Operation Enduring Freedom

Timeline and Photo stories


1996 - Taleban seize control of Kabul and introduce hard line version of Islam, banning women from work, and introducing Islamic punishments, which include stoning to death and amputations. Taliban beating womanTaliban killing woman





September 9, 2001 - Ahmad Shah Masood, the Lion of Panjsher", legendary guerrilla and leader of the main opposition to the Taleban, is killed, apparently by assassins posing as journalists.Ahmad Shah Masood


 September 11, 2001 - Terrorist attacks kill some 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.  World Trade Center ablaze

September 12, 2001 - In a meeting with his National Security teams, President Bush declares the attacks an act of war against the United States.                                             Osama bin Laden is named as the enemy mastermindUsama Bin Laden.
September 14, 2001 - Congress authorizes the president to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks."
September 20, 2001 - President Bush addresses both houses of Congress and announces war on terrorism.Bush address to Nation






B-52 dropping bombs    Bombing the Taliban



October 7,  2001 - The military phase of Operation Enduring Freedom has began.  US, Britain launch air strikes against Afghanistan after Taleban refuse to hand over Osama bin Laden, held responsible for the September 11 attacks on America.
Several weeks of US airstrikes during October and November allowed opposition forces to sweep through the country and take control of major cities and provinces.

Map of key areas


air view of Kabul

                                                                                                     Kabul                                                                                                                                      Kandahar.
area of Kandahar
2001 November - Opposition forces seize Mazar-e Sharif and within days march into Kabul and other key cities.
December 6-7, 2001 - Taleban finally give up
last stronghold of Kandahar. Bin Laden and a thousand followers were believed to have retreated to the mountains south of Jalalabad on the Pakistan border.  The mountains there contain a cave complex built during the fight against the Soviets, known as Tora Bora.           
December 18, 2001 - Resistance at the caves comes to an end.  American forces commence search and destroy operations.  Bin Laden is not found.


December 22, 2001 - Pashtun royalist Hamid Karzai is sworn in as head of a 30-member interim power-sharing government.

Karzai sworn in as head of interim government


January 2002 - First contingent of foreign peacekeepers in place.

March 2, 2002 -  Two months after Tora Bora was overrun, Operation Anaconda is launched in the Shah-i-Kot, near Gardez in eastern Afghanistan.  To date, it is the heaviest ground fighting in Afghanistan. Eight Americans and three Allied soldiers would be killed in the operation. An estimated 450 enemy were killed as well.
March 3 -  Resistance is unexpectedly heavy in the Shah-i-Kot. U.S. aircraft drop 270 bombs on Taliban and al-Qaeda hideouts. Anaconda now involves more than 1,500 soldiers. In addition to soldiers from the U.S. and Afghanistan, special forces from Australia, Canada, Germany, Denmark, France and Norway take part in the push towards the mountains.
March 4 - The allied forces grow to 2,000 as U.S. ground forces take the lead. Seven U.S. soldiers are killed after enemy rocket-propelled grenade fire downs an MH-47 Chinook helicopter.Operation Anaconda

March 6 - Three hundred additional U.S. troops are called to Shah-i-Kot, making the total U.S. presence to 1,200. Allied soldiers may have killed as many as 800 al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
March 18 - The U.S. declares Operation Anaconda a success. However, it is likely that a number of al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters escaped.
May 2002 - UN Security Council extends mandate of International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) until December 2002.
Allied forces continue their military campaign to find remnants of al-Qaeda and Taleban forces in the south-east.
June 2002 - Loya Jirga, or grand council, elects Hamid Karzai as interim head of state. Karzai picks members of his administration which is to serve until 2004.
July 6, 2002 - Vice-President Haji Abdul Qadir Qadiris assassinated by gunmen in Kabul.
August 26 - Operation Mountain Sweep, a weeklong operation in southeastern Afghanistan, comes to an end.Operation Mountain Sweep 82nd Airborne Weapons and Taliban documents have been captured in largest operation since Anaconda.   The operation included five combat air assault missions and three major convoy road marches. There were more than 2,000 coalition forces on the ground including seven companies of Airborne and Ranger Infantry, combat engineers, elements of three aviation battalions and civil affairs officials, and several coalition Special Operations units with Afghan militia.
September 2002 - Karzai narrowly escapes an assassination attempt in Kandahar, his home town.
August 2003 - Nato takes control of security in Kabul. Nato in KabulIt is the organization's first operational commitment outside Europe in its history.






January 2004 - Grand assembly - or Loya Jirga - adopts new constitution which provides for strong presidency.


Loya Jirga ballots        loya jirga meeting


Women have voice
Rona Popal participating at the loya jirga
2004 March - Afghanistan secures $8.2bn (£4.5bn) in aid over three years.
2004 September - Rocket fired at helicopter carrying President Karzai misses its target.  It is the most serious attempt on his life since September 2002.
Poster urges women to vote in presidential poll
Winner Hamid Karzai was challenged by 15 other candidates....More than 10.5m registered voters.
Feared militant violence did not materialise
2004 October/November - Presidential elections: Hamid Karzai is declared the winner, with 55% of the vote. He is sworn in, amid tight security, in December.



Afghans vote in landmark poll

September 18, 2005 - Afghans vote in the first parliamentary and provincial elections in more than 30 yearsKarzai cast his vote
Sunday's landmark election for representatives to the national parliament and local legislators in 34 provinces came after weeks of violence by militants trying to derail the vote.
Violence was a continuing threat, but the U.N.-Afghan election commission said voting had been relatively peaceful, and the government said the poll was a victory over the insurgents.

"We have not had a single civilian casualty," Interior Ministry spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said.

"It went very well, beyond our expectations. After all their boasting, it's a big failure for the Taliban."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai places his ballot for the Afghan parliamentary election in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, September 18, 2005. The Afghan people braved threats of violence on Sunday to vote in landmark legislative elections, with some 12.4 million Afghans registered to vote at more than 6,100 polling stations, which are guarded by some 100,000 Afghan police and soldiers and 30,000 foreign troops, all supporting this fragile democracy after decades of war.


Operation Mountain Thrust, the US-led offensive in southern Afghanistan -- which has led to the killing of 600 to 700 Taliban and other opposition fighters - is being wound up overnight as control of the region is transferred from the Americans to NATO.

The US 10th Mountain Division and other forces carried out an effective attack against the jihadis on their home ground under unbelievable conditions in what was supposed to be impassable terrain.

This offensive, part of which involved landing fully loaded CH-47 heliocopters on top of a mountain , in hostile territory and in an area that was 60 miles away from the nearest ground forces, where no one had been for years was designed to outflank the mujahadeen and was carried out almost flawlessly.

Absolutely un-freaking-believable, and an amazing feat of arms by some amazing men. Rescue of injured
This photo was taken by a soldier in Afghanistan of a helo rescue mission. The pilot is a PA Guard guy who flies EMS choppers in civilian life. Now how many people on the planet you reckon could set the rear end of a chopper down on the roof top of a shack on a steep mountain cliff and hold it there while soldiers load wounded men in the rear?


The British commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, Lieutenant General David Richards, took over command of southern Afghanistan in stage three of NATO's expansion in the country, during a ceremony in Kandahar yesterday.

NATO will take over security in six Afghan provinces in the south of the country..a Taliban stronghold until the American led forces got through with it.

"NATO is here for the long term, for as long as the Government and people of Afghanistan require our assistance," Lieutenant General Richards said.

Until yesterday NATO had been in charge of security in the capital Kabul and the safer north and west of the country.

"Today's transfer of authority demonstrates to the Afghan people that there is a strong commitment on the part of the international community to further extend security into the southern region's provinces," said Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, the commander of the coalition forces.

"This is a seamless transfer of responsibility and authority from the US-led coalition to NATO-ISAF. Having NATO committed to Afghanistan's future is good for the Afghan people and the entire international community."

Lieutenant General Eikenberry will remain in charge of eastern Afghanistan until NATO takes over in the east in about a month.



NATO Assumes Command in Southern Afghanistan

Tuesday August 01st 2006 | Filed under: Military, Afghanistan, Politics
There’s not much attention paid to Afghanistan these days but an important transition just occured:

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force assumed command from coalition forces in southern Afghanistan today, continuing a process that began with the establishment of ISAF in Kabul in August 2003.

The NATO-ISAF forces operating in Regional Command South come from Australia, Britain, Canada, Estonia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania and the United States. NATO-ISAF forces have been flowing into the south for several months, preparing for the transfer of authority. When fully deployed, the force will total about 8,000 troops in the area, bringing the total ISAF force level to about 18,500.

The southern Afghanistan area of operations includes six provinces - Day Kundi, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimroz, Uruzgan and Zabul.

It’s a dangerous, but necessary, mission:

Three British soldiers have been killed after a vehicle patrol was ambushed by militants in southern Afghanistan.

A fourth soldier was seriously injured in the incident in the north of Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence said.

The BBC asked Afghans how they felt about the presence of foreign troops in the country. My favorite response:

I say that the Americans and all the other foreign troops should leave Afghanistan now.

But then I also worry that if the international forces pull out of Afghanistan, the country could go back to the old war days.

September 04, 2006

NATO Presses Advantage Against Taliban

The new offensive against the Taliban remnants in Afghanistan, Operation Medusa, has dealt a severe blow to the forces of Mullah Omar. Over 200 Taliban fighters have died in the fighting, while NATO has only suffered four combat deaths:

More than 200 Taliban fighters have been killed in a major Nato offensive in southern Afghanistan, along with four Canadian troops.
Operation Medusa, launched by alliance and Afghan forces in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province, involved hundreds of troops, backed by warplanes and helicopter gunships.

A Nato spokesman said: "Reports indicate that more than 200 Taliban fighters have been killed since Operation Medusa began early on Saturday morning."

He added that Afghan soldiers had captured more than 80 other Taliban.


America, we must be diligent in preserving our Freedoms here and abroad - Support the people of Democratic countries and condemn those who rule by murder, fear and lies.  Shine the light of truth on the countries that support terrorism either by deed, word,  money or shelter.  It is our duty, as free people, to speak out against all violations against human rights.  If we don't, who will ?

"A number of years ago a president of this country declared that we have a rendezvous with destiny. In a world where terrorism spreads and the innocent die we must fulfill our destiny. If not us who? If not now when?" —Ronald Reagan





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