U.S. War in Afghanistan

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A few years ago I'd have to pay someone for this infomrtaion.

August 2011 saw the highest U.S. casualties in a ten-year war with 66 deaths reported by the Associated Press. President Obama has begun drawing down troops from Afghanistan with more than 30,000 soldiers to be removed by next summer.


[edit] Background

The U.S. war in Afghanistan began in 2001. Under President Obama's administration, 874 U.S. soldiers have been killed.[1] The President has begun a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. The first U.S. troops have begun to pull out of Afghanistan as part of President Obama’s plan to reduce the 100,000 active duty task force by a third next year. The first 10,000 troops are expected to return home by the end of 2011.

[edit] Single-most deadly attack

The CH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying 30 U.S. troop members was shot down by insurgents Saturday morning. Officials state that there were 22 Navy soliders on the downed chopper. 15 of the 22 were members of the top-secret unit while two were SEALs operating at a Naval special operations unit. The remaining five Navy personnel regularly worked with SEALs. The eight U.S. troop members included three Air Force forward air controllers and five Army helicopter crew members.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that rocket-propelled grenades were used to take down the transport aircraft.

Photo-credit:-TSgt-Oscar-M.- Sanchez

The transport helicopter was on a rescue mission and was flying to eastern Afghanistan. The crash was the single-most deadly incident since the beginning of the war.

President Obama honored the fallen soliders at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Tuesday. The President arrived around noontime and saluted the remains of the victims. Because of the horrific nature of the attack, individual bodies could not be identified and the remains were grouped in transportation cases. A ceremony took place with the President and over 75 family members in attendance.

[edit] Background

The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America and the United Kingdom, and the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance), launched Operation Enduring Freedom in response to the September 11 attacks on the United States, with the stated goal of dismantling the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base. The United States also said that it would remove the Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state.

The preludes to the war were the assassination of anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud on September 9, 2001, and the September 11 attacks on the United States, in which nearly 3,000 civilians lost their lives in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. The United States identified members of al-Qaeda, an organization based in, operating out of and allied with the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the perpetrators of the attacks.

The aim of the invasion was to find Osama bin Laden and other high-ranking Al-Qaeda members to be put on trial, to destroy the organization of Al-Qaeda, and to remove the Taliban regime which supported and gave safe harbor to it. The George W. Bush administration stated that, as policy, it would not distinguish between terrorist organizations and nations or governments that harbored them.

[edit] Aftermath of U.S. presence in Afghanistan

The democratic Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was established and an interim government under Hamid Karzai was created which was also democratically elected by the Afghan people in the 2004 general elections. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was established by the UN Security Council at the end of December 2001 to secure Kabul and the surrounding areas. NATO assumed control of ISAF in 2003. ISAF includes troops from 42 countries, with NATO members providing the core of the force.

The Afghan nation was able to build democratic structures and to create some progress in key areas such as health, economy, education, transport, agriculture and construction. NATO is rebuilding and training the nation's military as well its police force. Over five million Afghan expatriates returned with new skills and capital.

Death of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit. The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was ordered by United States President Barack Obama and carried out in a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation by a team of United States Navy SEALs from the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or informally by its former name, SEAL Team Six) of the Joint Special Operations Command, with support from CIA operatives on the ground. The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan. After the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden's body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death.

[edit] Cost of the war

A March 2011 Congressional Research Service report notes the following about Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan: 1) following the Afghanistan surge announcement in 2009, Defense Department spending on Afghanistan has increased 50%, going from $4.4 billion to $6.7 billion a month. During that time, troop strength has gone from 44,000 to 84,000, and it is expected to be at 102,000 for fiscal year 2011; 2) The total operational cost for Afghanistan from the beginning of the conflict in 2001 through 2006 only slightly exceeds the amount spent in 2010 alone — $93.8 billion. The projected total cost relating to Afghanistan in fiscal year 2011 is expected to be $118.6 billion.

[edit] Plans for withdrawal

On June 22, 2011, President Obama announced that 10,000 U.S. troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011. An additional 23,000 troops will leave the country by the summer of 2012. The cost of the war reportedly was a major factor as U.S. officials considered drawing down troops in 2011.

[edit] Related Newsroot articles

Killing of Osama bin Laden

U.S. drawdown of Afghanistan

[edit] Sources

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Afghanistan war, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Dog keeps watch over fallen Seal's casket. The Blaze. August 23, 2011.

Eli Saslow and David Nakamura. "Obama salutes Navy SEALs killed in Afghan helicopter crash." Washington Post. August 9, 2011.

CNN. August 6, 2011.

Ray Rivera, Alissa J. Rubin and Thom Shanker."Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead." New York Times. August 6, 2011.

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