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Evaluation of the Danish evacuation from Afghanistan

The Danish government has concluded its internal evaluation of the events leading up to the fall of Kabul on 15 August 2021 as well as the evacuation from Afghanistan. 

On 27 August 2021, the Danish government mandated the Danish authorities to initiate a joint and thorough evaluation of the course of events leading up to the fall of Kabul on 15 August 2021 as well as the evacuation from Afghanistan. The purpose of the evaluation is to describe the sequence of events and assess the planning and execution of the evacuation in order to identify lessons learnt and strengthen the Danish authorities’ readiness to handle future international crises with a possible need for evacuation. 

A number of countries have initiated similar evaluations, but Denmark is the first country to publish a full, public evaluation of the evacuation from Afghanistan.

The evaluation was carried out by a working group consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Immigration and Integration. In addition, the Danish Defence Intelligence Service, the Defence Command, the Danish Emergency Management Agency, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, Danish National Police, the Danish Immigration Service, and the Danish Health Authority have contributed to the evaluation. A temporary secretariat within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has coordinated the working process.

The evaluation has drawn upon input from an external advisory group consisting of relevant Danish experts and professionals outside of the Danish central government. The advisory group has commented on drafts presented by the working group, and its comments have been reflected in the final report to the widest extent possible. However, the report remains solely the responsibility of the authorities represented in the working group.

The report consists of two main parts. The first part presents a timeline of events, focusing on the course of action and level of knowledge of the Danish authorities. The timeline contains extracts from the intelligence services’ assessments of developments in Afghanistan. A large part of these assessments are derived from classified material declassified for this evaluation. The second part of the report assesses the course of events with a focus on analysis and lessons learnt in the form of 36 sub-conclusions.


As part of the evaluation, an analysis agency, Realize, has carried out a survey among a number of persons evacuated from Afghanistan with a focus on their experiences of and perspectives on the evacuation.

In parallel with the joint evaluation of the Danish authorities, a majority of the political parties of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) agreed on 3 December 2021 to initiate a historical analysis of Denmark’s military and civil engagement in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021. The Danish Institute for International Studies has been tasked with this extensive assignment, which will be initiated on 1 April 2022 and is expected to be completed in early 2024. 

For any further questions about the evaluation, please contact: [email protected]