Gen.: Afghanistan Victory Hangs on Rebuilding Effort On Oct. 7, 2001, U.S. and British forces began a bombing campaign against Afghanistan's Taliban government. Five years later, the international community appears to be at a crossroads in its effort to rebuild Afghanistan as a democratic nation.
NPR logo

Gen.: Afghanistan Victory Hangs on Rebuilding Effort

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6210253/6217178" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Gen.: Afghanistan Victory Hangs on Rebuilding Effort

Gen.: Afghanistan Victory Hangs on Rebuilding Effort

Gen.: Afghanistan Victory Hangs on Rebuilding Effort

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6210253/6217178" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

British Lt. Gen. David Richards (left), NATO's top general in Afghanistan, talks with U.S. Col. Steve Williams, one of the men in charge of the Panjwayi operation, outside Panjwayi, in the southern Kandahar province. Bronwen Roberts/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Bronwen Roberts/AFP/Getty Images

British Lt. Gen. David Richards (left), NATO's top general in Afghanistan, talks with U.S. Col. Steve Williams, one of the men in charge of the Panjwayi operation, outside Panjwayi, in the southern Kandahar province.

Bronwen Roberts/AFP/Getty Images

An Oct. 2006 map of Afghanistan showing NATO's Provincial Reconstruction Teams. NATO hide caption

Download a PDF of the map
toggle caption
NATO

NPR Oct. 7, 2001, Coverage

Selected stories from NPR's coverage of the initial bombing of Afghanistan in 2001.

JACKIE LYDEN, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Jackie Lyden. Debbie Elliott is away.

Five years ago today, America launched its military response to the 9/11 attacks.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al-Qaida terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.

LYDEN: While the U.S. did topple that regime soon after, Americans and their allies now find themselves battling a resurgent Taliban that is inflicting heavier casualties.

This week, NATO assumed command of nearly all the 40,000 allied troops engaged in that battle. The man in charge of the NATO mission is British General David Richards. I spoke with General Richards yesterday. He was in Kabul.

General Richards, welcome to the show.

General DAVID RICHARDS (NATO Commander): Very pleased to be here, Jackie.

LYDEN: Sir, I'd like to ask you this. We are hearing that Taliban fighters are now just 100 miles from Kabul, and certainly the fighting in southern Afghanistan has been fiercer and deadlier in recent months. Are the Taliban poised to retake Kabul?