1. 2014: Withdrawal continues and the insurgency increases of queen size bed After 2013, the Taliban escalated suicide bombings. An example of this is a bombing of a Lebanese restaurant in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of Kabul on 18 February 2014. Among the dead in this attack were UN staff and the owner of a restaurant, who died protecting his business; 21 people altogether were killed. Meanwhile, the withdrawal continued, with 200 more U.S. troops going home. The UK halved their force and were slowing withdrawal with all but two bases being closed down. On 20 March 2014, more than 4 weeks after a bomb in a military bus by the Taliban rocked the city once again, a raid on the Serena Hotel's restaurant in Kabul by the Taliban resulted in the deaths of 9 people, including the 4 perpetrators. The attack came just 8 days after Swedish radio journalist Nils Horner was shot dead by the Taliban.
However, as the U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, they were replaced by private security companies hired by the United States government and the United Nations. Many of these private security companies (also termed military contractors) consisted of ex U.S. Army, U.S. Marine, British, French and Italian defense personnel who had left the defense after a few years of active service. Their past relations with the defense helped establish their credentials, simultaneously allowing the U.S. and British to continue to be involved in ground actions without the requirement to station their own forces. This included companies such as the Ohio-based military contracting company, Mission Essential Personnel set up by Sunil Ramchand, a former White House staffer and U.S. Navy veteran.
Despite the crisis in Crimea, by March 2014 Russia had not tried to exert pressure on the U.S. via the Northern Distribution Network supply line. On 9 June 2014 a coalition air strike mistakenly killed five U.S. troops, an Afghan National Army member and an interpreter in Zabul Province.
On 5 August 2014, a gunman in an Afghan military uniform opened fire on a number of U.S., foreign and Afghan soldiers, killing a U.S. general, Harold J. Greene and wounding about 15 officers and soldiers including a German brigadier general and a large number of U.S. soldiers at Camp Qargha, a training base west of Kabul.
Two longterm security pacts, the Bilaterial Security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States of America and the NATO Status of Forces Agreement between NATO and Afghanistan, were signed on 30 September 2014. Both pacts lay out the framework for the foreign troop involvement in Afghanistan after the year 2014.
After 13 years Britain and the United States officially ended their combat operation in Afghanistan on 26 October 2014. On that day Britain handed over its last base in Afghanistan, Camp Bastion, while the United States handed over its last base, Camp Leatherneck, to Afghan forces.
As early as November 2012, the U.S. and NATO were considering the precise configuration of their post-2014 presence in Afghanistan. On 27 May 2014, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end in December 2014 (see Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan). 9,800 troops were to remain, 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. All U.S. forces, with the exception of a "normal embassy presence", would be removed from Afghanistan by the end of 2016. In 2014, 56 United States service members, and 101 contractors, died in Afghanistan.
On 28 December 2014 NATO officially ended combat operations in a ceremony held in Kabul. Continued operations by United States forces within Afghanistan will continue under the name Operation Freedom's Sentinel; this was joined by a new NATO mission under the name of Operation Resolute Support. Operation Resolute Support will involve 28 NATO nations, 14 partner nations, 11,000 American troops, and 850 German troops. 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 'conducts 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.' This task force is similar to previous forces such as Task Force 373.
The UK officially commemorated the end of its role in the Afghan war in a ceremony held in St Paul's Cathedral on 13 March 2015. Around 500 UK troops remain in "non-combat" roles. ------ 2. 2012: Strategic agreement of queen size bed Taliban attacks continued at the same rate as they did in 2011, around 28,000 attacks. In September 2012, the surge of American personnel that began in late 2009 ended.
Reformation of the United Front (Northern Alliance)In late 2011 the National Front of Afghanistan (NFA) was created by Ahmad Zia Massoud, Abdul Rashid Dostum and Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq in what many analysts have described as a reformation of the military wing of the United Front (Northern Alliance) to oppose a return of the Taliban to power. Meanwhile, much of the political wing reunited under the National Coalition of Afghanistan led by Abdullah Abdullah becoming the main democratic opposition movement in the Afghan parliament. Former head of intelligence Amrullah Saleh has created a new movement, Basej-i Milli (Afghanistan Green Trend), with support among the youth mobilizing about 10,000 people in an anti-Taliban demonstration in Kabul in May 2011.
In January 2012, the National Front of Afghanistan raised concerns about the possibility of a secret deal between the U.S., Pakistan and the Taliban during a widely publicized meeting in Berlin. U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert wrote, "These leaders who fought with embedded Special Forces to initially defeat the Taliban represent over 60-percent of the Afghan people, yet are being entirely disregarded by the Obama and Karzai Administrations in negotiations." After the meeting with U.S. congressmen in Berlin the National Front signed a joint declaration stating among other things:
We firmly believe that any negotiation with the Taliban can only be acceptable, and therefore effective, if all parties to the conflict are involved in the process. The present form of discussions with the Taliban is flawed, as it excludes anti-Taliban Afghans. It must be recalled that the Taliban extremists and their Al-Qaeda supporters were defeated by Afghans resisting extremism with minimal human embedded support from the United States and International community. The present negotiations with the Taliban fail to take into account the risks, sacrifices and legitimate interests of the Afghans who ended the brutal oppression of all Afghans.âNational Front Berlin Statement, January 2012High-profile U.S. military incidentsBeginning in January 2012, incidents involving U.S. troops occurred which were described by The Sydney Morning Herald as "a series of damaging incidents and disclosures involving U.S. troops in Afghanistan ". These incidents created fractures in the partnership between Afghanistan and ISAF, raised the question whether discipline within U.S. troops was breaking down, undermined "the image of foreign forces in a country where there is already deep resentment owing to civilian deaths and a perception among many Afghans that U.S. troops lack respect for Afghan culture and people" and strained the relations between Afghanistan and the United States. Besides an incident involving U.S. troops who posed with body parts of dead insurgents and a video apparently showing a U.S. helicopter crew singing "Bye-bye Miss American Pie" before blasting a group of Afghan men with a Hellfire missile these "high-profile U.S. military incidents in Afghanistan" also included the 2012 Afghanistan Quran burning protests and the Panjwai shooting spree.
Enduring Strategic Partnership AgreementOn 2 May 2012, Presidents Karzai and Obama signed a strategic partnership agreement between the two countries, after the U.S. president had arrived unannounced in Kabul on the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. The U.S.Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement, officially entitled the "Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America", provides the long-term framework for the two countries' relationship after the drawdown of U.S. forces. The Strategic Partnership Agreement went into effect on 4 July 2012, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 8 July 2012 at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan. On 7 July 2012, as part of the agreement, the U.S. designated Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally after Karzai and Clinton met in Kabul. On 11 November 2012, as part of the agreement, the two countries launched negotiations for a bilateral security agreement.
NATO Chicago Summit: Troops withdrawal and long-term presenceOn 21 May 2012 the leaders of NATO-member countries endorsed an exit strategy during the NATO Summit. ISAF Forces would transfer command of all combat missions to Afghan forces by the middle of 2013, while shifting from combat to advising, training and assisting Afghan security forces. Most of the 130,000 ISAF troops would depart by the end of December 2014. A new NATO mission would then assume the support role. ------ 3. 2006: War between NATO forces and Taliban of queen size bed From January 2006, a multinational ISAF contingent started to replace U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan. The British 16 Air Assault Brigade (later reinforced by Royal Marines) formed the core of the force, along with troops and helicopters from Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. The initial force consisted of roughly 3,300 British, 2,300 Canadian, 1,963 Dutch, 300 Australian, 290 Danish and 150 Estonian troops. Air support was provided by U.S., British, Dutch, Norwegian and French combat aircraft and helicopters.
In January 2006, NATO's focus in southern Afghanistan was to form Provincial Reconstruction Teams with the British leading in Helmand while the Netherlands and Canada would lead similar deployments in Orzgn and Kandahar, respectively. Local Taliban figures pledged to resist.
On 1 March 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush along with his wife Laura made a visit to Afghanistan where they greeted US soldiers, met with Afghan officials and later appeared at a special inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Embassy.
NATO operations in Southern Afghanistan in 2006 were led by British, Canadian and Dutch commanders. Operation Mountain Thrust was launched on 17 May 2006.
On 29 May 2006, while according to American website The Spokesman-Review Afghanistan faced "a mounting threat from armed Taliban fighters in the countryside", a US military truck that was part of a convoy in Kabul lost control and plowed into twelve civilian vehicles, killing one and injuring six people. The surrounding crowd got angry and a riot arose, lasting all day ending with 20 dead and 160 injured. When stone-throwing and gunfire had come from a crowd of some 400 men, the US troops had used their weapons "to defend themselves" while leaving the scene, a US military spokesman said. A correspondent for the Financial Times in Kabul suggested that this was the outbreak of "a ground swell of resentment" and "growing hostility to foreigners" that had been growing and building since 2004, and may also have been triggered by a US air strike a week earlier in southern Afghanistan killing 30 civilians, where she assumed that "the Taliban had been sheltering in civilian houses".
In July, Canadian Forces, supported by U.S., British, Dutch and Danish forces, launched Operation Medusa.
On 31 July 2006, ISAF assumed command of the south of the country, and by 5 October 2006 it also held the east. Once this transition had taken place, ISAF grew to a large coalition involving up to 46 countries, under a U.S. commander.
A combined force of Dutch and Australians launched a successful offensive between late April to mid July 2006 to push the Taliban out of the Chora and Baluchi areas.
On 18 September 2006 Italian special forces of Task Force 45 and airborne troopers of the "Trieste" infantry regiment of the Rapid Reaction Corps composed of Italian and Spanish forces, took part in the Wyconda Pincer operation in the districts of Bala Buluk and Pusht-i-Rod, in Farah Province. Italian forces killed at least 70 Taliban. The situation in RC-Wclarification needed then deteriorated. Hotspots included Badghis in the far north and Farah in the southwest.
Further NATO operations included the Battle of Panjwaii, Operation Mountain Fury and Operation Falcon Summit. NATO achieved tactical victories and area denial, but the Taliban were not completely defeated. NATO operations continued into 2007.
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