Hopes for national unity and stability in Afghanistan were dashed in 2015 as the government lost control of significant territory to insurgents. Kunduz City fell briefly to the Taliban, the first major city to fall to them since 2001. The ANSF experienced heavy casualties, at a time when nearly one-fifth of the country’s districts were either controlled or heavily contested by the Taliban.
Labeled the Year of “Transition,” 2014 was a watershed in modern Afghan history. It marked the first peaceful transition of power in more than a century, when Hamid Karzai handed over authority to Ashraf Ghani on September 29. The transition was not seamless, and the country teetered on the brink of a coup following the June presidential runoff.