Friday, February 26, 2010

When did NATO take over in Afghanistan? IASF vs OEF-A

What is Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan (OEF-A)?

On October 7, 2001, early combat operations including a mix of strikes from land-based B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress bombers; carrier-based F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet fighters; and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from both U.S. and British ships and submarines signaled the start of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan (OEF-A).

The initial military objectives of OEF-A, as articulated by Former President George W. Bush in his Sept. 20th Address to a Joint Session of Congress and his Oct. 7th address to the country, included the destruction of terrorist training camps and infrastructure within Afghanistan, the capture of al-Qaeda leaders, and the cessation of terrorist activities in Afghanistan."[7][8][9]

What is the International Assistance Security Force (Isaf)?

Q & A: Isaf troops in Afghanistan

The majority of foreign troops in Afghanistan are under the command of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

Established by the UN Security Council in December 2001, its stated role is to promote security and development.

It is also involved in training the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP).

As of October 2009, Isaf had 67,700 personnel from 42 different countries including the US, European countries, Australia, Jordan and New Zealand.

There are about 36,000 US troops who are not part of Isaf serving in the east of Afghanistan - on the border with Pakistan - under Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

Who are the main contributors to Isaf?

The largest contributing nations are the US and Britain. They provide around 31,855 and 9,000 troops respectively

Who is in charge of Isaf and who is in charge of OEF-A

Until August 2003, command of Isaf rotated among different nations on a six-month basis. But because of difficulties in finding new lead nations, Nato took over responsibility for appointing commanders.

Since then, Isaf has been commanded by generals from Germany, Canada, Turkey, Italy, Britain and the US who have been in charge for between six months to a year.

The last three commanders have been Americans. The latest, Gen Stanley McChrystal, has made the protection of Afghan civilians the centrepiece of his new strategy.

Isaf vs OEF-A

Do you believe these two groups--both who employee several thousand American soldiers--have the same mission? How is their missions coordinated?

Critics have also argued that communication between Isaf and thousands of American troops - including special forces - serving with Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) is not as strong as it should be.

When Nato decides it's time for a general from Germany, Canada, Turkey, Italy, or Britain to take over again...will they cooperate/coordinate with our soldiers in OEF-A?

When an American Solider is deployed to Afghanistan how is it determined which operation he will be assigned to?

Your thoughts?


  1. I have never been a solider or police officer but I don't think it should take 9 years to train either of these.

  2. My thoughts exactly…except I have been a police officer for twenty-years and only spent twelve weeks at the law enforcement academy.
    My son, Army SSG Wm Ryan Fritsche, spent sixteen weeks in basic training before he was assigned to his first post.
    Therefore, it’s been very difficult for me to accept the fact that it’s taking years to train the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) and the Afghanistan Police Force. Actually, it’s bothered me so much I called Senator Lugar’s office and asked the same question. During a two hour conversation with a very nice young man from Lugar’s foreign affairs staff I concluded that it’s not the basic warrior tactics, police procedures or lack of equipment that challenges the Afghanistan people, but a basic lack of loyalty to a national or central government.
    Most of us (Americans) are raised with some sort of pride and/or trust in our government. We have government supported schools, means to feed the poor, social security, roads, municipal water, electricity, so on and so on. We as a people have a desire to live in peace and help others who are not as fortunate as ourselves. Therefore, when a group of terrorist or someone attacks our country and threatens our way of life, we as a group rise up together to defend our beliefs. The Afghan people on the other hand have lived in poverty under a weak and often corrupt government. They are taught that their family or village is all they have to rely on for survival and they must side with whatever group threatens them with the worst violence or offers them the best price for whatever it is they have to sell. They have no faith or loyalty in a central government. This kind of patriotism is hard to teach. The task is even further challenged by the fact that a lot of Afghans can not read or write.
    Now having said all that…I had to remind myself why we are in Afghanistan…oh yeah… I remember…. September 11, 2001. By the way, where is Bin Laden? Check out my next blog.