War and conflict

Most Danes only really became aware of the country named Afghanistan after a US-led coalition entered it in 2001, with the goal of finding Osama bin Laden and oust the Taliban regime.

The Danish military took part in the invasion and remained in Afghanistan until 2014, as part of the effort to stabilise the security situation and continue the battle against the Taliban.

In this section you can read about the costs of war since 2001 for Denmark as well as for Afghanistan and the other countries involved – in terms of both money and human lives. You can also read a Danish soldier’s own account of his posting in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009.

For the Afghans themselves, war and conflict have unfortunately been part of their daily lives long before 2001. Before the entry of the international troops there was the Taliban, before the Taliban there was a civil war, and before that the country was occupied by the USSR. Due to its strategic position, Afghanistan has also historically been a battleground, which the British and others have attempted to incorporate into their empires.

This history of conflict seriously affects the lives of the Afghan population to this day. In many places, parents live in fear that their children may step on one of the land mines still left in the ground as a relic of the Soviet era. Moreover, millions of Afghans today live as refugees, being either internally displaced in their own country or new citizens of Denmark or elsewhere. Those you can also meet here.

I really hope we’ve made a difference, but to be honest I’m not sureKasper Frank, Danish Afghanistan veteran
After a long day at work, I returned home through a minefield. For just a second I was inattentive and stepped outside of the marked path. I vividly remember the explosionHamid, Afghan mine sweeper
The internally displaced people move towards the cities in search of better living conditions, but they often end up in one of the primitive camps where poor sanitation, primitive housing, unemployment and the harsh winters increase the risk of critical illness and famineSøren Lytken, Danish Refugee Council
We’d never considered leaving Afghanistan. Never. But when the Taliban took power, and the mujahideen before the Taliban – that changed life in AfghanistanTaj Mohammad Taj, Afghan living in Denmark