The War in Afghanistan
Once the communist government of Afghanistan fell in the year 1992, a civil war was being fought between various groups of fighters, the Mujahdeen, who were ant-communist. It was in this chaotic realm that Mullah Mohammed Omar became a leader of a new fighting group. He called them the "Taliban."
The word Taliban translates to "student." Many of Omar's first recruits were students of Islam. Those members of the Taliban were also part of the ethnic group the Pashtun and they were seeking to impose their version of Islamic law on the country. They were extremists to put it mildly. Under the laws of the Taliban women could not go to school nor could they work outside of their homes.
The men had to grow beards and regularly attend religious services and those that belonged to a religious minority had to wear clothing that identified them as non-Islamic. No television, no statues or idols that were not Islamic were allowed. These artifacts were destroyed resulting in the destruction of many valuable ancient relics.
Osama Bin Laden & the Taliban
The new Taliban rule under Omar attracted many other extremists and one of these was Osama bin Laden. He was the leader of the terrorist group called al-Qaeda. As a wealthy Saudi Arabian son, he decided to help and financially support the Taliban ruled government.
Osama bin Laden's history with Afghanistan dates back to the invasion of the Soviets in the year 1979. He supported the jihad that was part of the resistance against the Soviets and it was an ironic note that during that time period the United States was a huge supporter of the resistance of Afghanistan. They helped to set up in Pakistan, schools for refugee children that ironically turned into a place for the radicals of Islam to train.
The Conflict in Afghanistan Today
After the terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda on September 11th, 2001 on the U.S. Pentagon and the New York City World Trade Center, the United States under the leadership of President George Bush began the campaign called "Operation Enduring Freedom" a conflict with Afghanistan. The war in Iraq later on distracted the carrying out of the goals in Afghanistan and the fugitive Osama bin Laden is still at large. Many argue that the U.S. should never have engaged in conflict in Iraq, but instead should have focused all their military might to finishing what was begun in Afghanistan.
Currently many of those members of the United States government are calling for an end to the Iraq conflict in order to focus all the military's attentions on finishing what was started with the campaign "Operation Enduring Freedom." Many of the citizens of the United States agree with this assessment as more than 10 billion dollars a month is going towards these conflicts. The only goal reached in Iraq was getting rid of Saddam Hussein. The government is still not stable and doesn't appear to be so any time soon.
Afghanistan is supposedly where Osama bin Laden has been hiding out and for many Americans capturing the man responsible for the deaths of more than 3000 Americans in a most vicious terrorist attack is much more important than what the military is trying to accomplish in Iraq.