The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement. As of today, ISAF iis engaged in the War in Afghanistan.
ISAF was initially charged with securing Kabul and surrounding areas from the Taliban, al Qaeda and factional warlords, so as to allow for the establishment of the Afghan Transitional Administration headed by Hamid Karzai. In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorized the expansion of the ISAF mission throughout Afghanistan, and ISAF subsequently expanded the mission in four main stages over the whole of the country. Since 2006, ISAF has been involved in more intensive combat operations in southern Afghanistan, a tendency which continued in 2007 and 2008. Attacks on ISAF in other parts of Afghanistan are also mounting.
As of January 2009 its troops number around 55,100 There are troops from 26 NATO, 10 partner and 2 non-NATO / non-partner countries, Troop contributors include Denmark, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Ireland, Poland and most members of the European Union and NATO also including Australia, New Zealand, Azerbaijan and Singapore. The intensity of the combat faced by contributing nations varies greatly, with the United States, United Kingdom and Canada sustaining substantial casualties in intensive combat operations.