US and NATO ended combat mission in Afghanistan
The US and NATO ended their combat mission in Afghanistan by lowering flags in a ceremony. The mission came to an end after 13 years.
The United States (US) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ended their combat mission in Afghanistan on 8 December 2014.
The mission ended with lowering of flags by the NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command in a ceremony held in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
This ceremony was the first of two that will draw a formal close to NATO’s combat mission by 28 December 2014.
The mission came to an end 13 years after the 9/11 terror attack in the US that sparked the invasion of the country in 2001 to topple the Taliban-led government.
Now onwards, the NATO and the US forces would make a transition to a training and support role for Afghanistan’s own security forces, which have led the fight against the Taliban insurgents since mid-2013.
From 1 January 2015, coalition will maintain a force of 13000 troops in Afghanistan as compared to one lakh forty thousand in 2011. At present, there are around 15000 troops in the country.
On the other hand, by end of December 2015, the total number of US troop will come down to 5500 and will reach to net zero by end of 2016.
However, in light of the recent announcement of launching of Operation Resolute Support by the US President Barack Obama, the mission of the US forces that remain in Afghanistan after 2014 will get broadened.
• Commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan was - General John F. Campbell
The combat mission comes to an end at a time when the Taliban have increased the attack on civilians and army personnel. The year 2014 saw the record number of causalities that has increased from 4350 in 2013 to 4634, a whopping 6.5 percent increase.
These figures become more amusing when compared to the number of causalities that has taken place since 2001. Some 3500 foreign forces, including at least 2210 American soldiers, have been killed since the war began in 2001.