The current war in Afghanistan has been ongoing now for almost a decade.
How have Western states and militaries adapted to the challenges of this war?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took charge of the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan in 2003 , and gradually
expanded ISAF out from Kabul to the provinces from 2004 to 2006 . Most of
the European partners in ISAF conceptualized the mission their forces would
conduct not as war at all, nor even counterinsurgency (COIN), but as a stabilization
and reconstruction, only to find out that in Afghanistan this might actually
require significant combat. How have their armed forces and the political
leadership reacted? As ISAF expanded into the south and east of Afghanistan,
it encountered a far more resistant and capable insurgency than had been anticipated.
How did NATO and its member states respond? And as the campaign
has evolved, key operational imperatives have clearly emerged, including military
support to the civilian development effort, closer partnering with Afghan
security forces, and greater military restraint. How have the different militaries
in ISAF adapted in response to these imperatives?