International Security Assistance Force
In December, 2001, the United Nations Security Council authorized the creation and deployment of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan. The purpose of ISAF is to secure the city and the Bagram air base from Taliban and al Qaida elements and factional warlords, and to allow for the establishment and security of the Afghan Transitional Administration. The ISAF has not expanded its mandate beyond Kabul; such a deployment would require and extra 10,000 soldiers at least, according to General Norbert Van Heyst. That responsibility is planned to be given to the Afghan National Army.
Nineteen countries provide troops.
In November, 2002 ISAF, consisting of 4,650 troops from over 20 countries, was led by Turkey. Around 1,200 German troops were serving in the force alongside 250 Dutch soldiers operating as part of a German-led battalion.
On June 7, 2003 in Kabul, a taxi packed with explosives rammed a bus carrying German ISAF personnel, killing four soldiers and wounding 29 others; one Afghan bystander was killed and 10 Afghan bystanders were wounded. The 33 peacekeepers, after months on duty in Kabul, were en route to the Kabul International Airport for their flight home to Germany. At the time, Germans soldiers made up more than 40% of ISAF.
ISAF is commanded on a 6-month rotating basis by different forces: