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The Danish engagement in Afghanistan

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Danish forces are contributing to a more safe and secure environment in Afghanistan
Danish forces are contributing to a more safe and secure environment in Afghanistan

The Danish engagement in Afghanistan 

From the beginning of 2015, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) took full responsibility for the security in Afghanistan. This shift marked the beginning of an enhanced cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community. However, the country is still facing major challenges. The former ISAF mission (International Security Assistance Force) is therefore, on invitation by the Afghan government, replaced by the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM). RSM consists of more than 17.000 soldiers aiming to strengthen Afghanistan's ability to maintain their own national security. RSM is a non-combat mission focusing on training, counseling and support for national institutions, including a focus on the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. RSM is operating in Afghanistan on a mandate from the UN Security Council. 39 countries participate in the mission.

The Danish engagement in Afghanistan started back in 2001 with Danish soldiers deployed since 2002.

The Danish effort

Denmark's military contribution in Afghanistan operates within the framework of a parliamentary resolution B25 of 18 December 2014 on a Danish military contribution to RSM. The goal of Denmark's military efforts is to contribute with required training, counseling and support capacities in the mission. During 2014, the Danish force contribution was adjusted, which has created the prerequisites for meeting the new objectives under the RSM. The training and counseling efforts are gathered in Kabul and the Danish military contribution consists of approximately 145 people.

The Danish Forces contributions:
  • The training and advisory contribution is distributed in advisory functions at the Afghan officers school, the Afghan officers and the Afghan special forces including instructors for an Afghan C130 air-transport capacity. 
  • Transport and Security for advisors and staff officers in Kabul. 
  • A staff contribution to Resolute Support Mission Headquarters. 
  • A military policy contribution in Kabul airport.
  • Logistics, administrative and technical support.

Purposes of the effort

Despite broad international support and engagement, Afghanistan is still a fragile and conflict affected country, not least due to the continued presence of the Taliban and other armed groups, including terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP). The overall purpose of the Danish efforts in Afghanistan is to contribute to national, regional and global security and stability by preventing the country from becoming a sanctuary for terrorists. At the same time, the Danish efforts must contribute to the emergence of a stable and more developed Afghanistan, which manages its own security, continues its democratic development and promotes respect for human rights. The purpose of the RSM is to ensure robust security institutions where the security forces are under civilian control and ensure security in accordance with Afghan law and international law.

The Danish military and civilian efforts in Afghanistan

Denmark has, with the Country policy paper for Afghanistan 2018-2020, a total three year plan for the Danish military and civilian efforts in Afghanistan until the end of 2020. The continued partnership with and support to Afghanistan will be based on four instruments: political dialogue, security, development cooperation and humanitarian support.

For the period 2018-2020, Denmark will focus its engagement and cooperation with Afghanistan and international partners in a three pronged approach through policy dialogue, security and financial assistance: 

  1. Promote issues as good governance, accountability, anti-corruption, human rights and equal opportunities for women and men in Afghanistan. 
  2. Contribute to increased security and stability in Afghanistan through strengthening of the Afghan security forces. 
  3. Address humanitarian and development challenges, including those contributing to internal displacement and irregular migration from Afghanistan, through strengthening of the private sector, job creation and education as well as integration of refugees and IDPs into local communities.

In recent years, significant progress has been made in the building of Afghan national security forces, so that today's forces comprise about 352,000 men - divided between police and army. But there is still a need for further capacity building of security forces. In the framework of RSM, Denmark is helping to ensure that the Afghans get the right training and skills that will enable security forces to take care of the country's security, even in the future.

In total, Denmark has pledged financial assistance for 2017-2020 at an average level of DKK 425 mio. per year. Of that, 45 % allocated to development assistance (Country programme), 30 % to humanitarian assistance and contributions through Danish NGOs and 25 % to the Peace and Stabilisation programme for the building of Afghan Security Forces.
Read more about the Peace and Stabilisation program here  

This article in Danish
Last updated 2020-01-08 - 10:56

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