Enduring Voices: Oral Histories of the U.S. Army Experience in Afghanistan, 2003-2005

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Payments: Special financing available. An error occurred, please try again. Good : A book that has been read but is in good condition. Army Center of Military History: an anthology of oral histories. The interviews spotlight the establishment of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan in October and the tenure of its first commander, Lt.

David W. Barno USA, Ret. In less than two years, General Barno changed the U. Army s approach to operations in Afghanistan by developing a program that aimed to rebuild that nation while giving its government the strength it needed to stand on its own.


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The interviews presented make available for the first time the experiences and opinions of the American soldiers and their joint military service, interagency, and international partners who brought that program into being. In order to show how the ideas and decision making that shaped General Barno s effort evolved and the military and political challenges he and other Army leaders faced, the interviews emphasize the perspectives of senior officers. One of the pillars of Barno's new counter-insurgency strategy was to order the troops to live alongside the people, [8] and thus he allotted brigades to specific areas of responsibility , creating Regional Command East and Regional Command South.

CJTF is a division level organization that exercises command over 11 separate task forces; including 2 coalition battalions and other support, medical, engineering, and training units. It also has special operations capabilities assigned from U. On 15 April the headquarters of the U. Command and Control 10th Mountain Division. The significance of the mission was the overthrow the Taliban 's government of Afghanistan and reestablish a representative Afghanistan National government.

Included in this mission were the significant Joint Special Forces operations working in cooperation with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. Between November and February , the Taliban government was overthrown. Military operations primarily performed by the Afghanistan Northern Alliance , supported by the 5th Special Forces Group , and other coalition and United States special operations forces , with significant firepower provided by the United States and Coalition Air Force and Navy.

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This operation resulted in the fall of the Taliban government. During Operation Anaconda , military operations directed against a large Taliban defensive position and stronghold in the mountainous Shah-i-Kot Valley south of the city of Gardez in eastern Afghanistan. This resulted in the heaviest fighting since U. Significant participation by the Royal Marines in this operation was known as Operation Jacana.

Operation Snipe began in May to search and clear a significant area in the remote Afghan mountains believed to be used as a base by Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. During Operation Snipe, a major cave network was discovered and destroyed. From June to January , CJTF 's mission was to conduct full-spectrum operations to prevent the reemergence of terror organizations and set the conditions for the growth of democracy in Afghanistan.

A major effort was placed on organizing, equipping, arming and training the Afghan National Army. In mid there was both a combat division HQ and combat brigade rotation.

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Huggins also enjoyed support from artillery, aviation, military intelligence, and other enabling units. The operation was originally called "Operation Infinite Justice" often misquoted as "Operation Ultimate Justice" , [3] but as similar phrases have been used by adherents of several religions as an exclusive description of God, it is believed to have been changed to avoid offense to Muslims, who are the majority religion in Afghanistan. President George W. Bush 's remark that "this crusade , this war on terrorism, is going to take a while", which prompted widespread criticism from the Islamic world, may also have contributed to the renaming of the operation.

The term "OEF" typically refers to the war in Afghanistan. Other operations, such as the Georgia Train and Equip Program , are only loosely or nominally connected to OEF, such as through government funding vehicles. Operation Enduring Freedom — Afghanistan, which is a joint U. The two operations run in parallel, and although it has been intended that they merge for some time, this has not yet happened. Bush in his 20 September Address to a Joint Session of Congress and his 7 October address to the country, included the destruction of terrorist training camps and infrastructure within Afghanistan, the capture of al-Qaeda leaders, and the cessation of terrorist activities in Afghanistan.

The stated goals of the operation were to provide humanitarian aid and patrol the Horn of Africa to reduce the abilities of terrorist organizations in the region. Similar to OEF-P, the goal of humanitarian aid was emphasised, ostensibly to prevent militant organizations from being able to take hold amongst the population as well as reemerge after being removed. The military aspect involves coalition forces searching and boarding ships entering the region for illegal cargo as well as providing training and equipment to the armed forces in the region.

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The humanitarian aspect involves building schools, clinics and water wells to enforce the confidence of the local people. Since , the cumulative expenditure by the U. The operation continues, with military direction mostly coming from United States Central Command. Seizing upon a power vacuum after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan after their invasion , the Taliban assumed the role of government from — Their extreme interpretation of Islamic law prompted them to ban music, television, sports, and dancing, and enforce harsh judicial penalties See Human rights in Afghanistan.

Amputation was an accepted form of punishment for stealing, [12] [13] and public executions could often be seen at the Kabul football stadium. They drew further criticism when they destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan , historical statues nearly years old, because the buddhas were considered idols.

When the Taliban came to power, bin Laden was able to forge an alliance between the Taliban and his al-Qaeda organization. It is understood that al-Qaeda-trained fighters known as the Brigade were integrated with the Taliban army between and It has been suggested that the Taliban and bin Laden had very close connections.

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On 20 September , the U. The U. On 21 September , the Taliban rejected this ultimatum, stating there was no evidence in their possession linking bin Laden to the 11 September attacks. On 22 September the United Arab Emirates and later Saudi Arabia withdrew their recognition of the Taliban as the legal government of Afghanistan, leaving neighboring Pakistan as the only remaining country with diplomatic ties.

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On 4 October , it is believed that the Taliban covertly offered to turn bin Laden over to Pakistan for trial in an international tribunal that operated according to Islamic shar'ia law. Shortly afterward, the same day, United States and British forces initiated military action against the Taliban, bombing Taliban forces and al-Qaeda terrorist training camps. On 14 October , the Taliban proposed to hand bin Laden over to a third country for trial, but only if they were given evidence of bin Laden's involvement in the events of 11 September The UN Security Council, on 16 January , unanimously established an arms embargo and the freezing of identifiable assets belonging to bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the remaining Taliban.

On Sunday 7 October , American and British forces began an aerial bombing campaign targeting Taliban forces and al-Qaeda.

Aided by U. They then rapidly gained control of most of northern Afghanistan, and took control of Kabul on 13 November after the Taliban unexpectedly fled the city. The Taliban were restricted to a smaller and smaller region, with Kunduz, the last Taliban-held city in the north, captured on 26 November.