Many will know Operation Enduring Freedom as the operational name given to the war in Afghanistan by the American government, but Operation Enduring Freedom is further reaching than this.
Operation Enduring Freedom is the name given to the war in Afghanistan along with another number of conflicts that all sit in the American category of conflicts born out of the war on terror.
Initially the operation had a different name which was “Operation Infinite Justice” but this was changed as it had religious undertones which could have offended the Muslim population of Afghanistan and caused a negative impact from the start of the conflict.
The Conflicts of Operation Enduring Freedom
In total there are seven conflicts that sit under this operational name. The one everyone knows is the war in Afghanistan, but the others are the conflicts in the Philippines, Horn of Africa, Pankisi Gorge, Trans Sahara, Caribbean and Central America and Kyrgyzstan.
Of all these conflicts only those in Kyrgyzstan and Pankisi Gorge have finished, both of which finished in 2004.
Operation Enduring Freedom Timeline
On 11th September 2001 the world stood still as two planes crashed into the world trade center in New York, along with a further plane hitting the Pentagon. Because of the devastating impact on the World Trade Centres’ two towers both of them collapsed and nearly three thousand people perished.
By 20th September 2011 it was announced that Osama Bin Laden, leader of Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack. It was also on the 20th September that the American president at the time, George W. Bush, announced that America and her allies were going to terrorist training camps and building infrastructures as well as capture Al-Qaeda senior leaders.
On 7th October 2001 Operation Enduring Freedom started with the conflict in Afghanistan. The initial attacks came in the form of air strikes and missiles launched from both US and UK Navy ships.
By January of the next year the US sent 1,200 soldiers into the Philippines to support the Philippine army in eradicating terrorists, a conflict that is still ongoing today.
By October 2002 the US set a Naval force along with other coalition countries to Djibouti. This force is called the Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) and is a massive group of heavily armed ships used for humanitarian missions and also for checked for illegal cargo and training local troops.
In February 2002 a force of 200 American Special Forces were sent into Georgia. This force was not for conflict itself but to train Georgian troops so they can protect the Pankisi Gorge from Chechen rebels who used the area as a place of transit.
On the 6th February 2007 the Americans and supporting nations from Africa started the military operation to stop drugs and arms trafficking along with counterterrorism efforts in the Sahara region of Africa.
The Caribbean and Central America part of Operation Enduring Freedom started in 2008, this involved a group of Special Forces being sent into Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Suriname to detect terrorist cells.
In December 2001 the Americans opened their military installation called Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan. This base is an important centre for the military operations America carries out in Afghanistan. The base has been pivotal to US operations in Asia and beyond and as such America has agreed to pay higher rent to continue the use of the base.