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Synopsis

Within hours of the September 11 attacks, Sean M. Maloney deciphered that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were the aggressors behind the despicable act. A war in Afghanistan then was inevitable. As a military historian, Maloney was determined to go there to study and record the events for posterity, if for no other reason than the education of his future students at Canada's Royal Military College.

What resulted is an in-depth and up-close look at the planning stages, deployment, and aftermath of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In Enduring the Freedom, Maloney presents a rare on-the-spot view from such important locations as Kabul, Bagram, and Kandahar. He describes the American-led intervention in Afghanistan and the conduct of the war through early 2003, then discusses the events of 2003 from the three locales in detail.

Some critics contend that the war in Afghanistan is another Vietnam. Maloney rebuts that appraisal, pointing out that as opposed to the vague language of the Vietnam era, American objectives were clearly stated for Afghanistan. Those objectives were: to destroy al Qaeda's networks, training camps, resources, and communication systems; to destroy any governmental entity providing support or sanctuary to al Qaeda; and to undertake reconstruction efforts to ensure international terrorists can never again use the country as a base. The first objective has more or less been achieved. How to accomplish the last two is still widely debated, and Maloney offers some insightful thoughts and opinions. Finally, he offers educated advice going forward in the hopeful completion of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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