Operation Enduring Freedom Kicked Off 20 Years Ago With US-Led Coalition Strike On Afghanistan

Afghanistan 20yr

When the United States was attacked on 9/11, the response was to attack the country, harboring those who took American lives. The US. headed a coalition into Afghanistan to take on the Taliban on October 6, 2001.

Operation Enduring Freedom

The mission was to take out Osama bin Laden and the al-Queda, who the Taliban-controlled government harbored. Their first attack was strategic hitting Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar, Konduz, and Mazar-e-Sharif.

By December 2001, coalition forces dismantled the Taliban government. However, bin Laden was not captured and escaped the region.

A temporary government was set up while the United Nations worked to secure a peacekeeping force. Those who agreed to maintain peace and security in Kabul signed the Bonn Agreement.

With the Taliban’s collapse came a struggle for peace in Afghanistan that would go on for twenty years. Even with bin Laden located and killed in 2011, many Islamic terrorists still attacked the United States and allied forces.

Withdrawing From Afghanistan

In 2019 and 2020, the United States and the Taliban began peace talks. They signed an agreement that defined the path for U.S. withdrawal with the condition that the Taliban would not use the country for further terrorist purposes.

However, within a couple of days, the Taliban started terrorizing Afghan security forces in dozens of attacks, indicating the organization’s true intentions.

In 2021, after 20 years in the country, the United States pulled out the final 3,500 troops that were in the country. As soon as the United States began its withdrawal, the shakey Afghan government quickly collapsed.

Taliban Take-Over

The Taliban swiftly took over the capital city, creating mass chaos in the United States and Allied forces’ final days. In a quick reversal, the United States deployed 6,000 troops to evacuate those who wanted to flee the country.

Many were Afghans who had assisted the United States over the last 20 years. Those and Afghans who did not fall in line with the Taliban found themselves with a target on their backs.

The 20-year war officially ended on August 30, 2021, when the United States cut ties with the country and completed its withdrawal. Unfortunately, many civilians who wanted to leave the country were left behind to fend for themselves.

Sources: 1, 2

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