NATO took on the command and coordination of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in August 2003. This is NATO’s first mission outside the Euro-Atlantic area. ISAF operates under a United Nations mandate and will continue to operate according to current and future UN Security Council resolutions. ISAF’s mission was initially limited to Kabul. Resolution 1510 passed by Security Council on 13 October 2003 opened the way for a wider ISAF role in support the Government of Afghanistan, beyond Kabul. Today, the Alliance provides security assistance in about 50% of Afghanistan’s territory.
ISAF currently numbers about 12,400 troops from 35 NATO and non-NATO troop contributing countries. This includes about 2,000 troops deployed temporarily as Election Support Forces for the 18 September provincial and parliamentary elections. Individual contributions by each country change on a regular basis due to the rotation of troops. At present, the four top contributing countries are: Germany (over 2,200), Italy (more than 2,100), Spain (over 1,400), and the Netherlands (close to 1,200). For more information on troop contributing countries, please contact ISAF directly.
In my opinion, this is a PATHETIC contribution by our “NATO Allies” against a foe that has struck Europe and North America on multiple occasions, NYC, London and Madrid.
What kind of message does this send to Al Qaeda? What does AQ feel about a mere 12,500 troops being committed by the largest military alliance in the world?
It is my opinion that the USA/UK are really on our own. No Nation is truly committed to hunting these animals down with us, otherwise, we would see much more significant contributions in troop levels, and maybe, just maybe, OBL would actually be dead or in jail by now.