The war in Afghanistan is part of the larger War on Terror led by the United States and the United Kingdom with support from other military organizations. The intention of the war was to remove terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda from the country as well as ending the Taliban regime to create a democratic country. The war was a direct response to the September 11 attacks on the United States.
When did the war in Afghanistan begin?
The United States, the United Kingdom and an Afghan military organization, called the United Front (Northern Alliance), launched Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001. The first troops to enter the country and see combat were the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Airstrikes were also launched on the capital city of Kabul as well as the cities of Kandahar and Jalalabad. In the days that followed there were more air strikes and more troops entered the country. This led to the fall of Kabul just over 1 month later on November 13, 2001. As of September 2011, the War in Afghanistan is still ongoing.
Did you know?
Official estimates place a total number of deaths on both sides of this conflict, including civilians, at somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000. Over 1600 US troops have been killed during the war.
At the time the war began about 88% of Americans supported the war. In 2011 this number had dropped to about 44%.
The first democratically elected president of Afghanistan was Hamid Karzai who won the election in 2004. He also served as interim president after the Taliban had been removed in late 2001.