War In Afghanistan Osama bin Laden— Planned 9/11 attacks. He was Saudi Arabian. Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in Pakistan on May 1, 2011.
AfghanistanBackground • Once controlled by Persians and Mongols • In 19th century, British and Russia tried to control • Independence from Britain in 1919, ruled by kings until 1973 • Republic (unstable) until 1978 Capital is Kabul
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan • Dec. 1979—Soviets invaded to establish/ support communist government –never established firm control
Continued upheaval • Rebels called mujahideen, backed by the US, fought against the communists • Soviets left in 1988; civil war continued • Mujahideen organized into Taliban, controlled country from 1994-2001
Al Qaeda • Terrorist organization supported by Osama bin Laden, responsible for 9/11 attacks • International, with no central headquarters Taliban • Oppressive government of Afghanistan until 2001; theocracy (government run by religious leaders); • Allowed bin Laden and Al Qaeda to operate in Afghanistan
Terrorist Attacks 1972-2001 Munich Olympics (1972) Palestinian terrorists entered Israeli athletes’ barracks; killed two, and took 9 hostages. All nine were eventually killed. US Embassy, Iran (1979) Islamic revolutionaries, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, attacked US embassy. They kept 52 hostages for 444 days. World Trade Center bombing (1993) Bomb in parking garage of WTC, 6 people killed U.S. Embassy Attacks in Kenya & Tanzania (1998) Bombs went off at embassies within 15 minutes of each other; planned by Osama bin Laden U.S.S. Cole (2000) US Navy ship was attacked in Yemen, 17 sailors killed; planned by Al Qaeda under direction of Osama bin Laden
9/11/01 Four planes were hijacked in U.S. Two crashed into the World Trade Center, causing the Twin Towers to collapse. The World Trade Center was a symbol of American wealth and power.
One plane crashed into the Pentagon, the head- quarters of the U.S. military.
Flight 93 One plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania when the passengers fought back against the terrorists.
US War in Afghanistan Country where bin Laden ran terrorist training camps, allowed by the government of Afghanistan Attacked by US for allowing terrorists of 9/11 to organize
Operation Enduring Freedom The U.S. went to war, with the support of the United Nations, against Afghanistan and the terrorists who trained there. The Taliban was overthrown and a new democratic government established. HamidKarzai was elected and re-elected president of Afghanistan, but he is widely suspected of supporting corruption.
Why are we still at war in Afghanistan? • To help support elected Afghan government until it is strong enough to provide security alone • Karzai is widely accused of being corrupt • To fight insurgents who are trying to overthrow Karzai’s government, including members of the Taliban
Current Issues in Afghanistan • US troops have committed through 2014, though the Obama administration has expressed interest in ending U.S. combat role in 2013 • Recently, increasing instances of attacks on US troops by people within ranks of Afghan military or police • 2264 US troops have died in Afghanistan as of Wednesday, 8/21/13.