Military of Afghanistan

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The military of Afghanistan is composed of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Army Air Force (formerly the Afghan Air Force). Being a landlocked country, Afghanistan has no navy, and the private security forces who are sometimes seen wearing military uniforms are not part of the Afghanistan's military.[3][4][5] The Afghan National Army currently has 134,000 (July 2010) soldiers[1] with plans to reach 260,000 by 2014.[6]

The Afghan military existed since the early 18th century when the Hotaki dynasty rose to power followed by the Durrani Empire. The Afghan military was constantly involved in wars with Persia and the British Raj from the 18th to the 19th century. The modern military force of the country was first organized in 1880s, when the country was ruled by Amir Abdur Rahman Khan. It was upgraded during King Amanullah Khan's rule in the early 20th century, and modernized during King Zahir Shah's rule from 1933 to 1973. During the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan, the army was fighting with mujahideen rebels. By 1992, the military of Afghanistan became dysfunctional, dissolving into portions controlled by different warlord factions when President Mohammad Najibullah was forced out of power and the mujahideen rebel groups took control over the country. This era was later followed by the rise of the Taliban, who established a military force on the basis of Islamic sharia law.

Following the US-led invasion in late 2001, the military of Afghanistan is being reformed by NATO military alliance, mainly by the United States armed forces. Despite early problems with recruitment and training, it is becoming effective in fighting against the insurgent elements. As of 2007, it is slowly becoming able to operate independently from NATO troops, most of whom are now grouped under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).[7]

The President of Afghanistan is the commander in chief of the nation's military, acting through the Afghan Ministry of Defense. The Afghan military is headquartered at the National Military Command Center in Kabul. In July 2009, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama announced they wish to increase the number of Afghan troops and police to 400,000 units.[8] In October 2009, the United States announced it plans to spend $1.3 billion dollars by 2010 in upgrading and constructing several military bases for the Afghan army.[9] This includes upgrades of more than $100 million to Bagram Air Base, the largest military base in the country, as well as a new $70 million dollar base in Farah near the border with Iran.[9]

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