Conflict in Afghanistan: From the Soviet Invasion to the Obama "Surge''
- 1979 The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. Mujahedeen — Islamic fighters — from across the globe, including Osama bin Laden, come to fight Soviet forces.
- 1989 Last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan.
- 1996 The Taliban take control of Afghanistan, imposing fundamentalist Islamic law. Osama bin Laden takes refuge in the country.
- Sept. 2001 After the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush gives the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over bin Laden; the Taliban refuse, and in October the U.S. leads a campaign that drives the Taliban out of major Afghan cities by the end of the year.
- 2002 Hamid Karzai becomes interim president of Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to wage guerrilla warfare near the border with Pakistan.
- 2004 New constitution is ratified, making Afghanistan an Islamic state with a strong president. Later, Mr. Karzai wins the country’s first presidential election.
- Feb. 2009 President Obama orders 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
- Aug. 2009 President Karzai wins re-election in a vote marred by fraud.
- Dec. 2009 President Obama issues orders to send 30,000 troops in 2010, bringing the total American force to about 100,000.