a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Afghanistan war

Years: 2001-2017
Battle deaths: 127,021 [1]
Non-state conflict, battle-deaths: 2,002 [3]
Onesided violence: 1,784 [2]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]
Afghanistan, United States, United Kingdom, Albania, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Turkey, Tonga, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Singapore, Romania, Portugal, Poland, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Montenegro, Mongolia, Malaysia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Latvia, South Korea, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Georgia, France, Macedonia, Finland, Estonia, El Salvador, Denmark, Czech Republic, Croatia, Canada, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Austria, Australia, Armenia, Bahrain

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2018-07-29 00:38:41
The War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001 as the U.S. military operation Operation Enduring Freedom, was launched by the United States with the United Kingdom in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The stated purpose of the invasion was to capture Osama bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and remove the Taliban regime which had provided support and safe harbor to al-Qaeda. The United States’ Bush Doctrine stated that, as policy, it would not distinguish between al-Qaeda and nations that harbor them.

Two military operations in Afghanistan seek to establish control over the country. Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) is a United States combat operation involving some coalition partners and currently operating primarily in the eastern and southern parts of the country along the Pakistan border. Approximately 28,300 U.S. troops are in OEF. The second operation is the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), initially established by the UN Security Council at the end of December 2001 to secure Kabul and its surroundings. NATO assumed control of ISAF in 2003. By January 12, 2009, ISAF had around 55,100 troops from 41 countries, with NATO members providing the core of the force. The United States has approximately 23,300 troops in ISAF.

The U.S. and the UK led the aerial bombing campaign, with ground forces supplied primarily by the Afghan Northern Alliance. In 2002, American, British and Canadian infantry were committed, along with special forces from several allied nations. Later, NATO troops were added.

The initial attack removed the Taliban from power, but Taliban forces have since regained some strength. The war has been less successful in achieving the goal of restricting al-Qaeda’s movement. Since 2006, Afghanistan has seen threats to its stability from increased Taliban-led insurgent activity, record-high levels of illegal drug production, and a fragile government with limited control outside of Kabul.


Data Sources

[1] Battle deaths: UCDP Battle-Related Deaths Dataset v. 5-2017 (link) (1989-2017) #333 #13692 #13637
Low: 119,823 High: 159,831

[2] UCDP One-sided Violence Dataset v. 1.4-2017 (link) including actors: / Taleban
Low: 1,735 High: 2,528

[3] UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset v. 2.5-2017 (link) including dyads: / Forces of Amanullah Khan vs Forces of Ismail Khan / Jam'iyyat-i Islami-yi Afghanistan vs Junbish-i Milli-yi Islami / Hizb-i Wahdat vs Hizb-i Wahdat - Akbari faction / Forces of Abdul Rahman Khan vs Forces of Amanullah / Forces of Amanullah Khan vs Forces of Arbab Basir / Hizb-i Islami-yi Afghanistan vs Taleban / High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate, IS vs Taleban / Taleban vs High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate / Forces of Mullah Abdol Rauf Khadim vs Taleban
Low: 1,856 High: 2,677

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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