|Operation Freedom's Sentinel|
|Part of the War on Terror, War in Afghanistan, Resolute Support Mission|
A U.S. Army crew chief with 17th Cavalry Regiment surveys the area over Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
|Islamic Republic of Afghanistan||
|Commanders and leaders|
Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi
Private contractors: 7,800 (as of July 2021)Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: 307,947 (as of January 28 2021) 
|Casualties and losses|
|See War in Afghanistan for full lists|
Operation Freedom's Sentinel (OFS) was the official name used by the U.S. government for the mission succeeding Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in continuation of the War in Afghanistan as part of the larger Global War on Terrorism. Operation Freedom's Sentinel is part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, which began on January 1, 2015. OFS had two components: counterterrorism and working with allies as part of Resolute Support.
There were 16,551 NATO and non-NATO troops in Afghanistan around February 2020. Around June 2020, that number dropped to 15,937. In February 2021, there were 9592 NATO and non-NATO troops in Afghanistan.
The self-reported strength of the Afghan National Security Forces consisted of more than 300,000 personnel during 2020. These forces surrendered or fled to neighbouring countries during the August phase of the 2021 Taliban offensive, leaving nearly all of the country under Taliban control.
After thirteen years of Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S. military and NATO allies shifted focus from major military operations to a smaller role of NATO-led training and assistance. While the bulk of the new mission was under the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RS), "a separate 'non-NATO' contingent of U.S. forces will participate in force protection, logistical support and counterterrorism activities."
An October 1, 2015, statement by Gen. John F. Campbell, commander, Resolute Support Mission, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan/ISAF, defined the U.S. military's objectives. "U.S. forces are now carrying out two well-defined missions: a Counter-Terrorism (CT) mission against the remnants of Al-Qaeda and the Resolute Support TAA mission in support of Afghan security forces. Our CT and TAA efforts are concurrent and complementary. While we continue to attack the remnants of Al-Qaeda, we are also building the ANDSF so that they can secure the Afghan people, win the peace, and contribute to stability throughout the region."
When OFS started U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan were at 9,800 troops. General Campbell requested an additional 1,000 troops while NATO troop levels were built up to a force of about 13,500. His request was granted. In 2019, U.S. troop levels were at 14,000 troops in combined support of NATO RS missions and OFS. By January 2021, the U.S. had reduced its force level to 2,500 troops. However, it was later revealed that U.S. has 1000 more troops, which include Special Operations forces, than it disclosed in Afghanistan.
Moreover, as of January 2021, there were still approximately 18,000 military contractors, in which a third were U.S. citizens, in Afghanistan President Biden stated on July 8, 2021, that the war in Afghanistan will officially conclude on August 31, 2021. American airstrikes on Taliban members were projected to continue, but ended with the fall of the Islamic Republic.
The Lead Inspector General for Overseas Contingency Operations (Lead IG) is responsible for submitting a quarterly report on OFS to Congress. The quarterly report describes activities in support of OFS, as well as the work of the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the United States Agency for International Development to promote the U.S. Government's policy goals in Afghanistan,
Excerpts from the January 1, 2018–March 30, 2018 report:
“General John Nicholson Jr., Commander of Resolute Support and Commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) said this quarter that U.S. and Afghan forces were gaining momentum through the new South Asia strategy, and that the Taliban was shifting to "guerilla tactics and suicide attacks" because it was no longer able to carry out attacks to seize cities or districts. However, suicide attacks and bombings in Kabul and across Afghanistan resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties, and raised concerns among Afghans about whether the government can secure the country.”
“The United States faces multiple challenges in Afghanistan. Previous Lead IG quarterly reports identified several challenges facing Afghanistan and the OFS mission, including preparing to hold safe, credible parliamentary elections, defeating ISIS-K, and pressuring Pakistan to eliminate safe havens. During the quarter, the United States and Afghanistan continued to seek to address these challenges, though with limited progress, as detailed throughout this report.
This quarter, Lead IG agencies also observed the following emerging challenges that complicate the OFS mission and efforts to end the conflict:”
- Stemming the Attacks in Kabul
- Managing Increased Violence in Afghanistan
- Pursuing Peace