Largest operation for NATO

On 28 September 2006, at a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) defence ministers at Portoroz, Slovenia, the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest decision-making body, decided to approve the expansion of the International Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, thus placing responsibility on ISAF for the whole country. The expansion will increase the size of the force to 30,000 to become NATO’s largest operation and most significant politico-military responsibility in its new role since the Cold War.

Its responsibilities are: to assist the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s government in extending its authority and influence, so that the right conditions for stabilisation and reconstruction are created; to work with a Senior Civilian Representative, who is responsible for advancing the political-military aspects of NATO’s commitment with the Afghan government, other international organisations and neighbouring countries; and to assist with a programme of cooperation that concentrates on defence reform, defence institution building and the military aspects of security sector reform.