Operation Enduring Freedom


U.S. Air Force Col. Henry Rogers, 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, conducts pre-flight inspections on an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 27, 2015. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys.



A Brief History

In response to the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President George W. Bush launched the Global War on Terror (GWOT). As it evolved, his objective was two-fold: to destroy al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan and around the world, and to remove Saddam Hussein from power to forestall threats from his presumed possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Operation ENDURING FREEDOM began on October 7, 2001, when the United States launched military operations in Afghanistan, including airstrikes against Kabul and Kandahar. In sustaining military operations for over a decade, American troops continue to fight a widespread insurgency and establish a viable government. On May 1, 2011, US Navy SEALS killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Leon Panetta ABC Interview

“Winning in Afghanistan is having a country that is stable enough to ensure that there is no safe haven for Al Qaida or for a militant Taliban that welcomes Al Qaida. That’s really the measure of success for the United States.”

— Leon Panetta, ABC Interview, June 27, 2016