Taliban insurgency

Taliban insurgency

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The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, U.S.
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, and other ISAF
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

 troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and eastern border of the country to Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, in particular the Waziristan War
War in North-West Pakistan
The War in North-West Pakistan is an armed conflict between the Pakistan Armed Forces and armed religious groups such as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan , Lashkar-e-Islam, TSNM, Arab and Central Asian militants including Al-Qaeda, regional armed movements and elements of organized crime.The armed...

. The Taliban conduct low-intensity warfare against the Afghan National Army
Afghan National Army
The Afghan National Army is a service branch of the military of Afghanistan, which is currently trained by the coalition forces to ultimately take the role in land-based military operations in Afghanistan. , the Afghan National Army is divided into seven regional Corps. The strength of the Afghan...

 and coalition forces.

In common usage, "the Taliban" may refer to the largest insurgent group in Afghanistan, known as Quetta Shura
Quetta Shura
The Quetta Shura is a militant organization composed of top leadership of the Afghan Taliban, that is believed to be based since about 2001 in the city of Quetta in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The Shura was formed after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was toppled in late 2001 and the...

 Taliban, or to the Afghanistan insurgents in general (which include the Haqqani network
Haqqani network
The Haqqani Network is an insurgent group fighting against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. Originating from Afghanistan during the mid-1970s, it was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence during the 1980s Soviet war in...

, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
The Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin is an Afghan islamist political party.The original Hezb-e-Islami was founded in 1977 by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is now the head of HIG. The other faction is headed by Mulavi Younas Khalis who split with Hekmatyar and established his own Hezbi Islami in 1979...

, and smaller al Qaida groups).

After the invasion


After evading U.S. forces throughout the summer of 2002, the remnants of the Taliban gradually began to regain their confidence and launched the insurgency that Mullah Mohammed Omar
Mohammed Omar
Mullah Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council"...

 had promised during the Taliban's last days in power. During September 2002, Taliban forces began a recruitment drive in Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 areas in both Afghanistan and Pakistan to launch a renewed "jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

" or struggle against the Afghan government and the U.S-led coalition. Pamphlets distributed in secret during the night also began to appear in many villages in the former Taliban heartland in southeastern Afghanistan. Small mobile training camps were established along the border with Pakistan by al-Qaeda and Taliban fugitives to train new recruits in guerrilla warfare and tactics, according to Afghan sources and a United Nations report. Most of the new recruits were drawn from the madrassas or religious schools of the tribal areas of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, from which the Taliban had originally arisen. Major bases, a few with as many as 200 men, were created in the mountainous tribal areas of Pakistan by the summer of 2003. The will of the Pakistani paramilitaries stationed at border crossings to prevent such infiltration was called into question, and Pakistani military operations proved of little use.

Make-up of the Taliban



There are many players now in Afghanistan that are operating against the NATO coalition forces. In the general, the media use the term Taliban for all the insurgents in Afghanistan. However, in addition to Afghan insurgent groups with a separate history from the original pre-2001 Taliban – the Haqqani network
Haqqani network
The Haqqani Network is an insurgent group fighting against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. Originating from Afghanistan during the mid-1970s, it was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence during the 1980s Soviet war in...

 and the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
The Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin is an Afghan islamist political party.The original Hezb-e-Islami was founded in 1977 by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is now the head of HIG. The other faction is headed by Mulavi Younas Khalis who split with Hekmatyar and established his own Hezbi Islami in 1979...

 – there is also a Taliban group in Pakistan. The US military commanders call the Afghan Taliban Big T and they call the Pakistani Taliban Little T.The Afghan Taliban's main goal is to remove the foreign forces and their backed government from Afghanistan. Their leadership councils are intact and they operate in almost all parts of the Afghanistan in one form or the other. The Taliban control most of the country side from Herat Northwestern Afghanistan to Qandahar (southern Afghanistan) to Kunar (Northeastern Afghanistan). Taliban fighters are also said to have started operations in the Northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

The Pakistani Taliban's main goals are very unclear. The Pakistani Taliban do cross border to Afghanistan to fight NATO forces but their main concern seem to be in Pakistani tribal areas. There is also the Hezbi-Islami militia which operates in Northeastern Afghanistan.

Financial support


While the pre-2001 Taliban suppressed opium production, the current insurgency "relies on opium revenues to purchase weapons, train its members, and buy support." In 2001, Afghanistan produced only 11% of the world's opium, today it produces 93% of the global crop, and the drug trade accounts for half of Afghanistan's GDP.

On July 28, 2009, Richard Holbrooke, the United States special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said that money transfers from Western Europe and the Gulf States exceeded the drug trade earnings and that a new task force had been formed to shut down this source of funds.

The United States Agency for International Development is investigating the possibility that kickbacks from its contracts are being funneled to the Taliban.

A report by the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

 (LSE) claimed to provide the most concrete evidence yet that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 is providing funding, training and sanctuary to the Taliban on a scale much larger than previously thought. The report's author Matt Waldman spoke to nine Taliban field commanders in Afghanistan and concluded that Pakistan's relationship with the insurgents ran far deeper than previously realized. Some of those interviewed suggested that the organization even attended meetings of the Taliban's supreme council, the Quetta Shura
Quetta Shura
The Quetta Shura is a militant organization composed of top leadership of the Afghan Taliban, that is believed to be based since about 2001 in the city of Quetta in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The Shura was formed after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was toppled in late 2001 and the...

. A spokesman for the Pakistani military dismissed the report, describing it as "malicious".

Poppy dilemma




In March 2010, after the ousting of the Taliban from the area of Marja
Marja
Marja , also known as a marja-i taqlid or marja dini , literally means "Source to Imitate/Follow" or "Religious Reference"...

 in the Southern Afghan province Helmand in the Operation Moshtarak
Operation Moshtarak
Operation Moshtarak was an ISAF pacification offensive in the area that is described as the "poppy-growing belt" of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. The combat operations started on February 13, 2010, and focuses on the Nad Ali District and Lashkar Gah district...

, the American and NATO commanders were confronted with the dilemma of on the one hand the need for "winning the hearts and minds" of the local population as well as on the other hand the necessity of the eradication of poppies and the destruction of the opium economy. Since opium is the main source of existence of 60 to 70 percent of the farmers in Marja, American Marines were ordered to preliminary ignore the crops to avoid trampling their livelihood.

Social context: poverty and corruption


In November 2010, a report with the results of an opinion poll of the Western aid group Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

 indicated that 83 percent of the Afghan population does not consider the Taliban militants, but poverty, unemployment, the US-led invasion, and government corruption as the main causes of war in their country.

After thirty years of war, the country remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. It is also one of the most corrupt. Unemployment stands at 40 percent and more than half of the population lives below the poverty line. On top of that, violence then seemed to culminate since U.S.-backed Afghan forces ousted the Taliban in late 2001. Nearly half of those surveyed said corruption and bad government were the main reasons for the ongoing war. 12 percent said the Taliban insurgency was to blame.

After the Taliban, the reason most people gave for the continued fighting was the foreign interference: 25 percent of respondents saying other countries were to blame.

2006 Escalation


Since the start of 2006 Afghanistan has been facing a wave of attacks by improvised explosives and suicide bombers, particularly after NATO took command of the fight against insurgents in spring 2006.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

 publicly condemned the methods used by the western powers. In June 2006 he said:

And for two years I have systematically, consistently and on a daily basis warned the international community of what was developing in Afghanistan and of the need for a change of approach in this regard.

and
The international community [must] reassess the manner in which this war against terror is conducted


Insurgents were also criticized for their conduct. According to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, bombing and other attacks on Afghan civilians by the Taliban (and to a lesser extent Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
The Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin is an Afghan islamist political party.The original Hezb-e-Islami was founded in 1977 by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is now the head of HIG. The other faction is headed by Mulavi Younas Khalis who split with Hekmatyar and established his own Hezbi Islami in 1979...

), are reported to have "sharply escalated in 2006" with "at least 669 Afghan civilians were killed in at least 350 armed attacks, most of which appear to have been intentionally launched at civilians or civilian objects." 131 of insurgent attacks were suicide attacks which killed 212 civilians (732 wounded), 46 Afghan army and police members (101 wounded), and 12 foreign soldiers (63 wounded).

Timeline


Below are a few deaths (note:this is just a few NATO deaths)
  • June 6: A roadside bombing leaves 2 American soldiers killed, the attack took place in the province of Nanghar. Also a separate suicide bombing in Khost leaves three US soldiers wounded.
  • June 15: A bus carrying workers to an American base explodes killing 10 and wounding 15. The explosives were placed on the bus.
  • July 1: 2 British soldiers are killed when their base came under small arms fire including rocket propelled grenades.
  • August 8: 4 Canadian NATO soldiers are killed in two separate attacks. And a suicide bomber targeting a NATO convey detonates killing 21 people.
  • August 20: 3 American soldiers are killed and another 3 are wounded in a battle with Taliban militants after a roadside bomb hit an American patrol.
  • September 8: A major suicide car bombing near the US embassy in Kabul kills 18 including 2 US soldiers.
  • September 10: The governor of Afghanistan's southeastern Paktia province is killed alongside his bodyguard and nephew when a suicide bomber detonates himself beside the governor's car.
  • October 14: A suicide attack in Kandahar city leaves 8 dead including one NATO soldier.
  • October 15: 2 Canadian soldiers were killed when Taliban militants attacked NATO troops using small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades.
  • December 6: A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a security contractor's office killing 7 including 2 Americans, the attack took place south of Afghanistan in Kandahar
    Kandahar
    Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

    .
  • December 19: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Osmani, reportedly number 4 in the Taliban shura, is killed by an American airstrike in southern Afghanistan.

2007



The Taliban continue to favor suicide bombing as a tactic. In 2007 Afghanistan saw 140 more suicide bombings – more than in the past five years combined – that killed more than 300 people, many civilians. A UN report said the perpetrators were poorly educated, disaffected young men who were recruited by Taliban leaders in Pakistani madrassas.

Western analysts estimated that the Taliban can field about 10,000 fighters at any given time, according to an October 30 report in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

. Of that number, "only 2,000 to 3,000 are highly motivated, full-time insurgents", the Times reported. The rest are part-timers, made up of alienated, young Afghan men angry at bombing raids or fighting in order to get money. In 2007, more foreign fighters were showing up in Afghanistan than ever before, according to Afghan and United States officials. An estimated 100 to 300 full-time combatants are foreigners, usually from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, various Arab countries and perhaps even Turkey and western China. They tend to be more fanatical and violent, and they often bring skills such as the ability to post more sophisticated videos on the Internet or bombmaking expertise. It has also been reported that the Taliban now control up to 54% of Afghanistan.

In April 2007, Karzai admitted that he spoke to the Taliban to bring about peace in Afghanistan. He noted that the Afghan Taliban are "always welcome" in Afghanistan, although foreign militants are not. On April 15, 2007 the Afghan Government promised to end all hostage deals with the Taliban after two Afghan kidnapped victims were executed in an agreement to free an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 journalist.
  • February 27 – 2007 Bagram Air Base bombing
    2007 Bagram Air Base bombing
    The 2007 Bagram Airfield bombing was a suicide attack that killed up to 23 people and injured 20 more at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, while Dick Cheney, the Vice President of the United States, was visiting...



On May 12, Mullah Dadullah
Mullah Dadullah
Maulavi or Mullah Dadullah or Dadullah Akhund was the Taliban's senior military commander until his death by U.S and U.K special ops in 2007. He was an ethnic Pashtun from the Kakar tribe of Kalai-Kakaran village in Uruzgan province of Afghanistan...

, a senior Taliban commander in charge of operations in the south of the country was killed in Helmand province, in what is seen as a great moral victory.

Timeline

  • January 23: A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a US base in eastern Afghanistan killing 10 people who were waiting outside the base.
  • February 2: Taliban forces raided a southern Afghan town destroying the government center and briefly holding some elders captive.
  • February 19: The Taliban briefly seized a small town in western Afghanistan after police fled the town, the Taliban forces moved in for 30 minutes and seized three vehicles.
  • February 20: A suicide bomber blew himself up during an opening hospital ceremony injuring 2 NATO soldiers and a hospital worker.
  • February 27: 23 people are killed when a suicide bomber attacks an American military base, Bagram Airfield (BAF) in Bagram District, Parwan Province. The attack took place while US vice president Dick Cheney was in the compound, Cheney was unhurt in the attack and was the intended target of the attack as claimed by the Taliban. The dead included an American soldier, a Korean soldier, and an American contractor.
  • March 4: A suicide bomber attacks an American convoy which leaves 16 civilians dead in the aftermath as the American convey begins to sporadically fire at civilian cars around them. In a separate incident, two British soldiers were killed when a Taliban rocket was fired on them during clashes in Southern Helmand Province.
  • March 17: A suicide bomber targeting a Canadian military convoy leaves one dead and three injured, including one NATO soldier. The attack took place in Kandahar.
  • March 19: A car bomb blew up near a three-vehicle US embassy convoy injuring many in the convoy.
  • March 27: Four police officers are killed in the southern Helmand province after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a police station.
  • March 28: A suicide bomber killed a top intelligence officer and three others in the capital Kabul.
  • April 6: A suicide bomber struck a police checkpoint in Kabul leaving four dead and four others wounded.
  • April 9: Six Canadian soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan when they struck a roadside bomb. A separate roadside bombing, also in south Afghanistan, left another NATO soldier dead and one wounded. In another incident, a statement from the Taliban's spokesperson claimed that they had beheaded a translator for a kidnapped Italian journalist.
  • April 15: A suicide bomber struck a US-private security firm, killing four Afghans working for the company.
  • April 16: A suicide bomber ran onto a police training field and detonating his explosive device, killed 10 police officers and wounded dozens of others. The attack took place in the relatively quiet city of Kunduz. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • April 20: Separate explosions in Southern Afghanistan leave two NATO soldiers dead.
  • April 22: A suicide bomber blew himself up an eastern city of Afghanistan, killing six. A roadside bomb also hit an Afghan intelligence service vehicle, killing all four who were inside.
  • April 30: Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets in western Afghanistan, accusing US soldiers of killing scores of civilians in fighting which the coalition said killed 136 Taliban in a three-week operation.
  • May 13: Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban's top military commander in Afghanistan, is killed in fighting in the south.
  • May 23: The Taliban's newly-named top field commander, Mullah Bakht Mohammed
    Mullah Bakht Mohammed
    Mullah Bakht Mohammed is Mullah Dadullah's younger half-brother who succeeded him as senior military commander of the Taliban. Local people call him Mullah Mansoor Dadullah. He comes from the Arghandab district of Kandahar province, and belongs to the Kakar Pashtun tribe. He appeared in a video...

    , brother and replacement of deceased field commander Mullah Dadullah, makes his first public statement, saying the Taliban will "pursue holy war until the occupying countries leave."
  • July 19: The South Korean hostage crisis
    2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan
    The 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan began on July 19, 2007, when 23 South Korean missionaries were captured and held hostage by members of the Taliban while passing through Ghazni Province of Afghanistan. Two male hostages were executed before the deal was reached between the...

     involved the hostage taking of twenty-three South Korea
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

    n Christian aid workers in the Ghazni
    Ghazni
    For the Province of Ghazni see Ghazni ProvinceGhazni is a city in central-east Afghanistan with a population of about 141,000 people...

     Province which resulted in the death of two. The crisis ended on August 30 with the release of the remaining hostages as part of a deal with the South Korean diplomats of government.
  • August 31: A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle after ramming three military vehicles at the military gate of the Kabul International Airport. Two Afghan soldiers were killed and ten people were injured.
  • September 29: In an effort to reach a compromise with the Taliban leaders, the president, Hamid Karzai would make a quid quo pro by allowing militants to have a place in government if they stopped fighting. Taliban leaders replied by saying there would be no compromise unless intervening forces such as NATO and the U.S. left.
  • November 2: Mawlawi Abdul Manan, an important Taliban figure, is killed by Afghan Security forces. His death is confirmed by the Taliban.

2008


The U.S. warned that in 2008 the Taliban has "coalesced into a resilient insurgency", and would "maintain or even increase the scope and pace of its terrorist attacks". Attacks by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan increased by 40% when compared to the same period in 2007.

Timeline

  • February 24: Poor military intelligence
    Military intelligence
    Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

     leads to conflicted reports of a possible Taliban spring offensive.
  • August 19:Taliban forces kill 9 French troops (with a 10th death in an accident) near Kabul.
  • October 6: CNN reports that, via Saudi intermediaries, the Taliban is negotiating to end the conflict in Afghanistan, and that the Taliban has split from Al Qaeda.
  • December 7: 200 Taliban armed with RPGs and automatic weapons attack two NATO supply depots outside of Peshawar destroying 100 vehicles packed with supplies intended to support the NATO effort in Afghanistan.
  • December 8: 200 Taliban armed with RPGs and automatic weapons attack a NATO supply depot outside of Peshawar destroying 53 container trucks packed with supplies intended to support the NATO effort in Afghanistan.

2009


During 2009 the Taliban regained control over the countryside of several Afghan provinces. In August 2009, Taliban commanders in the province of Helmand started issuing "visa" from the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" in order to allow travel to and from the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

Timeline

  • June 30: US Army Private First Class soldier Bowe R. Bergdahl is captured by the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan.
  • July 18: The Taliban release a video showing Bergdahl being interviewed by one of his captors.
  • August 12: Taliban spokesmen threaten the public not to vote in the upcoming presidential elections.
  • August 15: 2009 NATO Afghanistan headquarters bombing
    2009 NATO Afghanistan headquarters bombing
    The 2009 NATO Afghanistan headquarters bombing occurred on August 15, 2009 when an alleged Taliban suicide bomber detonated himself outside of the NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan...

    , A suicide car bomb explodes outside NATO headquarters in Kabul
    Kabul
    Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

    , killing at least seven and wounding almost 100. ISAF
    International Security Assistance Force
    The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

     troops were reported among the wounded.
  • August 25: A massive car bomb shakes Kandahar
    Kandahar
    Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

    , killing at least 30 and wounding dozens as buildings collapse in the city's center. The attack comes after the first results of the presidential elections were announced. Four U.S. soldiers die in an IED
    Improvised explosive device
    An improvised explosive device , also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action...

     explosion in southern Afghanistan bringing ISAF
    International Security Assistance Force
    The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

     losses
    Killed in action
    Killed in action is a casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own forces at the hands of hostile forces. The United States Department of Defense, for example, says that those declared KIA need not have fired their weapons but have been killed due to...

     to 295, eclipsing 2008's coalition death toll of 294.
  • September 4: U.S airstrike on two fuel tankers kill at least 70 people in Farah Province after it was hijacked by Taliban militants. Angry relatives of those killed claim civilians were collecting fuel from the tankers when the airstrike came.
  • December 1, the U.S. President Barack Obama announced he would send an additional 30,000 troops to help battle the Taliban insurgency. The Taliban reacted to the President's speech by saying they will step up their fight in Afghanistan. A Taliban commander told the BBC that if more US troops came, more would die.
  • Also in December 2009, after his disputed re-election
    Afghan presidential election, 2009
    The 2009 presidential election in Afghanistan was characterized by lack of security, low voter turnout and widespread ballot stuffing, intimidation, and other electoral fraud....

    , President Hamid Karzai
    Hamid Karzai
    Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

     announced to move ahead with a plan for a Loya Jirga
    Loya jirga
    A loya jirga is a type of jirga regarded as "grand assembly," a phrase in the Pashto language meaning "grand council." A loya jirga is a mass meeting usually prepared for major events such as choosing a new king, adopting a constitution, or discussing important national political or emergency...

     to discuss the Taliban insurgency. The Taliban would be invited to take part in this Jirga.

2010


During 2010, the Taliban were ousted from parts of Helmand Province by the ISAF Operation Moshtarak
Operation Moshtarak
Operation Moshtarak was an ISAF pacification offensive in the area that is described as the "poppy-growing belt" of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. The combat operations started on February 13, 2010, and focuses on the Nad Ali District and Lashkar Gah district...

 that started in February 2010. In the meantime the Taliban insurgency spread to the northern provinces of the country. The new policy of the Taliban was to shift militants from the south to the north, to show they exist "everywhere", according to Faryab Province
Faryab Province
Fāryāb is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the north of the country. Its capital is Maymana. The majority of the population is Uzbek.-History:...

 Governor Abdul Haq Shafaq. With most Afghan and NATO troops stationed in the southern and eastern provinces, villagers in the once-peaceful north found themselves confronted with a rapid deterioration of security, as insurgents seized new territory in provinces such as Kunduz
Kunduz
Kunduz also known as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. It is linked by highways with Mazari Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Tajikistan's border to the north...

 and Baghlan
Baghlan
Baghlan is a city in northern Afghanistan, in the eponymous province, Baghlan Province. It is located three miles east of the Kunduz River, 35 miles south of Khanabad, and about 1,700 metres above sea level in the northern Hindu Kush...

, and even infiltrated the mountains of Badakhshan Province
Badakhshan Province
Badakhshan is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, consisting of 28 districts. It is located in the north-east of the country, between the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya. It is part of the Badakhshan region.-Geography:...

 in the northeast.

Timeline

  • January 17: "Kabul's day of terror", on which gunbattles near the presidential palace and other government buildings paralyzed the Afghan capital for hours. As President Karzai was swearing in his new cabinet ministers inside the presidential palace, militants performed attacks on multiple locations in Kabul, including shopping malls, a cinema and the central bank. A team of gunmen launched a spectacular assault in "commando style" with two men detonating suicide bombs and the rest fighting to the death near the gates of the presidential palace, an operation by insurgents to terrorize the Afghan capital, further demoralizing the population and lending to the impression that virtually no part of the country could be safe. The Taliban said it had deployed 20 suicide bombers in explosive vests who were also armed with heavy and light weaponry A western security official estimated there is a security incident in Kabul, on average, every seven to 10 days.
  • January 28: International Conference on Afghanistan in London
  • February 26: Militants target hotels and guest houses in Kabul. Up to nine Indians, an Italian diplomat and a French film maker were among the dead in the worst assault on the Afghan capital for several months. A four-hour battle began with a car bombing and included suicide bombers and Taliban fighters throwing grenades. The attacks appeared to be aimed at Indian government officials and medical workers. Three Afghan police were killed, and six more officers were among the 38 people wounded in what was described as a well-planned and co-ordinated attack.
  • June 2–4: The Karzai administration
    Karzai administration
    The Karzai administration is the official government of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai, who became the head of state of Afghanistan in December 2001, after the Taliban government was removed. He was appointed at the 2002 Loya Jirga as the Interim President of the Afghan Transitional...

     organized the Afghan Peace Jirga in Kabul. that was announced after the 2009 presidential elections. The Taliban were not invited.


  • July 20–29: International Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul
  • August 6: killing of 10 members of a Christian charity's medical team in the mountains of Badakhshan.
  • August 10: Amnesty International
    Amnesty International
    Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

     states that the International Criminal Court
    International Criminal Court
    The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

     should open a formal investigation into crimes committed by the Taliban and other insurgent groups in Afghanistan.

2011


The insurgency continued strongly in 2011.

The Taliban continued attacking and ambushing NATO and Afghan troops as well as the targeted assassination of government officials.

On January 29, the deputy governor of Kandahar was killed in a suicide attack. Three months later, on April 15 the Kandahar chief police, General Khan Mohammed Mujahid was killed.

On May 28, Taliban assassinated one of their main opponents, Mohammed Daud Daud, in a bomb attack. Six others were alsokilled. He was the chief of the police for the northern of Afghanistan.

On July 12, the president's brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, the leader of the Kandahar province, was killed by his own bodyguard.

On July 18, President Karzai's advisor, Jan Mohammad Khan, was assassinated in Kabul by the Taliban in an attack that also killed an Afghan deputy.

The United Nations estimated that for the first half of 2011, the civilian deaths rose by 15% and reached 1462, which is the worst death toll since the beginning of the war and despite the surge of foreign troops.

As of July 22, 325 coalition fighters were killed, more than 55% of the deaths caused by IED's.

As of July 18, coalition forces started their plan of transition by handing power of several areas to the Afghan authority following their plan of future pull out of the country. A Taliban militant who had infiltrated the Afghan police force killed seven other policemen in Lashkar Gah. The same day the police chief of Registaan district and three other policemen were killed in bomb attacks.

ISAF General Chief David Petraeus left his position with mixed results . During his time as the head of ISAF, 3775 insurgents were killed or captured in 2832 raids while 713 NATO soldiers were killed. Overall the level of violence in the country increased. He was replaced by General John Allen.

It is reported that in 2011, the United States was spending 2 billion dollars per week fighting in Afghanistan against the Taliban. In a 2011 forecast the war in Afghanistan was estimated at 108 billion dollars for the year, while the Iraqi War was estimated at 50 billion.

Between July 20 and July 22, NATO troops killed 50 Haqquani fighters in an attack on their camp.

A US military investigation discovered that a portion of the 2 billion dollars in funds given by the United States in contracts had fallen in the hands of the insurgency.

On July 27, the mayor of Kandahar, Ghulam Haidar Hameedi, was killed in a suicide attack.

On July 28, suicide bombers and snipers attacked the police headquarters of Tarin Kowt in a large-scale attack which killed more than 21 people including Afghan reporter Ahmed Omed Khpulwak. According to the Afghan interior minister, for the 2 year period between March 19, 2009 and March 19, 2011, 2770 Afghan policemen were killed and 4785 wounded while 1052 Afghan soldiers were killed and 2413 wounded.

On July 31, 10 Afghan policemen were killed in a suicide attack in Lashkar Gah where Afghan security forces had taken over from NATO a week before. The same day, 10 Afghan guards who were protecting a NATO supplies convoy were killed in the attack. . One day before, 5 Afghans soldiers and 2 NATO soldiers were killed in a bomb attack on their patrol.

On August 6, 31 American Special Forces soldiers were killed in the crash of their helicopter probably shot down during a fight with the Taliban. Seven Afghan soldiers were also killed. This was the biggest death toll for NATO troops in the whole war. Most of the American soldiers killed were Navy SEALs.

On August 6, 4 NATO soldiers were killed, including two French Foreign Legion members, and 5 others were wounded.

See also

  • Taliban
  • Crime in Afghanistan
    Crime in Afghanistan
    Crime in Afghanistan is present in various forms, and may include the following offenses: murder, contract killing, assassination, kidnapping, drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, corruption, black marketeering, and other usual crimes...

  • Afghanistan War order of battle
    Afghanistan War order of battle
    The Afghan War order of battle is the disposition and structure of military forces in the ongoing War in Afghanistan. This article lists deployed units under the command of the International Security Assistance Force , which controls both combat and reconstruction operations . ISAF comprises units...

  • International Security Assistance Force
    International Security Assistance Force
    The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

  • Britain's role in the 2001-present Afghan war
  • Civilian casualties of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan
    Civilian casualties of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan
    The decade-long War in Afghanistan has caused the deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians directly from insurgent and foreign military action, as well as the deaths of possibly tens of thousands of Afghan civilians indirectly as a consequence of displacement, starvation, disease, exposure, lack of...

  • Coalition casualties in Afghanistan
    Coalition casualties in Afghanistan
    As of November 30, 2011, there have been 2,744 coalition deaths in Afghanistan as part of ongoing coalition operations since the invasion in 2001. In this total, the American figure is for deaths "In and Around Afghanistan" which, as defined by the U.S...

  • List of Coalition aircraft crashes in Afghanistan
  • British forces casualties in Afghanistan
  • Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan
    Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan
    The number of Canadian Forces' fatalities resulting from Canadian military activities in Afghanistan is the largest for any single Canadian military mission since the Korean War between 1950 and 1953...

  • Islamic Emirate of Waziristan
    Islamic Emirate of Waziristan
    The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan is a rebel organization, in Waziristan, Pakistan that some commentators claim gained de facto recognition from the Government of Pakistan when it was named as party to the Waziristan Accord, the agreement reached between Islamabad and local tribesmen to end the...

  • Foreign hostages in Afghanistan
    Foreign hostages in Afghanistan
    Table of contentsKey: Kidnapping and hostage taking has become a common occurrence in Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001...


External links