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British Army operations in Afghanistan

There are two main operations being carried out in Afghanistan.

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are both being carried out by allied troops. These are expected to expand as President Barack Obama pushes for more troops to be deployed to Afghanistan.

All British Forces operations come under ISAF but are given their own name Operation Herrick.

Here are the basics to help avoid confusion.

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)

Operation Enduring Freedom is the name given to the US contribution to the war in Afghanistan.

It forms part of the nation's global War on Terror and was launched on October 7 2001 when US and UK forces began bombing targets in Afghanistan.

The military objectives of OEF were laid down by President George W. Bush in an address to Congress on September 20 2001, and then later in an address to the nation on October 7 2001. The aims included destroying terrorist training camps and infrastructure in Afghanistan, capturing al-Qaeda leaders and stopping terrorist activities in Afghanistan.

So far more than 600 US soldiers have been killed while serving on OEF. British forces have seen more than 100 killed. It is thought more than 4,000 Afghan forces have died as part of the operation.

Since 2001, the cumulative expenditure by the U.S. government on Operation Enduring Freedom has exceeded $150 Billion. [8]

The operation continues, with military direction mostly coming from United States Central Command.

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)

The International Security Assistance Force is the NATO-led security and development mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council in December 2001.

ISAF was initially charged with securing Kabul and surrounding areas from the Taliban, al-Qaeda and factional warlords. This was to allow the establishment of the Afghan Transitional Administration headed by Hamid Karzai.

In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorised the expansion of the ISAF mission throughout Afghanistan. ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country.

In all, 50,700 troops make up ISAF from 18 countries. There are 8330 British troops involved in ISAF. The breakdown is as follows:

ISAF total - 50,700

United States - 20,600 (total number of US troops in Afghanistan is 32,500 including National Guard.)

United Kingdom - 8,330

Germany - 3,310

Canada - 2,830

France 2,730

Italy - 2,350

Netherlands - 1,770

Turkey - 1,300

Poland - 1,600

Australia - 1,080

Spain - 780

Denmark - 750

Romania - 730

Norway - 588

Sweden - 500

Bulgaria - 460

Belgium - 420

Czech Republic - 415

Operation Herrick

Operation Herrick is the code name under which all British operations in the war in Afghanistan have been conducted since 2002.

It is the name given to the British contribution to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)

Since 2003, Herrick has increased in size and breadth to match ISAF’s growing geographical intervention in Afghanistan.

Kent troops in Afghanistan now are involved in Operation Herrick Nine.

Their work of soldiers varies under Operation Herrick Nine.

Troops can act as part of a quick reaction force to deal with all kinds of incidents in or outside camps and villages. They use what are called either hard or soft effects. Hard meaning the use of force, soft meaning diplomacy.

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