International Security Assistance Force
December 6, 2021
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was a multinational force in Afghanistan consisting of about 130,930 soldiers and support personnel (the majority, about 90,000, were US troops) under the command of General John R. Allen. The previous commander was David Petraeus. ISAF is sanctioned by the UN Security Council but is not a UN peacekeeping mission. The UN sanctioned ISAF in December 2001 through the Bonn Agreement with the aim of securing Kabul and the nearby Bagram airport from Taliban and al-Qaeda elements as well as insurgent warlords; this to enable the Afghan transitional government led by Hamid Karzai to function. It is a common misconception that the ISAF force is a UN peacekeeping force, but that is not true, but ISAF is on a security mission. On December 28, 2014, ISAF was transformed into the Resolute Support Mission. For almost two years, ISAF's mandate was limited to Kabul. Responsibility for security throughout Afghanistan would be given to the newly established Afghan National Army. However, on 13 October 2003, the Security Council voted to extend ISAF's mandate beyond Kabul. On October 24, the German Bundestag decided to send German troops to the Kunduz region. About 230 extra troops were sent to that region and it was the first time ISAF operated outside Kabul. As of November 18, 2010, 2,220 ISAF soldiers had died in service in Afghanistan, the largest proportion of Americans (1,395) followed by 345 Britons. Six Swedish soldiers have also died in the country.