Modern War In An Ancient Land

Modern War In An Ancient Land
Modern War in an Ancient Land: The United States Army in Afghanistan, 2001-2014(Volume I and II)
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Modern War in an Ancient Land: The United States Army in Afghanistan, 2001–2014 examines the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan in October 2001 and the thirteen-plus years of conflict that followed. Whether sent to Afghanistan to counter terrorists, defeat an insurgency, develop institutions, or support a democracy, Army commanders operated under the assumption that by securing Afghans and their fledgling national government, the U.S. military was protecting America and the Western way of life. For more than a decade, Army formations deployed to Afghanistan to forge a country that would remain unified, at peace with its neighbors, and inhospitable to terrorists who expressed their hatred of the American homeland through violence.

Complete with graphic depictions of war on the ground and multiple maps, this resource provides a comprehensive and historical perspective on “America’s longest war.”





Table of Contents

Foreword  xiii

Preface xvii

Prologue  1

The Taliban  2

The Birth of al-Qaeda  8

U.S. Army Operations from the Post–Cold War Era to 11 September 2001  12

The Institutional Army before 11 September 2001  18

Factors Influencing U.S. Strategic Views in 2001   24

Arrayal of Forces in September 2001 28

SECTION 1: Liberation Introduction 33

1. The American Response to 11 September 2001 35

The Global War on Terrorism 36

The Bush Doctrine  41

Coalition Building  47

Planning for OEF-Afghanistan 50

The September 11th Attacks and the U.S. Army 

Preparing for Battle 66

Fleshing Out the Theater Framework  68

Initial Deployment of Conventional Forces  70

Opening Moves   71

2. Initial Combat Operations 79

The First Shots   79

Into the Heart of Taliban Country  81

Bringing the United Front into the Fight  84

The United Front   87

More Americans Join the Fight  93

Catastrophic Success 95

Second Foray into the Taliban’s Heartland 99

Adapting to a Dynamic Operational Environment 102

The Conflict Goes International 112

All Roads Lead to Kandahar   117

Expanding the Hunt for al-Qaeda  119

viii 3. Path to Victory 127

The U.S. Army Enters in Force 130

Success Creates Growing Complexity   134

Playing the “Long Game”  136

New Boots on the Ground for Evolving Missions 141

Planning for the Shahi Kot  143

Into the Shahi Kot 151

Day Two and Beyond 157

Pushing South  162

Winding Up Anaconda   165

Securing the High Ground  168

Operation Polar Harpoon   169

4. A Campaign in Transition   171

Creating the Afghan National Army   173

CFLCC Prepared to Hand Over  176

The Last Enclave: Mountain Lion  180

Conclusion  185

SECTION 2: Searching For A Solution Introduction  191

Political Setting as of May 2002   194

The Operating Environment  198

Enemy Situation as of May 2002   201

The Emergence of Drone Strikes in Pakistan   204

5. Counterterrorism as an Operational Approach  207

Planning Collides with Reality  208

Counterterrorism  212

From Civil Affairs Task Forces to Reconstruction Teams 222

Replacing Warlords with Government Security Forces   228

The Army Adapts to the Campaigns  233

Denying Sanctuary in Eastern Afghanistan   243

General Vines in Command   248

Apparent Success  253

6. Counterinsurgency as an Operational Approach  25

7 Political Setting as of September 2003  259

Enemy Situation as of September 2003   263

A New Operational Approach  266

General Barno’s First Three Months   273

Accelerating Success  276

Election Preparations   287

Measuring Success   302

Chapter Page ix The U.S. Army Meeting Unanticipated Strategic Needs  305

7. Afghan and ISAF Expansion as an Operational Approach  319

Political Setting as of May 2005  321

Enemy Situation as of May 2005   324

Posturing for a Long War  326

Developing Afghan Government Security Forces   330

The End of the Bonn Process   339

Conclusion  345

Forward Deployed in Afghanistan   345

Back in the United States   347

Bibliographical Note   351

Documents and Publications  351

Oral History Interviews and Manuscript Sources  352

Secondary Sources   353

Operation Enduring Freedom Study Group Biographies  357

Appendix: U.S. Military Terminology and Definitions   361

Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Key Terms   381

Map Symbols and Note Terms  383

Index   387


Department of Defense officials and military leaders, Middle East veterans, Military and Afghanistan historians, University and College professors, instructors, students of military history, War College professors, international and domestic press, reporters and commentators.

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