War on Terror

Post-Cold War Europe

Europe 2003.0413

War on Terror

Europe after the Cold War (13 April 2003)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

On September 11, 2001, the Islamist terrorist organization of al-Qaeda launched multiple suicide attacks in the United States. The US responded with a a global military campaign to destroy al-Qaeda and its affiliates. First it overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda's primary hosts. Then, more controversially, it invaded Iraq (which was hostile to the US but had no clear links to world terrorism).

Main Events

Russia occupies Chechen capital of Grozny

September 11 Attacks

Nineteen members of the terrorist group Al Qaeda hijacked four commercial airplanes, crashing two into the World Trade Center in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, with the fourth crashing in Pennsylvania en route to Washington, DC.

Operation Enduring Freedom

Following the September 11 Attacks, the United States joined forces with NATO and a coalition of other states to intervene in Afghanistan, supporting the Northern Alliance against the rival Taliban regime which was harboring Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The Allies invaded Afghanistan on 7 October, with the Northern Alliance capturing the capital Kabul on 13 November.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Alleging that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction, the United States formed a "Coalition of the Willing" to invade the country in March 2003. Although Coalition forces defeated the ruling Ba'ath Party by early May of that year, no such weapons were found, and a state of war continued to exist between the Coalition and domestic insurgent groups until US withdrawal in 2011.

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