Special Forces riding on horseback at the onset of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan October, 2001.
On Sunday October 7, 2001 United States and British forces began aerial bombings on Taliban forces and Al Qaeda targets. The first wave of U.S. forces would not come in tanks and jeeps but on horseback. Special forces teams allied with Northern Alliance forces attacked Taliban and Al Qaeda targets all over Afghanistan with the help of precision air attacks. By December Osama Bin Laden was trapped in the mountains of Tora Bora on the Afghanistan -Pakistan border. It was a complete victory for the U.S. and the allies and it seemed that Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden would be destroyed that week in December 2001 in the mountains there, but Osama Bin Laden and what was left of Al Qaeda slipped over the border in Pakistan.
Now eight years later the Taliban have been growing ever so stronger and Al Qaeda still exists in a no man land along the Afghan- Pakistan border. While President Bush sent U.S. forces to Iraq most of the attention and resources went with it and allowed the Taliban and Al Qaeda to stabilize and recruit new men and boys from the local tribes and madrassas. The attention has now turned back to the place where the War on Terrorism began after 9/11 once President Obama was elected and now the question is do we have the will to finish or will American support wane at a crucial moment in the War in Afghanistan? These are questions that are being contemplated at the White House as ground commander Stan McChrystal has asked for 40,000 additional troops to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Is there another strategy that can keep Afghanistan out of Taliban and Al Qeada hands perhaps these are the questions that need to be and are being asked as the President decides what the next step is in Afghanistan..
U.S. Marines from Alpha Co., Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 6th Marines, startle the owner of a compund who refused to open his door for a search during Operation EL DORADO. (05/05/2004)
Special Forces Afghanistan
November 29 2006, Paktia province: 1-32 Infantry Battallion, attached to 4-25 Field Artilley Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, warm themselves by a campfire at dawn (John D McHugh/AFP)