War In Afghanistan
March 7, 2012 by staff
War In Afghanistan, The War in Afghanistan, also called the Afghan war, began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, 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 areas of neighboring Pakistan.
The preludes to the war were the assassination of anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud on September 9, 2001, and the September 11 attacks on the United States, in which nearly 3000 civilians lost their lives 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 U.S. and British Special Forces and with massive 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. 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 high-ranking al-Qaeda members to be put on trial, to destroy the organization of al-Qaeda, and to remove the Taliban regime which supported and gave safe harbor to it. The George W. Bush 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. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIGRC) called the Taliban’s t*rror*sm against the Afghan civilian population a war crime. Religious leaders condemned Taliban terrorist attacks and said these kinds of attacks are against Islamic ethics.
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