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The war in Afghanistan

On 11 September 2001, terrorists used hijacked civilian airliners to destroy the World Trade Center in New York and to damage the Pentagon in Washington. Americans reacted with disbelief and anger at this attack on their own soil. The United States and its allies formed the International Coalition Against Terrorism and launched a war against Afghanistan, the main stronghold of the Islamic terrorist group, Al-Quaida, believed to be responsible for the attacks. The Taliban government of Afghanistan, which had supported Al-Quaida, was overthrown. Afghans allied to the United States entered the capital, Kabul, on 13 November 2001.

Map of the Middle East

Australia has provided military support to the coalition under the ANZUS treaty. This has included about 150 SAS troops in Afghanistan itself; Boeing 707 refuelling aircraft based in Kyrgyzstan; and F/A-18 Hornets based at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. In addition, RAN frigates Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and Newcastle and amphibious troopships Kanimbla and Manoora have continued Australia's decade-long commitment to the Maritime Interception Force, enforcing sanctions against Iraq, while also providing support to the coalition. One Australian has died, killed by a landmine in Afghanistan.


Peter Churcher Official artist: the war against terrorism