What is Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan (OEF-A)?
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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."
What is the International Assistance Security Force (Isaf)?
Q & A: Isaf troops in Afghanistan
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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?