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War in Afghanistan
The War in Afghanistan (2001–present), a new phase of the War in Afghanistan (1978–present), began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance) launched Operation Enduring Freedom. The primary driver of the invasion was the September 11 attacks on the United States, with the stated goal of dismantling the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base. The United States also said that it would remove the Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state. A decade into the war, the U.S. continues to battle a widespread Taliban insurgency, and the war has expanded into the tribal area of neighboring Pakistan. The War in Afghanistan is also the United States' longest running war. The preludes to the war were the assassination of anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud on 9 September 2001, and the 11 September attacks on the United States, in which nearly 3000 civilians died in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The United States identified members of al-Qaeda, an organization based in, operating out of, and allied with the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the perpetrators of the attacks. In the first phase of Operation Enduring Freedom, ground forces of the Afghan United Front working with teams of U.S. and British Special Forces and with U.S. air support, ousted the Taliban regime from power in Kabul and most of Afghanistan in a matter of weeks. Most of the senior Taliban leadership fled to neighboring Pakistan, some being flown out in the Kunduz airlift. The democratic Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was established and an interim government under Hamid Karzai was created which was also democratically elected by the Afghan people in the 2004 general elections. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was established by the UN Security Council at the end of December 2001 to secure Kabul and the surrounding areas. NATO assumed control of ISAF in 2003. ISAF includes troops from 42 countries, with NATO members providing the core of the force.
The stated aim of the invasion was to find Osama bin Laden and other highranking al-Qaeda members to be put on trial, to destroy the organization of alQaeda, and to remove the Taliban regime which supported and gave safe harbor to it. President George W. Bush's administration stated that, as policy, it would not distinguish between terrorist organizations and nations or governments that harbored them. In 2003, Taliban forces including the Haqqani network and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-i Islami started an insurgency campaign against the democratic Islamic Republic and the presence of ISAF-troops in Afghanistan. Their headquarters are alleged to be in or near Quetta, Pakistan. Since 2006, Afghanistan has experienced a dramatic increase in Taliban-led insurgent activity. In their campaign the Taliban also target the civilian population of Afghanistan in terrorist attacks. According to a report by the United Nations, the Taliban were responsible for 76% of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2009, and even higher numbers in the years 2010-2011. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) called the Taliban's terrorism against the Afghan civilian population a war crime. On 1 December 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that he would deploy an additional 30,000 soldiers over a period of six months. He also set a withdrawal date for the year 2014. On 26 January 2010, at theInternational Conference on Afghanistan in London, which brought together some 70 countries and organizations, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told world leaders that he intended to reach out to the top echelons of the Taliban (including Mullah Omar, Siraj Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar) with a peace initiative. He called on the group's leadership to take part in a "loyajirga" – or large assembly of elders – to initiate peace talks. According to The Wall Street Journal, these steps have been reciprocated so far with an intensification of bombings, assassinations and ambushes. Many Afghan groups (including the former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh and opposition leader Dr. Abdullah Abdullah) believe that Karzai's plan aims to appease the insurgents' senior leadership at the cost of the democratic constitution, the democratic process and progress in the field of human rights, especially women's rights. On 22 June 2011, President Obama announced that 10,000 U.S. troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011. An additional 23,000 troops will leave the
country by the summer of 2012. After the withdrawal of 10,000 U.S. troops, 80,000 are left participating in the war. The United States and its NATOallies finalized agreements on 18 April 2012 to wind down the war in Afghanistan by formalizing three commitments: to move the Afghans gradually into a lead combat role; to keep some international troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014, and to pay billions of dollars a year to help support the Afghan security forces. A strategic partnership agreement between Afghanistan and the United States was signed by the US President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in May 2012. After the signing Obama laid out his plans to end the war in Afghanistan responsibly. The plans call for 1) the removal of 23,000 US troops at the summer end of 2012, i.e. at the end of September 2012; 2) Afghan security forces to take the lead in combat operations by the end of 2013 while ISAF forces train, advise and assist the Afghans and fight alongside them when needed; and 3) the complete removal of all U.S. troops by the end of 2014, except for trainers who will assist Afghan forces and a small contingent of troops with a specific mission to combat al-Qaeda through counterterrorism operations.
• o o o o • • o o o o o
1 Historical background (1996–2001) 1.1 Taliban Emirate vs United Front 1.2 Change in U.S. policy towards Afghanistan 1.3 9 September 2001 1.4 11 September 2001 2 Legal basis for war 3 2001: Initial attack 3.1 Air campaigns 3.2 Battle of Mazar-i Sharif 3.3 Fall of Kabul 3.4 Fall of Kunduz 3.5 Battle of Qala-i-Jangi
2 Coalition issues with Pakistan 9 2009: Southern Afghanistan 9.7 Battle of Tora Bora 3.2 Increase in U.1 Taliban attacks on supply lines through Pakistan 8.4 Taliban offensive 10. troops 9.8 Raids on Taliban leaders ©Mahfuz Rahman .1 Peace Initiatives 10.6 Kandahar offensive 10.8 Diplomatic and humanitarian efforts 3.1 Northern Distribution Network 9.4 Operation Khanjar and Operation Panther's Claw 9.3 Kunduz Province campaign 9.2 Marja offensive 10.6 Consolidation: the taking of Kandahar 3.S.S.1 Post-Anaconda operations 5 2003–2005: Renewed Taliban insurgency 6 2006: NATO in southern Afghanistan 6.5 Taliban's gains 10 2010: American/British offensive and Afghan peace initiative 10. tensions 10.3 Troop surge 10.5 Wikileaks disclosure 10.7 Pakistan and U.1 2006 Dutch/Australian offensive 7 2007: Coalition offensive 8 2008: Reassessment and renewed commitment 8.9 International Security Assistance Force 4 2002: Operation Anaconda 4.o o o o • o • • o • • o o • o o o o o • o o o o o o o o 3.
1 Public opinion in 2001 16.3 Afghan opinions 16. demonstrations and rallies 17 Civilian casualties ©Mahfuz Rahman .2 High-profile U.3 Panjwai shooting spree 12.S.5 NATO Chicago Summit: Troops withdrawal and longterm presence 12.7 Coordinated attacks against Shiites civilians 12 2012: Strategic Agreement 12.S.1 US Marines urination video 12.5 ANA/Australian incidents 11.4 Insurgents’ bodies incident 12.1 Reformation of the United Front (Northern Alliance) 12.2.6 2011 U. helicopter shot down 11. and NATO drawdown 11.S.2. military incidents o o o o • • • • o o o o • 12.• o o o o o o o • o o 11 2011: U.S.4 U.2 Afghan revolt for U.1 Battle of Kandahar 11.2.S.6 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan 13 Cost of war 14 Risk of a failed state 15 Capacity of Afghan security forces 16 International reactions 16.3 Withdrawal 11.4 Protests.4 Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement 12.2.2 Death of Osama bin Laden 11. Koran burnings 12.3 Possibility for early presidential elections 12.-NATO attack in Pakistan 11.2 Development of public opinion 16.
The Taliban started shelling Kabul in early 1995 but were defeated by forces of the Islamic State government under Ahmad Shah Massoud.3 Former Afghan warlords 19. wrote in a 1995 report: This is the first time in several months that Kabul civilians have become the targets of rocket attacks and shelling aimed at residential areas in the city.4 Controversy over torture 19. The Taliban declined. Bombardment of the capital came to a halt. also inviting the Taliban to join the process. Massoud tried to initiate a nationwide political process with the goal of national consolidation and democratic elections.• • o o o o o • • • • 18 Drug trade 19 Human rights abuses 19.2 Elections during combat 19. 1995 The Taliban's early victories in 1994 were followed by a series of defeats that resulted in heavy losses. most of the militia factions which had been fighting in the battle for control of Kabul were defeated militarily by forces of the Islamic State's Secretary of Defense Ahmad Shah Massoud.5 White phosphorus use 20 See also 21 References 22 Further reading 23 External links Historical background (1996–2001) Taliban Emirate vs United Front In late 1994.1 Taliban 19. (see video ) Amnesty International. Many analysts like Amin Saikal describe the Taliban as developing into a proxy force for Pakistan's regional interests. which the Taliban deny. On 26 September ©Mahfuz Rahman . referring to the Taliban offensive. —Amnesty International. Pakistan provided strong support to the Taliban.
or to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative. Ahmad Shah Massoud and Abdul Rashid Dostum. Hazarafactions and Pashtun forces under the leadership of commanders such as Abdul Haq and Haji Abdul Qadir. Massoud ordered a full retreat from Kabul. The Taliban seized Kabul on 27 September 1996.N. The United Front included beside the dominantly Tajik forces of Massoud and the Uzbek forces of Dostum. Dostum went into exile. while trying to consolidate control over northern and western Afghanistan.1996. U. committed systematic massacres against civilians compared by United Nations officials to the ones committed in Bosnia. the Taliban. They imposed on the parts of Afghanistan under their control their political and judicial interpretation of Islam issuing edicts forbidding women to work outside the home. The Taliban defeated Dostum's Junbish forces militarily by seizing Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998. two former archnemeses. attend school. created the United Front (Northern Alliance) against the Taliban that were preparing offensives against the remaining areas under the control of Massoud and those under the control of Dostum. as the Taliban with military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia prepared for another major offensive. officials stated that there had been "15 ©Mahfuz Rahman . Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was responsible for sending thousands of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban and Bin Laden against the forces of Massoud. According to a 55-page report by the United Nations. and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
al-Qaeda was able to use Afghanistan as a place to train and indoctrinate fighters. it also supported training camps belonging to other organizations. 8. Upon taking Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998.000 civilians were executed by the Taliban and many more reported tortured." According to the U.massacres" between 1996 and 2001. Of the estimated 28. and plot terrorist actions. coordinate with other jihadists.000 Pakistani nationals fighting in Afghanistan. Peter Tomsen stated that up until 9/11 Pakistani military and ISI officers along with thousands of regular Pakistani armed forces personnel had been involved in the fighting in Afghanistan. an estimated 80. The report by the United Nations quotes eyewitnesses in many villages describing "Arab fighters carrying long knives used for slitting throats and skinning people". Under the Taliban. State Department report and reports by Human Rights Watch. While Al-Qaeda maintained its own establishments in Afghanistan.000-30. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf – then as Chief of Army Staff – was responsible for sending thousands of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban and Bin Laden against the forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud. import weapons. 14.000-3.000 Pakistanis trained and fought in Afghanistan" on the side of the Taliban. that "[t]hese have been highly systematic and they all lead back to the [Taliban] Ministry of Defense or to Mullah Omar himself.000 Pakistani nationals.000 Afghan Taliban and 2.S.000 were militants recruited in madrassas filling regular Taliban ranks.000 strong military force. The documents also reveal the role of Arab and Pakistani support troops in these killings. They also said.000 Al Qaeda militants were fighting against anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan as a roughly 45. about 4. the other Pakistani nationals fighting in Afghanistan were regular Pakistani soldiers especially from the Frontier Corps but also from the army providing direct combat support.000-15. ©Mahfuz Rahman . "between 1994 and 1999. according to several international sources.S.000 to 100. 28. A 1998 document by the U. Bin Laden's so-called 055 Brigade was responsible for mass-killings of Afghan civilians. In 2001 alone." The document further states that the parents of those Pakistani nationals "know nothing regarding their child's military involvement with the Taliban until their bodies are brought back to Pakistan." The Taliban especially targeted people of Shia religious or Hazara ethnic background. According to Pakistani Afghanistan expert Ahmed Rashid. State Department confirms that "20–40 percent of [regular] Taliban soldiers are Pakistani.
Between 10. President Bill Clinton ordered missile strikes on militant training camps in Afghanistan. "Inside the Taliban" ©Mahfuz Rahman .S. In the areas under his control Massoud set up democratic institutions and signed the Women's Rights Declaration. calling for bin Laden to be surrendered. U. As a consequence many civilians fled to the area of Ahmad Shah Massoud. however. In total. most of whom were sent to fight for the Taliban against the United Front but a smaller number were inducted into al-Qaeda.000 and 20. Ahmad Shah Massoud meanwhile remained the only leader of the United Front in Afghanistan. These teams planned several operations but did not receive the order to execute from President Clinton. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Special Activities Division paramilitary teams were active in Afghanistan in the 1990s in clandestine operations to locate and kill or capture Osama Bin Laden. Embassy bombings were linked to bin Laden.S. and the international community imposed sanctions on the Taliban in 1999. Invasion of Afghanistan.S. The Taliban repeatedly rebuffed the demands. officials pressed the Taliban to surrender bin Laden. These efforts did however build many of the relationships that would prove essential in the 2001 U. Human Rights Watch cites no human rights crimes for the forces under direct control of Massoud for the period from October 1996 until the assassination of Massoud in September 2001.000 people passed through these facilities before 9/11. After the August 1998 U. —National Geographic. estimates range up to one million people fleeing the Taliban. National Geographic concluded in its documentary "Inside the Taliban": The only thing standing in the way of future Taliban massacres is Ahmad Shah Massoud.
Ahmad Shah Massoud (right) with Pashtun anti-Taliban leader Abdul Qadir (brother of Abdul Haq) (left) as part of the pre 9/11 2001 grand Pashtun-TajikHazara-Uzbek alliance against the Taliban
From 1999 onwards a renewed process was set into motion by the Tajik Ahmad Shah Massoud and the Pashtun Abdul Haq to unite all the ethnicities of Afghanistan. While Massoud united the Tajiks, Hazara and Uzbeks as well as some Pashtun commanders under his United Front command, the famed Pashtun commander Abdul Haq received increasing numbers of defecting Pashtun Taliban as "Taliban popularity trended downward". Both agreed to work together with the exiled Afghan king Zahir Shah. International officials who met with representatives of the new alliance, which Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll referred to as the "grand Pashtun-Tajik alliance", said, "It's crazy that you have this today ... Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazara ... They were all ready to buy in to the process ... to work under the king's banner for an ethnically balanced Afghanistan." Senior diplomat and Afghanistan expert Peter Tomsen wrote: "The ‘Lion of Kabul’ [Abdul Haq] and the ‘Lion of Panjshir’ [Ahmad Shah Massoud] ... Haq, Massoud, and Karzai, Afghanistan’s three leading moderates, could transcend the Pashtun—non-Pashtun, north-south divide." The most senior Hazara and Uzbek leader were also part of the process. In late 2000, Massoud officially brought together this new alliance in a meeting in Northern Afghanistan among other things to discuss "a Loya Jirga, or a traditional council of elders, to settle political turmoil in Afghanistan". That part of the Pashtun-Tajik-Hazara-Uzbek peace plan did eventually materialize.
An account of the meeting by author and journalist Sebastian Junger says: "In 2000, when I was there ... I happened to be there in a very interesting time. ... Massoud brought together Afghan leaders from all ethnic groups. They flew from London, Paris, the USA, all parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. He brought them all into the northern area where he was. He held a council of ... prominent Afghans from all over the world, brought there to discuss the Afghan government after the Taliban. ... we met all these men and interviewed them briefly. One was Hamid Karzai; I did not have any idea who he would end up being ..." In early 2001 Massoud with ethnic leader from all of Afghanistan addressed the European Parliament in Brussels asking theinternational community to provide humanitarian help to the people of Afghanistan.(see video ) He stated that the Taliban and al-Qaeda had introduced "a very wrong perception of Islam" and that without the support of Pakistan and Bin Laden the Taliban would not be able to sustain their military campaign for up to a year. On this visit to Europe he also warned that his intelligence had gathered information about a large-scale attack on U.S. soil being imminent.
Change in U.S. policy towards Afghanistan
During the Clinton administration the U.S. had no clear policy towards Afghanistan until 1998-1999 and tended to favor Pakistani policies. In 1997, U.S. State Department's Robin Raphel told anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud to surrender to the Taliban. Massoud answered that as long as he controlled an area the size of his hat he would continue to defend it from the Taliban. Robin Raphel eventually became a lobbyist and adviser at Cassidy & Associates. The firm had a $1.2 million contract with the Musharraf military regime of Pakistan. At Cassidy & Associates she lobbied and advised Congress and the State Department for Pakistan on issues such as Afghan policy, Pakistan's relations with India, judicial independence and U.S. perceptions and congressional views of the Pakistan government. In late 2009 Raphel was (again) appointed to the Af-Pak region as deputy to Richard Holbrooke, the late US. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, by the Obama administration. Raphel will be the main person overlooking the $1.5 billion U.S. aid package "for non-military purpose" to Pakistan.
At one point in the war, in 1997, the Taliban were vulnerable
and the road to the capital, Kabul, was wide open. Two top foreign policy officials in the Clinton administration flew to northern Afghanistan to convince – without success – the United Front not to take advantage of an opportunity to make crucial gains against the Taliban. Before the United Front could strike, Assistant Secretary of State Rick Indefurth and American U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson flew to northern Afghanistan and tried to convince the leadership of the United Front that this was not the time for an offensive. Instead, they insisted this was the time for a cease-fire and an arms embargo. At the same time Pakistanis began a "Berlin-like airlift to resupply and re-equip the Taliban", financed with Saudi money.
CIA officers on the ground lobbied for a change in U.S. policy towards Afghanistan.
United States policy towards Afghanistan changed after the 1998 United States embassy bombings. Subsequently, Osama Bin Laden was indicted for his involvement in the embassy bombings and in 1999 both the United States and the United Nations enacted sanctions against the Taliban via United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 which demanded the Taliban surrender Osama Bin Laden for trial in the United States and close all Al Qaida bases in Afghanistan. In the meantime, the only collaboration between Massoud and another U.S. intelligence service, the Central Intelligence Agency
began to draft a formal. and full of dignity. Clarke. a great actor on history’s stage. The CIA team had gone into the Panshjir as unabashed admirers of Massoud. the Bush administration. and the European Union provided no support to Massoud for the fight against the Taliban. The U. agreed on a plan to start giving support to the anti-Taliban forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud who sought to create a democratic form of government in Afghanistan. Massoud until then had not received any meaningful support from Western countries. Massoud was a poet. A change in policy was finalized in August 2001. legal presidential finding for Bush’s signature authorizing a new covert action program in Afghanistan. the first in a decade that sought to influence the course of the Afghan war in favor of Massoud. a military genius. In his house there were thousands of books: Persian poetry.(CIA). working with officers in the Near East Division and Counterterrorist Center. He was quiet. and later an official in the Bush administration. In a meeting by the Bush administration's top national security officials it was agreed that the Taliban in negotiations would be presented with a final ultimatum to hand over Osama ©Mahfuz Rahman . consisted of an effort to trace Osama bin Laden following the 1998 embassy bombings. but also light in spirit. allegedly presented a plan to incoming Bush administration officialCondoleezza Rice in January 2001. histories of the Afghan war in multiple languages. forceful. a religious man. A change of policy regarding support to Massoud.. lobbied for by CIA officers who had visited Massoud. 2004 CIA lawyers. chair of the Counter-Terrorism Security Group under the Clinton administration. In their meetings Massoud wove sophisticated. they thought. to pressure the Taliban to hand over leading al-Qaeda operatives. Now their convictions deepened. measured references to Afghan history and global politics into his arguments. They saw him as a Che Guevara figure.S... Richard A. and a leader of enormous courage who defied death and accepted its inevitability. According to Steve Coll's book Ghost Wars (which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for General NonFiction): The CIA officers admired Massoud greatly. reserved. —Steve Coll in Ghost Wars. In late August 2001. biographies of other military and guerrilla leaders. was underway during 2001.
soil being imminent. which killed nearly 3. to anti-Taliban groups. will be on a scale larger than the 1998 embassy bombings.S. If the Taliban refused. 11 September 2001 ©Mahfuz Rahman . in the Takhar Province of Afghanistan. On 9 September 2001.S.S.bin Laden and other leading al-Qaeda operatives. was the target of a suicide attack by two Arabs posing as journalists detonating a bomb hidden in their video camera during an interview in Khoja Bahauddin. If both those options failed. attacks. then aged 48.000 people. Massoud had survived countless assassination attempts over a period of 26 years. and which appeared to be the terrorist attack that Massoud had warned against in his speech to the European Parliament several months earlier. International experts and members of the United Front such as Amrullah Saleh feared that without Massoud the anti-Taliban resistance would be overrun by the Taliban. The funeral. Massoud." 9 September 2001 On his visit to Europe in March 2001 Ahmad Shah Massoud had warned that his intelligence had gathered information about a large-scale attack on U. covertmilitary aid would be channeled by the U. which killed over two hundred people and injured thousands. though in a rather rural area. Massoud died in a helicopter taking him to a hospital. was attended by hundreds of thousands of mourning Afghans. "the deputies agreed that the United States would seek to overthrow the Taliban regime through more direct action. The assassination of Massoud is considered to have a strong connection to the 11 September 2001. Massoud’s intelligence staff is aware that the attack against the U.
836 responders. D. have died as of June 2009. Nearly 3.000 people. provides that all UN member states must settle their international disputes peacefully and no member nation can use military force except in self-defense. died in the attacks. 2001 On 11 September 2001. D. in the early morning. Legal basis for war The United Nations Charter. Both buildings collapsed within two hours. which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington. ©Mahfuz Rahman . including firefighters and police personnel. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane. to which all the Coalition countries are signatories. a series of coordinated attacks took place on United States soil. or the Capitol. Four commercial passenger jet airliners were hijacked. Virginia.C to target the White House. killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. There were no survivors from any of the flights. destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. including the 19 hijackers. The United States identified members of the al-Qaeda movement based in Afghanistan as the perpetrators of the attacks. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington. According to the New York State Health Department.Ground Zero in New York following the attacks of September 11. just outside Washington. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.C.
The Bush administration. the "leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant" or "last in time" canon of statutory interpretation).S.-led invasion argue that U.S. This legislation authorized the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on 11 September 2001.. by legislation titled Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists which was passed and signed on 18 September 2001. The authorization granted the President the authority to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned. committed or aided" the 11 September attacks. by both President Bush and congress. authorized." President George W. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) did not authorize the U. Senate. and labeled Taliban troops as supporters of terrorists rather than soldiers. the necessity for selfdefense must be "instant. and therefore was not a war of aggression. Supreme Court and questioned even by military lawyers responsible for prosecuting affected prisoners.The United States Constitution states that international treaties. but rather were perpetrated by groups of individuals or non-state actors. leaving no choice of means. that are ratified by the U. or who harbored said persons or groups. no bombing campaign would constitute self-defense. the UNSC authorized the creation of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to take all ©Mahfuz Rahman . for its part. did not seek a declaration of war by the U. denying them the protections of the Geneva Convention and due process of law.S. such as the United Nations Charter. Further.S.e. and that these attackers had no proven connection to Afghanistan.N.S.S.. On 20 December 2001. overwhelming. are part of the law of the land in the U. though subject to effective repeal by any subsequent act of Congress (i. Defenders of the legitimacy of the U. more than two months after the U.S. Security Council authorization was not required since the invasion was an act of collective self-defense provided for under Article 51 of the UN Charter. and no moment for deliberation. Critics maintain that the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan were not legitimate self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter because the 9/11 attacks were not “armed attacks” by another state. it is their opinion that even if a state had perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. Bush was authorized by Congress on 14 September 2001.-led military campaign in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom).-led attack began. This position was successfully challenged in the U.
measures necessary to fulfill its mandate of assisting the Afghan Interim Authority in maintaining security. Command of the ISAF passed to NATO on 11
2001: Initial attack
On 20 September 2001, U.S. president George W. Bush addressed the United States Congress and demanded that the Taliban deliver Osama bin Laden and destroy bases of al Qaeda. On 5 October 2001, the Taliban offered to try Bin Laden in an Afghan court, so long as the United States provided what it called "solid evidence" of his guilt, but the U.S. would not hand over its evidence to the Taliban. So on 7 October 2001, the U.S. government launched military operations in Afghanistan. Teams from the CIA's Special Activities Division (SAD) were the first U.S. forces to enter Afghanistan and begin combat operations. They were soon joined by U.S. Army Special Forces from the 5th Special Forces Group and other units from USSOCOM. On 7 October 2001, airstrikes were reported in the
capital, Kabul (where electricity supplies were severed), at the airport, at Kandahar (home of the Taliban's Supreme Leader Mullah Omar), and in the city of Jalalabad. CNN released exclusive footage of Kabul being bombed to all the American broadcasters at approximately 5:08 pm October 7, 2001.
US Army Special Forces with Northern Alliance troops on horseback
At 17:00 UTC, President Bush confirmed the strikes on national television and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair also addressed the UK. Bush stated that Taliban military sites and terrorist training grounds would be
targeted. In addition, food, medicine, and supplies would be dropped to "the starving and suffering men, women and children of Afghanistan". US officials rejected a new offer from the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden to a third country for trial if the Americans halted the bombing of Afghanistan. A prerecorded videotape of Osama bin Laden had been released before the attacks in which he condemned any attacks against Afghanistan. Al Jazeera, the Arabic satellite news channel, reported that these tapes were received shortly before the attack. British and American Special Forces worked jointly to liberate Herat in November 2001. These forces worked with Afghan opposition groups on the ground, in particular the Northern Alliance. The United Kingdom, Canada and Australia also deployed forces and several other countries provided basing, access and over flight permission. The U.S. was able to track al-Qaeda's number three at the time Mohammed Atef who was one of the most wanted, when Atef was killed, along with his guard Abu Ali al-Yafi'i and six others, in a U.S. air-strike on his home near Kabul during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan at some time between 14–16 November 2001. This was one of America's first and largest victories during the early stages of the war.
Having begun the war with the greatest imaginable reservoir of moral authority, the U.S. was on the verge of letting it slip away through high-level attacks using the most ghastly inventions its scientists could come up with.
—Stephen Tanner, "Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War against the Taliban"
Bombers operating at high altitudes well out of range of antiaircraft guns dropped bombs at Afghan training camps and Taliban air defenses. U.S. aircraft, including Apachehelicopter gunships from the 101st Combat Aviation
Brigade, operated with impunity throughout the campaign with no losses due to Taliban air defenses. Several Tomahawk Cruise Missiles were launched from U.S. Navy Cruisers and Destroyers. The strikes initially focused on the area in and around the cities of Kabul, Jalalabad, and Kandahar. Within a few days, most Taliban training sites were severely damaged and the Taliban's air defenses were destroyed. The campaign then focused on command, control, and communication targets which weakened the ability of the Taliban forces to communicate. However, the line facing the Afghan Northern Alliance held, and no tangible battlefield successes had yet occurred on that front. Two weeks into the campaign, the Northern Alliance demanded the air campaign focus more on the front lines.
Example of the U.S. propaganda pamphlets dropped over Mazari Sharif. The next stage of the campaign began with carrier based F/A-18 Hornet fighter-bomber shitting Taliban vehicles in pinpoint strikes, while other U.S. planes began cluster bombing Taliban defenses. For the first time in years, Northern Alliance commanders finally began to see the substantive results that they had long hoped for on the front lines. At the beginning of November, the Taliban front lines were attacked with daisy cutter bombs, and by AC-130 gunships. The Taliban fighters had no previous experience with American firepower, and often even stood on top of bare ridgelines where Special Forces could easily spot them and call in close air support. By 2 November, Taliban frontal positions were devastated, and a Northern Alliance march on Kabul seemed possible for the first time. However, according to author Stephen Tanner, "After a month of the U.S. bombing campaign rumblings began to reach Washington from Europe, the Mideast, and Pakistan where Musharraf had requested the bombing to cease. Having begun the war with the greatest imaginable reservoir of moral authority, the U.S. was on the verge of letting it slip away through high-level attacks using
thereby cutting off Taliban supply lines and enabling the flow of equipment from the countries to the north. the Northern Alliance was pressuring for more support in their efforts to finish off the Taliban and control the country. American intelligence analysts believed that the Taliban and al-Qaeda had dug in behind fortified networks of well-supplied caves and underground bunkers. Meanwhile. Japan and other countries. but also every other countries in the world. to address the United Nations and told the assembled nations that not only the United States are in danger of further attacks of the 9/11 terrorists. Tanner writes: "His words had impact.S." Then USPresident George W. including commitments of material help from Germany.S. followed by an attack on Kabul itself. which is itself close to the border with Pakistan. Bush went to New York City on 10 November 2001. France. Italy. Northern Alliance troops would seize Mazari Sharif. While the U. demonstrating the instability of the Taliban regime. was continuing the search for Osama bin Laden. the Northern Alliance and their Central Intelligence Agency/Special Forces advisers planned the next stage of their offensive. Areas most targeted During the early months of the war the U. and intelligence officers with a military background. The plan was that Special Forces. military had a limited presence on the ground. ©Mahfuz Rahman . "where the wreckage of the World Trade Center still smoldered with underground fires". The area was subjected to a heavy continuous bombardment by B-52 bombers. would advance after the cohesiveness of the Taliban forces was disrupted by American air power. would serve as liaisons with Afghan militias opposed to the Taliban." Fighters from al-Qaeda took over security in the Afghan cities. forces and the Northern Alliance also began to diverge in their objectives.the most ghastly inventions its scientists could come up with. The U.S. Most of the world renewed its support for the American effort. The Tora Bora Mountains lie roughly east of Afghanistan's capital Kabul.
meeting some resistance. who had held the city since 1998.S. swept across the Pul-i-Imam Bukhri bridge. took part in the push into the city of Mazari Sharif in Balkh Province by the Northern Alliance. Special Operations Forces (namely Special Forces Operational Detachment A-595. precisely because its capture would confirm them as masters of all Afghanistan. On 9 November 2001. not only because it is the home of the Shrine of Hazrat Ali or "Blue Mosque". upon arriving into the city with Northern Alliance fighters The battle for Mazari Sharif was considered important. Northern Alliance forces. withdrew from the city. triggering jubilant celebrations among the townspeople whose ethnic and political affinities are with the Northern Alliance. U. which had threatened more than six million people with starvation. Many of those in most urgent need lived in rural areas to the south and west of Mazar-iSharif. CIA paramilitary officers and Air Force Combat Control Teams) on horseback and using Close Air Support platforms. and seized the city's main military base and airport. After a bloody 90-minute battle.Battle of Mazar-i Sharif US Army Special Forces on 10 November. Taliban forces. a sacred Muslim site. The Taliban had spent three years fighting the Northern Alliance for Mazar-iSharif. but also because it is the location of a significant transportation hub with two main airports and a major supply route leading into Uzbekistan. It would also enable humanitarian aid to alleviate Afghanistan's looming food crisis. The fall of the city was a "body blow" to the Taliban and ©Mahfuz Rahman . under the command of generals Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ustad Atta Mohammed Noor.
which provided the first solid foothold from which Kabul and Kandahar could be reached. A group of about twenty hardline fighters hiding in the city's park were the only remaining defenders. These missions allowed massive shipments of humanitarian aid to be immediately shipped to hundreds of thousands of Afghans facing starvation on the northern plain. leaving under the cover of darkness. Taliban forces fled from the city of Kabul. Local Pashtun commanders and warlords had taken over throughout northeastern Afghanistan. Following rumors that Mullah Dadullah was headed to recapture the city with as many as 8. and any potential battle would be "a very slow advance".S. ©Mahfuz Rahman . Within 24 hours. the former TalibanVoice of Sharia channel on 1584 kHz. including the key city of Herat.000 Taliban fighters. The American-backed forces now controlling the city began immediately broadcasting from Radio Mazar-i-Sharif. had fallen. The fall of Kabul marked the beginning of a collapse of Taliban positions across the map. Fall of Kabul On the night of 12 November. After these forces were neutralized Kabul was in the hands of the U. While prior military flights had to be launched from Uzbekistan or Aircraft carriers in the Arabian Sea. including the key city of Jalalabad. being heavily outnumbered and having had little more than a telescope to shield them. This Taliban group was killed in a 15minute gun battle. Taliban holdouts in the north. only bomb craters. burned foliage. since the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) had originally believed that the city would remain in Taliban hands well into the following year. By the time Northern Alliance forces arrived in the afternoon of 13 November. and the burnt-out shells of Taliban gun emplacements and positions were there to greet them. including an address from former President Burhanuddin Rabbani. now the Americans held their own airport in the country which allowed them to fly more frequent sorties for resupply missions and humanitarian aid./NATO forces and the Northern Alliance. all the Afghan provinces along the Iranian border.ultimately proved to be a "major shock". a thousand American10th Mountain Soldiers were airlifted into the city.
al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. bombers began bombing the mountain fortress. By 13 November. it is alleged that up to five thousand people were evacuated from the region.S. and by 16 November. CIA and Special Forces operatives were already at work in the area. after nine days of heavy fighting and American aerial bombardment. Pakistani aircraft arrived to evacuate intelligence and military personnel who had been in Afghanistan to aid the Taliban's ongoing fight against the Northern Alliance. U. the Taliban had been forced back to their heartland in southeastern Afghanistan around Kandahar. However. By 16 November. had regrouped and were concentrating their forces in the Tora Bora cave complex. Around the same time. during this airlift.mainly Pakistani volunteers./NATO forces. to prepare for a stand against the Northern Alliance and U.000 Taliban fighters. the Taliban's last stronghold in northern Afghanistan was besieged by the Northern Alliance. By then. enlisting and paying local warlords to join the fight and planning an attack on the Tora Bora complex. including Taliban and al-Qaeda troops. Fall of Kunduz Just as the bombardment at Tora Bora was stepped up. the siege of Kunduz that began on November 16 was continuing. with the possible inclusion of Osama bin Laden. refused to surrender and continued to put up resistance.S.000 al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters fortified themselves in positions within bunkers and caves. fell back to the northern city of Kunduz to make a stand. Finally. Battle of Qala-i-Jangi ©Mahfuz Rahman . led by foreign fighters. Nearly 2. Shortly before the surrender. on the Pakistan border 50 kilometers (30 mi) southwest of Jalalabad. Nearly 10. Taliban fighters surrendered to Northern Alliance forces on November 25 – November 26.
A total of 86 of the Taliban prisoners survived. and around 50 Northern Alliance soldiers were killed. The squashing of the revolt marked the end of the combat in northern Afghanistan. Army Special Forces and Northern Alliance. AC-130 gunships and other aircraft took part providing strafing fire on several occasions. This incident soon triggereda widespread revolt by 300 prisoners. once a medieval fortress. The revolt was finally put down after seven days of heavy fighting between an SBS unit along with some U. a few Taliban attacked some Northern Alliance guards. taking their weapons and opening fire. Consolidation: the taking of Kandahar ©Mahfuz Rahman . Johnny Micheal Spann. One American CIA paramilitary operative who had been interrogating prisoners. who soon seized the southern half of the complex. including an armory stocked with small arms and crewserved weapons. as well as a bombing airstrikes.A Marine with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit leads a leatherneck to a security position after seizing a Taliban forward-operating base 25 November 2001 On 25 November. the day that Taliban fighters holding out in Kunduz surrendered and were being herded into the Qala-I-Janghi fortress near MazarI-Sharif. was killed. where local Northern Alliance warlords were now firmly in control.S. marking the first American combat death in the war.
Meanwhile.S. nearly 1. had fallen. government rejected any amnesty for Omar or any Taliban leaders. the airstrikes continued to pound Taliban positions inside the city. Kandahar. Other members of the Taliban leadership fled into Pakistan through the remote passes of Paktia and Paktika Provinces. and was the stepping stone to establishing other operating bases. The threat of the Northern Alliance loomed in the north and northeast. where Mullah Omar was holed up. He was last reported seen driving off with a group of his fighters on a convoy of motorcycles. reneging on the Taliban's promise to surrender their fighters and their weapons.000 Marines. Omar. This was the coalition's first strategic foothold in Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter on 7 December. and was coming under increasing pressure.Army Special Forces withHamid Karzai in Kandahar province By the end of November. the U. remained defiant although his movement only controlled 4 out of the 30 Afghan provinces by the end of November and called on his forces to fight to the death. and the majority of the Taliban fighters had ©Mahfuz Rahman . the Taliban leader. Nevertheless. Kandahar. and Gul Agha Sherzai. the last Taliban-controlled city. On 6 December. led by Hamid Karzai. The first significant combat involving U. the governor of Kandahar before the Taliban seized power. ferried in by CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and C-130s. was its last remaining stronghold. destroying many of them. Omar slipped out of the city of Kandahar with a group of his hardcore loyalists and moved northwest into the mountains of Uruzgan Province. Meanwhile.000 tribal fighters. ground forces occurred a day after Rhino was captured when 15 armored vehicles approached the base and were attacked by helicopter gunships. set up a Forward Operating Base known as Camp Rhino in the desert south of Kandahar on 25 November. a loyalist of the former Afghan king. the Taliban's birthplace. pressured Taliban forces from the east and cut off the northern Taliban supply lines to Kandahar. Nearly 3.S.
including Osama bin Laden. On 12 December. backed by Delta Force.S. the fighting flared ©Mahfuz Rahman . however. The border town of Spin Boldak was surrendered on the same day. many believe that the truce was a ruse to allow important al-Qaeda figures. UK Special Forces and withering air strikes by the U. marking the end of Taliban control in Afghanistan. to escape. however. the al-Qaeda forces agreed to a truce to give them time to surrender their weapons.S. Battle of Tora Bora Tommy Franks meets with US Army Special Forces Air strikes on Tora Bora Al-Qaeda fighters were still holding out in the mountains of Tora Bora.disbanded. The Afghan tribal forces under Gul Agha seized the city of Kandahar while the Marines took control of the airport outside and established a U. while an anti-Taliban tribal militia steadily pushed bin Laden back across the difficult terrain. In retrospect. base. Facing defeat.
a political process towards a new constitution and choosing a new Afghan government. in December 2001. in December 2001 the United Nations hosted the Bonn Conference in Germany. the last cave complex had been taken and their defenders overrun. No American or British deaths were reported. along with an unknown number of anti-Taliban tribal fighters. and U.K.S. included "Condemning the Taliban for allowing Afghanistan to be used as a ©Mahfuz Rahman . A search of the area by U.S. including the United States. forces continued into January. By 17 December. It is estimated that around 200 of the alQaeda fighters were killed during the battle. The meetings of various Afghan leaders here were organized by the United Nations Security Council. the southern city of Kandahar. it was generally understood that by then major al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders had fled across the border into Pakistan. Observers included representatives of neighbouring and other involved major countries.again. special operations troops and air support pressed ahead against fortified al-Qaeda positions in caves and bunkers scattered throughout the mountainous region. tribal forces backed by British and U. 2001. To fill the political void. The result was the Bonn Agreement which created the Afghan Interim Authority that would serve as the “repository of Afghan sovereignty” and outlined the so-called Petersberg Process. probably initiated by a rear guard buying time for the main force's escape through the White Mountains into the tribal areas of Pakistan. Again. The Taliban were not included. Participants included representatives of four Afghan opposition groups. but no sign of bin Laden or the al-Qaeda leadership emerged. It is almost unanimously believed that they had already slipped away into the tribal areas of Pakistan to the south and east. Diplomatic and humanitarian efforts After the Taliban fled Kabul in November 2001 and left their stronghold. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1378 of November 14.
S. to secure Kabul. Its mandate did not extend beyond this area for the first few years. The United Nations World Food Programme temporarily suspended activities within Afghanistan at the beginning of the bombing attacks but resumed them after the fall of the Taliban. there were fears that the invasion and resultant disruption of services would cause widespread starvation and refugees. Before the U. al-Qaeda and others associated with them.base for the export of terrorism by the al-Qaeda network and other terrorist groups and for providing safe haven to Osama bin Laden. International Security Assistance Force Operating under United States General David Howell Petraeus. troops making up about half its force.S. the United Nations authorized an international force – the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) – with a mandate to help the Afghans maintain security in Kabul and surrounding areas. NATO assumed political command ©Mahfuz Rahman .-led invasion. and in this context supporting the efforts of the Afghan people to replace the Taliban regime". ISAF had initially been established as a stabilization force by the UN Security Council on 20 December 2001. To help provide security to support this Afghan Interim Authority. the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) includes soldiers from 46 countries with U. On 11 August 2003.
786 Spain .000) Command Structure ISAF total .1.935 Italy .750 Bulgaria .602 ©Mahfuz Rahman .184.108.40.2062 Australia .and coordination of ISAF.560 Romania .90. of the east.381 United States .937 Denmark .938 Turkey .220.127.116.110 Canada . and by 5 October 2006. On 31 July 2006. ISAF assumed command of the south of the country.922 Poland .550 Georgia .3.812 France .500 Germany .000 or more) Current Deployment (150 to 1. International Security Assistance Force troop deployment Current Deployment (18.104.22.168.000 United Kingdom .
350 Croatia .94 Regional Command Capital Regional Command North Regional Command West Regional Command South ©Mahfuz Rahman .163 Macedonia .507 Sweden .308 Albania .406 Hungary .162 Finland .519 Belgium .320 Slovakia .500 Norway .383 Republic of Korea .156 Azerbaijan .260 Lithuania .191 Estonia .163 Greece .237 New Zealand . Czech Republic .
Canadian soldiers from 3PPCLI move into the hills to search for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters after an air assault onto an objective north of Qualat. ©Mahfuz Rahman . 187th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division search for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Army soldiers from Bravo Company. Regional Command East 2002: Operation Anaconda U. Afghanistan. 1st Battalion.S.
Meanwhile. the Taliban and al-Qaeda had not given up. and former exiles.S.000 feet (3. U. Following Tora Bora. To compound the situation for the coalition troops.000. forces established their main base at Bagram airbasejust north of Kabul. Kandahar airport also became an important U. allied to Afghan militia intelligence sources soon picked up on this buildup in Paktia province and prepared a massive push to counter it. tribal leaders. opening fire on the U. U. ©Mahfuz Rahman .S.62 mm PK machine gun around his body as ATF personnel help secure a compound inHelmand Province in Afghanistan. and Afghan forces launched an offensive on al-Qaeda and Taliban forces entrenched in the mountains of Shahi-Kot southeast of Gardez.S. Several outposts were established in eastern provinces to hunt for Taliban and al-Qaeda fugitives. Following a Loya jirga or grand council of major Afghan factions. Mullah Saifur Rehman. an interim Afghan government was established in Kabul under Hamid Karzai.S-led coalition troops operating in the country would eventually grow to over 10.000 by the beginning of March 2002. bombing raids. base area. A Taliban fugitive in Paktia province.S. The Mujahideen forces. who used small arms. Afghan forces and their U.S. and mortars.S. were entrenched into caves and bunkers in the hillsides at an altitude that was largely above 10.S. and Afghan forces and then retreating back into their caves and bunkers to weather the return fire and persistent U.S. It turned out that the guerrillas numbered between 1. U.000 m). They totalled over 1. The intention of the insurgents was to use the region as a base area for launching guerrilla attacks and possibly a major offensive in the style of the Mujahideen who battled Soviet forces during the 1980s. commanders initially underestimated the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces as a last isolated pocket numbering fewer than 200.S.000 according to some estimates and that they were receiving reinforcements. also began reconstituting some of his militia forces in support of the anti-U. The number of U. fighters. Al-Qaeda forces began regrouping in the Shahi-Kot mountains of Paktia province throughout January and February 2002. U. rocket-propelled grenades. On 2 March 2002. January 2002. allies consolidated their position in the country. They used "hit and run" tactics.000–5.An Anti-Taliban Forces (ATF) fighter wraps a bandolier of ammunition for his 7.
special forces from several western nations were also involved in operations. The Taliban. from which they regained their strength and later began launching cross-border raids on U. The area around the U. the New Zealand Special Air Service and Norwegian Marinejegerkommandoen.Zabul. numbering between 5 and 25 men. and the pinning down of U. bases and ambush American convoys and patrols. Afghan militia forces working with the U. The coalition casualties stemmed from a friendly fire incident that killed one soldier. several hundred guerrillas escaped the dragnet heading to the Waziristan tribal areas across the border in Pakistan. Helmand Province. still regularly crossed the border from their sanctuaries in Pakistan to fire rockets at U. the downing of two helicopters by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire that killed seven soldiers.By 6 March. forces being inserted into what was coined as "Objective Ginger" that resulted in dozens of wounded. the German KSK. forces by the summer months of 2002. it is believed that the al-Qaeda fighters established sanctuaries among tribal protectors in Pakistan.S. ©Mahfuz Rahman . base at Shkin in Paktika province saw some of the heaviest activity. Taliban forces remained in hiding in the rural regions of the four southern provinces that formed their heartland. Meanwhile. avoided combat with U. Kandahar. During Operation Anaconda and other missions during 2002 and 2003. be deployed. Post-Anaconda operations Following the battle at Shahi-Kot. as well as Afghan National Army troops.S. forces and their Afghan allies and melted away into the caves and tunnels of remote Afghan mountain ranges or across the border into Pakistan during operations. In the wake of Operation Anaconda The Pentagon requested that British Royal Marines who are highly trained in mountain warfare. These included the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. and Uruzgan. the Canadian Joint Task Force 2.S.S. and non-governmental organizations. eight Americans and seven Afghan soldiers had been killed and reportedly 400 opposing forces had also been killed in the fighting. They conducted a number of missions over several weeks with varying results. However.S. Guerrilla units.S-led coalition. who during the summer of 2002 numbered in the hundreds.
in March 2004. ©Mahfuz Rahman . Special Forces Group soldier mans an M60 machine gun on a HMMWV in Afghanistan.2003–2005: Renewed Taliban insurgency Map detailing the spread of the Neotaliban-Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002–2006 A 19th U. An AT4 anti-tank rocket can be seen in the foreground.S.
©Mahfuz Rahman .Spanish Cougar and a VBL of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (2e REI) in Afghanistan (2005). US Marines searching for Taliban fighters in the spring of 2005.
They established a new mode of operation: gathered into groups of around 50 to launch attacks on isolated outposts and convoys of Afghan soldiers. and Pakistani military operations proved of little use. a few with as many as 200 men. or militia and then breaking ©Mahfuz Rahman .25lb M112 Demolition Charges. according to Afghan sources and a United Nations report. After managing to evade U. forces throughout mid-2002. from which the Taliban had originally arisen. consisting of a C-4 compound. Pamphlets distributed in secret during the night also began to appear in many villages in the former Taliban heartland in southeastern Afghanistan that called for jihad. Small mobile training camps were established along the border with Pakistan by al-Qaeda and Taliban fugitives to train recruits in guerrilla warfare and terrorist tactics. Most of the recruits were drawn from the madrassas or religious schools of the tribal areas of Pakistan.S. sit atop degraded weaponry scheduled for destruction. During September.A number of 1. The Taliban gradually reorganized and reconstituted their forces over the winter. police.S-led coalition. preparing for a summer offensive. were created in the mountainous tribal areas of Pakistan by the summer of 2003. The will of the Pakistani paramilitaries stationed at border crossings to prevent such infiltration was called into question. Major bases. Taliban forces began a recruitment drive in Pashtun areas in both Afghanistan and Pakistan to launch a renewed "jihad" or holy war against the Afghan government and the U. the remnants of the Taliban gradually began to regain their confidence and started to begin preparations to launch the insurgency that Mullah Muhammad Omar had promised during the Taliban's last days in power.
In late August 2005. Al-Qaeda forces in the east had a bolder strategy of concentrating on the Americans and catching them when they could with elaborate ambushes. Besides using guerrilla attacks. To coordinate the strategy. with himself at the head.000 guerrillas regrouping. Afghan government forces backed by U. during Operation Mongoose. The first sign that Taliban forces were regrouping came on 27 January 2003. and several U.up into groups of 5–10 men to evade subsequent offensives. Omar named a 10-man leadership council for the resistance. non-governmental organization and humanitarian workers. troops ©Mahfuz Rahman . Over the course of the summer. casualties reported. perhaps the largest concentration of Taliban militants gathered in the area since the fall of the regime. soldiers died in the raids.S. As the summer continued. The site was suspected to be a base to funnel supplies and fighters from Pakistan. 18 rebels were reported killed and no U. with up to 1.S.5 Dai Chopan district is a remote and sparsely populated corner of southeastern Afghanistan composed of towering. and rocket attacks. coalition forces began preparing offensives to root out the rebel forces. Five operational zones were created. the attacks gradually increased in frequency in the "Taliban heartland." Dozens of Afghan government soldiers. Taliban fighters decided it would be the perfect area to make a stand against the Afghan government and the coalition forces. were killed in August 2003 as Taliban fighters gained strength. assigned to various Taliban commanders such as the key Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah. through rocket attacks on bases and improvised explosive devices. Over 220 people.S.S.S. U. The first isolated attacks by relatively large Taliban bands on Afghan targets also appeared around that time. forces in the strategy were attacked indirectly. when a band of fighters allied with the Taliban and Hezb-i-Islami were discovered and assaulted by U. As a result. including several dozen Afghan police. Taliban fighters began building up their forces in the district of Dai Chopan. in charge of Zabul province operations. ambushes. a district in Zabul Province that also straddles Kandahar and Uruzgan and is at the very center of the Taliban heartland. forces at the Adi Ghar cave complex 15 miles (24 km) north of Spin Boldak. Rocky Mountains interspersed with narrow gorges.
After a one-week battle. Air support was provided by U. along with troops and helicopters from Australia. British. Norwegian and French combat aircraft and helicopters.S. 2. Dutch.and heavy American aerial bombardment advanced upon Taliban positions within the mountain fortress. 300 from Australia. The British 16th Air Assault Brigade (later reinforced by Royal Marines) formed the core of the force in Southern Afghanistan. Canada and the Netherlands. troops of Operation Enduring Freedom in southern Afghanistan.300 British. Afghanistan From January 2006. and 150 fromEstonia. Taliban forces were routed with up to 124 fighters (according to Afghan government estimates) killed. 290 from Denmark.S. a NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) started to replace the U.300 Canadian. The initial force consisted of roughly 3. patrols Aranas. 2006: NATO in southern Afghanistan A US Army soldier from 10th Mountain Division.963 from the Netherlands. 1.. ©Mahfuz Rahman .
as the newly deployed NATO troops battled resurgent militants. in order to secure already present forces who were constructing a new base. the provincial capital of Oruzgan province. Operation Mountain Thrust was launched on 17 May 2006. Italian forces killed at least 70 Taliban. Southern Afghanistan faced in 2006 the deadliest spate of violence in the country since the ousting of the Taliban regime by U. of Task Force 45 and the airborne troopers of the ‘Trieste’ infantry regiment of the Rapid Reaction Corps composed of Italian and Spanish forces. The aim was to push the Taliban out of these areas to the north of Tarin Kowt. Hotspots include Badghis in the very north and Farah in the southwest. Local Taliban figures voiced opposition to the incoming force and pledged to resist it. NATO’s focus in southern Afghanistan was to form Provincial Reconstruction Teams with the British leading in Helmand Province while the Netherlands and Canada would lead similar deployments in Orūzgān Province and Kandahar Province respectively. for the loss of only one coalition soldier. Canadian Forces. The situation in RC-W has deteriorated. British.-led forces in 2001. The successful operation is estimated to have killed over 300 Taliban forces.S. On 18 September 2006 Italian Special Forces. supported by U. NATO operations have been led by British. took part in ‘Wyconda Pincer’ operation in the districts of Bala Buluk and Pusht-i-Rod.S. but the Taliban were not completely defeated. Dutch and Danish forces launched Operation Medusa in an attempt to clear the areas of Taliban fighters. 2006 Dutch/Australian offensive A combined force of Dutch and Australians launched an offensive between late April to mid July 2006 in an attempt to take control of the Chora and Baluchi areas. NATO has been successful in achieving tactical victories over the Taliban and denied areas to them.In January 2006. with the purpose of rooting out Taliban forces. and NATO had to continue operations into 2007. The fighting for NATO forces was intense throughout the second half of 2006. Further NATO operations included the Battle of Panjwaii. in Farah province. Operation Mountain Fury and Operation Falcon Summit. Canadian and Dutch commanders.. ©Mahfuz Rahman . In July.
Further operations.2007: Coalition offensive US and British troops during a patrol in Helmand Province Dutch army PzH 2000 firing on Taliban in Chora In January and February 2007. were conducted to keep up the pressure on the Taliban in the hopes of blunting their expected spring offensive. north of Kajaki. The UK ministry of defense announced its intention to bring British troop levels in the country up to 7. ©Mahfuz Rahman . such as Operation Silver and Operation Silicon. Other major operations during this period were Operation Achilles (March – May) and Operation Lastay Kulang. British Royal Marines mounted Operation Volcano to clear insurgents from firing points in the village of Barikju.700 (committed until 2009).
NATO forces achieved tactical victories over the Taliban at the Battle of Chora in Orūzgān Province. Of that number. During the last days of October. troops to the country.S. a Taliban commander in charge of leading operations in the south of the country. Later in March 2007. The rest are part-timers. at least 12 civilians were killed and 33 were injured by U. Paktika Province. eleven other Taliban fighters were killed in the same firefight. usually from Pakistan.S. Canadian forces surrounded around 300 militants near Arghandab and killed at least 50 of them. Approximately 100 to 300 full-time combatants are foreigners. On 12 May 2007. The event has become known as the Shinwar Massacre. where Dutch and Australian ISAF forces are deployed. In 2007. ISAF forces killed Mullah Dadullah. Seven soldiers have been charged with war crimes. about 80 Taliban fighters were killed in a 24 hour battle with forces from the U.500 additional U. the Bush Administration sent more than 3.On 4 March 2007. Uzbekistan. young Afghan men angry at bombing raids or fighting to get money. Chechnya. The strength of Taliban forces was estimated by Western officials and analysts at about 10. and they often ©Mahfuz Rahman . made up of alienated. On 28 October 2007. more foreign fighters were showing up in Afghanistan than ever before. Marines in Shinwar district in Nangrahar province of Afghanistan as the Americans reacted to a bomb ambush. "only 2. This was said to have stopped a potential Taliban offensive on Kandahar. eight civilians including a pregnant woman and a baby died when Polish soldiers shelled the village of Nangar Khel. full-time insurgents".000 to 3.000 fighters fielded at any given time. according to Afghan and United States officials. They tend to be more fanatical and violent.-led coalition in Afghanistan's Helmand province. the Times reported. various Arab countries and perhaps even Turkey and western China. On 16 August 2007. The 120 member Marine unit responsible for the attack was asked to leave the country because the incident damaged the unit's relations with the local Afghan population.000 are highly motivated.S. During the summer. according to an 30 October report in The New York Times.
S.000 additional troops needed there would be unavailable "in any significant manner" unless withdrawals from Iraq are made. This attack brought the U. Taliban forces were forced to pull out of Musa Qala. On 10 November 2007.607 in January to 48. bringing the total number of U. The Taliban confirmed his death. after he was caught trying to cross into Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan. death toll for 2007 to 100. making it the deadliest year for Americans in Afghanistan.643 more troops.S. Mawlawi Abdul Manan. Focus on Afghanistan second.bring skills such as the ability to post more sophisticated videos on the Internet or bombmaking expertise. However. ©Mahfuz Rahman .S. 2008: Reassessment and renewed commitment U." the 10.S. Afghan security forces killed a top-ranking militant. the Taliban ambushed a patrol in eastern Afghanistan. It's been that way for some time." In the first five months of 2008. given to me by the commander in chief are: Focus on Iraq first. Mullen stated that "my priorities . troops in Afghanistan from 26. Staff Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. said that while the situation in Afghanistan is "precarious and urgent. troops in Afghanistan increased by over 80% with a surge of 21.250 in June. the number of U. On 2 November 2007. Afghan units were the principal fighting force. supported by British forces. . . Army Chinook helicopter in the Afghanistan mountains Admiral Mike Mullen. The Battle of Musa Qala took place in December 2007.
S. The same month. the war spilled over on to Pakistani territory for the first time when heavily armed commandos. believed to be U.500 U. President Bush announced the withdrawal of over 8. On 13 June. Late August saw one of the largest operations by NATO forces in Helmand province. French troops suffered their worst losses in Afghanistan in an ambush. In June 2008. troops in Afghanistan. Army Special Forces. British prime minister Gordon Brown announced the number of British troops serving in Afghanistan would increase to 8. 400 of whom were Taliban prisoners of war.Operation Eagle's Summit. landed by helicopter and attacked three houses in a village close to a known ©Mahfuz Rahman . Taliban fighters demonstrated their ongoing strength.000 troops from Iraq in the coming months and a further increase of up to 4.In September 2008. Later in the month. a coordinated Taliban attack was launched on a remote NATO base at Wanat in Kunar province. On 19 August. the UK lost its 100th serviceman killed in the war since 2001.S. On 13 July 2008. French soldiers from the 27ème bataillon de Chasseurs alpins and French Task Force Tiger patrolling the many valleys of Kapisa province. On 3 September. The well-planned operation freed 1200 prisoners. with the aim bringing electricity to the region. causing a major embarrassment for NATO in one of its operational centres in the country. an airstrike which targeted a Taliban commander in Herat province killed 90 civilians. liberating all prisoners in Kandahar jail.030 – a rise of 230 personnel.
Pakistan responded furiously. particularly for the UK. The attack killed between seven and twenty people.S. making 2008 the deadliest year for American troops in Afghanistan since the start of the war. The militants took two military Humvees and paraded them in front of the media as trophies. condemning the attack. Burning hashish seized in Operation Albatross. ©Mahfuz Rahman .Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold. losses to 113. This brought the total number of U. The year was also the deadliest for several European countries in Afghanistan. in an apparent reaction to the recent cross-border attack. Transport companies south of Kabul have also been reported to pay protection money to the Taliban. troops in the eastern part of the country. Taliban fighters in Peshawar hijacked a convoy carrying NATO supplies from Karachi to Afghanistan. On 6 September. robbery. On 11 September. who suffered a similar level of casualties to the USA with the loss of 108 personnel. there were multiple incidents of major theft. most of the dead were civilians. militants killed two U. a joint operation of Afghan officials. In an attack on 11 November 2008. According to local residents. the federal government announced disconnection of supply lines to the allied forces stationed in Afghanistan through Pakistan for an indefinite period.S. and arson attacks against NATO supply convoys in Pakistan. The foreign ministry in Islamabad called the incursion "a gross violation of Pakistan's territory". NATO and the DEA. Taliban attacks on supply lines through Pakistan In November and December 2008.
Pakistan however said it would not allow foreign forces onto its territory and that it would vigorously protect its sovereignty. which belonged to American troops. Cargo trucks and Humvees have been set ablaze by Taliban militants.S. raids against militants in Pakistan. Bush issued a classified order to authorize U. May 6. September 2008. The Taliban destroyed an iron bridge on the highway between Peshawar and the Khyber pass in February 2009. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was quick to deny that shots were fired but instead insisted that the Pakistani troops shot flares to warn the Americans that they were in Pakistani airspace. and they denied that American choppers were in Pakistani airspace. President On 25 September 2008.The area east of the Khyber pass in Pakistan has seen very frequent attacks. A halfdozen raids on depots with NATO supplies near Peshawar destroyed 300 cargo trucks and Humvees in December 2008. In September. which asked for a full explanation into the incident. Coalition issues with Pakistan Barack Obama with Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. ©Mahfuz Rahman . the Pakistan military stated that it had issued orders to "open fire" on American soldiers who crossed the Pakistan border in pursuit of militant forces. Pakistani troops shot towards ISAF helicopters. This caused confusion and anger in the Pentagon. 2009 An unnamed senior Pentagon official told the BBC that at some point between 12 July and 12 George W.
32nd Infantry Regiment. despite tensions between Pakistan and the U. during Operation Mountain Fire on 12 July 2009. there are perhaps fewer than 100 members of al-Qaeda remaining in Afghanistan.A further split occurred when American troops apparently landed on Pakistani soil to carry out an operation against militants in theKhyber Pakhtunkhwa Province but ‘Pakistan reacted angrily to the action. fires his weapon during a battle with insurgent forces in Barge Matal. ©Mahfuz Rahman . In a meeting with General McChrystal. 10th Mountain Division.S. the Taliban apparently had severed remaining ties with alQaeda. Pakistani military officials urged international forces to keep their fight on the Afghan side of the border to prevent militants from fleeing into Pakistan.000 Pakistani soldiers on its side of the border with Afghanistan to monitor and address militant activities. in particular the Federally Administered Tribal Regions (FATA) and Balochistan. military intelligence officials. Pakistan noted that it has 140. By the end of 2008. According to senior U.S.. However.S. the United States has continued to increase the use of remotely piloted drone aircraft in Pakistan's border regions. while the Coalition only has 100. saying 20 innocent villagers had been killed by US troops’.000 soldiers to police the Afghanistan side of the border. as of early 2009. drone attacks were up 183% since 2006. Army soldier with 1st Battalion. 2009: Southern Afghanistan A U.
©Mahfuz Rahman . U. Afghanistan. 14 August 2009. with their Nexter Systems Caesar self-propelled wheeled armored vehicles. Army Soldiers cross the Arghandab River to assist Afghanistan police on a humanitarian mission French soldiers conduct a live-fire exercise.S.S. outside of Bagram Airfield. Soldiers pass through a village while on a dismounted patrol.U.
work began on the establishment of a Northern Distribution Network (NDN) through Russia and several Central Asian republics. forces from Karshi-Khanabad airbase. Initial permission for the U. July 17.Canadian Forces personnel carry the coffin of a fallen comrade onto an aircraft at Kandahar Air Field. after a visit to the region by General Petraeus. compared to 30% through Pakistan. other European ports include Poti. currently 140 containers a day are shipped through the Khyber Pass.212 miles (5. In addition to Riga. Instead. On 11 May 2009. By 2011. Due to the still unsettled relationship between Uzbekistan and the United States following the 2005 Andijon massacre and subsequent expulsion of U.S. The first shipment along the NDN route left on 20 February from Riga. By comparison. South Korea's Korean Air. Uzbekistan was being used to transport non-lethal cargo into Afghanistan.S. officially handles logistics at the site. U. Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov announced that the airport in Navoi. the NDN handled about 40% of Afghanistan-bound traffic.S.S. commanders have stated their hope that 100 containers a day will be shipped along the NDN.169 km) to the Uzbek town of Termez on the Afghanistan border. then traveled 3. ©Mahfuz Rahman . forces were not involved in the shipment of supplies. Latvia. 2009 Northern Distribution Network In response to the increased risk of sending supplies through Pakistan. Georgia and Vladivostok. military to move troop supplies through the region was given on 20 January 2009. which is currently involved in overhauling Navoi's airport. U. Russia.
Afghan Federal Guards also fought along with U. over one-third of all of the nonlethal equipment including fuel. troops In January. troops and weapons could use the country's airspace to reach Afghanistan. Air Force. Russian authorities announced that U. and the 5th Brigade. human rights advocates are concerned that the U.S. however. Army in Afghanistan. also provided its airspace and airports for transportation of vital supplies for the U. NBC News reported that a classified assessment of the war in Afghanistan by General McChrystal included his conclusion that a successful counterinsurgency strategy would require 500.S.000 additional troops would be deployed to the country in two brigades and additional support troops. ©Mahfuz Rahman . Azerbaijan.S.S.S. it was announced that 17. effectively doubling the number of troops currently in the country. military in Afghanistan travels through Baku.000 U. officials have promised increased cooperation with Uzbekistan. The U.S.500 from the 7. Apart from usage of Azerbaijani airspace by U. The troops were the first wave of an expected surge of reinforcements originally ordered by George W.000 Marines. and food used by the U. clothing.Originally only non-lethal resources were allowed on the NDN. including further assistance to turn the Navoi airport into a major regional distribution center for both military and civilian ventures. General David McKiernan. Additionally.S. U. Army soldiers. a Stryker Brigade with about 4.S.000 of the 7.S. shortly before a visit by President Obama to Moscow. Troops. the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigadeof about 3. Bush and increased by Barack Obama.000 troops and five years of fighting. In mid-February. On 23 September. is again working with the government of Uzbekistan.S.S. soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division moved into the provinces of Logar and Wardak. 2nd Infantry Division. had called for as many as 30. which is often accused of violating human rights. In July 2009. Nevertheless.000 additional troops. about 3. Increase in U. which has sent its peacekeeping forces to be a part of ISAF.000 U. commander in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama announced at The United States Military Academy in West Point that the U. Many protesters compared the decision to deploy more troops in Afghanistan to the expansion of the Vietnam War under the Johnson administration.S. Antiwar organizations in the United States responded quickly. Ambassador Karl W.S.S. troops in Afghanistan. Up to now this campaign consisted of several large offensives linked by countless skirmishes and gunfights. Afghan.S. Kunduz Province campaign In April. will be sending 30. In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.. and cities throughout the U.In November. and ©Mahfuz Rahman . saw protests on 2 December in response. In subsequent cables.000 more troops to Afghanistan. There was no formal American response. the U. Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a public plea to the United States to engage in direct negotiations with the Taliban leadership.S. troops to Afghanistan until President Hamid Karzai's government demonstrates that it is willing to tackle the corruption and mismanagement that has fueled the Taliban's rise. U. ambassador in Kabul sent two classified cables to Washington expressing deep concerns about sending more U. Eikenberry. considered to be the most dangerous part of Northern Afghanistan by ISAF commander McChrystal. German forces stepped up their efforts to retake some rebellious areas of Kunduz province. On 1 December 2009. Operations of German. The fighting centres upon the areas to the west and south of the city of Kunduz with a main focus on an area between the town of Chahar Dara in the West and the Kunduz river in the east. a retired three-star general who in 2006–2007 commanded U. and made it clear that the Obama administration had opposed such talks. On 26 November 2009. Karzai said there is an "urgent need" for negotiations with the Taliban.S. also expressed frustration with the relative paucity of funds set aside for spending on development and reconstruction in Afghanistan. Ambassador Eikenberry repeatedly cautioned that deploying sizable American reinforcements would result in “astronomical costs” – tens of billions of dollars – and would only deepen the dependence of the Afghan government on the United States.
Gen. July 2. fuel legitimacy and bolster capacity. About 4000 U. Iraq. which will be staged on the Helmand River. Insurgent militias suffered more than 650 casualties in this period. A secondary aim was to bring security to the Helmand Valley in time for presidential elections. We're going to walk to work. On 25 June 2009. “The Taliban retains [the] required partnerships to sustain support. briefing by Major General Michael T. commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. where the secondary aim will be achieved first. — Brig. Operation Panther's Claw was aimed to secure various canal and river crossings to establish a permanent International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) presence in the area. Officials call it the Marines' largest operation since the 2004 invasion of Fallujah. Flynn. intelligence officer in Afghanistan. a devastating NATO air raid was conducted 7 kilometres to the southwest of Kunduz where Taliban fighters had hijacked civilian supply trucks. Lawrence D. killing Up to 179 people including over 100 Afghan civilians. Nicholson. American officials announced the launch of Operation Khanjar ("strike of the sword"). Khanjar follows a British-led operation named Operation Panther's Claw in the same region.” The 23-page briefing states that "Security incidents [are] projected ©Mahfuz Rahman . On 4 September.Belgian troops were still ongoing as of December 2009. Initially.S. At least 86 coalition troops were wounded or killed. Taliban's gains According to a 22 December 2009. We're going to be with the people. Operation Khanjar and Operation Panther's Claw We're doing this very differently. We're not going to drive to work. the top U.S. The main objective of the operation is to push troops into insurgent strongholds along the river. set to take place on 20 August. The first aggressive phase will last 36 hours. Afghan and American soldiers have been moving into towns and villages along the Helmand River to secure the civilian population from the Taliban. Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and 650 Afghan soldiers are currently involved in Operation Khanjar. 2009.
and there are fears that a results dispute can ©Mahfuz Rahman . where at least 9 Afghan civilians and 14 security forces were killed in attacks intended to intimidate voters. The chief observer of the European Union election mission.to be higher in 2010. both of the top contenders. General Philippe Morillon. according to the briefing. strategy in the months to come is to stop their momentum and focusing on protecting and safeguarding the Afghan civilians. The Taliban's claim of disrupting 20 August elections is largely disputed. while also calling it "hard work". almost as many as before 9/11 and more than in 2005. The Taliban released a video days after the elections. said that the Taliban had gained the upper hand. In southern Afghanistan where the Taliban holds the most sway. and stepped up their attack in an attempt to disrupt 20 August presidential polls. cars. Reports also suggest that the turnout was lower than the last election. stopping buses." Those incidents are already up by 300 percent since 2007 and by 60 percent since 2008. however. the militants have aggressively spread their influence into the north and west Afghanistan. even though some estimates give the voter turn out as much less than the expected 70 percent. said the election was "generally fair" but "not free". filming just up the road between Kabul and Kandahar.000 dedicated soldiers. Calling the Taliban a "very aggressive enemy". claimed victory in the election.S. commander in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah. claiming over 135 incidents of violence. a major route in Afghanistan on election day. The video went on to showing ten men who had voted. and asking to see their fingers. Western groups and election observers had difficulty accessing the southern regions of Afghanistan. there was a low voter turnout and sporadic violence directed at voters and security personnel. they went on to say they may pardon the voters because of the Holy month of Ramadan The Taliban also attacked towns with rockets and other means of indirect fire. he added that the U. causing many outlets to hail the elections as a success.S. On 10 August 2009. Stanley McChrystal. media was asked to not report on any violent incidents. being talked to by a Taliban militant. the newly appointed U. Amid claims of widespread fraud. NATO intelligence at the time also indicated that the Taliban had as many as 25. In a continuation of the Taliban's usual strategy of summer offensives.
Marine Corps Sergeant exits an Italian Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter. over 400. Making the real turnout of the elections much lower than the official numbers. used by the Central Intelligence Agency to gather information and to coordinate drone attacks against Taliban leaders. and many more with hundreds of thousands of votes and polling ballots being accused of fraud. 2010: American/British offensive and Afghan peace initiative U. Abdullah Abdullah. killed at least six CIA officers and was a major setback for the agency's operations in the region.turn violent. even though both candidates vowed not to incite violence in case of a loss.S. After Karzai's alleged win of 54 per cent. an attack on Forward Operating Base Chapman.000 votes had to be discounted for Karzai. In December. many nations criticizing the elections as "free but not fair". which would prevent a run off with his rival. 30 November 2010 ©Mahfuz Rahman .
S. 6th Marine Regiment return fire on Taliban forces in Marjeh in February 2010 U. U.K. Helmand province in June 2010. Marines with Bravo Company.S.U. Marines with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) destroy an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) cache in Southern Shorsurak. 1st Battalion. 2 January 2010 ©Mahfuz Rahman . Afghanistan. service members of the Royal Air Force Regiment stop on a road while conducting a combat mission near Kandahar Airfield.
S. April 2010 In January 2010.S. dollars during the previous eight years as a result of the fight against militancy. Due to increased use of IEDs by insurgents there was a significant increase in the number of injured coalition soldiers. mainly Americans. approximately 900 Taliban were killed in operations conducted during 2010.French soldiers provide security for the construction of the new combat outpost (COP) site in the heart of the Tagab valley. Afghan President Hamid Karzai also started peace talks with Haqqani network groups in March 2010. According to the Afghan government. American officials said privately that the Pakistanis are reluctant to go after the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network because they see them as a future proxy against Indian interests in Afghanistan when the Americans leave. ©Mahfuz Rahman . In their public statements U. 2 March 2010 Australian and Afghan soldiers patrol the poppy fields in the Baluchi Valley Region. officials had previously praised Pakistan's military effort against the militants during its offensive in South Waziristan in November 2009. losing one limb or more or suffering major injury to their genital and pelvic areas. Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari said that Pakistan has lost over 35 billion U.
" Gates stated. saying "The Islamic Emirate has a clear position. troops has been proving more ©Mahfuz Rahman . "There has to be ultimately – and I'll underscore ultimately – reconciliation as part of a political outcome to this. sought a meeting with the UN special representative in Afghanistan. We have said this many. Reconciliation and Reintegration. In March 2010.Peace Initiatives In October 2008 Defense Secretary Gates asserted that a political settlement with the Taliban was the endgame for the Afghan conflict." In July 2010. who presented a plan which included the withdrawal of all foreign troops by the end of 2010. Afghan President Hamid Karzai told world leaders that he intends to reach out to the top echelons of the Taliban within a few weeks with a peace initiative.S. Taliban commanders held secret exploratory talks with a United Nations special envoy to discuss peace terms. to be called the National Council for Peace. Karzai also asked for creation of a new peacemaking organization. the Quetta Shura. the Karzai government held preliminary talks with Hezb-iIslami. The Taliban declined to participate. Karzai's top adviser on the reconciliation process with the insurgents said that the country must learn to forgive the Taliban. The Guardian newspaper reported that the campaign to "win hearts and minds" of Afghan civilians by U. By 2010 peace efforts began. There will be no talks when there are foreign troops on Afghanistan's soil killing innocent Afghans on daily basis. Regional commanders on the Taliban's leadership council. Kai Eide. many times. On 26 January 2010. Karzai set the framework for dialogue with Taliban leaders when he called on the group's leadership to take part in a "loya jirga" – or large assembly of elders – to initiate peace talks. It was the first such meeting between the UN and senior members of the Taliban. and it took place in Dubai on January 8. In early January. at a major conference in London which brought together some 70 countries and organizations.
The CIA. according to U.S. troops continued in early 2010. with 9. with a population of 80.000 in place before the end of March and another 18. military special operations forces. with the101st Airborne Division as the main effort. It is the biggest joint operation since the 2001 invasion that ousted the Taliban.000 of the planned 30.S.S. stating.S.000. the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan. The troops are fighting over an area of less than 100 square miles (260 km2). and Afghan officials. In September 2010 General David Petraeus commented on the progress of peace talks to date. No one wants anything to do with us.and there have been approaches at (a) very senior level that hold some promise. including their elite paramilitary officers from Special Activities Division (SAD). was the first operation where Afghan forces led the coalition. The CIA is also increasing its campaign using Hellfire missile strikes on Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. It began on 13 February and. troops in Afghanistan will outnumber those in Iraq for the first time since 2003. British and Afghan troops.difficult than expected. The number of ©Mahfuz Rahman ." Marja offensive In early February Coalition and Afghan forces began highly visible plans for an offensive.. The Pentagon anticipates that U. One U. codenamed Operation Moshtarak. This combination worked well in Iraq and is largely credited with the success of that surge. on the Taliban stronghold near the village of Marja. The offensive involves 15.. Army report read: "It seems to always be this way when we go there [to meet civilians]. from a request by General McChrystal.S. "The prospect for reconciliation with senior Taliban leaders certainly looms out there.000 US. is planning to increase teams of operatives. with U." And a report on meeting up with school representatives mentioned students throwing rocks at soldiers and not welcoming their arrival. as has been reported on several occasions elsewhere.000 expected by June. Troop surge Deployment of additional U.
Bagram and Kandahar Air Bases. The surge in troops also meant a sixfold increase in Special Forces operations. There were 700 air strikes in September 2010. The documents cover U. the release of 391. General David Petraeus characterized the damage Special Forces were inflicting on the insurgents this way: "We’ve got our teeth in the enemy’s jugular now.500.strikes in 2010. Attacks include a car bomb against a NATO convoy in Kabul which killed 18 people including six NATO soldiers and separate attacks against two of the largest ISAF bases in Afghanistan. military incident and intelligence reports from January 2004 to December ©Mahfuz Rahman . 2010 saw the most insurgent attacks of any year since the war began. but have expanded their operations into Pakistan. and we’re not going to let go.832 classified documents from the Wikileaks organization was made public. Taliban offensive The Taliban announced an offensive for the spring and launched several attacks against ISAF and Afghan government forces. Overall. According to Woodward book Obama's War. Insurgent operations increased "dramatically" in two-thirds of Afghan provinces. peaking in September at more than 1. Wikileaks disclosure On 25 July 2010. Hundreds more insurgent leaders were killed or captured as 2010 came to a close. 115." The CIA created what would be called Counter-terrorism Pursuit Teams (CTPT) at the beginning of the war. These units have not only been highly effective in operations against the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan. This force grew to over 3.S. more than doubled the 50 drone attacks that occurred in 2009. They were also important factors in both the "counterterrorism plus" and the full "counterinsurgency" options discussed by the Obama administration in the December 2010 review. From July 2010 to October 2010.Firebase Lilley as one of the nerve centers for the covert war conducted by the CIA's SAD. alone versus 257 in all of 2009. 300 Taliban commanders and 800 foot soldiers were killed.000 soldiers by 2010 and is considered one of the "best Afghan fighting forces".
" The Guardian. Arghandab and the Horn of Panjwayi." The New York Times was especially alarmed by the level of collusion with the Taliban. called Operation Hamkari. Zhari. Operations conducted in 2010 is credited with putting severe pressure on insurgent operations and increasing security in some key areas such as in Panjwayi. including the Afghan Border Police (ABP). The reports also included many references to other incidents involving civilian casualties like the Kunduz airstrike and Nangar Khel incident. and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders. "the documents clearly show that the Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (usually known as the ISI) is the most important accomplice the Taliban has outside of Afghanistan. Kandahar offensive A U. led by Spin Boldak ABP Commander Gen. Operation Hamkari featured the extensive use of Afghan National Security Forces. Some of these documents included sanitised. which ended September 10. The leaked documents also contain reports of Pakistan collusion with the Taliban. and Afghan military offensive. It involved the hold and build in the district of Zangabad as well as the Ground ©Mahfuz Rahman . however. Abdul Razziq. and "covered up".S. According to Der Spiegel.2009. Operation Bawaar was the Canadian aspect of the 2010 Kandahar offensive. having concluded that Pakistan "allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan. The offensive did not begin as one specific operation. accounts of civilian casualties caused by Coalition Forces. but was delayed for further preparations. Unlike operations of previous years. did not think there was "a convincing smoking gun" for complicity between Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Places where operations were conducted included Malajat. but rather a series of operations in Kandahar City and its surrounding districts throughout the late summer and fall in 2010. The Kandahar offensive was originally planned to be launched during July. focusing on the Afghan province of Kandahar was launched soon after the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.
S. Pakistan and U.Line of Communication (GLOC) project to Mushan – all in an area known as the Horn of Panjwai.S.S. The effectiveness of the operations in defeating the Taliban was not yet known. the Pakistani Taliban attacked the NATO convoys carrying supplies. In retaliation for the strike. This incident followed the recent release of a video allegedly showing uniformed Pakistan soldiers executing unarmed civilians. The troops were attacked by a U. the operations had resulted in the capture or killing of more than 900 low and mid-level Taliban commanders. Pakistan closed the Torkham ground border crossing to NATO supply convoys for an unspecified period. Raids on Taliban leaders Beginning in May 2010 NATO special forces began to concentrate on surgical operations to capture or kill specific Taliban leaders. were heightened in late September after several Pakistan Frontier Corps soldiers were killed and wounded. killing several of the drivers and destroying around 100 tankers. and NATO drawdown ©Mahfuz Rahman . military. piloted aircraft that was pursuing Taliban forces near the Afghan-Pakistan border but for unknown reasons opened fire on two different Pakistan border posts. 2011: U.S. tensions Tensions between Pakistan and the U.S. As of March 2011. After the Torkham border closing. according to the U.
31 March 2011 U. discuss plans to maneuver into Pacha Khak village. 7 April 2011 ©Mahfuz Rahman . Kabul Province. 23 March 2011 Soldiers from 34th Infantry Division. Army National Guard soldiers patrol the villages in the Bagram Security Zone. while conducting a dismounted patrol. Soldiers return fire during a firefight with Taliban forces in Kunar Province.S.U.S. Task Force Red Bulls.
between Medina and Mecca. On 7 May 2011. 8 May 2011. the Taliban launched a major offensive on Government buildings in Kandahar. officials announced that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a Special Operation to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden. chanting "USA. 2011. The Battle followed an announcement. 29 March 2011 Battle of Kandahar The Battle of Kandahar was part of an offensive named after the Battle of Bad'r that took place on 13 March 624. the mayor's office. and President Barack Obama addressed the nation and the world from the East Room of the White House to tell the world of the operation.S. Around 12:30 pm local time. USA" after the news emerged. Crowds gathered outside the White House in Washington. the Taliban unleashed a major assault on government buildings throughout the city. Death of Osama bin Laden On 1 May 2011. April 30. three police stations and two high schools. The Taliban said their goal was to take control of Kandahar city. ©Mahfuz Rahman .An Australian service light armored vehicle drives through Tangi Valley. DC. the NDS headquarters. conducted by the CIA and United States Navy SEALs. in Pakistan. The battle continued onto a second day. and a embarrassment for the Western-backed Afghan government. U. At least eight locations were attacked: the governor's compound. that Taliban would launch their Spring offensive throughout the country. The BBC's Bilal Sarwary called it the worst attack in Kandahar province since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001.
and complete withdrawal by 2014. with 3.000 troops will leave the country by the summer of 2012.S. In July 2011 Canada withdrew all of its combat troops. Norway announced it had started a withdrawal of its near 500 troops. and a civilian interpreter. and has transitioned to a training role. After the withdrawal of 10.000 soldiers by the end of 2012.000 soldiers remaining in Afghanistan at that point. other NATO countries announced reductions in troop numbers. Soldiers. however it has not yet specified numbers or dates. It was the same unit who killed Osama Bin Laden. The United Kingdom has stated that it will gradually start withdrawing some of its troops.S. seven Afghan troops. Taliban fighters shot down a U. when the Afghan National Army takes control of the Surobi district.S. Among the U. President Obama addressed the nation from the White House and announced that 10. although none of the deceased partook in the operation. only 80.S. and would be completely out of Afghanistan by 2014. the Spanish Prime Minister has announced the withdrawal of troops beginning in 2012 with a target of up to 40 percent of the current force withdrawing by the end of the first half of 2013. deaths were 17 Navy Seals who had been part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU).S. U.000 troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011 and an additional 23. The remaining troops will continue to operate in Kapisa. Chinook helicopter which caused the death of 30 U.Withdrawal On 22 June. Following suit. Belgium announced they would withdraw half of their force starting January 2012. France has announced that it would withdraw roughly 1.000 left are participating in the war. and their complete withdrawal is expected by the end of 2014 or earlier if the security in this district is considered good enough. troops.000 U. helicopter shot down On 6 August 2011. Several hundreds would gradually come back at the end of 2011 and in the beginning of 2012. Equally. ANA/Australian incidents ©Mahfuz Rahman .
We strongly condemn the attacks and reserve the right to take action. It was the bloodiest incident for Australian forces since 2001. A similar attack occurred just 10 days later on 9 November 2011. 2011. when an ANA soldier opened fire wounding three Australians and two Afghan soldiers before escaping. The attack weakened trust between Australian and ANA forces and led to weapons being confiscated from some ANA elements for several days.S. an ANA soldier opened fire on Australian forces at a patrol base in northern Kandahar Province. The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard later reaffirmed her government's support for Australian involvement. an accidental. 2011 U. The ANA soldier responsible for the attack was killed during the gunfight. This attack killed three Australian soldiers and an Afghan Army interpreter and severely wounded seven Australians. “This could have serious consequences in the level and extent of our cooperation. killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. direct attack on Pakistan's armed forces by ISAF forces occurred on 26 November 2011. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the attack was ‘tragic’ and ‘unintended’. The incident raised questions of Australia's commitment to the war in Afghanistan and if success with working alongside the ANA was even possible. Kandahar and Mazar-iSharif killed 60 Shiite worshippers including many children and wounded an estimated 200 on the Day of Ashura on December 6.” said DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas. shooting 11 people. Coordinated attacks against Shiites civilians A series of terrorist attacks in the Afghan cities Kabul. and the worst for the ADF since the Vietnam war. The highly coordinated attacks which nearly went off simultaneously were considered to ©Mahfuz Rahman . Pakistan blocked NATO supply and ordered Americans to leave Shamsi Airfield.On 30 October 2011. "This (regret) is not good enough. while speaking to the national and international media from abroad on Monday.-NATO attack in Pakistan On the Peak of Tensions after "Operation Neptune Spear".
which were allied to Lashkar-i-Jhangvi in their fight against Afghanistan's anti-Taliban United Front in from 1996 to 2001. there will resistance. a Pakistan-based Deobandi extremist group allied to al-Qaeda. the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had ties to Lashkar-i-Jhangvi in the past. on be ” In late 2011 the National Front of Afghanistan (NFA) was created by Ahmad Zia Massoud. Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. The Afghan Taliban.S. Lashkar-i-Jhangvi is known for its systematic attacks against Shiites in Pakistan. then as Vice President of Afghanistan. Abdul Rashid Dostum and Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq in what many analysts have described as a reformation of the military wing of the United Front (Northern Alliance) to oppose a return of the Taliban to power. 2012: Strategic Agreement Reformation of the United Front (Northern Alliance) Ahmad Zia Massoud (left). He is now the chairman of the National Front of Afghanistan “If the Taliban are imposed Afghanistan. Provincial Reconstruction Team at the ceremony for a new road. According to the Washington Post and New York Times. denied any role in the attacks. Meanwhile.be among the war's deadliest attacks against civilians. claimed responsibility. shaking hands with a U. much of the political wing has reunited under the National Coalition of Afghanistan led by Abdullah Abdullah becoming the main ©Mahfuz Rahman .
troops is breaking down and strained the relations between Afghanistan and the United States. and therefore effective. if all parties to the conflict are involved in the process.” These incidents created fractures in the partnership between Afghanistan and the NATO troops operating in the country. Pakistan and the Taliban during a widely publicized meeting in Berlin.]. Basej-i Milli (Afghanistan Green Trend). military incidents During the first four months of 2012 four incidents involving US troops occurred which were described by The Sydney Morning Herald as “a series of damaging incidents and disclosures involving American troops in Afghanistan [." After the meeting with US congressmen in Berlin the National Front signed a joint declaration stating among other things: "We firmly believe that any negotiation with the Taliban can only be acceptable. raised the question wether discipline within U. sacrifices and legitimate interests of the Afghans who ended the brutal oppression of all Afghans. Congressman Louie Gohmert wrote. U. "These leaders who fought with embedded Special Forces to initially defeat the Taliban represent over 60-percent of the Afghan people..democratic opposition movement in the Afghan parliament.000 people in an anti-Taliban demonstration in the capital Kabul in May 2011. with support among the youth mobilizing about 10. yet are being entirely disregarded by the Obama and Karzai Administrations in negotiations. ©Mahfuz Rahman . January 2012 High-profile U. Former head of intelligence. military incidents in Afghanistan” are described. The present form of discussions with the Taliban is flawed. —National Front Berlin Statement. The present negotiations with the Taliban fail to take into account the risks. as it excludes anti-Taliban Afghans. the National Front of Afghanistan raised concerns about the possibility of a secretive and untransparent deal between the US. In January 2012.S. Amrullah Saleh.S. In the following sections these “high-profile U.. It must be recalled that the Taliban extremists and their Al-Qaeda supporters were defeated by Afghans resisting extremism with minimal human embedded support from the United States and International community.S.S. has created a new movement.
They are exploiting the religious feelings of people.'" In early April 2012 two investigations into the incident were completed. Panjwai shooting spree On 11 March 2012.Afghan revolt for U. Afghan politicians wanted Bales to face an Afghan court. Unfortunately. After five days of protest. Yunus Fakoor. be it officers or enlisted personnel. resulting in outraged Afghans besieging Bagram AFB. No U. Initially. Afghan forces working at the base reported this.' he stated angrily. US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales allegedly left his base and killed 16 civilians in Panjwai District. however. raining it with petrol bombs and stones. with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stating that the soldier "will be brought to justice and be held ©Mahfuz Rahman . Kandahar Province. 'Those who have used violence in the past days are harming the Afghan people. some politically-motivated groups are exploiting the peaceful intentions. Koran burnings On 22 February 2012. a political expert in Kabul. became aware that their feelings were being exploited by militant groups such as the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami. have been disciplined as of April 19. about 300 local Afghans responded by protesting at the military base. 2012 for their roles in the incident according to The Atlantic magazine. Over 200 people had been wounded.S.' 'We not only condemn the US for the burning of the Koran but also those who are committing crimes in the name of the Koran and its desecration. US troops at Bagram Base disposed copies of the Quran that had been used by Taliban prisoners to write messages to each other. Afghans. military persons. 30 people had been killed. including four Americans. Deutsche Welle reports: "Ahmad Jawed. As part of the disposal parts of the books were burned. said it was wrong to respond to the burning of the Koran with violence. said radical religious groups were pouring oil on the fire for their own purposes. a protester from Herat.S. American and ISAF forces apologized and promised a full investigation. 'This is not a defense of faith.
 provides the long-term framework for the relationship between Afghanistan and the United States of America after the drawdown of U. I've not had a final decision yet. the United States and Afghanistan signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement that went into effect four days ago. Concerns by the US military that the photos could provoke violent unrest in Afghanistan did not come true because the Afghan society holds suicide bombers in contempt. Afghan President Hamid Karzai raised the possibility to hold presidential elections in 2013. 2012 according to The Atlantic magazine. Insurgents’ bodies incident The Insurgents’ bodies incident is an incident involving US troops who posed with body parts of dead insurgents during the Afghanistan war. but it will not be soon. 2012 at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan: "Like a number of countries represented here. forces in the Afghanistan war. He issued the concern that having the complete security handover and a presidential election take place in one and the same year could be a problem. "This is a question that I've had and I've raised it in my inner circle. instead of 2014 as scheduled. 2012 as stated by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said on July 8.S.accountable" and that the death penalty "could be a consideration. after the US president had arrived in Kabul as part of unannounced trip to Afghanistan on the first anniversary ofOsama bin Laden's death. military persons have been relieved from their duty as of April 19." ©Mahfuz Rahman ." Except US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales no U. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US President Barack Obama signed a strategic partnership agreement between the two countries. Possibility for early presidential elections In April 2012.S. The U.Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement." Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement On 2 May 2012.S. officially entiteled the "Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America". The Strategic Partnership Agreement went into effect on July 4. Karzai said.
but under the condition that the Afghan government reduce corruption before receiving all of the money. In exchange for pledges from the Afghan government to combat corruption $16 billion over the next four years for civilian projects such as roads to schools or projects aimed to strengthen the rule of law were pledged by the some 70 nations attending the conference. They are able to have access to excess defense supplies. held on July 8. equipment and financial support for Afghanistan’s security forces." NATO presence Chicago Summit: Troops withdrawal and longterm Further information: 2012 Chicago Summit and 2011 NATO attack in Pakistan On May 21. as part of the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement... 2012 the leaders of the NATO-member countries endorsed an exit strategy during the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago. the United States designated Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived to Kabul to meet with President Karzai. while shifting at the same time from combat to a support role of advising. She said: "There are a number of benefits that accrue to countries that have this designation. The NATO-led ISAF Forces will hand over command of all combat missions to Afghan forces by the middle of 2013. training and assisting the Afghan security forces and then withdraw most of the 130. train and assist the Afghan security forces including the Afghan Special Operations Forces. Up to 20 ©Mahfuz Rahman . where the alliance confirmed plans to withdraw foreign combat troops by the end of 2014 and pledged about $4 billion a year to pay for ongoing training.On 7 July 2012. Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan The Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan. 2012 was the civilian-diplomatic bookend to NATO’s 2012 May summit in Chicago. for example. and they can be part of certain kinds of training and capacity building. In the so called Tokyo Framework of Mutual Accountability foreign governments will assure Afghanistan a steady stream of financing in exchange for stronger anticorruption measures and the establishment of the rule of law.  A new and different NATO mission will then advise. The reconstruction and development aid was pledged for the timeframe through 2015.000 foreign troops by the end of December 2014.
 A follow-up conference will be hold in Britain in 2014.percent of the money would depend on the government meeting governance standards according to the Tokyo Framework of Mutual Accountability. going from $4. " "We will fight corruption with strong resolve wherever it occurs. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed the need for reform to safeguard changes achieved in Afghanistan.especially those of women. rule of law and human rights . troop strength has gone from 44. In a 2011 news story.000.S.  Cost of war The cost of the war reportedly was a major factor as U.7 billion a month. The meeting in Britain in 2014 will check progress toward "mutual accountability" and a review and monitoring process to assure that development aid is not diverted by corrupt officials or mismanaged .S. officials considered drawing down troops in 2011. improving governance. Kabul must also demonstrate efforts to improve governance and finance management. increasing access to economic opportunity for all Afghans. Defense Department spending on Afghanistan has increased 50%.000 for fiscal year 2011.4 billion to $6. "The United States and other Western nations that have borne the brunt of the cost of the Afghan war ©Mahfuz Rahman . and safeguard the democratic process." The international aid is tied to a mechanism that will regularly review how it is being spent. 2) The total operational cost for Afghanistan from the beginning of the conflict in 2001 through 2006 only slightly exceeds the amount spent in 2010 alone – $93. soldier in Afghanistan is over US$1 million dollars a year." Afghanistan President Harmid Karzai told the donors. especially for women." she said. The estimate for the cost of deploying one U.8 billion. During that time. "That must include fighting corruption. the CSM reported. and ask the same of our international partners.000 to 84. strengthening the rule of law.what the conference called a roadmap of accountability. "Together we must stop the practices that feed corruption or undermine the legitimacy and effectiveness of national institutions. The projected total cost relating to Afghanistan from inception to the fiscal year 2011 is expected to be $468 billion. and to guarantees from Kabul that it will seriously take on its deep-rooted corruption problems . A March 2011 Congressional Research Service report notes the following about Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan: 1) following the Afghanistan surge announcement in 2009. and it is expected to be at 102.both of which have been major hurdles in putting aid projects into practice thus far.
insisted that the Taliban were gaining strength." Risk of a failed state An Afghan market teems with vendors and shoppers on 4 February 2009 Village girls wait as the Afghan National Police unload a shipment of humanitarian aidat their village. He cited the recent uptick in attacks in Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan. Petraeus. 4 February 2009 U. the then-head U. Petraeus also insisted that the challenges faced in Afghanistan are more ©Mahfuz Rahman .S. Soldiers unload humanitarian aid for distribution to the town of Rajan Kala. 5 December 2009 In a 2008 interview. Central Command General David H.have been conspicuously absent from the bidding process on Afghanistan’s mineral deposits.S. leaving it to mostly to regional powers.
My people are crushed between two powerful enemies.. and it is impossible to bring democracy by war." the report states. the U.. which is the Pakistan army. A 2010 report published by the London School of Economics says that Pakistan's ISI has an "official policy" of support to the Taliban. About the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan he stated: [T]hey fight for the U.S." expressed opposition to an expansion of the U..S. (see video ) Capacity of Afghan security forces ©Mahfuz Rahman . In November 2009. a former member of the Afghan Parliament and the author of "Raising My Voice. and on the ground. lack of coordination. Malalai Joya. becoming the world's second most-corrupt country ahead of just Somalia. Amrullah Saleh.  Pakistan is playing a central role in Afghanistan. too much focus on the central government at the expense of local and provincial governments. and NATO – under the banner of women’s rights. The question is what does Pakistan’s army want to achieve . “Eight years ago. The ISI provides funding and training to the Taliban. national interest but . Occupation will never bring liberation. mafia system of President Hamid Karzai. the Taliban and warlords continue their crimes. Observers also have argued that the mission in Afghanistan is hampered by a lack of agreement on objectives. which are widespread inside Afghanistan.. Eight years is enough to know better about the corrupt. "Pakistan appears to be playing a double-game of astonishing magnitude. criticised: We talk about all these proxies [Taliban. Haqqanis] but not the master of proxies.S. Afghanistan slipped three places in Transparency International's annual index of corruption perceptions. occupation forces bomb and kill civilians . It is better that they leave my country. without them we will face massacre and disaster and God knows what type of a future Afghanistan will have. military presence in Afghanistan and concern about the future of her country. former director of Afghanistan's intelligence service. human rights. and too much focus on Afghanistan instead of the region.” In November 2009.complicated than the ones that were faced in Iraq during his tour and to turn around the recent events this would require removing militant sanctuaries and strongholds. and democracy – occupied my country and pushed us from the frying pan into the fire.? They want to gain influence in the region.. my people are that fed up.. a lack of resources. From the sky.
 "They don’t have the basics. U.S.S.000 soldiers by October 2010. This increase in Afghan troops was intended to allow the U. train and retain soldiers. to begin withdrawing American forces in July 2011. 1 April 2010 at Camp Morehead in the outer regions of Kabul. By May 2010 the Afghan Army had accomplished this interim goal and was on track to reach its ultimate number of 171. Michael Bell. policy called for boosting the Afghan National Army to 134. "I ran around for an hour trying to get them to shoot. discipline and adequate reinforcements. Even the best Afghan units lacked training. and Hungarian mentors tasked with training Afghan soldiers.Afghan Commandos practice infiltration techniques. the Afghan National Army had severely limited fighting capacity.000 by 2011. soldiers had been found cowering in ditches rather than fighting. In one new unit inBaghlan Province.  The transfer of security responsibilities could not happen unless the Afghan government and the coalition could recruit." said Capt. so they lay down. I ©Mahfuz Rahman . At the time. Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers take cover in Marja on 13 February 2010 Further information: Afghan National Army#Current status The plan to transfer security responsibility to Afghan forces is the centerpiece of U. who was one of a team of U.S.Some were suspected of collaborating with the Taliban against the Americans.S. President Barack Obama's revised Afghanistan strategy. getting fired on.
 U. training efforts were drastically slowed by the corruption. They are widely accused of demanding bribes.S. making the Afghan government’s goals of substantially building up the police force even harder to achieve. Death threats were leveled against U. American trainers often spent large amounts of time verifying that Afghan rosters were accurate – that they are not padded with "ghosts" being "paid" by Afghan commanders who quietly collected the bogus wages.S. International reactions Main article: International public opinion on the war in Afghanistan Public opinion in 2001 When the invasion began in October 2001. forces to come to detonate them. over a military response to 9/11: Only in three countries out of the 37 ©Mahfuz Rahman .couldn’t get them to shoot their weapons. and lack of discipline. Approximately 17 percent of them test positive for illegal drugs. according to data from the U.S.S. Attempts to build a credible Afghan police force were faltering badly. incompetence an even bigger one. A large-scale 37-nation poll of world opinion carried out by Gallup International in late September 2001 found that large majorities in most countries favored a legal response. Afghan soldiers often found improvised explosive devices and snipped the command wires instead of marking them and waiting for U. Police officers in Afghanistan are largely illiterate.S. vanishing supplies. even as they acknowledge that the force would be a crucial piece of the effort to have Afghans manage their own security so American forces could begin leaving. officers who tried to stop Afghan soldiers from stealing.S. The Americans said this just allows the insurgents to return and reconnect them. weapons and other military equipment.  A quarter of the officers quit every year. trainers reported missing vehicles. polls indicated that about 88% of Americans and about 65% of Britons backed military action in Afghanistan. Taliban infiltration is a constant worry.S.  [dead link] The Afghan National Police provides support to the Afghan army. Desertion has been a significant problem in the Afghan Army. according to NATO officials. Defense Department and the Inspector General for Reconstruction in Afghanistan.  U. and outright theft of fuel provided by the U. widespread illiteracy."In addition.  U. The Afghan Army was plagued by inefficiency and endemic corruption. trainers frequently removed the cell phones of Afghan soldiers hours before a mission for fear that the operation would be compromised. in the form of extradition and trial. 9 out of 10 soldiers in the Afghan National Army could not read. One in every four combat soldiers quit the Afghan Army during the 12-month period ending in September 2009.
Germany (60%). A 24-nation Pew Global Attitudes survey in June 2008 similarly found that majorities or pluralities in 21 of 24 countries want the U. airstrikes while majorities in Argentina (77%). Mexico (94%). 4 had a majority that favoured keeping foreign troops: the U. Out of the 47 countries surveyed. and other countries. Majorities in 7 out of 12 NATO member countries say troops should be withdrawn as soon as possible. Italy (58%). and Britain (48%) – did public opinion lean more toward keeping troops there until the situation has stabilized. Only in three out of the 24 countries – the United States (50%). pluralities want U.surveyed – the United States. Ghana (50%). Panama (80%). Development of public opinion See also: International public opinion on the war in Afghanistan The examples and perspective in this USA may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. An Ipsos-Reid poll conducted between November and December 2001 showed that majorities in Canada (66%). and NATO to remove their troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible. clear majorities wanted this war over as soon as possible. France (67%). Czech Republic (64%). Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. South Korea (50%). and India – did majorities favor military action in Afghanistan.S. and Kenya (60%). and NATO troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible. Israel. France (60%). the poll found many clear majorities that favored extradition and trial instead of military action: in the United Kingdom (75%). and the U.S.S. Spain (52%). (May 2011) 22 June 2007 demonstration in Québec City against the Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan. Lithuania (83%). (50%).S. ©Mahfuz Rahman . the Pew Global Attitudes Projectfound international opposition to the war. Israel (59%). In a 47-nation June 2007 survey of global public opinion.K. (65%) approved of U. Australia (60%). Switzerland (87%). In 32 out of 47 countries. In the other 34 countries surveyed.  In 41 of the 47 countries. and Turkey (70%) opposed them. China (52%).
36% of Americans approved of Obama's handling of Afghanistan.S. 39%–44% wanting reduction. military effort was going very well or fairly well and only 44% supporting NATO troop presence in Afghanistan.  A November 2008 poll found that 68% of Britons want their troops withdrawn within the next 12 months. A September 2008 poll found that 56% of Australians opposed the continuation of their country's military involvement in Afghanistan. That figure was an increase from 30 percent who said that in December 2002. ©Mahfuz Rahman . In a November 2009 Gallup poll. Just 29% of Democrats favor any troop increases while 57% want to begin reducing troops. and 54% of Democrats. and a majority of Australians and Britons now want their troops to be brought home from Afghanistan. in Afghanistan. 49 percent. with 42%–47% favoringat least some troop increases to satisfy the military's requests. Coalition fatalities per month since the start of the war. while 33% wanted them removed as soon as possible. troops to stay until the situation has stabilized. there was little change in the American public's views about Afghanistan.S. and 7–9% wanting no changes in troop levels. The new survey shows little change since then – 50% favor removing U. A slight plurality of Americans favored troop increases. public opinion in Australia and Britain has also diverged from that in the U. only 32 percent of Americans favored increasing U. while 42% support it. including 19% of Republicans.S. On the contrary. believed that the U. 31% of independents. should "mind its own business" internationally and let other countries get along the best they can.S. troops in Afghanistan. while 40 percent favored decreasing them. a record 66% of Americans said things were going badly for the U. a majority of Americans continued to see a rationale for the use of military force in Afghanistan.Since that June 2008 global survey.S. with about 50% saying that the U. in the United States..S. a September 2008 Pew survey found that 61% of Americans wanted U. while public opinion was divided over Afghan troop requests. however. In a December 2009 Pew Research Center poll. and NATO troops as soon as possible while 44% favor maintaining the troops in Afghanistan until the situation is stabilized.  However. Almost half of Americans.S. up from 61% in early September. In a April 2011 Pew Research Center poll.
 In December 2009.Afghan opinions Recent polls of Afghans have found strong opposition to the Taliban and significant. "This will only increase the distance between Afghans and their government. albeit diminished support of the American military presence. Afghan women wait outside a USAID-supported health care clinic. which has a long history of resisting foreign invaders.S. about half of Afghan respondents felt that additional U. But opinions varied widely across Afghanistan at the time. "We can solve them by providing jobs and development and by using local leaders to negotiate with the Taliban.S. a tribal elder from the southern province of Kandahar. including 70% who were strongly opposed. while 44% favored reducing it. troop withdrawals." said Gulbadshah Majidi. military's presence. many Afghan tribal heads and local leaders from the Pashtun south and east – the heartland of the Taliban insurgency – called for U. 69% of Afghans surveyed thought it was at least mostly good that the U. "I don't think we will be able to solve our problems with military force." "If new troops come and are stationed in civilian areas. military came in to remove the Taliban – a decrease from 87% of Afghans surveyed in 2005. In a June 2009 Gallup survey. people said they preferred the current government to Taliban rule. the idea of permanent U. a lawmaker and close associate of Mr.S. The poll indicated that 63% of Afghans were at least somewhat supportive of a U." ©Mahfuz Rahman . while those in the West largely disagreed that more U.S. Karzai. troops would help the situation. military presence in the country – down from 78% in 2005. military bases vexes many people in Afghanistan.S. By an 82%–4% margin. Just 18% supported increasing the U. residents in the troubled South were mostly mixed or uncertain. According to a May 2009 BBC poll. 90% of Afghans surveyed opposed the presence of Taliban fighters." said Muhammad Qasim.S. Also. 24% thought it was mostly or very bad – up from 9% in 2005. forces would help stabilize the security situation in the southern provinces. when they draw Taliban attacks civilians will end up being killed.S.
New organizations have arisen to oppose the war. U. Dozens of organizations planned (and eventually held) a national march for peace in Washington.S. Civilian casualties Main article: Civilian casualties in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) There is no single official figure for the overall number of civilians killed by the war since 2001. On 11 May 2009. Bush in October 2001 and every year since. and most others also report suffering a range of serious hardships. Protests. Many protesters consider the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan to be unjustified aggression. Afghan protesters took to the streets for three straight days and blocked traffic on a highway that links Kabul and Kandahar.021 civilians were killed in the ongoing insurgency. but estimates for specific years or periods have been published by a number of organizations. Another United Nations report issued in July 2011 said "1. Ghazni residents insisted that the dead were civilians. and NATO bombing campaigns is also a major underlying focus of the protests.777 civilians were known to have been killed in 2010. commander of all foreign military forces in Afghanistan. A UN report in June 2011 stated that 2. According to a report by the United Nations. for example.C. with insurgents being responsible for 80% of the deaths. Those with direct personal experience make up 60% of the population.S. with insurgents being responsible for 75% of the civilian casualties.  In 2011 a record 3.S. Very few people in Afghanistan have been unaffected by the armed conflict there. Brave New Foundation launched Rethink Afghanistan.In late January 2010. in January 2009.462 non-combatants died" in the first six months of 2011. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates replaced McKiernan with General McChrystal as the new U. almost everyone (96%) has been affected in some way – either personally or due to the wider consequences of armed conflict.  The deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians caused directly and indirectly by the U. the fifth successive annual rise. In total. a national campaign for non-violent solutions in Afghanistan built around a documentary film by director and political activist Robert Greenwald. on 20 March 2010. One of ©Mahfuz Rahman . D. the Taliban were responsible for 76% of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2009. demonstrations and rallies Further information: Opposition to the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) and Protests against the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) The war has repeatedly been the subject of large protests around the world starting with the largescale demonstrations in the days leading up to the official launch of Operation Enduring Freedom under George W. The Afghans were demonstrating in response to the deaths of four men in a NATO-Afghan raid in the village of Ghazni.
 The issue of civilian casualties is recognized as a problem at the highest levels of ISAF command. In a September 2009 report. the Taliban controlled 96 % of Afghanistan's poppy fields and made opium its largest source of taxation." In the New York Times. Wahidullah Sabawoon.General McChrystal's first announcements was a sharp restriction on the use ofairstrikes to reduce civilian casualties. Afghan leaders have long pleaded that foreign troops end airstrikes and nighttime raids of Afghan homes. According to Rashid. "drug money funded the weapons. From 1996-1999. ammunition and fuel for the war." Drug trade Further information: Opium production in Afghanistan Opium production levels for 2005–2007 Regional security risks and levels of opium poppy cultivation in 2007–2008. the Finance Minister of the United Front. declared the Taliban had no annual budget but that they "appeared to ©Mahfuz Rahman . Taxes on opium exports became one of the mainstays of Taliban income and their war economy. General McChrystal wrote "Civilian casualties and collateral damage to homes and property resulting from an over-reliance on firepower and force protection have severely damaged ISAF's legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghan people.
the effort is hampered by the fact that many suspected drug traffickers are now top officials in the Karzai government. proven effective. as production is markedly lower in areas with stable security.685 hectares." He added that the Taliban had come to increasingly rely on three sources of money: "poppy.7 billion annually. and kills 100.spend US$ 300 million a year. In 2002. Recent estimates by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimate that 52% of the nation's GDP.S.S. caters to 15 million addicts.  The trafficking of accumulated stocks by the Taliban continued in 2000 and 2001. Opium is more profitable than wheat and destroying opium fields could possibly lead to discontent or unrest among the indigent population. the Pakistanis and bin Laden.  The year 1999 had yielded a record crop and had been followed by a lower but still large 2000 harvest. The rise in production has been linked to the deteriorating security situation.171 hectares. most of which is processed into heroin and sold in Europe and Russia. By some. is generated by the drug trade.000 people every year. nearly all of it on war. The opium poppy eradication program of Balkh Governor Ustad Atta Mohammad Noor between 2005 and 2007 successfully reduced poppy cultivation in Balkh Province from 7.was only issued in order to raise opium prices and increase profit from the sale of large existing stockpiles. and allied efforts to combat the drug trade have been stepped up. especially in the north of Afghanistan. and production dropped to an estimated 74 metric tonnes from poppy cultivation on 1. however. Afghanistan had regained its position as the world’s No.  Many observers say the ban . led invasion of Afghanistan opium production increased markedly. the BBC reported that "UN findings say an opium market worth $65bn (£39bn) funds global terrorism." In September 2001 . At this juncture Omar passed a decree banning the cultivation of opium.which came in a bid for international recognition at the United Nations .  In 2009. Human rights abuses ©Mahfuz Rahman . the extermination of the poppy crops is not seen as a viable option because the sale of poppies constitutes the livelihood of Afghanistan's rural farmers.3 million Afghans are involved in producing opium. Some poppy eradication programs have. Some 3.200 hectares in 2005 to zero by 2007." While U.before the 11 September attacks against the United States – the Taliban allegedly authorized Afghan peasants to sow opium again. amounting to $2." By 2000 Afghanistan accounted for an estimated 75% of the world's supply and in 2000 grew an estimated 3276 tonnes of opium from poppy cultivation on 82. Soon after the 2001 U. 1 opium producer and was producing 90% of the world’s opium. the UN mentioned the "existence of significant stocks of opiated accumulated during previous years of bumper harvests.  By 2005.
499 candidates competing for 250 seats. As an example. US Lieutenant Colonel Greg Julian. NATO stated that it had evidence that the Taliban forced civilians into buildings likely to be targeted by NATO aircraft involved in the battle.S." (NATO has not provided this intelligence to the public. During the elections the Taliban attacked many of those involved. during which the Afghan government claims up to 150 civilians were killed. including a resurgence in Taliban forces. The low death toll at the hands of the Taliban can be attributed to stepped up operations specifically targeting the leaders of ©Mahfuz Rahman . The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIGRC) called the Taliban's terrorism against the Afghan civilian population a war crime. We have intelligence that points to this.  Religious leaders condemned Taliban terrorist attacks and said these kinds of attacks are against Islamic ethics. The most recent election was held 18 September 2010. Taliban According to a report by the United Nations. abducting aid workers and burning school buildings. according to the U.Main article: Human rights in Afghanistan There have been multiple accounts of human rights violations in Afghanistan. a spokesman for General McKiernan. said of the Taliban's tactics. killing 11 civilians and 3 Afghan National Policemen in over 300 attacks on the polls. Elections during combat Several elections have been held in Afghanistan since 2001. These were not human shields. mostly on roads or carried by suicide attackers belonging to the Taliban. the Taliban commit war crimes by targeting civilians. NATO has alleged that the Taliban have used civilians as human shields.) The increase in Taliban power has also led to increased human rights violations against women in Afghanistan. for the Afghan Parliament with a reported 2.S. including killing teachers. the Taliban were responsible for 76% of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2009. has led to a threat to the well-being and rights of hundreds of thousands of innocent Afghan citizens. these were human sacrifices. According to Amnesty International. Amnesty International said that up to 756 civilians were killed in 2006 by bombs. NATO's Afghanistan commander. "This was a deliberate plan by the Taliban to create a civilian casualty crisis. record-high drug production. led invasion.  The fallout of the U. During the conflict. according to Human Rights Watch. State Department. and rearmed warlords. NATO pointed to the victims of NATO air strikes in Farah province in May 2009.
Colonel Gregory Julian. Turnout at election was 40%. and Taliban forces near Bagram. confirmed that Western military forces in Afghanistan use white phosphorus to illuminate targets or as an incendiary to destroy bunkers and enemy equipment. See also Terrorism portal United States Army portal Afghanistan portal 2000s portal ©Mahfuz Rahman . In May 2009. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. and water boarding. US forces used white phosphorus to screen a retreat in the Battle of Ganjgal when regular smoke munitions were not available. rape. the overall commander of U. which captured hundreds of insurgents and explosives.S. shackling prisoners in a standing position. Former Afghan warlords Former Afghan warlords and political strongmen supported by the US during the ousting of the Taliban were responsible for numerous human rights violations in 2003 including kidnapping. robbery. harsh interrogation techniques. A United Nations study in 2011 reported on interviews with 379 detainees.S. keeping the prisoner in a cold cell and dousing them with water. It found those held by police or intelligence services were subjected to beatings. removal of toenails and electric shocks. and extortion. ABC News claimed top officials at the CIA authorized controversial. There are cases that have been confirmed of white phosphorus burns on the bodies of civilians wounded in Afghanistan caused by clashes between U. The possible interrogation techniques included shaking and slapping. Controversy over torture In March 2002. The United States claims at least 44 instances in which militants have used white phosphorus in weapons or attacks. a spokesman for General McKiernan.  The Afghan government later launched an investigation into the use of white phosphorus munitions.insurgents planning attacks in the days leading up to the elections. White phosphorus use White phosphorus has been condemned by human rights organizations as cruel and inhumane because it causes severe burns.
org 2.S. Retrieved 2 October 2008. ^ Aunohita Mojumdar.com. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 4. ^ See Operation Oqab 6. ^ a b "International Security Assistance Force (ISAF): Key Facts and Figures" (PDF). Bill (31 August 2009). Public Multimedia Inc. The Washington Post with Foreign Policy. 3 September 2011. ©Mahfuz Rahman . CNN. The Long War Journal. ^ "NATO kills ex-Gitmo detainee in Afghanistan" .2010s portal Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989) Criticism of the War on Terror Opposition to the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) U.2011). ^ "Al Qaeda suffers another blow with arrest of senior operational figure" . "Pakistan-based group claims role in deadly blast in Kabul" . ^ 2012 UNHCR country operations profile . Retrieved 2 September 2009. Associated Press. 5 September 2011. ^ a b c d e f Whitlock. Csmonitor. 8.. government response to the September 11 attacks 2012 Afghanistan Quran burning protests Afghanistan–United States relations Lists: List of Afghanistan War (2001-present) documentaries List of aviation accidents and incidents in the War in Afghanistan List of civilian casualties of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) List of military operations in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) List of modern conflicts in the Middle East References 1. 6 July 2010. "Pakistan's most-wanted: look at who isn't listed" . Craig (07. 3.12. Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor. 5. ^ Roggi. "Outpost attack in Afghanistan shows major boost in militant strength" . 7.Afghanistan unhcr. ISAF.
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