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Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) is the "military response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States ... assigned the name Operation Enduring Freedom, [it] was previously planned to have been called Operation Infinite Justice (this name is believed to have been changed following concerns that this might offend the Muslim community as Islam teaches that Allah is the only one who can provide Infinite Justice).".
The Operation is comprised of two operations:
- The U.S.-lead invasion of Afghanistan
- Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines (OEF-P) (formerly Operation Freedom Eagle)
OEF commenced on October 7, 2001, with "early combat operations operations [including] a mix of air strikes from land-based B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress bombers; carrier-based F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet fighters; and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from both U.S. and British ships and submarines."
"The initial military objectives of Operation Enduring Freedom, as articulated by President George W. Bush in his Sept. 20th Address to a Joint Session of Congress and his Oct. 7th address to country, include the destruction of terrorist training camps and infrastructure within Afghanistan, the capture of al Qaeda leaders, and the cessation of terrorist activities in Afghanistan."
On May 2, 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced the end of Afghan combat. However, on December 9, 2003, the U.S. military announced that it had "launched a major ground operation in Afghanistan in an effort to eliminate the remnants of al Qaeda and the Taliban regime overthrown in 2001."
Effectiveness of the invasion of Afghanistan
AFP, reporting on a news story in the Sunday, April 3, 2004, issue of The New Yorker, writes that retired Army Colonel Hy Rothstein , "who served in the Army Special Forces for more than 20 years, ... commissioned by the Pentagon to examine the war in Afghanistan concluded the conflict created conditions that have given 'warlordism, banditry and opium production a new lease on life' ...."
- Rothstein "wrote in a military analysis he gave to the Pentagon in January that the US failed to adapt to new conditions created by the Taliban's collapse, the weekly magazine reported. ... 'The failure to adjust US operations in line with the post-Taliban change in theater conditions cost the United States some of the fruits of victory and imposed additional, avoidable humanitarian and stability costs on Afghanistan,' Rothstein wrote in the report. ... 'Indeed,'" he wrote, "'the war's inadvertent effects may be more significant than we think.'"
Rothstein continues to say that the "'military should have used Special Forces to adapt to new conditions' and that the war 'effectively destroyed the Taliban but has been significantly less successful at being able to achieve the primary policy goal of ensuring that al Qaeda could no longer operate in Afghanistan.'"
The New Yorker reported that the "Pentagon returned the report to Rothstein with a request he cut it drastically and soften his conclusions ... 'There may be a kernel of truth in there, but our experts found the study rambling and not terribly informative,' Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Joseph Collins told The New Yorker."
Casualties among pro and anti-American groups in Afghanistan and the Philippines are unknown. Among the Western coalition, as of March 26, 2005, there have been 199 coalition deaths in Afghanistan and other theaters of war--163 American, 14 German, 7 Canadian, 4 British, 3 Danish, 2 French, 2 Italians, 2 Romanians, 1 Australian, and 1 Norwegian.
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