Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11 - The Counterattack

One of my other focuses here is to talk about history.  A couple years ago, I briefly talked about 9/11 and the impact to me.  Last year, I talked about the aircraft that were involved in 9/11.  This year, I want to talk briefly about the response to 9/11.  I am not going to include the invasion of Iraq in this as I feel that was a completely separate action.   Nor am I going to really talk about the ongoing battles in Afghanistan (although they are related).  Again for this post, the pictures are not mine.  Most of them come from the U.S. Navy's official site ( and there are many other cool pictures there.  Check them out some time.
 It didn't take long after the attacks on September 11, 2001 for the United States to figure out who was responsible.  They immediately put the responsibility on Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist group, Al Queda.  Both of which were hiding in Afghanistan.  An ultimatum was sent to the Taliban (who were the government of Afghanistan at the time) to release Bin Laden.    That ultimatum was refused.  On October 7, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom was begun with cruise missile strikes from various ships in the Arabian Sea.  The picture above is the launching of a Tomahawk missile from the Aegis Missile Cruiser USS Phillipines Sea.
 The strikes were supposed to hit suspect Taliban and Al Queda hiding spots.  The picture above was from the USS John Paul Jones (who incidentally have a pretty cool video on YouTube).  These operations were also supported by ships from the Royal Navy as well.
 Planes from the USS Enterprise and other US Carriers in the area were also used.  US Special Forces units hooked up with members of the Northern Alliance (which was a group fighting against the Taliban at the time.  Their leader was killed shortly before 9/11).  The members of the Northern Alliance would be used to supplement our troops.  Eventually, the US presence in Afghanistan would get larger.
 US B-1 and B-52 bombers were launched from Diego Rivera to supplement the attack.  If I remember correctly, the B-2 Bombers launched from the United States were used as well.  Those attacks would become the longest US bombing mission ever.
 In March of 2003, the believe mastermind of the attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be arrested by members of the Pakistani police in Pakistan.  He was turned over to US custody and transferred to the prison at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba.  He would confess to 31 crimes.  As of this posting, he has not been convicted (his formal trial started in 2012).  His trial would point out the complexities of trying terrorists in a court of law.
 On the morning of May 2, 2011.  US Navy SEALS would begin what would be known as Operation Neptune Spear.  This was the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden.  Osama Bin Laden was located in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  He was killed and then buried at sea.  Of course, there is some controversy that he is not really dead.
Osama Bin Laden was the leader of Al Queda.  His death did not end that organization but it has changed it quite a bit.  I'm not going to get into many of the other aspects of the War on Terror.

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