Reflections

Sixteen Years and Counting: The Afghan War Grinds On

Oct 7, 2017 | 14:43 GMT
As the 10th anniversary of the Afghanistan War neared in 2011, a U.S. soldier readies his weapon at a forward operating base.

A U.S. soldier prepares to head out on a mission at Forward Operating Base Kuschamond in Afghanistan early on September 11, 2011.

(JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States has reached another grim milestone in its war in Afghanistan. On Oct. 7, U.S. forces marked their 16th year of involvement in the conflict that began as retaliation against al Qaeda, which had plotted the 9/11 attacks under the sanctuary of Afghanistan's erstwhile Taliban government. This year's anniversary comes as another change in the U.S. approach to the long-running conflict is unfolding. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has proposed a revitalized plan to break the ongoing stalemate between the Taliban-led insurgency and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The plan Mattis outlined Oct. 3 during a hearing of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee would reshape both the tactical and strategic approaches taken by the United States in the war. This marks the latest attempt by Washington to reach for a fresh solution to resolve the Afghan quagmire, the longest-running war in the country's history....

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