10 years of war in Afghanistan – The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan started on October 7, 2001, in response to the 9/11 attacks. Ten years later, look back at some of the moments and key development from the conflict, which has drawn praise and criticism since its beginning.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – President George W. Bush responds to media questions in the East Room of the White House on October 11, 2001. It was his first prime-time press conference addressing the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Northern Alliance soldiers maintain radio contact from a dug-in tank position in Oykhonum, Northern Afghanistan, on November 9, 2001. The opposition forces had been fighting the larger Taliban militias for several years before the U.S. airstrikes began.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ed Dorman teaches an English class near the Bagram Air Base on April 20, 2002. As the base commander, Dorman decided to teach English to the local students to empower them to educate themselves.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Afghan protesters chant against the U.S. during an anti-America demonstration in Kabul on May 24, 2003.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Afghan militiamen stand with a rocket launcher during a disarmament ceremony in Gardez on November 13, 2003. About 600 militiamen turned in their guns during the disarmament program.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Explosives that were hidden in a handcart lay on the ground in Kabul on July 3, 2004. In an effort to foil the country's first presidential election, the Taliban swapped broader offensives for homemade bombs and guerrilla warfare techniques.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Election officials count ballots in Kabul, Afghanistan, on October 14, 2004. The country's first democratic election was held on October 9, and Hamid Karzai was sworn in as president in December.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Suicide car bombers kill an Afghan citizen and wound four others in Kabul on November 14, 2005. Another suicide car bomber killed a German soldier and wounded two other German soldiers, as well as three civilians, an hour before.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – An Afghan soldier accompanies CNN's Anderson Cooper on September 9, 2006, during a visit to Jalalabad, the site of Osama bin Laden's former compound.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – U.S. soldiers disembark from a Chinook helicopter in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan on May 28, 2007. President Bush called on NATO in February 2007 to increase troops in Afghanistan. There were already about 50,000 U.S. and NATO troops there.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – A solider looks on as C-117 plane drops food, water and other supplies onto a landing zone at an undisclosed location in the Ghazni province on May 29, 2007.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Artilerymen await coordinates before firing a 155-mm Howlitzer from Camp Blessing in the Kunar province of eastern Afghanistan on October 22, 2008. Their unit, Charlie Battery, 3rd Battalion of the 321 Field Artilery, is the busiest artilery unit in the U.S. Army, according to military officers.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Afghan elders of the Korengal Valley arrive for a meeting with U.S. and Afghan military officials on October 30, 2008, in eastern Afghanistan. The officials tried to convince them to accept a new paved road through the valley as part of a large American development project. The elders refused.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – President Bush speaks to troops during an unannounced visit to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on December 15, 2008. It was his second and last visit as president.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – A U.S. counter-intelligence Marine and his translator meet with local Afghan villagers on March 23, 2009, in Kirta, a remote area of southwest Afghanistan. Troops rely on information from local residents, many of whom are opium poppy farmers, to help thwart Taliban attacks.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Afghan men cast their votes at a polling station in Kabul on August 20, 2009, during the country's second democratic election. Voting fraud allegations lead to the scheduling of a presidential runoff vote on November 7.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – President Karzai prepares to kiss a large copy the Quran during his swearing-in ceremony in Kabul on November 19, 2009. He was elected to a second term by default when Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah dropped out of the race and the run-off election was canceled.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – U.S. Marines jump over a wall in a poppy field under heavy fire in a Taliban stronghold area in northern Marjah on March 25, 2010. Afghan poppies, which start as flowers in farmers' fields and often wind up as heroin on U.S. streets, fuel a $3 billion a year industry in Afghanistan.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – President Barack Obama visits with troops at Bagram Air Base on March 28, 2010. Obama thanked the Afghan people and U.S. troops for their sacrifices and vowed to reverse the Taliban's momentum. It was his first visit to Afghanistan as president.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – President Obama, along with members of the national security team, watch in anticipation in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1, 2011. On May 2, in the early morning hours, a small group of U.S. Forces raid a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In the ensuing firefight, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – Nicole Merkt greets her husband, Spc. Jake Merkt, from his return from Afghanistan during a welcome home celebration in Carson, Colorado, on July 9, 2011. In June, President Obama announced that all of the 33,000 additional U.S. forces deployed to Afghanistan in December 2009 will return home within 15 months. He also announced that U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end by 2014.
10 years of war in Afghanistan – U.S. Army flight medic Brandon Lowther, left, holds hands with a fatally wounded U.S. soldier who is being airlifted on August 24, 2011. With 71 casualties, August was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the conflict began.