The War in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom)-
The War in Afghanistan is the first major conflict of the 21st Century. Though the origins of the war involve the ongoing Afghan Civil War and the Soviet Invasion and Occupation of the 1970s and 1980s, the current war began in October, 2001 in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
UPDATE: U.S. Navy Seals helicoptered into Pakistan on May 1, 2011 and killed Osama
bin Laden the founder and leader of al-
CAUSES OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN:
Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and the fall of the Afghan
Communist government in 1992, a protracted civil war raged on between the various
factions of anti-
In this realm of chaos, some former Mujahadeen found a leader in Mullah Mohammed
Omar. A Mullah is an Islamic religious leader. A former Mujahadeen fighter who returned
to his home village after the fall of the Communist regime, this member of the Pashtun
ethnic group led a new armed group called the Taliban. The word Taliban means "student,"
and many of the original recruits to Omar's movement were Islamic religious students.
Other former Mujahadeen leaders of Pashtun background joined with the Taliban as
this new group sought to impose law and order on the country. The particular law
they sought to impose was an extreme version of Islamic law. Under Taliban-
In 1994, the Taliban attacked and defeated local warlords and began to gather a reputation for order and military success. Pakistan soon began supporting them, partially as a means of establishing a stable, friendly government in Kabul. The continual fighting between the former Mujahadeen armies caused waves of refugees to flood Pakistan's border regions and interfered with Pakistani trade in the region. In late 1994, the Taliban took control of Kandahar, acquiring a large supply of modern weapons, including fighter aircraft, tanks and helicopters. In January of 1995, the Taliban approached Kabul.
From that point onward, until they seized Kabul in September, 1996, the Taliban fought
against several militias and warlords, eventually defeating them all. Several anti-
From his loss of Kabul until 1999, Ahmed Shah Massoud's forces remained within artillery
range of the capital city, which he attacked regularly. After his pullout from Kabul,
Massoud also began receiving military supplies from both Russia (now non-
By 1997, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Pakistan's role in the Taliban success is controversial, as it is generally believed that several Taliban military victories are directly attributable to armed Pakistani intervention.
After seizing Mazar-
In 1998, following the terrorist bombings of American embassies in Africa, the United
States launched a cruise missile attack on training camps belonging to bin Laden's
Through the Autumn of 2001, the Taliban continued to pressure the Northern Alliance, often with the aid of Osama bin Laden and his Arab forces. On September 9, 2001, the Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud was mortally wounded in an assassination attempt carried out by two Arab men posing as journalists. This attack was the work of bin Laden's organization as a possible prelude to the airline hijackings and terrorism in the United States on September 11. The Northern Alliance responded to Massoud's killing with an aerial attack on Kabul the night of September 11.
It is now known that the killing of Massoud was coordinated with the terror attacks
on the United States which took place on September 11. As the United States assigned
blame for the attacks on bin Laden and al-
DESCRIPTION OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN:
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001 with allied air strikes on Taliban
As more Allied troops entered the war and the Northern Alliance forces fought their
way southwards, the Taliban and al-
From 2002 onward, the Taliban focused on survival and on rebuilding its forces. From 2005 to the present (winter 2007), the Taliban has increased its attacks and is using suicide bombers and other tactics from the
On February 27, 2007, while on a diplomatic trip to Afghanistan, an apparent assassination attempt was made by Taliban insurgents, who claimed that Cheney was a target in the attack. A suicide bomber blew up a checkpoint at Bagram Air Base outside of Kabul, killing 20, including an American soldier. Cheney was unhurt in the attack.
In the spring and summer of 2008, the violence in Afghanistan claimed more coalition
(foreign) troops than died in the concurrent Iraq War. The Taliban, enjoying strong
bases in Pakistan, enjoyed a resurgence and showed that it could launch large, coordinated,
and effective attacks on coalition and Afghan forces. One of the deadliest attacks
came on French troops in mid-
The new Obama Administration called for significantly increasing the size of the American military presence in Afghanistan, and allies in Europe are expecting President Obama to pressure them to provide more troops as well.
DATES OF CONFLICT:
BEGAN: October 7, 2001, with the beginning of the American and Coalition attack on the Taliban
ENDED: Continuing, as American, NATO, and Afghan government forces fight against
Taliban and al-
Predecessor Conflicts: (Related conflicts that occurred before or led up to the current conflict)
The Afghan Civil War (1978-
Soviet Invasion and Occupation of Afghanistan (1979-
Concurrent Conflicts: (Related conflicts occurring at the same time)
The Afghan Civil War (1978-
bin Laden's Terrorist War (1992?-
The War in Iraq (2003-
The Waziristan War
CASUALTY FIGURES: (as of 10.24.10)
Taliban dead: At least 30,000+
Afghan Government Forces killed:
6,100 reported killed battling the Taliban Insurgency and al-
Afghan civilians killed: 34,000+
Coalition Military Fatalities By Country: As of 05.28.12
U.S. Marines Battle the Taliban in Afghanistan
The History Guy:
The Afghanistan War