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Troop Levels in Afghanistan


There is much debate nowadays in the United States and the international community about how many additional troops will be needed to bring the war in Afghanistan to a successful conclusion, and who should be contributing those forces. Here is a brief history of the troop commitments to the U.S.-led NATO effort in Afghanistan.

The International Security Assistance Force was established Dec. 20, 2001, to secure Kabul; NATO assumed control of the ISAF two years later and the force jurisdiction would eventually extended beyond Kabul to other regions of Afghanistan. As of Oct. 1, 2009, the contributions to the ISAF are:

United States: 31,855

United Kingdom: 9,000

Germany: 4,245

France: 3,070

Canada: 2,830

Italy: 2,795

Netherlands: 2,160

Poland: 2,025

Australia: 1,200

Spain: 1,000

Romania: 990

Turkey: 820

Denmark: 700

Norway: 600

Belgium: 510

Bulgaria: 460

Sweden: 430

Czech Republic: 340

Hungary: 310

Crotia: 290

Lithuania: 250

Albania: 250

Slovakia: 240

New Zealand: 220

Macedonia: 185

Latvia: 165

Estonia: 150

Finland: 130

Greece: 125

Portugal: 105

Azerbaijan: 90

Slovenia: 80

United Arab Emirates: 25

Ukraine: 10

Iceland: 8

Luxembourg: 8

Ireland: 7

Jordan: 7

Austria: 4

Bosnia and Herzegovina: 2

Singapore: 2

Georgia: 1

This is 42 nations contributing for approximately 67,700 troops, a number that can fluctuate from day to day. This also doesn't represent the number of coalition troops on the ground at a given time. The force is under the command of U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

The ISAF units have some regions of distinction. For example, the northern posts are heavily German, while Spanish and Italian troops are in the western part of the country near Herat. Canadian and British forces have a stronger presence in the south of the country around Kandahar.

(Figures provided by NATO)

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