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The War in Afghanistan. By the mid 1990’s the extremist Taliban controlled most of Afghanistan, they allowed al Qaeda to live there.

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Presentation on theme: "The War in Afghanistan. By the mid 1990’s the extremist Taliban controlled most of Afghanistan, they allowed al Qaeda to live there."— Presentation transcript:

1 The War in Afghanistan

2 By the mid 1990’s the extremist Taliban controlled most of Afghanistan, they allowed al Qaeda to live there

3 9/11 attacks planned in Afghanistan

4 Global War on Terror US and NATO allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 “Operation Enduring Freedom”


6 Cities & towns taken over in 1 month

7 Rural border with Pakistan cleared in 3 months

8 Why is it so difficult to fight the war in Afghanistan?

9 1. Afghanistan is remote, mountainous, treacherous – it is hard to move soldiers and supplies

10 2. Access to Afghanistan is difficult

11 3. Much of the fighting is done in remote, mountainous regions that the Taliban know better than the US

12 4. The Taliban and al Qaeda re- grouped in Pakistan

13 5. Al Qaeda fighters are devoted to their cause

14 6. Huge cultural divide between the US and Afghanistan

15 7. No experience with democracy

16 8. Afghanistan is a very underdeveloped country

17 Government(s) Constitutional Monarchy until 1973 1973 – Military coup overthrows the monarchy and set up one-party rule 1979 – Communists overthrow the one- party rule, but many different groups rebel against the communists including the US funded Mujahideen (Pakistan and Iran also supported different groups). 1979 – Soviet Union invades in an attempt to retain Soviet communist control 1989 – Soviets withdraw in defeat 1989

18 9. Hard to tell if people are friends or foes

19 Poppies – used to make heroin, are a major crop

20 Looking Forward

21 Build schools, roads and other services Afghanistan needs

22 Train the Afghan military

23 Pull Western troops out of Afghanistan


25 Global War on Terror Then Iraq, March 20, 2003 “Operation Iraqi Freedom” Three main reason for extending the war on Terror to Iraq: 1.It was believed the Iraq had WMDs 2.It was believed Saddam Hussein was supporting Osama bin Laden 3.Desire to spread democracy in the Middle East







32 Ethnic and Religious Groups in Iraq Sunni ArabsShi’a ArabsKurds Minority in Iraq (32-37%) Minority in Iran Majority in Iraq (60-65%) Majority in Iran Separate ethnic group (15-20%) Most are Sunni, but identify with Kurds over Sunni Majority in the world and in Saudi Arabia Minority in the world and in Saudi Arabia Want to form their own country – “Kurdistan” Had power under Saddam Hussein Discriminated against by Saddam Hussein Attacked by Saddam Hussein Mostly in the central- west part of Iraq where there is little oil Mostly in the southeast part of Iraq where there is oil Mostly in the northern part of Iraq where there is oil

33 Sectarian Violence Definition- fighting between sects (recognized divisions) within a specific religion or ideology Initiated by Sunnis afraid of losing power in Iraq Carried out Guerrilla warfare - raids, ambushes, suicide bombers, Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s or roadside bombs), etc… Coordinated attacks with Al Qaeda in Iraq-an organization created AFTER the US invasion





38 Creating a Democratic Iraq Initially Iraq was run by the US government who hand-picked Iraqi leaders to work with (Coalition Provisional Authority). Goal was to create a stable Iraq until elections could be held. Elections held January 2005. Shias won, Sunnis boycotted the election. Iraqi constitution passed September 2005 In 2006, the US begins to hand over control to the Iraqi government.

39 February 2007: Launch of security surge Amid growing US concerns about continuing sectarian violence in Iraq the US institutes a new policy know as the “The Surge” sending an additional 30,000 troops to Iraq, most going to the area around Baghdad Security Surge

40 Sunni Awakening Late 2007: Sunnis switch sides After 4 years of Sunnis (along with Al Qaeda in Iraq) fighting against the US and Shia-dominated Iraqi army Sunnis switched sides and began allying with the US against Al-Qaeda in Iraq –80,000 Sunni Muslims joined the Iraqi army in exchange for money from the U.S. Sunnis also begin participating in the government


42 Security Pact (Status of Forces) Late 2008: Agreement between the US and Iraq on when US forces with be withdrawn –US forces left cities by 2009 –All U.S. forces removed from Iraq by mid 2011

43 Problems still remaining Economic –High unemployment rates –Lack of infrastructure (Roads, power lines, schools) –Most of the well educated people have fled the country –Struggle over oil-rich regions Political –Different sects still don’t get along with each other Continuing violence (though at a much lower level than 4 years ago)

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