Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 7, 2011

Ten years of enduring freedom

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on October 7, 2011

On October 7, 2001 US and British forces began major operations — Operation Enduring Freedom — against the Taliban-led government of Afghanistan.  Following is a transcript of what President Bush told us that Sunday afternoon.


Good afternoon. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against Al Qaida terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.

We are joined in this operation by our staunch friend Great Britain. Other close friends, including Canada, Australia, Germany, and France, have pledged forces as the operation unfolds. More than 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and across Asia have granted air transit or landing rights. Many more have shared intelligence. We are supported by the collective will of the world.

More than 2 weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: Close terrorist training camps; hand over leaders of the Al Qaida network; and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens, unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met. And now the Taliban will pay a price. By destroying camps and disrupting communications, we will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans.

Initially, the terrorists may burrow deeper into caves and other entrenched hiding places. Our military action is also designed to clear the way for sustained, comprehensive, and relentless operations to drive them out and bring them to justice.

At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets, we’ll also drop food, medicine, and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan.

The United States of America is a friend to the Afghan people, and we are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith. The United States of America is an enemy of those who aid terrorists and of the barbaric criminals who profane a great religion by committing murder in its name.

This military action is a part of our campaign against terrorism, another front in a war that has already been joined through diplomacy, intelligence, the freezing of financial assets, and the arrests of known terrorists by law enforcement agents in 38 countries. Given the nature and reach of our enemies, we will win this conflict by the patient accumulation of successes, by meeting a series of challenges with determination and will and purpose.

Today we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader. Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict, there is no neutral ground. If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers, themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril.

I’m speaking to you today from the Treaty Room of the White House, a place where American Presidents have worked for peace. We’re a peaceful nation. Yet, as we have learned so suddenly and so tragically, there can be no peace in a world of sudden terror. In the face of today’s new threat, the only way to pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten it.

We did not ask for this mission, but we will fulfill it. The name of today’s military operation is Enduring Freedom. We defend not only our precious freedoms but also the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear.

I know many Americans feel fear today, and our Government is taking strong precautions. All law enforcement and intelligence agencies are working aggressively around America, around the world, and around the clock. At my request, many Governors have activated the National Guard to strengthen airport security. We have called up Reserves to reinforce our military capability and strengthen the protection of our homeland.

In the months ahead, our patience will be one of our strengths: patience with the long waits that will result from tighter security; patience and understanding that it will take time to achieve our goals; patience in all the sacrifices that may come.

Today those sacrifices are being made by members of our Armed Forces who now defend us so far from home, and by their proud and worried families. A Commander in Chief sends America’s sons and daughters into a battle in a foreign land only after the greatest care and a lot of prayer. We ask a lot of those who wear our uniform. We ask them to leave their loved ones, to travel great distances, to risk injury, even to be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. They are dedicated; they are honorable; they represent the best of our country. And we are grateful.

To all the men and women in our military—every sailor, every soldier, every airman, every coastguardsman, every marine— I say this: Your mission is defined; your objectives are clear; your goal is just; you have my full confidence; and you will have every tool you need to carry out your duty.

I recently received a touching letter that says a lot about the state of America in these difficult times, a letter from a fourthgrade girl with a father in the military: “As much as I don’t want my dad to fight,” she wrote, “I’m willing to give him to you.”

This is a precious gift, the greatest she could give. This young girl knows what America is all about. Since September 11, an entire generation of young Americans has gained new understanding of the value of freedom and its cost in duty and in sacrifice.

The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.

Thank you. May God continue to bless America.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

October 7, 2011 @ 6:52 am

A useful redux! Without closely analyzing the entirety of the document I note that it links direct AQ with the Taliban and also refers to the Taliban as the governors of Afghanistan. If that is in fact the basis of the original deployment I can only assess based on open source that we have been defeated in detail by the Taliban and eventually given US withdrawal of its forces defeated in the whole by the TALIBAN that will then again defeat the WARLORDS and Karzai Regime.

Well another page in Afghanistan history and perhaps the egos of the flag ranks have been sated in part by not honestly and straight forwardly speaking truth to the Commander-In-Chief that the militarization of USA foreign policy is largely a mistake and foreign relations should not be left in the hands of DoD contractors. Others may differ in their conclusions.

The current estimate is $4T spent in Iraq and
Afghanistan and perhaps as much as $30T spent through the back door of the FED to support domestic and international banksters. All of this most done without any close review or approval by the sheeple of the USA.

If I am wrong in my conclusions please prove it to me!

The fact seems to be that yes we can overthrow dictators but reform the historical cultures and choices of other peoples–NEVER or almost NEVER!

And with Putin’s re-ascension can we honestly say we WON the Cold War? Or is a more accurate assessment that the Soviets lost but we lost also. The only success was the nuclear standoff as opposed to NUCLEAR WINTER!

No history has not ended. But civil security issues in a democracy (Republic) are still worth of the highest level of attention.

Comment by Alan Wolfe

October 7, 2011 @ 6:58 am

Yes, by all means, let’s reflect on the past ten years of “enduring freedom.”

“As the war in Iraq devolved into a quagmire, the Taliban took advantage of the U.S.’s preoccupation in that country to pour back into Afghanistan, where the conflict became known as the “Forgotten War.” As the undermanned U.S. Army tried to fend them off, the Taliban captured most of the countryside in the Afghan south and east by 2007.

“With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, the full-blown insurgency in Afghanistan was passed off to a president who had made clear his intentions of transferring forces from Iraq (which had wound down significantly after the loss of over 4,000 American lives) to Afghanistan, which he labeled “the war of necessity.” In 2010, Obama launched the troop surge into Afghanistan and there are now roughly 100,000 U.S. soldiers in this country trying to push the Taliban out of the territory they reconquered while the U.S. was busy fighting in Iraq.

“In the interim, however, the U.S. economy has been battered and the hubris of the “Mission Accomplished” years when America was threatening Iran as well have been tempered by a further 1,778 U.S. lives lost in the war in Afghanistan; a war that costs American taxpayers $120 billion a year. The era of the big military response to terrorism seems to be ending and most Americans now believe that U.S. taxpayer dollars would be better spent on nation building at home. Meanwhile, the Taliban have a saying that bodes ill for the future: “The Americans might have the watches, but we have the time.” “

Comment by Philip J. Palin

October 7, 2011 @ 8:02 am

Thursday in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Gen. Stanley McChrystal (US Army retired), former chief of coalition forces in Afghanistan, said of the decision to invade:

“We didn’t know enough and we still don’t know enough,” he said. “Most of us – me included – had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years.”

I have seen coverage in the British press but have not yet found a transcript. If you find it, please link here.

Later today archive video of yesterday’s CFR event should be available at: http://www.cfr.org/defense-strategy/cfr-live-webcast-hbo-history-makers-series-stanley-mcchrystal/p26065

Sometime between 0900 and 0930 (Eastern) CFR posted a collection of links covering ten years of war. You can access at

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 8, 2011 @ 5:46 am

An interesting op-ed same subject as this post in Today’s NYTimes.

Comment by Iran Takes Iraq

October 10, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

We have faltered and unfortunately this course continues and We are not only bankrupted by the bankers but by their pals, the “beltway bandits” who are so incredibly arrogant in their ineptness that We here on “Main Street USA” are in recession and fear the stories we heard from our parents and grandparents of the soup lines may become reality while we play in other folks’ yaers when our onw borders are not propped up and We give illegal immigrants money, good ‘ol USA!

Afghanistan will fall to the bad guys, Iran, no, no, as I refer to these …. the “Brutes of Tehran” will take over Iraq and we will continue to allow the bankers led by “Mr. Barney” et al to dupe us until we are begging for food…on wait, for real citizens, natural born, this has become reality and to see these astronomical numbers of real dollars spent overseas…treason! Fly your front porch flags upside down to portray the distress we truly experience here on “Main Street USA” —

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”

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