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Counter-insurgency is a form of military operation used to oppose forces rebelling against the recognized government of the territory. Currently, the United States is pursuing counter-insurgency efforts in Afghanistan following the overthrown of the Taliban regime in 2001.

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Since September 2001, America has been involved in a protracted war in the Middle East -- otherwise known as the "War on Terror." As the years progressed, American leaders began to describe their military efforts as a form of counter-insurgency. With public approval ratings plummeting in response to the War on Terror, politicians realized that a diplomatic approach, integrating "soft" and "hard" power became necessary for political and strategic purposes.[1]

After the expedient and successful overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, a large conglomerate of insurgent forces arose in Afghanistan. The emergence of collaborating insurgent forces arose, which included the Taliban, Hezb-i-Islami, the Haqqani network, foreign fighters, local militias, and criminal organizations.[2]

Large insurgencies are not foreign to Afghanistan. Afghanistan has experienced at least four major insurgencies: the Mujahideen wars against the Soviet Union (1979-1994), the rise of the Taliban (1994-2001), the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Taliban regime (2001-2002), and the return of the Taliban (2002-present).[3]


  1. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KB18Ak02.html
  2. http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG595.pdf
  3. http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG595.pdf

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