Crisis management in Afghanistan
Finland has supported Afghanistan’s stabilisation not only through development cooperation and humanitarian assistance but also by participating in military and civilian crisis management. In 2015–2021, Finland took part in NATO Resolute Support Mission (RSM) and played an important role in the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL).
Military crisis management
In 2012–2021, Finland took part in NATO Resolute Support Mission that was launched on 1 January 2015. The aim of the mission was to support the Afghan Government in bringing about and maintaining a secure environment for the reconstruction of the country and for strengthening democratic institutions.
RSM was tasked to train, assist and advise the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) on a strategic level and to support the country’s security structures. The purpose was to help Afghan security forces and institutions in enhancing their capacity to operate independently and to be capable of safeguarding a stable security situation in compliance with the principles of good governance and respect for human rights. The mission focused on supporting the operation of Afghan ministries, administration and high-level security authorities. Resolute Support was a non-combat mission.
Before joining RSM, Finland participated in a NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2002–2014. ISAF was tasked to support the Afghan Government in stabilising the country’s security situation.
Civilian crisis management
The EU’s civilian crisis management mission EUPOL (European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan) worked in Afghanistan in 2007–2016. Over the years, Finland has been one of the most important countries that have seconded experts to this mission. Finns have also held lead positions in the missions.
The mission’s key functions included supporting the development of Afghan policing arrangements and strengthening the rule of law as part of the country’s comprehensive security sector reform. Special attention was paid to human rights and the gender perspective. International experts worked as advisers in the strategic development of the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs, the prosecution service and the police forces. After the mission's closure in 2016, the European Commission has continued the work through small-scale support projects.
Finnish civilian crisis management experts have worked not only in the EUPOL operation in Afghanistan but also for the EU Special Representative, NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Kabul and German Civilian Representative in northern Afghanistan.