War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)

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War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
Part of the Global War on Terrorism, and
the continuous Afghanistan conflict

Taliban fighters in 2021
Date7 October 2001 – 30 August 2021
Operation Enduring Freedom: 7 October 2001 – 28 December 2014
Operation Freedom's Sentinel: 1 January 2015 – 15 August 2021

Taliban victory[29]

Invasion (2001):
Afghanistan Northern Alliance
 United States
 United Kingdom
 New Zealand[1]
Invasion (2001):
Afghanistan Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan[3]
055 Brigade[4][5]

ISAF/RS phase:
 Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan
 Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Resolute Support
(2015–2021) (36 countries)[9]

ISAF/RS phase:
Afghanistan Taliban

(al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)[12]
Afghanistan Taliban splinter groups
Supported by:

RS phase (2015–2021):

Commanders and leaders
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani
United States Joe Biden
United Kingdom Boris Johnson
Australia Scott Morrison
Italy Mario Draghi
Germany Angela Merkel
Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.
John F. Campbell
Afghanistan Mohammed Omar #
Afghanistan Akhtar Mansoor 
Afghanistan Jalaluddin Haqqani #[31]
Afghanistan Obaidullah Akhund [30]
Afghanistan Dadullah Akhund [30]
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Osama bin Laden 
Ayman al-Zawahiri
Asim Umar 
Haji Najibullah[32]
Shahab al-Muhajir [33]
Hafiz Saeed Khan 
Mawlavi Habib Ur Rahman[34]
Abdul Haseeb Logari 
Abdul Rahman Ghaleb 
Abu Saad Erhabi 
Abdullah Orokzai  (POW)
Qari Hekmat 
Mufti Nemat Surrendered
Dawood Ahmad Sofi 
Mohamed Zahran 
Ishfaq Ahmed Sofi 

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Afghan National Security Forces: 352,000[35]
Resolute Support Mission: ~17,000[36]

Military Contractors: 20,000+[37]

Afghanistan Taliban: 60,000
(tentative estimate)[38]

HIG: 1,500–2,000+[42]
al-Qaeda: ~300[43][44][45] (~ 3,000 in 2001)[43]

Afghanistan IEHCA: 3,000–3,500[15]
Fidai Mahaz: 8,000[32]
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL–KP: 3,500–4,000 (2018, in Afghanistan)[46]
Casualties and losses

Afghan security forces:
67,558–70,558+ killed[47][48]
Northern Alliance:
200 killed[49][50][51][52][53]

Dead: 3,576

Wounded: 22,773

  • United States: 19,950[55]
  • United Kingdom: 2,188[56]
  • Canada: 635[57]

Dead: 3,937[58][59]
Wounded: 15,000+[58][59]

Total killed: 73,295+
51,191+ killed[47] (2,000+ al-Qaeda fighters)[43] ISIL–KP: 2,400+ killed[27]

Civilians killed: 47,960+[47]

Total killed: 212,191+ (per UCDP)[60]

a The continued list includes nations who have contributed fewer than 200 troops as of November 2014.[61]

b The continued list includes nations who have contributed fewer than 200 troops as of May 2017.[62]
Clockwise from top: A U.S. Air Force warplane dropping a JDAM on a cave in eastern Afghanistan; US soldiers in a firefight with Taliban forces in Kunar Province; An Afghan National Army soldier surveying atop a Humvee; Afghan and US soldiers move through snow in Logar Province; Canadian forces fire an M777 howitzer in Helmand Province; An Afghan soldier surveying a valley in Parwan Province; British troops preparing to board a Chinook during Operation Tor Shezada.
Clockwise from top: A U.S. Air Force warplane dropping a JDAM on a cave in eastern Afghanistan; US soldiers in a firefight with Taliban forces in Kunar Province; An Afghan National Army soldier surveying atop a Humvee; Afghan and US soldiers move through snow in Logar Province; Canadian forces fire an M777 howitzer in Helmand Province; An Afghan soldier surveying a valley in Parwan Province; British troops preparing to board a Chinook during Operation Tor Shezada.
UK and US forces in Afghanistan in 2006

The War in Afghanistan was a war fought by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, The Netherlands, Australia and other countries against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, after the terrorist attacks against the US on September 11, 2001.[63]

On 31 August 2021 (local time), the war ended as the last coalition soldiers (from foreign countries), left Afghanistan.[64][65]

History[change | change source]

The war started when the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.[66] The US and its allies forced the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to hide. In December 2001, the US and its allies founded a new government for Afghanistan. Its president was Hamid Karzai.

By February 2002, 5,000 soldiers from ISAF (or International Security Assistance Force) were in Afghanistan.[67] That military force was led by United States. ISAF's soldiers were on loan from the militaries of NATO countries and allied countries. In 2012 ISAF was at its maximum: 130,000 soldiers (in Afghanistan).[68]

In 2004 Hamid Karzai started as the first president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.[69] Even though the Taliban had lost power, they formed a "shadow government". Taliban insurgents, or fighters, controlled many parts of Afghanistan, and enforced their own laws.[70]

Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, May 2011.

British troops left Afghanistan in 2015, after 5 years of training the Afghanistan police to deal with threats from the Taliban.[71]

After security deteriorated, American soldiers returned and over 10,000 were in the country at the end of 2017. In 2020, the US and NATO allies promised to leave Afghanistan as long as the Taliban agreed to certain things: not allowing terrorists to operate in its area, and starting peace talks with the Afghanistan government.[72] In mid-2021, the Taliban began a military offensive to enlarge their territory as US and allied forces began to leave. By August 15, 2021, the Taliban had recaptured Kabul and defeated the Afghan government.[73]

An anti-Taliban front took control of the Panjshir Valley, in August 2021 but lost control later that year due to the Taliban sending its forces.[74][75]

During the 2021 evacuation from Afghanistan, over 150,000 people chose to to be taken out of Afghanistan; They were diplomats, other civilian staff, other civilians, and military staff.[76][77]

The last military airplanes of the United States, left the airport in Kabul, one minute before 31 August 2021.[78]

On 31 August 2021 (local time), the war ended.[64]

Deaths and injuries[change | change source]

More than 15,000 Coalition soldiers were wounded: 6,773 US,[79] 3,954 UK,[80][81] 1,500 Canadian[82] and over 2,500 other Coalition soldiers. 5,500 Afghan army soldiers and 200 Northern Alliance militants were killed in this war. 378 US civilian contractors were killed and 7,224.

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

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