A timeline of the major events in the US war in Afghanistan.
Created by asadhashim on 21/08/2011
Last updated: 08/09/11 at 11:56
Tags: US War Military Afghanistan Afghan September 11 Osama bin Laden al-Qaeda Taliban NATO
US President Obama outlines a troop withdrawal plan that would see 33,000 military personnel leave Afghanistan by December 2011.
Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and the man who took responsibility for the September 11, 2001, attacks, is killed by US special forces during a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Afghanistan Rights Monitor says the number of civilians killed since the war began in 2001 hit record levels in 2010.
At a NATO summit in Lisbon, member countries affirm a commitment to hand over full responsibility for security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, with a transition beginning in July 2011.
Dutch troops leave Afghanistan.
Gen McChrystal is relieved of command after controversial remarks to Rolling Stone magazine. He is replaced by General David Petraeus.
Top Afghan Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is captured by Pakistani intelligence officials, as NATO launches a major offensive in Helmand province.
US President Obama announces a major escalation of the US mission, committing an additional 30,000 troops to the fight, but also setting July 2011 as the start of a troop drawdown.
Three months after a disputed presidential election, and following widespread allegations of fraud, Hamid Karzai is declared to have been re-elected.
The number of US troops in Afghanistan is between 60,000-68,000.
US Marines launch a major offensive with 4,000 troops in southern Afghanistan.
General Stanley A. McChrystal replaces General David D. McKiernan as the top US commander in Afghanistan. Gen McChrystal transferred from his post as chief of the US Joint Special operations Command.
Senior US military officials and commanders call on NATO to provide more non-military assets to Afghanistan to aid with reconstruction and governance.
Obama announces a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, linking success to stabilising Pakistan. The core goal is now to "to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan, and to prevent their return to Pakistan or Afghanistan".
Newly elected US President Barack Obama announces plans to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, and his administration calls for narrowing and clarifying the goals of the US campaign. As of January, there are 37,000 US troops in Afghanistan.
Twenty NATO countries increase military and other commitments to Afghanistan.
Taliban attacks become more and more brazen, even as investigations are launched into the killing of civilians by US strikes.
The United Nations reports that opium production in Afghanistan has soared to a record high.
Notable Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah is killed in a joint Afghan-US-NATO operation in southern Afghanistan. Dadullah is said to have been the head of guerrilla forces in Helmand province.
Rifts begin to emerge in NATO over troop commitments to Afghanistan, and the NATO secretary-general sets a 2008 target for handing over security duties to the Afghan National Army.
Violence increases markedly across the country, but particularly in the south, in the summer of 2006. Suicide attack numbers quintuple (to 139) from 27 in 2005. Remote bombings double to 1,677. Experts blame the "collapse of governance".
With the Taliban regrouping, 2005 is the deadliest year for US troops since the war began in 2001.
Elections are held for the Wolesi Jirga, the Meshrano Jirga (which form parliament) and local councils. More than six million Afghans vote.
Karzai and Bush issue a joint declaration declaring the "strategic partnership" between the two countries. The agreement gives US forces access to Afghan military facilities and calls for the US to train the Afghan security forces.
Osama bin Laden releases a videotape in which he takes responsibility for the September 11, 2001, attacks and taunts the United States.
In a historic national election, Karzai becomes the first democratically elected head of Afghanistan, winning 55 per cent of the vote to beat out Younis Qanooni (16 per cent). Karzai's opponents accuse him of fraud.
A constituent assembly of 502 Afghan delegates agrees on a constitution for Afghanistan, creating a strong presidential system with an elected parliament.
NATO assumes command of ISAF, marking the alliance's first operational commitment outside of Europe.
Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, claims that most of Afghanistan is now secure and that major combat operations have ended. Pro-Taliban fighters, meanwhile, continue to stage almost daily attacks on government buildings, US bases and aid workers. There are 8,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan.
The US military creates a framework to coordinate civilian redevelopment efforts with the UN and NGOs. The system, based on "Provincial Reconstruction Teams" (PRTs) is criticised for being an ad-hoc approach by some.
Hamid Karzai, the chairman of Afghanistan's interim administration, is selected by a loya jirga to head the country's transitional government.
US President Bush calls for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. "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-WWII Marshall Plan for western Europe.
Operation Anaconda, the first major ground assault of the war, is launched against an estimated 800 al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the Shah-i-Kot Valley, south of Gardez. The Pentagon does not expand the scope of the Afghan war, however, choosing instead to redeploy military and intelligence resources away from Afghanistan and towards Iraq.
Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban's Ambassador to Pakistan, is taken into custody by the Pakistani intelligence services.
The Taliban surrender Kandahar, and Mullah Omar, their leader, flees the city. This date is widely recognised as the fall of the Taliban government.
The UN invites all major Afghan factions (excluding the Taliban) to a conference in Bonn. The Bonn Agreement sets up an interim administration with Hamid Karzai as its head. The UN endorses the agreement shortly afterwards and sets up the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Afghan militias and limited US forces engage in a fierce two-week battle with al-Qaeda militants at the Tora Bora cave complex southeast of Kabul. They suceed in taking the complex, but Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's leader, manages to escape (reportedly on horseback).
The Taliban lose ground in several key cities. Mazar-e-Sharif (9/11), Taloqan (11/11), Bamiyan (11/11), Herat (12/11), Kabul (13/11) and Jalalabad (14/11) all fall soon after. On 14/11, UN Security Council Resolution 1378 passes, calling for a "central role" for the UN in establishing a transition government.
US conventional ground forces launch operations in Afghanistan, though most of the ground combat remains between the Taliban and its Afghan opponents.
The US military, along with British support, officially launches Operation "Enduring Freedom", opening with a bombing campaign against Taliban forces. France, Germany, Australia and Canada pledge future support.
Fresh fighting begins between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban.
US President Bush demands that Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's leader, be handed over the US. The Taliban government refuses.
US President George W. Bush signs into law a joint resolution authorising the use of force against those deemed responsible for the attacks on the United States.
Ahmad Shah Massoud, the head of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, is killed by al-Qaeda two days before the September 11 attacks. The death of Massoud, known as the Lion of Panjshir, deals a serious blow to the anti-Taliban movement in Afghanistan.