American Interest in Afghanistan

Topics: Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden Pages: 6 (2267 words) Published: October 26, 2011
American interest in Afghanistan:
Drone attacks:
The United States government, led by the Central Intelligence Agency's Special Activities Division, has made a series of attacks on targets in northwest Pakistan since 2004 using drones (unmanned aerial vehicles). Under the George W. Bush administration, these controversial attacks were called a part of the US' "War on Terrorism" and sought to defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants who were thought to have found a safe haven in Pakistan. Most of these attacks are on targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Northwest Pakistan. These strikes are mostly carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated remotely from Creech Air Force Base and have continued under the Presidency of Barack Obama. Generally the UAVs used are MQ-1 Predator and more recently MQ-9 Reaper firing AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The drones have become a weapon of choice for the United States in the fight against al-Qaeda. Some media refer to the series of attacks as a "drone war". Pakistan's government publicly condemns these attacks but has secretly shared intelligence with Americans and also allowed the drones to operate from Shamsi airfield in Pakistan. Washington officials say drone strikes are highly effective in the war against al-Qaeda and have killed a number of high-value targets, including Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban's founding father. But the policy is deeply unpopular among the Pakistani public, who see military action on Pakistani soil as a breach of national sovereignty.

Involvement of America:
United States was actively involved in Afghanistan during the 1950s through the 1970s. The U.S. presence in Afghanistan ended in 1979 with the assassination of the U.S. ambassador Adolph Dubs in Kabul on 14 February 1979 and with the Soviet invasion the following December. Subsequently, U.S. involvement was indirect, primarily the provision of military aid to the Afghan resistance through the 1980s. After 11 September 2001, U.S. interest in Afghanistan was renewed as it became apparent that al-Qaʿida, the group responsible for the terrorist attack on the United States, was based in Afghanistan and was supported by the Taliban government in Kabul. On 14 September 2001 the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing President George W. Bush to engage in a military response to the 11 September attacks. Following unsuccessful political attempts to force the Taliban government to expel Osama bin Ladin and his group, the United States began a bombing campaign on 7 October 2001, directed at Taliban military and political installations. By 13 November 2001 the Taliban government had fallen, and a U.S. - backed Afghan interim government was formed in December at a meeting sponsored by the United Nations in Bonn, Germany. By early 2002 the United States had moved to restore political, military, and economic ties with Afghanistan. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul reopened on 17 January 2002, and the Afghan Embassy in Washington, D.C., opened that same month. U.S. military forces in Afghanistan grew to more than 8,000 troops as the U.S. military undertook the major task of finding and eliminating remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaʿida. The U.S. military rebuilt the former Soviet air base at Bagram, north of Kabul, as its headquarters and established smaller military bases in Kandahar, Mazar-e Sharif, and Farah. US Aid for Afghanistan:

U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan were led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which focused on rebuilding Afghanistan's infrastructure and dealing with immediate emergency needs. In addition to providing food and shelter for displaced persons, returning refugees, and widows, the U.S. reconstruction effort aimed to rebuild the Afghan educational system, restore agricultural productivity, and rebuild the Afghan transportation system, especially the Interurban highways. The Kabul-Kandahar...
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