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Afghanistan National air transport system: - History

Afghanistan National air transport system: - History


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Afghanistan

Afghanistan.National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 4
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 20
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,929,907
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 33,102,038 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
YA (2016)
Airports:
43 (2016)
country comparison to the world: 91
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 5 (2016)
Heliports:
9 (2013)
Pipelines:
gas 466 km (2013)
Roadways:
total: 42,150 km
paved: 12,350 km
unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)
country comparison to the world: 86
Waterways:
1,200 km; (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 60
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Kheyrabad, Shir Khan


Afghanistan

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Afghanistan, landlocked multiethnic country located in the heart of south-central Asia. Lying along important trade routes connecting southern and eastern Asia to Europe and the Middle East, Afghanistan has long been a prize sought by empire builders, and for millennia great armies have attempted to subdue it, leaving traces of their efforts in great monuments now fallen to ruin. The country’s forbidding landscape of deserts and mountains has laid many imperial ambitions to rest, as has the tireless resistance of its fiercely independent peoples—so independent that the country has failed to coalesce into a nation but has instead long endured as a patchwork of contending ethnic factions and ever-shifting alliances.

The modern boundaries of Afghanistan were established in the late 19th century in the context of a rivalry between imperial Britain and tsarist Russia that Rudyard Kipling termed the “Great Game.” Modern Afghanistan became a pawn in struggles over political ideology and commercial influence. In the last quarter of the 20th century, Afghanistan suffered the ruinous effects of civil war greatly exacerbated by a military invasion and occupation by the Soviet Union (1979–89). In subsequent armed struggles, a surviving Afghan communist regime held out against Islamic insurgents (1989–92), and, following a brief rule by mujahideen groups, an austere movement of religious students—the Taliban—rose up against the country’s governing parties and warlords and established a theocratic regime (1996–2001) that soon fell under the influence of a group of well-funded Islamists led by an exiled Saudi Arabian, Osama bin Laden. The Taliban regime collapsed in December 2001 in the wake of a sustained U.S.-dominated military campaign aimed at the Taliban and fighters of bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization. Soon thereafter, anti-Taliban forces agreed to a period of transitional leadership and an administration that would lead to a new constitution and the establishment of a democratically elected government.

The capital of Afghanistan is its largest city, Kabul. A serene city of mosques and gardens during the storied reign of the emperor Bābur (1526–30), founder of the Mughal dynasty, and for centuries an important entrepôt on the Silk Road, Kabul lay in ruins following the long and violent Afghan War. So, too, fared much of the country, its economy in shambles and its people scattered and despondent. By the early 21st century an entire generation of Afghans had come to adulthood knowing nothing but war.

Afghanistan is completely landlocked—the nearest coast lies along the Arabian Sea, about 300 miles (480 km) to the south—and, because of both its isolation and its volatile political history, it remains one of the most poorly surveyed areas of the world. It is bounded to the east and south by Pakistan (including those areas of Kashmir administered by Pakistan but claimed by India), to the west by Iran, and to the north by the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. It also has a short border with Xinjiang, China, at the end of the long, narrow Vākhān (Wakhan Corridor), in the extreme northeast. Its overall area is roughly twice that of Norway.


Afghanistan

Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in increased democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 communist countercoup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-communist mujahidin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Usama BIN LADIN.

A UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan, and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was reelected in August 2009 for a second term. The 2014 presidential election was the country's first to include a runoff, which featured the top two vote-getters from the first round, Abdullah ABDULLAH and Ashraf GHANI. Throughout the summer of 2014, their campaigns disputed the results and traded accusations of fraud, leading to a US-led diplomatic intervention that included a full vote audit as well as political negotiations between the two camps. In September 2014, GHANI and ABDULLAH agreed to form the Government of National Unity, with GHANI inaugurated as president and ABDULLAH elevated to the newly-created position of chief executive officer. The day after the inauguration, the GHANI administration signed the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO Status of Forces Agreement, which provide the legal basis for the post-2014 international military presence in Afghanistan. After two postponements, the next presidential election was held in September 2019.

The Taliban remains a serious challenge for the Afghan Government in almost every province. The Taliban still considers itself the rightful government of Afghanistan, and it remains a capable and confident insurgent force fighting for the withdrawal of foreign military forces from Afghanistan, establishment of sharia law, and rewriting of the Afghan constitution. In 2019, negotiations between the US and the Taliban in Doha entered their highest level yet, building on momentum that began in late 2018. Underlying the negotiations is the unsettled state of Afghan politics, and prospects for a sustainable political settlement remain unclear.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.


Afghanistan’s Economic Gain and Loss from “National Air Corridor Program”

Afghanistan's National Air Corridor Program may not be sustainable, and gaining access to the Karachi port should be a priority for the Afghan government.

Ariana News Agency- Afghanistan has long been suffering from what Paul Collier describes in his book The Bottom Billion as a &ldquolandlocked trap&rdquo&mdasha landlocked situation with bad neighbors. Afghanistan&rsquos lack of direct access to the sea and a capricious political relationship with neighboring Pakistan has marginalized the country from the international trade network, thereby hampering economic growth, surging unemployment, and proliferating poverty.

In recent years, Afghanistan has experienced a sharp decline in economic growth. The GDP growth substantially dwindled from 14.5 percent in 2012 to 2.6 percent in 2017, resulting in staggering 40 percent unemployment and 36 percent poverty rates. Its trade deficit, spurred by an extremely low export volume (6 percent of the GDP in absolute terms), has been growing substantially&mdashjumping from 31.6% of GDP in 2016 to 33.6 percent of GDP in 2017.

Pakistan has remained Afghanistan&rsquos largest trade and transit partner for decades. The aggregate trade between the two countries peaked at $2.7 billion during 2014-15. Afghan traders have used Pakistan as a route to access the gigantic Indian market. However, in the past few years, due to a turbulent political relationship between the South Asian neighbors, Pakistan has imposed several superfluous regulatory barriers to trade and shut down the Chaman and Torkham borders on multiple occasions. Such policies plummeted Pakistan&rsquos trade relationship with Afghanistan&mdashreducing the bilateral trade to $500 million&mdashand impeded Afghan traders&rsquo access to the Indian market. Thus, it was imperative for the Afghan government to diversify its trading partners and abrogate Pakistan&rsquos intrusive impact on trade with India.

In June 2017, the Afghan government launched the &ldquoAfghanistan-India Air Corridor&rdquo as a pilot project to facilitate trade between Kabul and New Delhi via air freight. &ldquoOur goal is to change Afghanistan to an exporter country. Unless we are an exporter country, poverty and instability will not be eliminated&rdquo, said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during the launching ceremony. Since then, Afghanistan has exported 3,318 metric tons (MT) of goods through 155 flights to the Indian capital. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported a 28 percent increase in Afghan exports from 2016 to 2017, crediting it largely to the initiation of the air corridor program with India.

Following the success of the first air corridor project, the Afghan government expanded it at an impressive rate to several other countries, framing it as &ldquoNational Air Corridor Program&rdquo. So far, the program has facilitated export of 3,643 MT of goods worth $63 million through 244 flights to international markets, including India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, European Union, Kazakhstan, and UAE. These include perishable and non-perishable goods, such as dry fruits, fresh fruits, medical herbs, handicrafts, and carpets. As a result, Afghanistan&rsquos air exports have grown from $230 million in 2015 to $391 million in 2017, marking a 70 percent increase in two years, according to SIGAR.

On Nov 07, 2018, Afghanistan opened a new air corridor with China dispatching 20 tons of pine nuts (worth $500,000) to Shanghai. During the inauguration ceremony, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said, &ldquoPine nut, pistachio and cumin are the hidden treasures of Afghanistan, and the government is committed to bring out its full potential via trade corridors.&rdquo It is estimated that Afghanistan will export approximately 2,000 MT of pine nuts to the Chinese market annually. The Afghan government also signed an MOU with the Turkish Airline to transport other commercial merchandises, such as vegetables, rugs, minerals, handicrafts, and animal products, to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.

Export via air corridor carries some financial costs for the Afghan government, on the other hand. In an attempt to make air transportation more affordable for the businesses and make Afghan products competitive in the international markets, the government provides 80 percent subsidy in the shipment costs, aggregating to $2 million to date. However, the air corridor program is still nascent.

As it expands and larger amounts of merchandises are exported, the financial burden on the government could be overwhelmingly high. For instance, Ajmal Ahmady, President Ashraf Ghani&rsquos senior economic advisor, recently tweeted, &ldquoWe estimate the value of pine nuts to be

$20k/MT in China. This means the total value for 22MTs is $440k (using end market prices). By comparison, shipping costs are relatively low at

$3k/MT, or $66k for all 22MTs&rdquo. With the current subsidy rate, the government would need to contribute more than $17.5 million annually merely for 2,000 MT export of pine nuts to China.

Though the National Air Corridor Program is a &ldquowin-win&rdquo option for both the government and private sector at the status quo by offering faster, more secure, and more reliable mode of shipment in the immediate term, it might not be a viable alternative in the long term due to the high cost of air freight. The US government recently exempted the development of the Chabahar port from the new sanctions imposed on Iran under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012. Thus, in the long term, Chabahar port will open a new transit route for the Afghan businesses to transport goods to India and other international markets via sea route.

The Afghan government should also leverage Pakistan&rsquos recent commitments to ease trade and transit for Afghan traders. Hence, providing Afghan businesses with access to the Karachi port should be a priority for the Afghan government.


Afghanistan

Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in increased democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 communist countercoup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-communist mujahidin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Usama BIN LADIN.A UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan, and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was reelected in August 2009 for a second term. The 2014 presidential election was the country's first to include a runoff, which featured the top two vote-getters from the first round, Abdullah ABDULLAH and Ashraf GHANI. Throughout the summer of 2014, their campaigns disputed the results and traded accusations of fraud, leading to a US-led diplomatic intervention that included a full vote audit as well as political negotiations between the two camps. In September 2014, GHANI and ABDULLAH agreed to form the Government of National Unity, with GHANI inaugurated as president and ABDULLAH elevated to the newly-created position of chief executive officer. The day after the inauguration, the GHANI administration signed the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO Status of Forces Agreement, which provide the legal basis for the post-2014 international military presence in Afghanistan. After two postponements, the next presidential election was held in September 2019.The Taliban remains a serious challenge for the Afghan Government in almost every province. The Taliban still considers itself the rightful government of Afghanistan, and it remains a capable and confident insurgent force fighting for the withdrawal of foreign military forces from Afghanistan, establishment of sharia law, and rewriting of the Afghan constitution. In 2019, negotiations between the US and the Taliban in Doha entered their highest level yet, building on momentum that began in late 2018. Underlying the negotiations is the unsettled state of Afghan politics, and prospects for a sustainable political settlement remain unclear.

Location

Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran

Geographic coordinates

Map references

total: 652,230 sq km
land: 652,230 sq km
water: 0 sq km
country comparison to the world: 42

Area - comparative

almost six times the size of Virginia slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries

total: 5,987 km
border countries (6): China 91 km, Iran 921 km, Pakistan 2670 km, Tajikistan 1357 km, Turkmenistan 804 km, Uzbekistan 144 km

Coastline

Maritime claims

Climate

arid to semiarid cold winters and hot summers

Terrain

mostly rugged mountains plains in north and southwest

Elevation

mean elevation: 1,884 m
lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Noshak 7,492 m

Natural resources

natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 58.1% (2016 est.)
arable land: 11.8% (2016)/permanent crops: 0.3% (2016)/permanent pasture: 46% (2016)
forest: 2.07% (2016 est.)
other: 39% (2016)

Irrigated land

Population distribution

populations tend to cluster in the foothills and periphery of the rugged Hindu Kush range smaller groups are found in many of the country's interior valleys in general, the east is more densely settled, while the south is sparsely populated

Natural hazards

damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains flooding droughts

Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources inadequate supplies of potable water soil degradation overgrazing deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials) desertification air and water pollution in overcrowded urban areas

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

landlocked the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)

Population

34,940,837 (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39

Nationality

noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan

Ethnic groups

Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, other (includes smaller numbers of Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, Pashai, and Kyrghyz) (2015)
note: current statistical data on the sensitive subject of ethnicity in Afghanistan are not available, and ethnicity data from small samples of respondents to opinion polls are not a reliable alternative Afghanistan's 2004 constitution recognizes 14 ethnic groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, and Pashai

Languages

Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 77% (Dari functions as the lingua franca), Pashto (official) 48%, Uzbek 11%, English 6%, Turkmen 3%, Urdu 3%, Pashayi 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi 1% (2017 est.)
note: data represent most widely spoken languages shares sum to more than 100% because there is much bilingualism in the country and because respondents were allowed to select more than one language note: the Turkic languages Uzbek and Turkmen, as well as Balochi, Pashayi, Nuristani, and Pamiri are the third official languages in areas where the majority speaks them

Religions

Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 40.92%(male 7,263,716 /female 7,033,427)
15-24 years: 21.85%(male 3,883,693 /female 3,749,760)
25-54 years: 30.68%(male 5,456,305 /female 5,263,332)
55-64 years: 3.95%(male 679,766 /female 699,308)
65 years and over: 2.61%(male 420,445 /female 491,085) (2018 est.)
population pyramid:

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 88.8 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 84.1 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 4.7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 21.2 (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 19 years (2018 est.)
male: 19 years
female: 19.1 years
country comparison to the world: 203

Population growth rate

2.37% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29

Birth rate

37.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Death rate

13.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9

Net migration rate

-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128

Population distribution

populations tend to cluster in the foothills and periphery of the rugged Hindu Kush range smaller groups are found in many of the country's interior valleys in general, the east is more densely settled, while the south is sparsely populated

Urbanization

urban population: 25.8% of total population(2019)
rate of urbanization: 3.37% annual rate of change(2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

4.114 million KABUL (capital) (2019)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.9 years (2015 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate

638 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11

Infant mortality rate

total: 108.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 115.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 100.9 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 1

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 52.1 years (2018 est.)
male: 50.6 years
female: 53.6 years
country comparison to the world: 223

Total fertility rate

5.02 children born/woman (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 78.2% of population
rural: 47% of population
total: 55.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 21.8% of population
rural: 53% of population
total: 44.7% of population (2015 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

Physicians density

0.28 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

0.5 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 45.1% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 27% of population (2015 est.)
total: 31.9% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 54.9% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 73% of population (2015 est.)
total: 68.1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

7,200 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113

HIV/AIDS - deaths

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2019)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2019)
vectorborne diseases: Crimea-Congo hemorrhagic fever, malaria (2019)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

5.5% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 176

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

25% (2013)
country comparison to the world: 17

Education expenditures

4.1% of GDP (2017)
country comparison to the world: 95

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 43%
male: 55.5%
female: 29.8% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years
male: 13 years
female: 8 years (2014)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 17.6%
male: 16.3%
female: 21.4% (2017)
country comparison to the world: 79

Country name

conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jamhuri-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan
local short form: Afghanistan
former: Republic of Afghanistan
etymology: the name "Afghan" originally referred to the Pashtun people (today it is understood to include all the country's ethnic groups), while the suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country" so Afghanistan literally means the "Land of the Afghans"

Government type

presidential Islamic republic

Capital

name: Kabul
geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E
time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: does not observe daylight savings time
etymology: named for the Kabul River, but the river's name is of unknown origin

Administrative divisions

34 provinces (welayat, singular - welayat) Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak, Zabul

Independence

19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)

National holiday

Independence Day, 19 August (1919)

Constitution

history: several previous latest drafted 14 December 2003 - 4 January 2004, signed 16 January 2004, ratified 26 January 2004
amendments: proposed by a commission formed by presidential decree followed by the convention of a Grand Council (Loya Jirga) decreed by the president passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Loya Jirga membership and endorsement by the president (2017)

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic (sharia) law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must have been born in - and continuously lived in - Afghanistan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai (since 29 September 2014) CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. (since 29 September 2014) First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014) Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014) First Deputy CEO Khyal Mohammad KHAN Second Deputy CEO Mohammad MOHAQQEQ note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai (since 29 September 2014) CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. (since 29 September 2014) First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014) Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014) First Deputy CEO Khyal Mohammad KHAN Second Deputy CEO Mohammad MOHAQQEQ
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 25 ministers appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term) election last held on 28 September 2019 (next to be held in 2024)
election results: NA

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Assembly consists of:
Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats 34 members indirectly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed by district councils to serve 3-year terms, 34 indirectly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed by provincial councils to serve 4-year terms, and 34 appointed by the president from nominations by civic groups, political parties, and the public, of which 17 must be women, 2 must represent the disabled, and 2 must be Kuchi nomads presidential appointees serve 5-year terms)
Wolesi Jirga or House of People (250 seats members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections:
Meshrano Jirga - district councils - within 5 days of installation provincial councils - within 15 days of installation presidential appointees - within 2 weeks after the presidential inauguration
Wolesi Jirga - last held on 20 October 2018) (next to be held in 2023)
election results:
Meshrano Jirga - percent of vote by party - NA seats by party - NA composition - men 84, women 18, percent of women 17.6%
Wolesi Jirga - percent of vote by party NA seats by party - NA composition - NA
note: the constitution allows the government to convene a constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity it consists of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils a Loya Jirga can amend provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president no constitutional Loya Jirga has ever been held, and district councils have never been elected the president appointed 34 members of the Meshrano Jirga that the district councils should have indirectly elected

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Stera Mahkama (consists of the supreme court chief and 8 justices organized into criminal, public security, civil, and commercial divisions or dewans)
judge selection and term of office: court chief and justices appointed by the president with the approval of the Wolesi Jirga court chief and justices serve single 10-year terms
subordinate courts: Appeals Courts Primary Courts Special Courts for issues including narcotics, security, property, family, and juveniles

Political parties and leaders

note - the Ministry of Justice licensed 72 political parties as of April 2019

International organization participation

ADB, CICA, CP, ECO, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNAMA, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

Ambassador Roya RAHMANI (since 24 November 2018)
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6410
FAX: [1] (202) 483-6488
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador John BASS (since December 2017)
telephone: [00 93] 0700 108 001
embassy: Bibi Mahru, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO AE 09806
FAX: [00 93] 0700 108 564

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green, with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and slightly overlapping the other 2 bands the center of the emblem features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the mosque are Eastern Arabic numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK) this central image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great"), and at bottom center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan black signifies the past, red is for the blood shed for independence, and green can represent either hope for the future, agricultural prosperity, or Islam
note: Afghanistan had more changes to its national flag in the 20th century - 19 by one count - than any other country the colors black, red, and green appeared on most of them

National symbol(s)

lion national colors: red, green, black

National anthem

name: "Milli Surood" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Abdul Bari JAHANI/Babrak WASA
note: adopted 2006 the 2004 constitution of the post-Taliban government mandated that a new national anthem should be written containing the phrase "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) and mentioning the names of Afghanistan's ethnic groups

Economy - overview

Despite improvements in life expectancy, incomes, and literacy since 2001, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Corruption, insecurity, weak governance, lack of infrastructure, and the Afghan Government's difficulty in extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world. Since 2014, the economy has slowed, in large part because of the withdrawal of nearly 100,000 foreign troops that had artificially inflated the country’s economic growth.The international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $83 billion at ten donors' conferences between 2003 and 2016. In October 2016, the donors at the Brussels conference pledged an additional $3.8 billion in development aid annually from 2017 to 2020. Even with this help, Government of Afghanistan still faces number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.In 2017 Afghanistan's growth rate was only marginally above that of the 2014-2016 average. The drawdown of international security forces that started in 2012 has negatively affected economic growth, as a substantial portion of commerce, especially in the services sector, has catered to the ongoing international troop presence in the country. Afghan President Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai is dedicated to instituting economic reforms to include improving revenue collection and fighting corruption. The government has implemented reforms to the budget process and in some other areas. However, many other reforms will take time to implement and Afghanistan will remain dependent on international donor support over the next several years.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$69.45 billion (2017 est.)
$67.65 billion (2016 est.)
$66.21 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 101

GDP (official exchange rate)

GDP - real growth rate

2.7% (2017 est.)
2.2% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$2,000 (2017 est.)
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$2,000 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 209

Gross national saving

22.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
25.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 81.6% (2016 est.)
government consumption: 12% (2016 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 17.2% (2016 est.)
investment in inventories: 30% (2016 est.)
exports of goods and services: 6.7% (2016 est.)
imports of goods and services: -47.6% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 23% (2016 est.)
industry: 21.1% (2016 est.)
services: 55.9% (2016 est.)
note: data exclude opium production

Agriculture - products

opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins, poppies

Industries

small-scale production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement handwoven carpets natural gas, coal, copper

Industrial production growth rate

-1.9% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181

Labor force

8.478 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 44.3%
industry: 18.1%
services: 37.6% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate

23.9% (2017 est.)
22.6% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194

Population below poverty line

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 24% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

29.4 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 136

Budget

revenues: 2.276 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 5.328 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

11.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-15.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217

Public debt

7% of GDP (2017 est.)
7.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202

Fiscal year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5% (2017 est.)
4.4% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171

Commercial bank prime lending rate

15% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37

Stock of narrow money

$6.644 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.192 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94

Stock of broad money

$6.945 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.544 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95

Stock of domestic credit

-$240.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

$1.014 billion (2017 est.)
$1.409 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Exports

$784 million (2017 est.)
$614.2 million (2016 est.)
note: not including illicit exports or reexports
country comparison to the world: 171

Exports - partners

India 56.5%, Pakistan 29.6% (2017)

Exports - commodities

opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems, and medical herbs

Imports

$7.616 billion (2017 est.)
$6.16 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114

Imports - commodities

machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products

Imports - partners

China 21%, Iran 20.5%, Pakistan 11.8%, Kazakhstan 11%, Uzbekistan 6.8%, Malaysia 5.3% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$7.187 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.901 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85

Debt - external

$2.84 billion (FY/)
country comparison to the world: 144

Exchange rates

afghanis (AFA) per US dollar -
7.87 (2017 est.)
68.03 (2016 est.)
67.87 (2015)
61.14 (2014 est.)
57.25 (2013 est.)

Electricity access

population without electricity: 18,999,254 (2012)
electrification - total population: 84.1% (2016)
electrification - urban areas: 98% (2016)
electrification - rural areas: 79% (2016)

Electricity - production

1.211 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Electricity - consumption

5.526 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96

Electricity - imports

4.4 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42

Electricity - installed generating capacity

634,100 kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Electricity - from fossil fuels

45% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

52% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Electricity - from other renewable sources

4% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110

Refined petroleum products - consumption

35,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Refined petroleum products - imports

34,210 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97

Natural gas - production

164.2 million cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79

Natural gas - consumption

164.2 million cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81

Natural gas - proved reserves

49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

9.067 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 118,769 (2017 est.)
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 23,929,713
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 70 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Telephone system

general assessment: progress has been made on Afghanistan's first limited fixed-line telephone service and nationwide optical fibre backbone aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve swiftly the Afghan Ministry of Communications and Information claims that more than 90% of the population live in areas with access to mobile-cellular services (2018)
domestic: less than 1 per 100 for fixed-line teledensity 70 per 100 for mobile-cellular an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks (2018)
international: country code - 93 multiple VSAT's provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2019)

Broadcast media

state-owned broadcaster, Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), operates a series of radio and television stations in Kabul and the provinces an estimated 174 private radio stations, 83 TV stations, and about a dozen international broadcasters are available (2019)

Internet country code

Internet users

total: 3,531,770
percent of population: 10.6 (July 2016 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 16,810 (2017 est.)
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156

Military expenditures

0.99% of GDP (2018)
0.94% of GDP (2017)
0.89% of GDP (2016)
0.99% of GDP (2015)
1.33% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 116

Military and security forces

Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) comprised of military, police, and other security elements: Afghan National Army ((ANA), Afghan Air Force, Afghan Special Security Forces, Afghanistan National Army Territorial Forces (ANA-TF)), Afghan National Police (Ministry of Interior), Afghan Local Police (Ministry of Interior), and the National Directorate of Security (2019)

Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service no conscription (2017)

Military - note

Since early 2015, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan known as Resolute Support Mission (RSM) has focused on training, advising, and assisting Afghan government forces RSM includes 17,000 troops, including 8,500 US and 8,700 other troops from 38 countries (September 2019)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 20 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,929,907 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 33,102,038mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports

43 (2016)
country comparison to the world: 99

Airports - with paved runways

total: 25 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 18 (2016)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2016)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8 (2016)
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2016)
under 914 m: 5 (2016)

Heliports

Pipelines

Roadways

total: 34,903 km (2017)
paved: 17,903 km (2017)
unpaved: 17,000 km (2017)
country comparison to the world: 92

Waterways

1,200 km(chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 58

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Kheyrabad, Shir Khan

Terrorist groups - home based

al-Qa'ida (AQ): aim(s): eject Western influence from the Islamic world, unite the worldwide Muslim community, overthrow governments perceived as un-Islamic, and ultimately, establish a pan-Islamic caliphate under a strict Salafi Muslim interpretation of sharia
area(s) of operation: maintains established networks and a longtime operational presence in Afghanistan, especially in the south, northwest, and northeast near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border continues to view Afghanistan as a safe haven for its leadership (2019)
Islamic Jihad Union (IJU): aim(s): drive NATO forces out of Afghanistan and destabilize the country overthrow the Government of Uzbekistan
area(s) of operation: conducts attacks in collaboration with other extremist groups, including the Taliban and al-Qa'ida, against NATO and Afghan forces across the country, especially in the northern and eastern Paktika, Paktia, and Nangarhar provinces
note: IJU is a splinter movement of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) IJU emerged in the early 2000s after internal splits over goals IMU is focused on Central Asia, but the IJU sought a more global focus (2019)
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU):
aim(s): enhance its networks and secure territory in Afghanistan to establish a secure presence from which it can pursue its historic goal of establishing an Islamic state in the Fergana Valley, a fertile valley spread across eastern Uzbekistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, and northern Tajikistan
area(s) of operation: operates mostly in the north along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with its heaviest presence in Badakhshan Province, where IMU has operated paramilitary training camps and bases
note: the IMU is fractured and mostly supports ISIS-K although some members have continued working with the Taliban and al-Qa'ida (2019)
Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K):
aim(s): establish an Islamic caliphate in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Central Asia counter Westerners and Shia Muslims
area(s) of operation: strongholds in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and operating in Laghman, Jowzjan provinces with pockets of support throughout Afghanistan
note: recruits from among the local population, Central Asian extremists in Afghanistan, and other militant groups, such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan ISIS-K and Afghan Taliban forces have fought sometimes over control of territory or because of political or differences (2019)
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP):
aim(s): drive foreign troops from Afghanistan remove Pakistani forces from Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and, ultimately, overthrow the Pakistan Government to implement TTP's strict interpretation of sharia
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in several eastern Afghanistan provinces near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border operates primarily along the northeastern Afghanistan-Pakistan border, especially in Kunar and Paktika provinces, where TTP has established sanctuaries (2019)

Terrorist groups - foreign based

al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS): aim(s): unite local jihadist movements in the Indian subcontinent, pursue the overthrow of local governments, exacerbate tensions between Hindus and Muslims, establish an Islamic caliphate in the Indian subcontinent
area(s) of operation:
heaviest presence is in Afghanistan, especially in the eastern and southern regions, where most of the Afghan-based leaders are located
note: targets primarily Afghan military and security personnel and US interests (2019)
Haqqani Taliban Network (HQN): aim(s): expel US and Coalition forces and replace the Afghan Government with an Islamic state operating according to a strict Salafi Muslim interpretation of sharia under the Afghan Taliban
area(s) of operation: stages attacks from Kurram and North Waziristan Agency in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) across from Afghanistan's southeastern border operational throughout the country, especially in Kabul and Paktiya and Khost provinces
note: plays a leading role in planning and executing high-profile attacks against Afghan personnel, NATO's Resolute Support Mission, US and Coalition Forces, and other US and Western interests strong ties with al-Qa'ida (2019)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM): aim(s): enhance its networks and paramilitary training in Afghanistan and, ultimately, incorporate Kashmir into Pakistan establish an Islamic state in Kashmir
area(s) of operation: maintains paramilitary training camps in eastern Afghanistan (2019)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI): im(s): seeks the annexation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the expulsion of foreign forces from Afghanistan implement sharia in Afghanistan
area(s) of operation: operations throughout Afghanistan, targeting primarily Afghan Government personnel and Coalition forces has supplied fighters to the Taliban (2019)
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps -- Qods Force (IRGC-QF): aim(s): initially supported anti-Taliban initiatives that complemented US goals in 2001, however, it gradually adopted an anti-NATO/anti-Afghan government strategy and began supplying financial assistance, training, and weapons to the Taliban
area(s) of operations: Taliban-dominated areas of Afghanistan (2019)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM): aim(s): annex the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and expel international forces from Afghanistan.
area(s) of operation: historically operated in Afghanistan's eastern provinces (2019)
Jaysh al Adl: aim(s): enhance its operational networks and capabilities for staging cross-border attacks into Iran
area(s) of operation: operational in the greater Balochistan area, where fighters stage attacks targeting Iranian security forces
note: formerly known as Jundallah (2019)
Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ): aim(s): enhance its networks and paramilitary training in Afghanistan exterminate Shia Muslims, rid the Afghanistan-Pakistan region of Western influence
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in the east operates paramilitary training camps near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border across from the central area of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region operatives conduct operations mostly against targets in Pakistan, but also in Afghanistan ties with al-Qa'ida and the Taliban (2019)
Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT): aim(s): annex the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and foment Islamic insurgency in India attack Western, Indian, and Afghan interests in Afghanistan support the Taliban's return to power enhance its recruitment networks and paramilitary training in Afghanistan, and, ultimately, install Islamic rule throughout South Asia
area(s) of operation:
mostly focused on Indian troops and civilian targets, particularly in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, but has also targeted Coalition forces in Afghanistan maintains several facilities, such as paramilitary training camps, medical clinics serving locals, and schools for youths targets Pashtun youth for recruitment in the Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region (2019)

Disputes - international

Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps and since 2014 have met to discuss collaboration on the Taliban insurgency and counterterrorism efforts Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey Iran protests Afghanistan's restricting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 72,194 (Pakistan) (2018)
IDPs: 2.598 million (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in the south and west due to natural disasters and political instability) (2018)

Illicit drugs

world's largest producer of opium poppy cultivation increased 63 percent, to 328,304 hectares in 2017 while eradication increased slightly, it still remains well below levels achieved in 2015 the 2017 crop yielded an estimated 9,000 mt of raw opium, a 88% increase over 2016 the Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts most of the heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium Afghanistan is also struggling to respond to a burgeoning domestic opiate addiction problem a 2015 national drug use survey found that roughly 11% of the population tested positive for one or more illicit drugs vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial networks illicit cultivation of cannabis and regional source of hashish (2018)


Training

Future training to be undertaken at the Shindand air wing at Shindand Air Base in western Afghanistan. The base which has been refurbished and expanded by ISAF which tripled its size. A new 1.3 mile training runway was to begin construction in 2012 [57] but has been canceled. The seven candidates are all graduates of the National Military Academy of Afghanistan of Initial Officer Training held in the United Kingdom and have also undertaken English language training in the Kabul English Language Training Center. Students will be trained in both fixed-wing aircraft, namely the Cessna 182T and 208B and in rotary wing aircraft, the MD 530F. [58] About 6 MD 530F helicopters were delivered to Shindand in late 2011. The initial 6 helicopters have completed acceptance flights and can now be used to begin training Afghan Pilots, [59] although one was destroyed in 2013 by an IED. [60] The four-year contract could see as many as 54 other helicopters being supplied to the AAF. [61]

With the delivery of 20 Advanced fixed-wing light support aircraft, the A-29 Super Tucano Afghan pilots will have to undergo further training. This will significantly increase the level of knowledge and experience in the air force. [62]


Russian helicopters in Afghanistan

The Pentagon announced that the Mi-17 was the best helicopter for Afghanistan, and its pilots were well acquainted with the control elements of the Russian aircraft.

The Afghan National Security Council had previously expressed concern at the shortage of aircraft in its fleet. The Afghan authorities called on the US to equip their national air force as quickly as possible.

&ldquoThe Mi-17 is an excellent helicopter. But, frankly, Afghan helicopter pilots lack training and Afghanistan has practically no attack helicopters to provide cover for the Mi-17 military transport helicopter. The Taliban, however, have more than their fair share of portable missile launchers for shooting down any kind of helicopter,&rdquo said Peter Benchley, a British military expert.

The Mi-17 is an excellent helicopter. However, Afghanistan has practically no attack helicopters to provide cover for the Mi-17 military transport helicopter

Peter Benchley, military expert

Afghan authorities approved the decision to purchase the helicopters, saying that expanding the air fleet should help them deal with any threats to the country&rsquos security.

Afghan legislators believe the country will be on the brink of disaster after 2014 if the local national security forces do not have the necessary weapons.

In particular, Mohammad Abdu, MP, believes that the Afghan security forces &ldquodo not have the capacity to fight and independently carry out military operations&rdquo.

Moreover, due to the lack of equipment and training, there is no special medical aid for soldiers injured in the course of duty.

&ldquoThe Afghanistan National Security Forces are very weak and the international community has taken responsibility for supplying them with the necessary equipment. Afghanistan will have to face many problems after 2014 and if it does not have a strong air force, the nation is doomed,&rdquo said Mohammad Abdu.

The purchase agreement for a package of 30 modified multi-purpose Mi-17 helicopters was signed between the US Defense Department and Rosoboronexport on 16 June last year. The contract is worth USD 553.8 million.

These aircraft are destined for the Afghan Special Mission Wing which is to support local Special Forces operations these operations are currently carried out by the US and NATO.

The Russian helicopters will be used by the Afghanistan National Security Forces Special Mission Wing in anti-terrorism, anti-narcotics and special operation missions.

In 2010, NATO reached an agreement with Russia to purchase 21 specially modified Russian Mi-17 helicopters for use in Afghanistan. These have all been delivered. Last year, a training centre for Afghan helicopter technicians opened in Russia.


NTSB finds damage from inadequately secured cargo caused Boeing 747 crash in Bagram, Afghanistan

The National Transportation Safety Board found that a National Airlines Boeing 747 freighter crashed on takeoff from Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan, because the five large military vehicles it was carrying were inadequately restrained. This led to at least one vehicle moving rearward, crippling key hydraulic systems and damaging the horizontal stabilizer components, which rendered the airplane uncontrollable. All seven crewmembers were killed in the April 29, 2013 crash.

Contributing to the accident was the Federal Aviation Administration’s inadequate oversight of National Airlines’ (NAL’s) handling of special cargo loads, such as that being carried on the accident flight. The Boeing 747-400 freighter was carrying five mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles. There was no evidence found to suggest that the airplane was brought down by an explosive device or hostile acts.

The investigation found that National Airlines’ cargo operations manual not only omitted critical information from Boeing and from the cargo handling system manufacturer about properly securing cargo, but it also contained incorrect restraining methods for special cargo loads.

The Board recommended that the FAA create a certification process for personnel responsible for the loading, restraint, and documentation of special cargo loads on transport-category airplanes. Other recommendations call on the FAA to improve its ability to inspect cargo aircraft operations, specifically those involving special cargo loads.


Afghanistan National air transport system: - History

01:23. Air Crash Investigation S16E10 Afghan Nightmare Season 16. Discover how the crash of National Airlines Flight 102 became Bagram Airfield's worst ever civilian aviation accident. Prime Video The Four: Battle for Stardom Air Crash Investigation.

"N949CA, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen here in December 2012The aircraft was a Boeing 747-400 model Boeing assigns a unique code for each company that buys one of its aircraft, which is applied as an

Remember that National Air Cargo 747 crash in Bagram back in 2013?On 29 April 2013, just seconds after taking off from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, National Airlines Flight 102 stalls and crashes into the ground, killing all seven crew members on board. Air Crash Investigation. The CW Don't Talk to the Police - Duration: 46:39.

A cargo plane leaves Afghanistan's largest airfield with 207,000 pounds of military equipment. Waco If it's happening in commercial aviation, you'll get the information and opinions here first.

Find out when Air Crash Investigation is on TV, including Series 15-Episode 10: Afghan Nightmare. How Safe Are Our Planes.

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The subsequent investigation concluded that improperly secured cargo broke free during the take-off and At the time of the crash the airline had been operating between Camp Bastion and Dubai for a month.A thunderstorm was also in the vicinity of Bagram at the time of the crash and the wind changed direction by 120° during one hour commencing approximately 35 minutes before the crash.The captain was 34-year-old Bradley (Brad) Hasler, who had worked for the airline since 2004.

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Note: Episode links might be taken down. The investigation determined that the aircraft's cargo had shifted dangerously backwards, causing the loss of control.What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.

The Canadian TV series Mayday (also known as Air Disasters and Air Emergency in the US and Air Crash Investigation in the UK and the rest of the world) covered Flight 102 in episode 10 of series 16, called "Afghan Nightmare", first broadcast in 2017. Air Crash Investigation.

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Within seconds of takeoff, the pilots lose control of the aircraft.

We thank you for your support and hope you'll join the largest aviation community on the web. Seconds From Disaster S02E10 The Last Flight of TWA 800 HD. Corporate Black Lightning He had 6,000 flight hours, including 440 hours on the Boeing 747.The first officer was 33-year-old Jamie Lee Brokaw, who had worked for the airline since 2009. Most viewed.

Air Crash Investigation S16E10 Afghan Nightmare Season 16.

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What Caused the Deadly 747 Crash in Afghanistan?

The Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation will lead the investigation as part of the U.S.-led coalition's policy of making Afghanistan govern itself. But it won't be working alone. Four investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Afghanistan on May 2 with representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, which made the 747-400 cargo plane that went down. The doomed flight was scheduled to carry military vehicles and other cargo from Bagram Airbase to Dubai, a frequent stop for troops and equipment coming from and going to Afghanistan.

The first step will be to recover the flight and cockpit voice recorders and send them to the United States for analysis, one expert said. As in any crash, the flight recorders are expected to be invaluable. In the meantime, an unauthorized video possibly taken by a dashboard camera has gone viral after its posting on the LiveLeaks website. The video shows no evidence of Taliban fire, although the Associated Press and others have reported a Taliban claim of responsibility. Contractors working in Afghanistan are always concerned about insider attacks by rogue Afghans, but there is no evidence of that so far.

"It's a classic stall on takeoff," aviation safety expert Mary Schiavo says. "It goes up, loses its momentum, and falls off to the right."

Schiavo oversaw FAA responses to air crashes as inspector general at the Transportation Department in the 1990s. She said three things can cause a stall like the one seen on the video: first, a loss of engine power second, runaway trim in which the small stabilizer tabs on a 747-400's tail elevators are incorrectly set upward, either because of a malfunction or human error third, cargo sliding to the back of the plane on takeoff, upsetting its weight balance.

Investigators will try to determine whether the plane's fuel might have had water in it, which could have caused the engines to lose power, Schiavo said. They'll want to make sure the plane's takeoff speed was set to the correct velocity&mdashif it goes too slowly, the plane would stall. In one example, investigators believe an incorrect takeoff setting caused the 2004 crash of a 747-244 jet in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And, of course, they'll explore whether the load was secured and balanced correctly. The flight's loadmaster, whose role was to secure and balance the cargo, was an employee of National, company spokeswoman Shirley Kaufman said in an email. (Orlando-based National Airlines is a subsidiary of National Air Cargo Holdings.)

The U.S.-led military coalition is checking the circumstances of the crash, too: "We are taking a comprehensive look at the events surrounding the aircraft crash, to include the subsequent photo on Twitter and the video posted on LiveLeaks," spokesman Erin O. Stattel said via email. Base security rules forbid photography without special permission so that insurgents can't easily learn a base's pattern of life.

NTSB referred inquiries to the Afghanistan ministry, which could not immediately be reached for comment.


Watch the video: National Air Transport Association (June 2022).