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    Global War on Terror

    On January 4, 2006, President George W. Bush makes remarks on the global war on terror to an audience at the Pentagon, following a Department of Defense briefing with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Admiral Ed Giambastiani, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    Global War on Terror

    The Global War on Terror is an international, American-led military campaign launched following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    President George W. Bush greets troops and tours military equipment at Fort Hood, Texas, January 3, 2003. View in the National Archives Catalog

    UPDATE: The permanent and special exhibits at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum are open to the public. Our Research Room will be open by appointment only starting March 28, 2022. We will continue to respond to written requests for records at [email protected] Please check our website or archives.gov/coronavirus for updates on operating hours and status.

    The attack took place on American soil, but it was an attack on the heart and soul of the civilized world. And the world has come together to fight a new and different war, the first, and we hope the only one, of the 21st century. A war against all those who seek to export terror, and a war against those governments that support or shelter them.

    -- President George W. Bush, October 11, 2001

    After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush announced a comprehensive plan to seek out and stop terrorists around the world. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were part of the Global War on Terror, or “GWOT,” but the term was also used to describe diplomatic, financial, and other actions taken to deny financing or safe harbor to terrorists. Coalition partners from around the world also participated in the GWOT.


    On March 11, 2006 an Iraqi Army Soldier gives a local Iraqi boy a new Iraqi national flag and a new school backpack, while handing out anti-terrorist leaflets and information in the city of Taji during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in support of the Global War on Terrorism. (6671173)

    On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush demanded that the Taliban stop harboring members of al-Qaeda, and warned that the GWOT would not end until terrorism was eradicated.

    Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there.  It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.

    -- President George W. Bush, September 20, 2001

    On September 24, 2001, the President announced that he had signed an executive order to freeze the assets of terrorist groups and other entities that funded terrorist activity. This was the beginning of efforts to deny financing to terrorists and terrorist groups.

    And, by the way, this list is just a beginning.  We will continue to add more names to the list.  We will freeze the assets of others as we find that they aid and abet terrorist organizations around the world.  We've established a foreign terrorist asset tracking center at the Department of the Treasury to identify and investigate the financial infrastructure of the international terrorist networks.

    -- President George W. Bush, September 24, 2001


    Select speech cards used by President George W. Bush to announce the invasion of Afghanistan, October 7, 2001. From the White House Treaty Room, the President informed the nation that military action - Operation Enduring Freedom - would remove the Taliban regime and eliminate al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    On October 7, 2001, the President announced that the United States had begun military action in Afghanistan. The initial strikes were against al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and Taliban military installations. In addition to military action, the United States and Coalition allies would provide humanitarian aid to the citizens of Afghanistan.

    At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets, we'll also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan. The United States of America is a friend to the Afghan people, and we are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith. The United States of America is an enemy of those who aid terrorists and of the barbaric criminals who profane a great religion by committing murder in its name.

    -- President George W. Bush, October 7, 2001

    Once the GWOT had begun, the United States used a military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a detention facility for terrorists. In early 2002, the White House released a fact sheet on the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Detainees were to be tried under military commissions. These commissions were struck down by the Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, after which the United States Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.


    President George W. Bush addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, September 23, 2002.

    In 2002 and early 2003, the United States began exerting pressure on Iraq to follow through on its commitments to improve human rights, release prisoners, break ties with terrorists, and destroy weapons of mass destruction. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell each addressed the United Nations regarding the dangers of Saddam Hussein’s regime and its refusal to disarm.

    Source : www.georgewbushlibrary.gov

    United States invasion of Afghanistan

    United States invasion of Afghanistan

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    "Invasion of Afghanistan" redirects here. For other invasions of Afghanistan, see Invasions of Afghanistan.

    United States invasion of Afghanistan

    Part of War in Afghanistan and the War on terror

    Map of the main operations of the United States special forces from October 2001 to March 2002, including Afghan velayat borders

    Date October 7 – December 17, 2001

    Location Afghanistan Result

    United States-led victory

    Fall of the Taliban government

    Formation of the Afghan Interim Administration

    Formation of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)

    End of the 1996–2001 phase of the Afghan Civil War

    Start of the Taliban insurgency

    US military presence until 2021


     United States

    United Kingdom Canada Australia Northern Alliance


    India Russia[1] Turkey Tajikistan Uzbekistan Turkmenistan Iran Saudi Arabia


    Al-Qaeda 055 Brigade

    Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

    East Turkistan Islamic Party


    Commanders and leaders

    George W. Bush Tony Blair Jean Chrétien John Howard

    Burhanuddin Rabbani Mohammed Omar

    Osama bin Laden Mohammed Atef  Strength

    United States: 5,500[2]

    Northern Alliance: 15,000–20,000[3]

    Taliban: 45,000[3]

    Foreign fighters: 2,700[3]

    Casualties and losses

    United States: 13 killed (including 1 CIA officer)[4]

    Northern Alliance: Unknown[5]

    Taliban: 8,000 to 12,000 killed[6]

    15,000 killed or captured[2]

    1,537 to 2,375 Afghan civilians killed[7]

    show vte

    Afghanistan conflict (1978–present)

    show vte

    War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)

    In late 2001, the United States and its close allies invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban government. The invasion's aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda, which had executed the September 11 attacks, and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban government from power. The United Kingdom was a key ally of the United States, offering support for military action from the start of preparations for the invasion. The invasion followed the Afghan Civil War's 1996–2001 phase between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance groups, which resulted in the Taliban controlling 80% of the country by 2001. The invasion became the first phase of a 20-year long war in the country and marked the beginning of the U.S. War on Terror.

    After the September 11 attacks, US President George W. Bush demanded that the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden and expel al-Qaeda; bin Laden had already been wanted by the FBI since 1998. The Taliban declined to extradite him, and ignored demands to shut down terrorist bases and hand over other terrorist suspects apart from bin Laden. The US launched Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001, with the United Kingdom. The two were later joined by other forces, including the Northern Alliance. The US and its allies rapidly drove the Taliban from power by December 17, 2001, and built military bases near major cities across the country. Most al-Qaeda and Taliban members were not captured, escaping to neighboring Pakistan or retreating to rural or remote mountainous regions during the Battle of Tora Bora.

    In December 2001, the United Nations Security Council established the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to oversee military operations in the country and train the 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 (grand assembly) in Kabul became the Afghan Transitional Administration. In the popular elections of 2004, Karzai was elected president of the country, which was then named the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In August 2003, NATO became involved as an alliance, taking the helm of ISAF. One portion of US forces in Afghanistan operated under NATO command; the rest remained under direct US command. Taliban leader Mullah Omar reorganized the movement, and in 2002, it launched an insurgency against the government and ISAF that eventually succeeded in overthrowing the Afghan government in 2021 and re-establishing Taliban rule across Afghanistan.


    1 Background

    1.1 Taliban Emirate vs. Northern Alliance (1996–2001)

    1.1.1 Al-Qaeda

    1.1.2 Change in US policy toward Afghanistan

    1.1.3 Military situation on the eve of 9/11

    2 Prelude to the invasion

    2.1 Diplomatic and political activity

    2.2 Planning

    3 Overthrow of the Taliban

    3.1 Command structure

    3.2 First move

    3.3 Initial air strikes

    3.4 Objective Rhino and Gecko

    3.5 Continued air strikes

    3.6 Fall of Mazar-i Sharif

    3.7 Fall of Kabul

    3.8 Objective Wolverine, Raptor and Operation Relentless Strike

    3.9 Battle of Tarinkot

    3.10 Fall of Kunduz

    3.11 Operation Trent

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    The U.S. War in Afghanistan

    The Taliban surged back to power two decades after U.S.-led forces toppled their regime in what led to the United States’ longest war.


    The U.S. War in Afghanistan

    1999 – 2021

    The Taliban surged back to power two decades after U.S.-led forces toppled their regime in what led to the United States’ longest war.

    Start 1999

    Taliban soldiers on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, 1999. Amir Shah/AP Images

    October 15, 1999

    An Al-Qaeda, Taliban Nexus

    The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1267, creating the so-called al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, which links the two groups as terrorist entities and imposes sanctions on their funding, travel, and arms shipments. The UN move follows a period of ascendancy for al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, who guided the terror group from Afghanistan and Peshawar, Pakistan, in the late 1980s, to Sudan in 1991, and back to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. The Taliban, which rose from the ashes of Afghanistan’s post-Soviet civil war, provide al-Qaeda sanctuary for operations.


    Afghans carry a picture of Massood in Kabul, Afghanistan. Kamran Jebreili/AP Images

    September 9, 2001

    A Northern Alliance Assassination

    Ahmad Shah Massoud, commander of the Northern Alliance, an anti-Taliban coalition, is assassinated by al-Qaeda operatives. The killing of Massoud, a master of guerilla warfare known as the Lion of the Panjshir, deals a serious blow to the anti-Taliban resistance. Terrorism experts believe his assassination assured bin Laden protection by the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks. Expert Peter Bergen later calls Massoud’s assassination “the curtain raiser for the attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.”


    Terrorist attack on World Trade Center. Steven James Silva/Reuters

    September 11, 2001

    Terrorists Strike the U.S.

    Al-Qaeda operatives hijack four commercial airliners, crashing them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth plane crashes in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Close to three thousand people die in the attacks. Although Afghanistan is the base for al-Qaeda, none of the nineteen hijackers are Afghan nationals. Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian, led the group, and fifteen of the hijackers originated from Saudi Arabia. U.S. President George W. Bush vows to “win the war against terrorism,” and later zeros in on al-Qaeda and bin Laden in Afghanistan. Bush eventually calls on the Taliban regime to “deliver to the United States authorities all the leaders of al-Qaeda who hide in your land,” or share in their fate.


    President Bush addresses a joint session of Congress. Win McNamee/Pool/AP Images

    September 18, 2001 A War Footing

    President Bush signs into law a joint resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for attacking the United States on September 11. This joint resolution will later be cited by the Bush administration as legal rationale for its decision to take sweeping measures to combat terrorism, including invading Afghanistan, eavesdropping on U.S. citizens without a court order, and standing up the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


    A B-52 drops a load of bombs in Afghanistan. Master Sgt. Ralph Hallmon, HO/U.S. Air Force/AP Images

    October 7, 2001 The Opening Salvo

    The U.S. military, with British support, begins a bombing campaign against Taliban forces, officially launching Operation Enduring Freedom. Australia, Canada, France, and Germany pledge future support. The war’s early phase [PDF] mainly involves U.S. air strikes on al-Qaeda and Taliban forces that are assisted by a partnership of about one thousand U.S. special forces, the Northern Alliance, and ethnic Pashtun anti-Taliban forces. The first wave of conventional ground forces arrives twelve days later. Most of the ground combat is between the Taliban and its Afghan opponents.


    Abdul Rashid Dostum near Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, November 2001. Darko Bandic/AP Images

    November 2001

    The Taliban in Retreat

    The Taliban regime unravels rapidly after its loss at Mazar-e-Sharif on November 9, 2001, to forces loyal to Abdul Rashid Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek military leader. Over the next week Taliban strongholds crumble after coalition and Northern Alliance offensives on Taloqan (November 11), Bamiyan (November 11), Herat (November 12), Kabul (November 13), and Jalalabad (November 14). On November 14, the UN Security Council passes Resolution 1378, calling for a “central role” for the United Nations in establishing a transitional administration and inviting member states to send peacekeeping forces to promote stability and aid delivery.

    Source : www.cfr.org

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