Thu. Jul 7th, 2022

Introduction: The Battle of Tora Bora in the Panjshir Valley

In November 2001, a group of al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters took refuge in the Tora Bora region. In the caves, tunnels and dugouts of the region, Osama bin Laden had created a military fortress from which the jihad could be continued.
The United States, with the help of Afghan militias and its allies, used air strikes and ground forces to assault Tora Bora. Reportedly, over 100 U.S. troops were killed in the battle; bin Laden managed to escape, eventually settling in Abbottabad, Pakistan where he was killed by US Navy SEALs during a covert operation on May 2nd 2011.

into the fire: a firsthand account of the most extraordinary battle in the afghan war
into the fire: a firsthand account of the most extraordinary battle in the afghan war

The Battle of Torkham Pass

The Battle of Torkham Pass, also referred to as the Battle for the Khyber Pass or the Battle for Afghanistan, was a battle of Pakistani and American forces against militants who had occupied the Torkham Gate of the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan. It occurred in November 2001, just 5 days after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Prelude to Battle [to use as knowledge, not to be copied verbatim]:
October, 21st, 2001: US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld draws a map of the Middle East and tells his generals that every oil-rich country there should be made into an American protectorate.
Even though Rumsfeld has had no military experience, the idea intrigues him. It is the best way to control the world’s oil and it will bring him wealth and power.

into the fire: a firsthand account of the most extraordinary battle in the afghan war
into the fire: a firsthand account of the most extraordinary battle in the afghan war

The Battle for Tora Bora/Torkham

The Battle for Tora Bora began in mid-December 2001 with a small force of US Special Forces and a company of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, who were tasked with finding and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. On December 30th, at the request of Gen. Tommy Franks, the US Army began a block-to-block search of the area. The search failed to find bin Laden, and on December 31st he was reported to have slipped out of the region by burrowing underground through three feet of snow in zero visibility. The search continued through the night, but it was called off early the next morning, and American troops were pulled out of Afghanistan. The matter was left to the CIA and the US military intelligence service (DIA) to conduct a third-country assault, but the Pakistanis said they needed at least 5 days of notice from their government before launching an assault on their own soil. The Americans understood the Pakistanis’ position, and they did not want to antagonize the Pakistani government by violating Pakistani territory.

into the fire: a firsthand account of the most extraordinary battle in the afghan war
into the fire: a firsthand account of the most extraordinary battle in the afghan war