Please Note: It is important to note that wars are intricate and complicated endeavors, and that these summaries are meant to provide a quick overview, and do not delve into the many complexities involved in each individual war.
War in Afghanistan → 2001-present (War on Terror)
On the morning of September 11, 2001, the terrorist group al Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden, carried out a series of large attacks on the United States. Three years prior to these events, the US had asked the Taliban, the ruling power in Afghanistan and an ally of al Qaeda, to surrender Bin Laden, which they refused. Following 9/11 the Taliban still would not turn him over. The US rejected the Taliban’s request for negotiations, and launched Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001, the goal of which was to capture Bin Laden, remove the Taliban from power, and to eliminate the potential for Afghanistan to be used as a safe haven by other terrorist networks.
The city of Kabul fell on October 13, 2001, shortly followed by Kandahar, the last Taliban stronghold, on December 7, which effectively marked the end of Taliban rule. In 2004 Hamid Karzai was elected President of Afghanistan. At this time the Taliban increased their use of suicide attacks and roadside bombs in an effort to regain power. According to NATO, it was expected that all international troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014 and the Afghan Army would take over as military power. On the morning of May 2, 2011 Osama Bin Laden, the man arguably responsible for the war, was killed by US Navy SEALs in Abottabad, Pakistan.
US military casualties: 3,500
Surviving Minnesota veterans: Unknown