Clockwise from top left: Aftermath of the September 11 attacks; American infantry in Afghanistan; an American soldier and Afghan interpreter in Zabul Province, Afghanistan; explosion of an Iraqi car bomb in Baghdad.
Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, fell by mid-November. Throughout southern and eastern Afghanistan, firefights broke out between the surging Taliban and Coalition forces.
The remaining al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants fell back to the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan, mainly Tora Bora. Coalition forces responded with a series of military offensives and an increase of troops in Afghanistan.
We are at war with a specific network, al-Qaeda, and its terrorist affiliates who support efforts to attack the United States, our allies, and partners." In May 2013, two years after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, Barack Obama delivered a speech that employed the term global war on terror put in quotation marks (as officially transcribed by the White House): "Now, make no mistake, our nation is still threatened by terrorists. But we have to recognize that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11. From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions that we are making now will define the type of nation—and world—that we leave to our children. We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us.
We have to be mindful of James Madison's warning that "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." ...
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The United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the People's Republic of China supported the Islamist Afghan mujahideen guerillas against the military forces of the Soviet Union and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
A small number of "Afghan Arab" volunteers joined the fight against the Soviets, including Osama bin Laden, but there is no evidence they received any external assistance.