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‘Foundation Of War Were Laid 20 Years Ago’: Where Does The Afghanistan War Stand Now?

Helicopters carrying U.S. Army soldiers from the 1-320 Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, take off from Combat Outpost Terra Nova as the soldiers head home following a 10-month deployment in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar April 23, 2011. REUTERS/Bob Strong (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The U.S. is an 18-year war in Afghanistan that could come to a close soon despite stalled peace talks with the Taliban. The Council on Foreign Relations says the foundation for the war was laid 20 years ago when the Security Council adopted resolution 1267 and created the so-called al-Qaeda and Taliban sanctions committee

That establishes that the two militant groups were terrorist organizations and slapped sanctions on their travel and arms shipments.

A couple of years later the situation got tenser when al-Qaeda assassinated Northern Alliance, commander Ahmed Shah Massoud but the catalyst of the war came two days later on September 11th, 2001 when members of al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial planes and attacked the U.S.

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Killing thousands of people just a week later then-President George W Bush signed a joint resolution that authorized the use of force against the organization’s persons or nations responsible for the attacks.

On October 7th, 2001 the US military with British support launched its first bombing campaign officially starting what’s known today as the Afghan war and establishing Operation Enduring Freedom.

The early stages of the war mainly involved US airstrikes and al Qaeda and Taliban forces. The following year saw military victories and setbacks and leadership changes on both sides. At its peak in 2010 and 2011, some 100,000 US troops were stationed in Afghanistan and on May 1st, 2011 after more than nine years of fighting US forces killed Osama bin Laden the al Qaeda leader behind the 9/11 attacks in Pakistan.

With that major event, u.s. officials started pulling troops out of Afghanistan and open preliminary peace talks with Taliban leaders. In 2015 the mission of the operation shifted Enduring Freedom ended and was replaced by operation freedoms Sentinel.

The new goal to continue to train advise and assist Afghan security forces as well as to conduct counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan. The most recent round of negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban started in late 18 and continued into 2019. It looked like things were going pretty well the two sides reached a peace deal in principle in early September but less than a week later President Donald Trump said “they’re dead as far as I’m concerned they’re dead”, but despite the dead peace talks it looks more and more like the US as longest war could soon come to an end.

Cover Image: Source

The US special envoy to Afghanistan Sal makes al-Assad says the draft deal looks something like this the US will pull 5,000 troops from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days. If the Taliban meets certain conditions – those conditions include a reduction in violence and a guarantee that Afghanistan won’t be used as a base for militant attacks on the US and its allies but the agreement does not include language for an official ceasefire.

National security experts have said the US has three options to move past the current stalemate unilaterally withdraw all US troops leave US troop levels roughly where they are now or head back to the negotiating table.

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