61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan

61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan

Jacob Miller - September 15, 2017

The War in Afghanistan followed the September 11 attacks in 2001 when President George W. Bush ordered that the Taliban give Osama bin Laden to the United States and expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. The Taliban refused to comply without evidence of his involvement in the World Trade Center attacks.

On October 7, 2001, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom with United Kingdom partnership. The Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, a group that formed in 1996 and had been fighting a civil war, joined the American cause. In December 2001, the United Nations Security Council established the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to assist the Afghan authorities with securing Kabul.

The initial American invasion proved successful, but the Taliban reorganized under Mullah Omar and launched an insurgency against the Afghan government and ISAF in 2003. By 2009, there were about 140,000 foreign soldiers operating under ISAF and U.S. command. Of these, 100,000 were American.

On May 1, 2011, United States Navy SEAL Team Six killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Exit strategies for withdrawing forces began getting endorsement in May 2012 by NATO leaders. In May 2014, the United States announced that in December, major combat operations would end, but a residual force would remain in the country.

On December 28, 2014, ISAF ended combat operations and transferred all security responsibility to the Afghan government.

As of May 2017, over 13,000 foreign troops remain in Afghanistan without any formal withdrawal plans.

Since 2001, the United States has spent $714 billion. Over 4,000 ISAF soldiers and civilian contractors, 15,000 Afghan National security forces, over 2,386 American soldiers, 1,173 U.S. civilian contractors, and over 31,000 Afghan civilians were killed in the war.

61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
October 7, 2001. Afterburners create streaks of light during catapult launches from the flight deck aboard USS Enterprise as US Navy fighter aircraft depart for the first strike missions over Afghanistan
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
The US and Britain on October 7, 2001, launched the first wave of air strikes against Afghanistan and then US President George W. Bush said the action heralded a sustained, comprehensive and relentless campaign against terrorism. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
November 10, 2001. Osama bin Laden sits with his adviser Ayman al-Zawahiri, during an interview with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir in an image supplied by the Dawn newspaper. Telegraph
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
November 14, 2001. A young Afghan woman shows her face in public for the first time after five years of Taliban Sharia law as she waits at a food distribution center in Kabul. Telegraph
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Anti-Taliban Afghan fighters watch several explosions from U.S. bombings in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan in December 2001. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Two Northern Alliance soldiers watch as the dust and smoke rises after explosions in Taliban positions on Kalakata hill, near the village of Ai-Khanum in northern Afghanistan, November 1, 2001. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
An Eastern Alliance fighter watched as an American B-52 bomber circled above Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains in 2001. Credit Joao Silva for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A Northern Alliance fighter prepares for fighting against pro-Taliban forces. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Northern Alliance fighters on the way into Kabul in 2001 found a Taliban fighter in a ditch and killed him despite his pleas. Credit Tyler Hicks for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
An Afghan soldier uses a wooden stick to maintain order among women waiting for humanitarian aid at a World Food Programme (WFP) distribution point in Kabul, in December 2001. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Northern Alliance troops walked to the front lines at Bangi, outside the besieged Taliban stronghold of Kunduz in 2001. Credit James Hill for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
American soldiers at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, in 2002. Credit Tyler Hicks: The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
US Marine PV2 Eileen M. Schnetzko stands on guard at Bagram airport, March 2, 2002. US troops were based at Bagram, north of Kabul. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
April 18, 2002: Naval vessels from five nations fall into position for a rare photographic opportunity. From top row left to right: Italian frigate, ITS Maestrale (F 570), French destroyer, FS De Grasse (D 612), U.S. aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), U.S. cruiser, USS Port Royal (CG 73), French aircraft carrier, FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91), British Royal Navy amphibious warfare ship, HMS Ocean (L 12), French frigate, FS Surcouf (F 711), U.S. aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), Dutch frigate, HNLMS Van Amstel (F 831), Italian destroyer, ITS Luigi Durand de la Penne (D 560). The coalition forces are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Telegraph
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A US special forces soldier, left, watches while Afghan militia wait in line to turn in their weapons at a military base in Kunduz, Afghanistan, October 22, 2003. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
U.S. troops, under the watchful eye of locals, search houses in southeastern Afghanistan in November 2002. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Vida Samadzai became the first Miss Afghanistan in 30 years in 2003. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
New Afghan soldiers perform a traditional dance to the beat of a drum during a ceremony for the Afghan National Army in Kabul, June 2003. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A Chinook helicopter hovers over US troops in the village of Jegdelic, about 56 miles southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, in this picture taken on December 24, 2004. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Afghan soldiers sit on a ledge overlooking the valley of Bamian in central Afghanistan, in September 2005. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
May 5, 2007: British Army surgeon Major Andy Bruce takes out fragments from the legs of injured British Army soldier Simon Peacock from the Royal Anglian Regiment, during surgery at the operating theatre at the British Army Field Hospital at Camp Bastion in the desert in Helmand Province. Simon Peacock was injured by multiple fragments in a Taliban Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack. Telegraph
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Then-US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, center, presents a medal of valor to Sgt. Kenneth Stover, left, as soldiers watch from a rooftop during a medal ceremony in Kandahar, Afghanistan, December 22, 2005. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
American soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division took cover and yelled to others to get out of the line of fire after being ambushed in a valley by Taliban fighters while patrolling the village of Hazarbuz in southern Afghanistan in 2006. Credit Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A French sniper looks through his rifle’s scope while keeping watch over Qarabagh district, about 40 km (25 miles) north of Kabul, in November 2007. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Wounded soldiers in the Korengal Valley in 2007. Credit Lynsey Addario for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
An Afghan boy looks at US soldiers as they patrol a village near the town of Makkor, southwest of Kabul, April 20, 2007. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A US soldier works with a shovel as a vehicle is stuck in the mud, some 70 km south of Ghazni, southeastern Afghanistan, April 23, 2007. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier shakes hands with an Afghan boy during a joint patrol with Afghan National Army troops near Panjwaii village, Kandahar province, in July 2007. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition crawls for cover seconds after his position was hit by a Taliban shell during an ambush in Zhari district of Kandahar province, in October 2007. Daily Mail

61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
November 13, 2007: A dust-covered Afghan National Army soldier with a flower tucked behind his ear rides on the back of a vehicle during a patrol near the Taliban stronghold of Panjwaii town, Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan. Telegraph
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
British and US soldiers control the crowd during medical assistance in Kabul, February 26, 2008. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
President George W. Bush, with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, during a visit to Kabul in 2008. Credit Lynsey Addario for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, left, and US Army General David McKiernan, the top US and NATO Commander in Afghanistan, right, listen to Afghan governors and local officials during their visit to Forward Operating Base Airborne in the mountains of Wardak Province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2009. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Sgt. William Olas Bee, a US Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has a close call after Taliban fighters open fire near Garmsir in Helmand Province, May 2008. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A suicide car bomber struck near a hotel in Kabul, killing at least eight people and wounding 40, in 2009. Credit Adam Ferguson for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
U.S. soldiers, one of whom is dressed in his underwear, take defensive positions after their combat outpost came under fire from the Taliban in the Korengal Valley in May 2009. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
US soldiers of the 2-12 Infantry, 4th Brigade prepare to tow a broken-down improvised-explosive-device (IED) detecting Huskie vehicle during a patrol in the Pesh Valley in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, July 30, 2009. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A U.S. mortar team return fire during an attack by militants on Michigan Base in the Pesh Valley in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, in August 2009. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Soldiers from the First Infantry Division on foot patrol in Hutal, Kandahar Provance, 2009. The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
An American soldier looking over the Pech Valley, in Kunar Province, in 2010. Credit Christoph Bangert for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Afghan soldiers rushed a wounded Afghan National Police officer to a United States Army medevac helicopter in Kunar Province in 2010. Credit Moises Saman for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
US soldiers kneel during a memorial ceremony for Capt. Daniel Whitten and Pvt. First Class Zachary Lovejoy at the Remote Sweeney FOB in Zabul province, southern Afghanistan, February 8, 2010. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Marines on patrol looking for homemade bombs in Marja, Helmand Province, in 2010. Credit Tyler Hicks: The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
An American troop transport preparing to land in Mazar-i-Sharif in April 2010. Credit Damon Winter: The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
US Army medic Staff Sergeant Rahkeem Francis with Charlie Company, 6-101 Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, treats an Afghan boy with a broken leg onboard a medevac helicopter near the town of Marjah in Helmand Province, August 19, 2010. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
NATO soldiers play table soccer under flashlights at a military outpost near the village of Bazaar e Panjwaii, in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, August 2010. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
US Marines of Regiment Combat Team 1 (RCT 1) watch TV as President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama Bin Laden, at Camp Dwyer in Helman Province, on May 2, 2011. US President Barack Obama said on May 1, 2011, that justice had been done after the September 11, 2001 attacks with the death of Osama bin Laden, but warned that Al-Qaeda will still try to attack the US. Chicago Tribune
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
An Afghan shepherd walks with a flock of sheep past a US Marines armored vehicle outside the Camp Gorgak in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, July 5, 2011. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
An explosion is seen after airstrikes by NATO-led forces during fighting against Taliban insurgents in Shewa district of Nangarhar province in July 2011. Daily Mail
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
First Sergeant Mac Miller from Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, lift weights at Forward Operating Base Connolly in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, March 3, 2012. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A US Army soldier and a member of the Afghan Uniform Police arm wrestle prior to a joint patrol near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a nearby village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, January 28, 2013. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Soldiers boarded a helicopter in Kunduz in 2013. Credit Damon Winter: The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Afghan National Army soldiers, left, and American soldiers blew up a Taliban firing position in the village of Layadira, Kandahar Province, in 2013. Bryan Denton for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Members of the 101st Airborne Division in Paktia Province in 2013. Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
Afghan children gesture at US soldiers as they stand guard near an Afghan police checkpoint during a mission near Forward Operating Base Fenty in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, December 19, 2014. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
The aftermath of an accidental American airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz in 2015. Credit Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
US soldiers attend to a wounded soldier at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 30, 2015. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A US soldier keeps watch at the site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 4, 2016. Business Insider
61 Photographs of the American War in Afghanistan
A view of the outskirts of Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province in 2016. Credit Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

 

Sources For Further Reading:

CFR – The U.S. War in Afghanistan Timeline

Politico – ‘I’d Never Been Involved in Anything as Secret as This’

History Channel – How SEAL Team Six Took Out Osama Bin Laden

New York Times – U.S. Has 1,000 More Troops in Afghanistan Than It Disclosed

Aljazeera – NATO Leaders Agree to Afghan Exit Strategy

US Army – Operation Enduring Freedom Comes to An End

Ottawa Citizen – Afghan War and Reconstruction Has Cost U.S. More Than $700 Billion

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