아프카니스탄 전쟁은 2001년 10월7일에 시작하였다. 1996년 제2차 아프카니스탄 내전에 승리한 텔레반 정권은 폭압 정치를 하며 다스리고 있었다. 또한 탈레반에 저항하는 무자헤딘 잔당과 군벌들 간의 제3차 아프카니스탄 내전으로 수백만 명이 사망하였다.
그리고 2001년 9월 11일 이슬람 테러 단체 알 카에다에 의한 911테러가 발생하자 미국의 죠지 부시 대통령은 군사 보복을 명령, 9월 14일 하원으로부터 테러와의 전쟁을 위한 120억 달러의 예산을 추가 배정하였다.
2001년 10월 7일 미국과 영국은 미사일과 항공기로 아프간 전역을 공습하여 전쟁을 시작하였다. 또한 동시에 아프가니스탄 중부에 있는 반탈레반 부족 하자라족의 거주 지역에 3만 7500개의 개인 식량을 투하해 탈레반 공격을 종용하였다.
5월 2일부터 다국적군이 파키스탄 국경 지역에서 산악사자 작전을 개시해 2개월 동안 아프간 동부 산악동굴 지대를 수색해 수백 명의 탈레반 군대와 알 카에다의 잔당들을 소탕하였고 수일 동안의 교전과 군사력 증강을 반복하여 11월 9일 탈레반에 저항하는 군벌 조직인 북부 동맹이 마지르 이 샤리프를 함락시켰다.
11월 13일 마침내 미영 연합군과 아프간 동맹군이 수도 카불을 함락시켰고 미군은 대규모 전투인 토라 보라 전투를 벌여 12월 7일 탈레반의 거점 칸타하르까지 넘어가면서 탈레반 정권은 완전히 붕괴하였다.
2002년 6월 13일 미국은 파슈툰족 출신 하미드 카르자이를 대통령으로 하는 과도 정부를 수립하였고 망명 생활을 하던 옛 아프카니스탄 왕국의 마지막 국왕 무함마드 자히르 샤가 귀국하였다.
하지만 전쟁은 끝나지 않고 도주한 탈레반 지도자와 잔당들이 계속 항전을 벌이고 곳곳에서 종족 간의 유혈 충돌도 발생해 아프간 전역은 전쟁 전보다 더욱 큰 혼란에 휩싸이게 되었다.
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아프가니스탄 이슬람 공화국은 서남아시아와 중앙아시아에 걸쳐 있는 내륙국이다. 북쪽은 투르크메니스탄, 우즈베키스탄,타지키스탄 북동쪽은 중화인민공화국, 동쪽과 남쪽은 파키스탄, 서쪽은 이란과 맞닿아 있다. 수도는 카불이다. 아프가니스탄은 세계 최빈국으로 손꼽힌다.
오늘날 '아프가니스탄'으로 알려진 이 지역은 유구한 역사를 지니고 있으며, 고대에 비단길과 이주의 중심지였다. 또 중앙아시아와 이란 사이에 있어 전략적 요충지이기도 하였다. 이 땅은 수많은 침략자들의 표적이었으며, 한편으로는 이곳에서 이웃 지역을 침공하여 제국을 이루는 경우도 있었다. 1747년, 아흐마드 샤 두라니는 두라니 제국을 세웠는데, 이 때가 근대 아프가니스탄의 시발점으로 여겨진다. 나중에 두라니 제국의 도읍은 칸다하르에서 카불로 옮겨졌으며, 제국 영토 대부분은 이웃 강국들에게 빼앗겼다. 19세기 말, 영국령 인도 제국과 러시아 제국이 "거대한 경쟁"(The Great Game)을 벌이는 가운데 아프가니스탄은 두 제국의 완충국으로 전락하였다. 제3차 영국-아프카니스탄 전쟁 이후 1919년 8월 19일에 이 나라는 영국에게서 독립을 쟁취하였다.
1970년대 말부터 아프가니스탄은 내전 상태에 빠진 상황이며, 1979년에 소비에트 연방의 아프카니스탄 침공과 2001년 미국 주도로 텔레반을 축출한 아프카니스탄 전쟁으로 외국의 점령을 겪게 된다. 2001년 말, 국제 연합 안전보장이사회는 NATO 군대로 구성된 국제 안보 지원군 (ISAF) 창설을 승인하였다. 아프가니스탄은 후발 개발도상국의 하나로, 농업과 목축에의 의존도가 높다. 현재 해외 원조로 재건되고 있으나 심각한 내부 분쟁을 겪고 있다.
Coalition soldiers leave after taking part in a military operation against Taliban militants who attacked the Inter-Continental hotel in Kabul on June 29. Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the hotel, sparking a five-hour battle with Afghan commandos backed by a NATO helicopter. At least 21 people, including several civilians, were killed.
A policeman stands guard June 26 during a Kabul meeting for losing candidates in the September 2010 Afghan election, who have now been declared winners following a special investigative tribunal investigating alleged voting irregularities. There are 62 members of parliament who are alleged to have committed voting irregularities and fraud but who now refuse to leave parliament, creating an impasse for these candidates who are now unable to take their seats in the parliament.
A U.S. soldier follows Afghan soldiers during a patrol in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan on June 22.
A child pushes a cart filled with water cans while walking on a dusty road in Kabul on May 31. Despite massive injections of foreign aid since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan remains desperately poor with some of the lowest living standards in the world.
Girls run at a camp in Kabul on World Refugee Day on June 20. More than 4.6 million Afghan refugees have returned home since 2002.
U.S. soldiers hide in a bunker during a mortar attack at Combat Outpost Sabari on June 18. Sabari district is one of the most volatile in Khost province, which borders on Pakistan and is seeing a growing coalition offensive against highly active insurgents.
Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, center, sits near the coffin of slain police chief, General Mohammed Daoud Daoud, who was killed in a suicide bombing at a provincial governor's office in Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province on May 29. The police commander for northern Afghanistan and two German soldiers were among six people killed on May 28 in a suicide bombing at a provincial governor's office, officials said. The attacker struck in Taloqan soon after a meeting regarding security had finished. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Security personnel in plain clothes carry the body of a would-be suicide bomber after he was killed during an attack at a Kabul police station on June 18. Suicide bombers in army uniform attacked the compound, killing two policemen and a civilian in the second major attack inside the Afghan capital in under a month, Afghan officials said.
Canadian soldiers from the 6th Platoon, Bulldog Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Royal Regiment search inside a barn during a patrol in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province on June 13. Canada will end its combat role in Afghanistan by the end of July, after nearly ten years of fighting.
U.S. Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province, on June 12.
Lance Cpl. Blas Trevino of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, shouts out as he reaches a U.S. Army medevac helicopter. Trevino was shot in the stomach outside Sangin in Helmand Province on June 11. The helicopter crew needed two attempts to get him out, as they were fired upon and took five rounds of bullets into the tail of their aircraft.
Heavy equipment works on the construction of the Bamiyan-Yakawlang road on June 10 in Yakawlang. The $69 million project is supported by the government of Japan and the World Bank and will enable faster travel from Bamiyan to Afghanistan's only national park, Band-e-Amir. This is one of the safest parts of the country and the hope is to expand tourism in the region.
Villagers offer prayers during the funeral ceremony for members of a wedding party killed by gunmen in the Dur Baba district of Nangarhar province on June 9. The groom was reported to be among nine people killed.
A security guard at the opening ceremony of the Naser Khusro Balkhi Library in Kabul on June 6. The library was funded by The Aga Khan Foundation.
Food supplies for U.S. Marines hanging off small parachutes are dropped from a plane outside Forward Operating Base Edi in Helmand Province on June 2.
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Afghanistan, May 2011
A wounded Italian soldier is helped after a blast near a military base in Herat on May 30. At least two suicide bombers were involved in an attack near the Italian-run base in the main city in western Afghanistan, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.
American soldiers hold candles to mark Memorial Day at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' headquarters in Kabul on May 29.
Australian special forces soldiers embrace as a plane carrying Sergeant Brett Wood departs Tarin Kot Airfield in Uruzgan on May 28. The commando was killed during a partnered Special Operations Task Group and Afghan National Police mission.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, third left, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, center, arrive for a joint press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul on May 24. Rasmussen was in Afghanistan on a surprise one-day visit and met President Karzai to discuss the transition of security from NATO-led troops to Afghan security forces due to begin in July.
U.S. soldiers take position near the scene of an explosion in Kandahar on May 22. Two police officers suffered injuries when a motorcycle laden with explosives detonated as they tried to disarm it
Men try to carry a victim from the scene of a suicide attack in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province on May 18. Afghan officials said at least 10 people were killed in a bomb attack on a police bus that was traveling to a police academy in eastern Afghanistan.
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Shepherd boy Asadullah Daad Mohammad, 12, listens to his father, Daad Mohammad Pir Mohammad, before he stands up on his artificial legs for the first time on May 15. Asadullah was brought to the International Committee of the Red Cross Orthopedic Center in Kabul about ten days earlier. Asadullah lost his two legs, left eye and a finger most likely after he stepped on a land mine while he was out with his goats and sheep in Paktya province, south of Kabul, about five months ago.
Children run after kites near a destroyed tomb in Kabul on May 13.
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, left, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai attend a luncheon at the presidential palace in Kabul on May 12.
Afghan forces take photographs of a Taliban fighter's body in Kandahar on May 9. He was killed during a two-day assault on government buildings in the city.
A member of the Afghan border police force fires towards Taliban fighters who are hidden inside the Traffic Department building, which has smoke rising from its rooftop, in Kandahar on May 8. The Taliban unleashed a major assault on government buildings throughout Afghanistan's main southern city, an attack that cast doubt on how successful the U.S.-led coalition has been in its military campaign to establish security and stability in the former Taliban stronghold.
A U.S. armored military vehicle is parked near a building which was attacked by Taliban fighters in Kandahar on May 8. Afghan security forces clashed with militants in Kandahar for a second day after the Taliban unleashed a major assault on government buildings in the southern city, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Cesaitis secures a grape drying facility on May 8, as members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul and the U.S. Department of Agriculture visit a village near the city of Qalat in Zabul Province.
Villagers surround the body of a man who was allegedly killed in a U.S. operation in Surkhrod district, Nangarhar province, on May 7. Villagers claimed that U.S.-led coalition forces killed the man.
Afghans watch television coverage announcing the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden at a restaurant in Kabul on May 2.
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Members of the U.S military walk through opium poppy fields during a joint patrol with Afghanistan National Police in Habibullah village in Khanashin District, Helman province, on April 24.
U.S. Army Lance Cpl. Forrest Johnson of Route Clearance Platoon 3rd Light Armored Reconaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division (Forward) rests on the desert sand next to vehicles at Patrol Base Torbert in Banadar corridor, Garmsher district, Helmand province on April 20. The Marines were to search for Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) set by insurgents.
U.S. Marines from Apache Company of the Company A and Route Clearance Platoon 3rd Light Armored Reconaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division (Forward) detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) near Patrol Base Torbert, Helmand province, on April 19.
U.S. Army soldiers approach a local man for questioning during a patrol near the village of Sai'dano Kalache in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar on April 15.
A new mosque sits next to a U.S.-Afghan military post in the village of Tarok Kalache in the Arghandab Valley, north of Kandahar on April 11. The village was destroyed by U.S. war planes on October 6, 2010 after U.S. Army commanders determined it was being used as a base of operations by Taliban fighters. The U.S. government is now paying for the rebuilding of this village and two others that were also hit by U.S. air strikes.
US soldier Sgt Jessica Clymen from 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regimental Combat Team 8 keeps watch in the town of Musa Qala in Helmand province on April 9.
Protestors beat a burning effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama during a demonstration in Jalalabad on April 3. Afghan protests against the burning of a Quran in Florida entered a third day with a demonstration in the major eastern city.
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The bustling streets of Kabul on March 31. Urban planners, investors and government officials are working to develop 'New Kabul City,' a modern urban area about a 30-minute drive north of the capital.
Laborers walk in front of a mural in the old city of Kabul on March 28.
A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter from Alpha Company 7-101 Aviation Regiment fires protective flares while flying over Kandahar province on March 25.
Afghan detainees inside the Parwan detention facility near the Bagram air base on March 23. 'Black sites', the secret network of jails that grew up after the Sept. 11 attacks, are gone. But suspected terrorists are still being held under hazy circumstances with uncertain rights in secret, military-run jails across Afghanistan, where they can be interrogated for weeks without charge, according to U.S. officials who revealed details of the top-secret network to The Associated Press.
A girl named Aishya stands on a mountain on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year ceremony, held at the Sakhi shrine in Kabul on March 21.
Volunteers from the Afghan Red Crescent Society carry a donation box raising money for people affected by Japan's earthquake and tsunami, in Kabul on March 20.
A U.S. Army soldier from Company C, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, MEDEVAC unit walks through their housing complex at Kandahar airfield on March 19.
Street boys burn rubbish on the shore of a river in Kabul on March 13.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks to U.S. Marines during his visit to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment at Forward Operating Base Sabit Qadam in Helmand province on March 8.
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets with Khanum Gul, 35, a mother of 8 and her youngest son, Samir at their makeshift home at Tamil Mill Bus site in Kabul on March 2. When Jolie last visited Khanum Gul, Samir was a newly born baby of 14 days. Now he's two and a half years old, but having medical problems.
Would-be suicide bomber Akhtar Nawaz, 14, from South Waziristan, Pakistan, speaks as Lutfullah Mashal, spokesman for the Afghan intelligence service, right, looks on during a news conference in Kabul on Feb. 26. The Afghan intelligence service announced the arrests of a Pakistani boy and two teenagers - one from Afghanistan and the other from Pakistan - who claimed they had been coerced into becoming would-be suicide bombers. All three appeared at a news conference and recounted stories of how militants forced them into becoming suicide attackers for the insurgency.
Smoke rises from the area where three suicide bombers burst into a branch of Kabul Bank and detonated their devices in Jalalabad on Feb. 19. At least nine people died in the attack and 70 were injured, NBC News reported. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the group, Zabiullah Mujahid, said militants targeted Afghan forces who were at the branch to collect their pay.
On Feb. 15, people survey the scene where Taliban militants made an attack targeting police headquarters in Kandahar three days earlier. Seventeen people - 15 policemen, an Afghan army soldier, and a civilian - were killed and 60 others wounded in attacks by Taliban militants in Kandahar on Feb. 12. Afghan security forces killed four suicide bombers, while one wounded insurgent was detained.
A private security guard on duty in a neighborhood in the center of Kandahar on Feb. 13.
President Hamid Karzai holds a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Feb. 8. Karzai called on his Western allies to close down civil-military provincial reconstruction projects (PRTs) that have served their purpose, likening the PRTs to a plumber whose services were no longer required.
A US Marine from 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, Bravo company launches an FMG-148 Javelin anti-tank missile at Mirage patrol base, Musa Qala District, Helmand province on Feb. 8.
Australian Defence Force engineers carry the casket of their friend and colleague Cpl. Richard Atkinson at Multinational Base Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province on Feb. 5. Atkinson was killed by an improvised explosive device during a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army in the Tangi Valley on Feb. 2.
An injured woman is escorted out of a supermarket in Kabul after an explosion on Jan. 28. 14 people were killed in the attack on a grocery store popular with foreigners.
Parliamentarians pray during the opening of the new parliament in Kabul on Jan. 26. President Hamid Karzai opened the country's second post-Taliban parliament amid tight security and in the wake of political wrangling between the president and lawmakers that plunged the country deeper into crisis.
A Hungarian legionnaire from the French Foreign Legion stops an Afghan man on a motorcyle near Tagab in Kapisa province on Jan. 25. The French Foreign Legion, a military unit established in 1831, was created for foreign nationals of any nationality wishing to serve in the French armed forces.
An armored vehicle of US Marines from 1st Battalion 8th, Bravo is seen in front of the Milky Way galaxy during an operation in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province on Jan. 23.
A convoy of United States military supply vehicles is seen from the air traveling in the desert near Lashkar Gah, in central Helmand province on Jan. 21.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets with U.S. troops in Maidan in Wardak province on Jan. 11.