Army Pillar – US Army in Afghanistan

Army in Afghanistan

At the beginning of the “War on Terror,” US troops were deployed to Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  US and British troops began the operation with airstrikes on Taliban and al Qaeda targets, trying to expose Osama bin Laden and others responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, destroy al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban regime. What started as a small-scale military effort became a complex campaign that involved military and political contributions from the United States, the United Nations, and the Coalition to establish a new government in Afghanistan.

Even before Operation Enduring Freedom officially began, the U.S. Army played an integral role in the operation.  Prior to the October 2001 invasion, the CIA Special Activities Division’s was sent to Afghanistan as part of team Jawbreaker.  The CIA’s Special Activities Division is made up of US Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, and Delta Force, as well as other special forces from the other military branches.  Green Berets assisted the CIA and captured several cities from the Taliban.

The US Army was involved in virtually every battle during Operation Enduring Freedom, and it provided just over half of all personnel in Afghanistan.  Whether providing ground troops for fighting or providing safety from the air with Apache helicopters, the US Army was always present in Afghanistan during the conflict.  In Operation Anaconda the US Army and Coalition forces dealt the Taliban and al Qaeda a crushing defeat, rendering them incapable of operating in large formations.  Operation Mountain Viper targeted Taliban and al Qaeda forces preventing them from organizing their resistance.

Operation Enduring Freedom officially ended on 28 December 2014, although US Troops are still remained to the region.

Enduring Voices: Oral Histories of the U.S. Army Experience in Afghanistan 2003-2005 by Christopher N. Koonz. A copy can be downloaded from: http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/enduring_voices/index.html

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR100/RR145/RAND_RR145.pdf