United States considers slowing its military withdrawal to help the new government fight the Taliban. The anticipated policy reversal reflects U.S. support of Afghanistan's new and more cooperative president, Ashraf Ghani, and a desire to avoid the collapse of local security forces that occurred in Iraq after the U.S. withdrawal there.

On 25 March, the Afghan National Army killed twenty-nine insurgents and injured twenty-one others in a series of operations in the Daikundi, Ghazni, and Parwan provinces.[26]

Afghan security forces

Afghan National Army

U.S. policy called for boosting the Afghan National Army to 134,000 soldiers by October 2010. By May 2010 the Afghan Army had accomplished this interim goal and was on track to reach its ultimate number of 171,000 by 2011.[49] This increase in Afghan troops allowed the U.S. to begin withdrawing its forces in July 2011.[50][51]

In 2010, the Afghan National Army had limited fighting capacity.[52] Even the best Afghan units lacked training, discipline and adequate reinforcements. In one new unit in Baghlan Province, soldiers had been found cowering in ditches rather than fighting.[53] Some were suspected of collaborating with the Taliban.[52] "They don't have the basics, so they lay down," said Capt. Michael Bell, who was one of a team of U.S. and Hungarian mentors tasked with training Afghan soldiers. "I ran around for an hour trying to get them to shoot, getting fired on. I couldn't get them to shoot their weapons."[52] In addition, 9 out of 10 soldiers in the Afghan National Army were illiterate.[54]

In early 2015, Philip Munch of the Afghanistan Analysts' Network wrote that '..the available evidence suggests that many senior ANSF members, in particular, use their positions to enrich themselves. Within the ANSF there are also strong external loyalties to factions who themselves compete for influence and access to resources. All this means that the ANSF may not work as they officially should. Rather it appears that the political economy of the ANSF prevents them from working like modern organisations - the very prerequisite' of the Resolute Support Mission.[55] Formal and informal income, Munch said, which can be generated through state positions, is rent-seeking - income without a corresponding investment of labour or capital. 'Reportedly, ANA appointees also often maintain clients, so that patron-client networks, structured into competing factions, can be traced within the ANA down to the lowest levels... There is evidence that Afghan officers and officials, especially in the higher echelons, appropriate large parts of the vast resource flows which are directed by international donors into the ANA.[56]

Afghan National Police

The Afghan National Police provides support to the Afghan army. Police officers in Afghanistan are also largely illiterate. Approximately 17 percent of them tested positive for illegal drugs in 2010. They were widely accused of demanding bribes.[57] Attempts to build a credible Afghan police force were faltering badly, according to NATO officials.[58] A quarter of the officers quit every year, making the Afghan government's goals of substantially building up the police force even harder to achieve.[58]

See also

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  1. ^ a b c d "Officials confirm ISIL present in Afghanistan". Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Troop numbers and contributions as of 26th February 2015
  3. ^ Roggi, Bill (31 August 2009). "Pakistan's most-wanted: look at who isn't listed". The Long War Journal. Public Multimedia Inc. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d
  5. ^
  6. ^ Blown to pieces: Iraqi military reveal the moment Islamic State's second-in-command was killed alongside dozens of his followers in coalition air strike on mosque
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  11. ^ a b c
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  20. ^ Rassler, Don; Vahid Brown (14 July 2011). "The Haqqani Nexus and the Evolution of al-Qaida" (PDF). Harmony Program. Combating Terrorism Center. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Reuters. "Sirajuddin Haqqani dares US to attack N Waziristan, by Reuters, Published: September 24, 2011". Tribune. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Perlez, Jane (14 December 2009). "Rebuffing U.S., Pakistan Balks at Crackdown". The New York Times. 
  23. ^ Peter Bergen and Emily Schneider (1 February 2015). "Is U.S. coalition winning war vs. ISIS? -". CNN. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  24. ^ Afghanistan: meurtrière offensive des talibans contre des policiers
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  28. ^ Ahmed, Azam (January 1, 2015). "Shelling Strikes Afghan Wedding Party, Killing at Least 25 Civilians". New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ Darlene Superville and Steven R. Hurst. "Updated: Obama speech balances Afghanistan troop buildup with exit pledge". Associated Press. 
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  32. ^ "U.S. formally ends the war in Afghanistan" (online). CBA News. Associated Press. 28 December 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  33. ^ Sune Engel Rasmussen in Kabul (28 December 2014). "Nato ends combat operations in Afghanistan". Kabul: The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  34. ^ Michaels, Jim (30 September 2014). "Afghanistan, U.S. sign long-delayed security pact". USA Today (USA Today). Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  35. ^ Recknagel, Charles (30 September 2014). "Explainer: Key Points In U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement". Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty). Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  36. ^ Gordon, Michael R. (26 November 2012). "Time Slipping, U.S. Ponders Afghan Role After 2014". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  37. ^ DeYoung, Karen (5 December 2012). "U.S. reducing plans for large civilian force in post-2014 Afghanistan". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  38. ^ Landler, Mark (27 May 2014). "U.S. Will Complete Afghan Pullout by End of 2016, Obama Says". The New York Times. 
  39. ^ Walsh, Declan (30 September 2014). "Mending Alliance, U.S. and Afghanistan Sign Long-Term Security Agreement". The New York Times. 
  40. ^ USSOCOM Fact Book 2015, page 42, published November 14, 2014 on the DVIDS portal., via Afghan War News.
  41. ^ "Five men arrested in Afghanistan over involvement in Pakistan school massacre". 15 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "Capture the Flag in Afghanistan". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  43. ^ Rosenberg, Matthew; Schmitt, Eric; Mazzetti, Mark (12 February 2015). "U.S. Is Escalating a Secretive War in Afghanistan". New York Times. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  44. ^ Craig, Tim (12 February 2015). "U.S. forces, Afghan troops arrest Taliban militants wanted for school massacre". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  45. ^ Stewart, Phil (20 February 2015). "New Defense Secretary Ash Carter goes to Afghanistan to ensure 'lasting success' as US troops withdraw". Business Insider. Reuters. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  46. ^ Rampton, Roberta (11 February 2015). "Obama administration weighs Afghan request to slow withdrawal of U.S. troops". Reuters. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
    Ryan, Missy (10 February 2015). "White House weighs adjusting Afghan exit plan to slow withdrawal of troops". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
    Eberspacher, Sarah (21 February 2015). "New Defense Secretary Carter says U.S. may slow Afghan troop withdrawal". The Week. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
    Gul, Ayaz (21 February 2015). "New Pentagon Chief in Kabul Talks With Afghan President". Voice of America. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
    "U.S. commander proposes slower Afghan withdrawal". The Japan Times. Agence France-Presse. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  47. ^ Adam Ashton (24 February 2015). "Army to send headquarters group to Kandahar in first sign of revision to Afghan withdrawal plan". McClatchy. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  48. ^ Gary Walts (26 February 2015). "Fort Drum brigade prepares for deployment to Afghanistan". The Post-Standard (Syracuse Media Group). Associated Press. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
    Tan, Michelle (27 February 2015). "Army announces new Afghanistan deployments". ArmyTimes (Gannett). Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  49. ^ O'Hanlon, Michael E. "A Bright Spot Among Afghan Woes", The Brookings Institution, 19 May 2010.
  50. ^ What Mr. Obama changed. The Washington Post. 3 December 2009.
  51. ^ Al Pessin (9 December 2009). "Afghan Forces Could Start to Lead Soon, Big Challenges Remain". Voice of America. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  52. ^ a b c Cahn, Dianna (9 December 2009). "Troops fear corruption outweighs progress of Afghan forces". Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  53. ^ "U.S. trainers bemoan Afghan corruption". 9 December 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  54. ^ "Illiteracy undermines Afghan army – Air Force News, news from Iraq". Air Force Times. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  55. ^ Philip Munch (20 January 2015). Resolute Support Lite: NATO's New Mission versus the Political Economy of the Afghan National Security Forces (PDF) (Report). Afghanistan Analysts' Network. p. 5. Retrieved February 2015. 
  56. ^ Munch 2015, p.6, and Giustozzi, A. & Quentin, P., “The Afghan National Army: sustainability challenges beyond financial aspects.” Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, Kabul, February 2014, 2014, p.30-37
  57. ^ "For U.S., Vast Challenge To Expand Afghan Forces". NPR. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  58. ^ a b Nordland, Rod (2 February 2010). "With Raw Recruits, Afghan Police Buildup Falters". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 

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