Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 7: International Security Assistance Force

Factsheet: NATO took command and co-ordination of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in August 2003. ISAF is NATO's first mission outside the Euro-Atlantic area. ISAF operates in Afghanistan under a UN mandate and will continue to operate according to current and future UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. ISAF’s mission was initially limited to Kabul. Resolution 1510 passed by the UNSC on 13 October 2003 opened the way to a wider role for ISAF to support the Government of Afghanistan beyond Kabul.
What is the aim of the operation?
ISAF's role is to assist the Government of Afghanistan and the International Community in maintaining security within its area of operation. ISAF supports the Government of Afghanistan in expanding its authority to the rest of the country, and in providing a safe and secure environment conducive to free and fair elections, the spread of the rule of law, and the reconstruction of the country.
What does this mean in practice?
  • ISAF conducts patrols throughout the 18 police districts in Kabul and its surrounding areas. Over a third of these patrols are carried out jointly with the Kabul City Police. There are also presence and patrol activities conducted within the Provincial Reconstruction Team areas of operation.
  • ISAF coordinates Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) projects throughout its area of operations. The CIMIC objectives are to assist the Commander of ISAF in his effort to support the Government of Afghanistan in maintaining and expanding security throughout the country, to support stabilisation, reconstruction and nation-building activities, and to co-operate with the International Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The CIMIC teams work in close co-operation with the local population and authorities and assess the situation concerning education, health, water, sanitation and internally displaced persons and returnees. They also initiate and monitor projects funded by either national or international donors.
  • On a political level, ISAF works closely with the Afghan authorities, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), UN agencies, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and the US-led coalition (Operations Enduring Freedom - OEF). ISAF has Liaison Teams that coordinate issues directly with the Government of Afghanistan, with UNAMA and other international players.
  • ISAF also supports the Government of Afghanistan in its security sector reform efforts.

How does NATO manage the ISAF mission?

The North Atlantic Council (NAC), NATO's highest decision-making body, provides the political direction and co-ordination for the mission. The NAC works in close consultation with non-NATO nations taking part in ISAF and special meetings with these nations are held on a regular basis. Based on the political guidance provided by the NAC, strategic command and control is exercised by NATO's main military headquarters, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium, led by the to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). The Joint Force Commander (JFC) based at the Joint Force Command in Brunssum (The Netherlands), is responsible at the operational level for manning, training, deploying and sustaining ISAF.


jayne said...

Hi Laura
Thanks for putting this in everyday language. Not only are you helping there but you are also giving us an education here too! Thanks for your address, am getting a box of goodies to send ya! Sorry too late to mail for Christmas but hope you will enjoy anyway!

Mary Bennett said...

Dear Laura,
I love reading your articles you write they are so interesting.
Keep your chin up and just forget about everything and try hard to sleep but I suppose it is hard with all the noise I couldn't sleep either I have to have it completely quiet! Hope you can get some sleep soon.
We love you and miss you.
Hugs from Florida,