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The Afghanistan War (1999-2005)

  • The creation of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda

    The creation of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda
    The United Nations Security Council adopts Resolution 1267, creating al-Qaeda and the Taliban Sanctions Committee, which links the two groups as terrorist groups and imposes penalties/holdbacks on their funding, travel, and arms shipments.
  • An Alliance Assassination

    An Alliance Assassination
    Ahmad Shah Massoud, commander of the Northern Alliance, an anti-Taliban coalition, is assassinated by al-Qaeda operatives. The killing of Massoud, a master of guerilla warfare known as the Lion of the Panjshir, deals a serious blow to the anti-Taliban resistance.
  • The 9/11 attacks

    The 9/11 attacks
    Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked four airliners, crashing them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth plane crashes in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Close to three thousand people die in the attacks.
  • The war begins

    The war begins
    President George W. Bush signs into law a joint resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for attacking the United States on 9/11.
  • The U.S bombs the Taliban

    The U.S bombs the Taliban
    The U.S. military, with British support, begins a bombing campaign against Taliban forces, officially launching Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • The Taliban crumbles

    The Taliban crumbles
    The Taliban regime unravels rapidly after its loss at Mazar-e-Sharif, a city in Afghanistan on November 9, 2001, to forces loyal to Abdul Rashid Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek military leader. Over the next week, Taliban strongholds crumble after coalition and Northern Alliance offensives on Taloqan (11/11), Bamiyan (11/11), Herat (11/12), Kabul (11/13), and Jalalabad (11/14).
  • Osama Bin Laden escapes

    Osama Bin Laden escapes
    After tracking Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to the Tora Bora cave complex southeast of Kabul, Afghan militias engage in a fierce two-week battle with Al-Qaeda soldiers. It results in a few hundred deaths and the eventual escape of bin Laden, who is thought to have left for Pakistan on horseback on December 16.
  • Signing of the Bonn Agreement

    Signing of the Bonn Agreement
    The United Nations invites major Afghan factions, most prominently the Northern Alliance and a group led by the former king to a conference in Bonn, Germany. On December 5, 2001, the factions sign the Bonn Agreement, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 1383. The agreement was reportedly reached with substantial Iranian diplomatic help because Iran supported the Northern Alliance faction, and created an international peacekeeping force to maintain security in Kabul.
  • The Taliban collapses

    The Taliban collapses
    The end of the Taliban regime is generally tied to this date, when the Taliban surrender Kandahar and Taliban leader Mullah Omar flees the city, leaving it under tribal law. Despite the official fall of the Taliban, however, al-Qaeda leaders continue to hide out in the mountains
  • Operation Anaconda

    Operation Anaconda
    Operation Anaconda, the first major ground assault and the largest operation since Tora Bora is launched against an estimated eight hundred al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the Shahi-Kot Valley south of the city of Gardez (Paktia Province). Nearly two thousand U.S. and one thousand Afghan troops battle the militants. Pentagon planners then began shifting military and intelligence resources away from Afghanistan in the direction of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
  • Afghanistan Reconstruction plan

    Afghanistan Reconstruction plan
    President George W. Bush calls for the reconstruction of Afghanistan in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute. “By helping to build an Afghanistan that is free from this evil and is a better place in which to live, we are working in the best traditions of George Marshall,” he says, evoking the post-World War II Marshall Plan that revived Western Europe. But the United States and the community do not come close to the Marshall Plan-like reconstruction spending for Afghanistan.
  • New government named

    New government named
    Hamid Karzai, chairman of Afghanistan’s administration since December 2001, is picked to head the country’s transitional government. The Northern Alliance, dominated by ethnic Tajiks, fails in its effort to set up a prime ministership but does succeed in checking presidential powers by assigning major authorities to the elected parliament, such as the power to veto senior officials nominees and to impeach a president.
  • Reconstruction Model established

    Reconstruction Model established
    The U.S. military creates a civil affairs framework to expand the authority of the Kabul government. These so-called provincial reconstruction teams, or PRTs, are stood up first in Gardez in November, followed by Bamiyan, Kunduz, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, and Herat. Concern mounts that the PRT system lacks central controlling authority, is disorganized, and creates what a U.S. Institute of Peace report calls “an ad hoc approach” to security and development.
  • Back to the fight

    Back to the fight
    During a briefing with reporters in Kabul, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declares an end to “reconstruction.'' Tommy Franks and Afghan President Hamid Karzai “have concluded that we are at a point where we have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction and activities.”
  • The Constitution of Afghanistan

    The Constitution of Afghanistan
    An assembly of 502 Afghan delegates agrees on a constitution for Afghanistan, creating a strong presidential system intended to unite the country’s various ethnic groups. The act is seen as a positive step toward democracy.
  • The newest president of Afghanistan

    The newest president of Afghanistan
    In historic national balloting, Karzai becomes the first democratically elected head of Afghanistan. Voters turn out in high numbers despite threats of violence and intimidation. Karzai’s election victory is marred by accusations of fraud by his opponents and by the kidnapping of three foreign UN election workers by a militant group. But the election is nonetheless hailed as a victory for the fragile nation.
  • Bin Laden's Declaration Video

    Bin Laden's Declaration Video
    Signaling the persistent challenges facing the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden releases a videotaped message three weeks after the country’s presidential election and just days before the U.S. polls in which George W. Bush will win reelection. In remarks aired on the Arab television network Al Jazeera, bin Laden takes responsibility for the attacks of September 11, 2001. “We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation,” bin Laden says.
  • A U.S Declaration Commitment

    A U.S Declaration Commitment
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. President George W. Bush issue a joint declaration that pronounces their respective countries' strategic partners. The declaration gives U.S. forces access to Afghan military facilities to prosecute “the war against international terror and the struggle against violent extremism.” The alliance’s goal, the agreement says, is to “strengthen U.S.-Afghan ties and help ensure Afghanistan’s long-term security, democracy, and prosperity.”
  • Osama Bin Laden's Death

    Osama Bin Laden's Death
    6 years after the U.S declaration of commitment to the Al-Qaeda and Afghanistan war, on May 1, 2011, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, responsible for the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, is killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan.
  • The end of the war (for now)

    The end of the war (for now)
    10 years after Bin Laden's death and war amongst Al-Qaeda and Afghanistan, a lot has changed. In 2014, president Barack Obama calls for a withdrawal of all the U.S troops in Afghanistan, and only on August 30, of 2021, did the last of the U.S. military forces depart Afghanistan, leaving it under Taliban and Al-Qadeian rule.