Do you ever have one of those moments in your life in which you will never forget where you were? I remember waking up early on September 11, 2001, getting ready for school and my dad telling me hurry up to watch the news with him. Being in 8th grade at the time, the news really wasn’t something I would watch in the mornings so I knew it had to be something important. Then I saw it. An airplane crashing into a tower, people panicking, and mayhem ensuing in a city very well known to me. When any tragic event like 9/11 occurs, the effect it will have on a nation is tremendous. It left America in shock, anger, and sadness just to name a few adjectives to describe the insurmountable amount of feelings that we felt on that day. With America being such a powerful nation, after recovering from the attack the next ideal step would be to seek retaliation, right? Well on October 7th 2001, the war in Afghanistan began marking the first step in the War on Terror.
The 9/11 tragedy was very devastating to the American morale and our sense of security. America being so powerful and strong it may be logical to see how we had a false sense of security when it came to attacks on us. I mean, who would really want to attack one of the strongest nations on Earth? No other nation in their right mind would, right? Wrong. When those two planes hit our towers and another hitting the pentagon we were slapped with a reality check. We weren’t as safe as we thought we were. To add onto things, on September 18th and October 9th, 2001, we were hit by the anthrax attack that killed five and injured seventeen Americans. Something had to be done about this. We shouldn’t be letting other nations attack us like this. So George W. Bush began the War on Terror.
The single person who took responsibility for these attacks on America is the notorious Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden founded the jihadist terrorist organization known as al-Qaeda at around 1988 to late 1989. The al-Qaeda, which translates into “The Base,” is well known for the September 11th attacks on the United States, but is also responsible for the 1998 US embassy bombings as well as the 2002 bombings in Bali. The war on terror started with America going on the offensive against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. With Osama bin laden becoming the most wanted criminal in the United States, if not the entire world, other countries would join in our attempt to dismantle the al-Qaeda and their usage of Afghanistan as a home base. Australia, United Kingdom, and the united afghan front became our allies in the war in Afghanistan. These nations would launch Operation Enduring Freedom. While Operation Enduring Freedom was mainly targeting Afghanistan, it also had many subordinate operations. Along with Afghanistan, there were operations in the Philippines, Horn of Africa/Somalia, Pankisi Gorge, Trans Sahara, Caribbean and Central America, and Kyrgyzstan. The terrorist regimes were placed all over the world and the nations fighting terrorism found it necessary to assist these other countries in eliminating those hostile forces in their territory. Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines is a currently active mission to fight the terrorist forces of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Abu Sayyaf is an Islamist separatist group that was residing around the southern islands of the Republic of the Philippines while Jamaah Islamiyah is a militant Islamic terrorist group that was spread out through Southeast Asia in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, parts of Thailand, and the Philippines. This operation is still ongoing and has tallied 17 US soldier casualties with >315 enemies killed, including Abu Sayyaf leader Janjalani.
Another one of the Operation Enduring Freedom missions was the Horn of Africa (Northeast Africa/Somali Peninsula). This mission was dedicated to stopping terrorism and piracy in the Horn of Africa. The United States lost 29 due to non-combat fatalities, but so far have been...