Since 2001, British and coalition troops of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have fought a complex and costly war in Afghanistan. Between 2006 and 2012 – when Taliban fighters were most active – the fighting was intense. The role of Britain's armed forces evolved as they prepared to withdraw combat troops at the end of 2014.

In 2013, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) took over responsibility for security in Afghanistan. British troops became less involved in combat operations and have increasingly provided an advisory role.

British forces have concentrated on training and mentoring personnel of both the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP). This has included establishing an ANA Officer Academy based on the British Army's academy at Sandhurst. International police agencies have also been involved in training their Afghan counterparts.

The success of Afghan forces in providing security in Afghanistan is vital in allowing development work to take place and in making Afghans more confident about their future. While the ability of the ANSF to maintain security has been improved, the withdrawal of international combat troops is still a significant step into the unknown.

In spring 2014, IWM staff visited Afghanistan as part of IWM's Contemporary Conflicts Programme. The individual accounts presented here are just some of the interviews that featured in our exhibition War Story: Afghanistan 2014.


Security in Afghanistan

Major General Richard Nugee, Chief of Staff of ISAF Joint Command, explains how Afghan forces took over responsibility for security in Afghanistan in 2013 and how ISAF have continued to work with them.

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The Afghan National Security Forces

Brigadier Rob Thomson, Deputy Commanding General for Regional Command Southwest, gives an overview of how the ANSF have progressed.

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Training an Army

Brigadier Bruce Russell, Chief Mentor at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) at Qargha, near Kabul, explains how the ANAOA was established and how it is run.

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Training Women in the Army

Captain Danielle Huggins, Australian Defence Force Female Platoon Commander Mentor at the ANAOA, explains the differences in the training between male and female Afghan soldiers and the background and circumstances of the women who join the Afghan National Army.

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Training the Police

David Oram, Head of Kabul Field Office for the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL), explains how EUPOL is trying to change Afghan policing methods.

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Female Afghan Police Officers

Christine Edwards, Senior Police Advisor for the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL), describes her hopes for the future role of female Afghan police officers and the huge challenges faced by Afghan women in performing these roles.

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Reflections on Handing over Security

Lieutenant General John Lorimer, Deputy Commander of ISAF, talks about the future prospects of the ANSF.

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