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The Invasion of Afghanistan - 10th Anniversary

Various Photographers

 

The tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan is marked on 07 October 2011.

 

On 07 October 2001 the United States of America launched Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States of 09 September 2001. The stated goal was to dismantle the Al Qaeda terrorist organization and end its use of Afghanistan as a base. The military campaign also aimed to remove the ruling Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state.

 

In the first phase of the war, massive US air power supported US and British Special Forces working on the ground with the Afghan Northern Alliance. The Taliban regime was ousted from power in Kabul and most of Afghanistan in a matter of weeks.

 

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was mandated by the UN Security Council at the end of December 2001 to secure Kabul and its surroundings. ISAF includes troops from 42 countries, with NATO members providing the core of the force.

 

However, since 2003 coalition forces have been battling a bloody insurgency conducted by the Taliban and other terrorist groups. From 2005 suicide bombing has been heavily used by the militants as a tactic.

 

During ten years of war over 2,000 coalition soldiers have been killed and thousands more wounded. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Afghans have lost their lives. In November 2010 NATO agreed a plan to hand over control of security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.