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With al-Qaeda’s help, the Taliban won control of over 90 percent of Afghan territory by the summer of 2001. In the aftermath of the attacks, the administration of U. In late October, Northern Alliance forces began to overtake a series of towns formerly held by the Taliban. As the Taliban leadership retreated into Afghanistan’s rural areas and across the border to Pakistan, anti-Taliban figures convened at a United Nations (UN)-sponsored conference in Bonn, Germany.
On September 9 of that year, al-Qaeda hit men carried out the assassination of famed mujahideen leader Ahmad Shah Masoud, who at the time was leading the Northern Alliance (a loose coalition of mujahideen militias that maintained control of a small section of northern Afghanistan) as it battled the Taliban and who had unsuccessfully sought greater U. With behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the United States, ), the Americans were believed to have come closest to bin Laden in the December 2001 battle of Tora Bora (bin Laden’s mountain stronghold). military had allowed Afghan forces to lead the assault on the cave complex at Tora Bora rather than doing it themselves. John Kerry made this criticism repeatedly during the 2004 general election campaign.) Al-Qaeda subsequently reestablished its base of operations in the tribal areas that form Pakistan’s northwest border with Afghanistan.
Karzai vowed in his inaugural address to stamp out corruption in his government, but there were few signs in the short term that he had done so.
Meanwhile, Karzai announced that he would attempt to reconcile with the Taliban; he repeatedly invited Mullah Omar to meet with him, but the Taliban leader steadfastly refused.
On December 24, 1979, Soviet tanks rumbled across the Amu Darya River and into Afghanistan, ostensibly to restore stability following a coup that brought to power a pair of Marxist-Leninist political groups—the People’s (Khalq) Party and the Banner (Parcham) Party. officials hoped that by partnering with the Afghans they could avoid deploying a large force to Afghanistan.
But the Soviet presence touched off a nationwide rebellion by Islamist fighters, who won extensive covert backing from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States and who were joined in their fight by foreign volunteers. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) team known as Jawbreaker arriving in the country and, working with anti-Taliban allies, initiating a strategy for overthrowing the regime. Pentagon officials were especially concerned that the United States not be drawn into a protracted occupation of Afghanistan, as had occurred with the Soviets more than two decades prior. wishes when, on November 13, they marched into Kabul as the Taliban retreated without a fight.
The third phase, a turn to classic counterinsurgency doctrine, began in 2008 and accelerated with U. The new approach largely failed to achieve its aims. and NATO combat mission formally ended in December 2014, the 13-year Afghanistan War had become the longest war ever fought by the United States.
Insurgent attacks and civilian casualties remained stubbornly high, while many of the Afghan military and police units taking over security duties appeared to be ill-prepared to hold off the Taliban. British invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 was preceded by over two decades of war in Afghanistan.
Initially, the war appeared to have been won with relative ease. On the same day, aboard the aircraft carrier USS , President Bush announced that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” At that time, there were 8,000 U. Parliamentary elections were staged a year later, with dozens of women claiming seats set aside for them to ensure gender diversity.The 2004 constitution provided Afghanistan with a powerful central government and weak regional and local authorities—a structure that was in opposition to the country’s long-standing traditions.Despite vast powers under the constitution, Karzai was widely regarded as a weak leader who grew increasingly isolated as the war progressed.Those feelings were nurtured by the sluggish pace of reconstruction, allegations of prisoner abuse at U. detention facilities, widespread corruption in the Afghan government, and civilian casualties caused by U. The Taliban was earning ample money through donations from wealthy individuals and groups in the Persian Gulf and from the booming opium trade. The strategy also involved trying to persuade enemy fighters to defect and ultimately encouraging reconciliation between the Karzai government and Taliban leaders.While poppy cultivation had been dramatically curbed during the Taliban’s final year in power, the group pushed to revive cultivation as a means of funding its insurgency. Soon after assuming command, Mc Chrystal concluded that he did not have enough troops to execute the new strategy, and in September 2009 he laid out his concerns in a confidential report, which was subsequently leaked to the press.