The War in Afghanistan (2001–present) refers to the intervention by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and allied forces in the ongoing Afghan civil war. The war followed the September 11 attacks, and its public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and eliminate its safe haven by removing the Taliban from power.
U.S. President George W. Bush demanded that the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden and expel al-Qaeda. The Taliban requested that bin Laden leave the country, but declined to extradite him without evidence of his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The United States refused to negotiate and launched Operation Enduring Freedom on 7 October 2001 with the United Kingdom. The two were later joined by other forces, including the Northern Alliance. The U.S. and its allies drove the Taliban from power and built military bases near major cities across the country. Most al-Qaeda and Taliban were not captured, escaping to neighboring Pakistan or retreating to rural or remote mountainous regions.
In December 2001, the United Nations Security Council established the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to oversee military operations in the country and train Afghan National Security Forces. At the Bonn Conference in December 2001, Hamid Karzai was selected to head the Afghan Interim Administration, which after a 2002 loya jirga in Kabul became the Afghan Transitional Administration. In the popular elections of 2004, Karzai was elected president of the country, now named the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
In 2003, NATO assumed leadership of ISAF, with troops from 43 countries. NATO members provided the core of the force. One portion of U.S. forces in Afghanistan operated under NATO command; the rest remained under direct American command. Taliban leader Mullah Omar reorganized the movement and in 2003 launched an insurgency against the government and ISAF.
Though vastly outgunned and outnumbered, the Taliban insurgents, most notably the Haqqani Network and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, have waged asymmetric warfare with guerilla raids and ambushes in the countryside, suicide attacks against urban targets and turncoat killings against coalition forces. The Taliban exploited weaknesses in the Afghan government, among the most corrupt in the world, to reassert influence across rural areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan. ISAF responded in 2006 by increasing troops for counterinsurgency operations to "clear and hold" villages and "nation building" projects to "win hearts and minds".
While ISAF continued to battle the Taliban insurgency, fighting crossed into neighboring North-West Pakistan. In 2004, the Pakistani Army began to clash with local tribes hosting al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. The US military launched drone attacks in Pakistan to kill insurgent leaders. This resulted in the start of an insurgency in Waziristan in 2007.
On 2 May 2011, United States Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad, Pakistan. In May 2012, NATO leaders endorsed an exit strategy for withdrawing their forces. UN-backed peace talks have since taken place between the Afghan government and the Taliban. In May 2014, the United States announced that its combat operations would end in 2014, leaving just a small residual force in the country until the end of 2016.
As of 2013, tens of thousands of people had been killed in the war. Over 4,000 ISAF soldiers and civilian contractors as well as over 10,000 Afghan National Security Forces had been killed.
1 Historical background
1.1 Origins of Afghanistan's civil war
1.2 Warlord rule (1992–1996)
1.3 Taliban Emirate vs Northern Alliance
1.3.2 Change in U.S. policy toward Afghanistan
1.3.3 Northern Alliance on the eve of 9/11
1.4 September 11, 2001 Attacks
2 Declaration of war
2.1 The case for war
2.2 Legal basis for war
3 History of the conflict
3.1 2001: Overthrow of the Taliban...
References: 15 Sources
15.1 Further reading
16 External links
Origins of Afghanistan 's civil warAfghanistan 's political order began to break down with the overthrow of King Zahir Shah by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan in a bloodless 1973 coup. Daoud Khan had served as prime minister since 1953 and promoted economic modernization, emancipation of women, and Pashtun nationalism. This was threatening to neighboring Pakistan, faced with its own restive Pashtun population. In the mid-1970s, Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto began to encourage Afghan Islamic leaders such as Burhanuddin Rabbani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, to fight against the regime. In 1978, Daoud Khan was killed in a coup by Afghan 's Communist Party, his former partner in government, known as the People 's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). PDPA pushed for a socialist transformation by abolishing arranged marriages, promoting mass literacy and reforming land ownership. This undermined the traditional tribal order and provoked opposition from Islamic leaders across rural areas. The PDPA 's crackdown was met with open rebellion, including Ismail Khan 's Herat Uprising. The PDPA was beset by internal leadership differences and was weakened by an internal coup on September 11, 1979 when Hafizullah Amin ousted Nur Muhammad Taraki. The Soviet Union, sensing PDPA weakness, intervened militarily three months later, to depose Amin and install another PDA faction led by Babrak Karmal.
The entry of the Soviet Union into Afghanistan in December 1979 prompted its Cold War rivals, the United States, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China to support rebels fighting against the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. In contrast to the secular and socialist government, which controlled the cities, religiously-motivated mujahideen held sway in much of the countryside. Beside Rabbani, Hekmatyar, and Khan, other mujahideen commanders included Jalaluddin Haqqani. The CIA worked closely with Pakistan 's Inter-Service Intelligence to funnel foreign support for the mujahideen. The war also attracted Arab volunteers, known as "Afghan Arabs", including Osama Bin Laden.
After the withdrawal of the Soviet military from Afghanistan in May 1989, the PDPA regime under Najibullah held on until 1992, when the collapse of the Soviet Union deprived the regime of aid, and the defection of Uzbek general Abdul Rashid Dostum cleared the approach to Kabul. With the political stage cleared of Afghan socialists, the remaining Islamic warlords vied for power. By then, Bin Laden had left the country. The United States ' interest in Afghanistan also diminished.
Warlord rule (1992–1996)
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