The War on Terror: The Afghanistan War
(Operation Enduring Freedom)
Toppling the Taliban (October 2001 - December 2001)
Within days of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government blamed Al Qaeda, a group of Islamic extremists led by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. The Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist regime ruling Afghanistan, had provided Al Qaeda and bin Laden sanctuary since 1996. President George W. Bush ordered the Taliban leader Mullah Omar to turn over bin Laden. When Omar refused, the President prepared for war.
On October 7, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom exploded over the skies of Afghanistan as U.S. and British planes blasted Taliban strongholds. U.S. military leaders planned to fight an unconventional war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, relying heavily on preexisting anti-Taliban resistance fighters like the Northern Alliance to do much of the fighting while American and other coalition forces provided arms, advice, and most important, air strikes. The strategy was a huge success. The capital city, Kabul, fell to coalition forces in less than a month on November 13. Kandahar, the spiritual home of the Taliban and its last stronghold in southern Afghanistan, collapsed on December 6. Surviving Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders took flight, withdrawing into rural parts of Afghanistan and into Pakistan. A massive manhunt for Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden
Thwarting the Taliban: Nation Building and Taliban Resurgence (2002 - 2008)
With the Taliban out of power and many Al Qaeda leaders on the run, the coalition began to focus less on military efforts and more on nation building in Afghanistan, which meant billions of dollars in funding and construction teams to build up the nation's infrastructure. Another major part of nation building was to help create a path towards good representative government. By 2005, Afghans had gone to the polls to elect a Parliament and a president named Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun tribal leader who had helped to drive out the Taliban. Afghanistan got representative government, but it was not a good one. Karzai's administration, in particular, continued to be plagued by corruption and its inability to create a strong independent Afghan police force and military.
Sensing weakness, the Taliban resurged in 2005. They began to copy the techniques that Iraqi insurgents were using against U.S. forces in Iraq (see the panel The Iraq War). Suicide bombings and roadside LEDs (improvised explosive devices), among other techniques, caused significant deaths and injuries to soldiers and civilians
Taming the Taliban: The Afghanistan Surge and the Killing of Osama Bin Laden (2008 - Present)
In spring 2009, America's new President Barack Obama chose General Stanley McChrystal to remake America's Afghanistan war strategy more into the image of the successful counterinsurgency strategy being employed in Iraq since 2007, "the Surge." The strategy included an escalation of 30,000 troops, but perhaps more important, a shift in focus for the U.S. military-protecting civilians from insurgents rather than only being concerned with killing the enemy. The Afghanistan surge start- ed in 2010 and achieved some degree of success, though fighting still continued.
Two major developments occurred in 2011. First, the manhunt for the person who inspired the
Location. 30° 13.692′ N, 90° 54.785′ W. Marker is in Gonzales, Louisiana, in Ascension Parish. Marker can be reached from South Irma Boulevard 0.3 miles from East Worthey Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gonzales LA 70737, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ascension Parish Residents Fighting the War on Terror (here, next to this marker); The War on Terror: The Afghanistan War And The Iraq War (here, next to this marker); War on Terror: The Iraq War (here, next to this marker); "The Mother of All Battles Has Begun!" (a few steps from this marker); Louisiana Marines in the Persian Gulf War (a few steps from this marker); The Persian Gulf War (a few steps from this marker); WWII - War In The Pacific (within shouting distance of this marker); The Vietnam War (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gonzales.
More about this marker. Located in the Gonzales Veterans Memorial Park.
Categories. • War, Afghanistan •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 1, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 1, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 1, 2018.