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Eighteen years ago, al Qaida terrorists who had entered the United States attacked the United States in the United States.
In response, we launched a war on the other side of the world.
Lead - Inspector - Operation - Freedom - Sentinel
The lead inspector general for Operation Freedom's Sentinel — the current name for the war in Afghanistan — described that war's genesis and original purpose in his latest report.
"On October 7, 2001," said that report, "the United States launched combat operations in Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom to topple the Taliban regime and eliminate al Qaida, the terrorist organization responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States."
US - Action - Taliban - Power - Kabul
U.S. military action did remove the Taliban from power in Kabul, but it did not destroy the Taliban. It did kill or capture many al Qaida terrorists, but it did not eliminate al Qaida.
In 2003, after invading Iraq, then-President George W. Bush converted the strategic aim of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq — and, indeed, the world — into an ideological enterprise.
Afghanistan - Iraq - Palestine - Bush - Deck
"We are committed to freedom in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in a peaceful Palestine," Bush said, standing on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln off the coast of San Diego.
"The advance of freedom is the surest strategy to undermine the appeal of terror in the world," Bush said. "Where freedom takes hold, hatred gives way to hope. When freedom takes hold, men and women turn to the peaceful pursuit of a better life. American values and American interests lead in the same direction: We stand for human liberty."
Years - Bush - Doctrine - Centerpiece - Inaugural
Two years later, Bush made this doctrine the centerpiece of his second Inaugural Address.
"(I)t is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world," he said.
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