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Operation Enduring Freedom

After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States declared war against global terrorism. President Bush began the initial response through Executive Order, seizing terrorists' financial assets and disrupting their fundraising. Deployment of American troops to Afghanistan and neighboring countries soon followed.

The military response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the United States was originally called "Operation Infinite Justice", but quickly changed to "Operation Enduring Freedom." It is now believed to have been changed due to concerns the original name might have offend the Muslim community as Islam teaches that Allah is the only one who can provide Infinite Justice.

Combat operations commenced on Oct. 7, 2001, including air strikes from land-based bombers; carrier-based fighters; and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from both U.S. and British ships and submarines.

By October 20th the Taliban air defenses had been virtually destroyed and special operation teams had conducted a successful mission at the residence of Mullah Omar in Qandahar, the Taliban capital. Within three weeks, the provincial capital of Mazar-e Sharif fell, and in rapid succession, Herat, Kabul, and Jalalabad followed. By mid- December, U.S. Marines had secured Qandahar Airport.

On December 22, a ceremony was held marking the inauguration of the Afghan interim government, just 78 days after the commencement of combat operations.

CNN News keeps a running tally of the soldiers, Marines, airmen, and sailors whose deaths have been reported by their country's governments. The troops died in support of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom or were part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

View the current Casualty List HERE

News Archives and Timeline of Operation Enduring Freedom

Daily Updates from the Center for Defense Information


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Last updated: 12 Jul 2010