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The Cost of the War on Terror

Sunday September 11th, 2016   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 9:00am PDT   •  

The U.S.’ War on Terror has endured for 15 years and has cost U.S. taxpayers over 1.75 trillion dollars. MyGovCost is marking the occasion by illustrating its accumulating cost from year to year along with a timeline of the major events that have defined it.


Timeline of Key Events in War on Terror
from September 11, 2001 through September 11, 2016
Month Events
Sep-2001 Al Qaeda attack on World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia using passenger planes on September 11. The phrase “War on Terror” is officially used for the first time by President Bush on September 20.
Oct-2001 War in Afghanistan begins with U.S.-led NATO combat operations on October 7.
Nov-2001 Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul falls to U.S. and NATO troops as Taliban are driven from power.
Jan-2002 Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp for foreign terrorists captured abroad is opened.
Nov-2002 U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1441, offering Iraq’s Saddam Hussein’s regime a “final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations” on November 8.
Mar-2003 Iraq War begins on March 20. Baghdad is captured by U.S. troops 20 days later.
May-2003 Major combat operations in Afghanistan end on May 1.
Sep-2004 Battle to retake Iraqi city of Fallujah from Sunni insurgents begins on September 8. U.S. troops finally retake Fallujah on November 7.
Nov-2005 U.S. begins initiative to root out foreign fighters infiltrating into Iraq on November 5.
Dec-2005 President Bush acknowledges that his decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was the result of faulty intelligence.
Jun-2006 Al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is killed on June 8.
Jul-2006 Taliban insurgency grows and violence returns to Afghanistan.
Oct-2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq rebrands itself as the Islamic State of Iraq on October 15.
Jan-2007 The Iraq “Surge” to address increasing Sunni insurgent activity in Iraq is announced by President Bush on January 10.
Nov-2007 Success in surge in restoring peace allows for troops supporting it to begin leaving Iraq on November 24.
Feb-2008 The Iraq Surge is officially scheduled to end in July 2008 as U.S. troops will be reduced to near pre-Surge levels on February 16.
Sep-2008 Escalating attacks by extremists make 2008 the most deadly year for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan since 2001. 31,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, will increase to 36,000 by end of January 2009, with NATO forces totaling 32,000.
Feb-2009 Further U.S. troop reductions in Iraq are announced by President Obama on February 1. Later in the month, President Obama approves deployment of additional 17,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
Jun-2009 U.S. troops redeploy to leave Iraqi cities on June 30.
Jul-2009 U.S. Marines launch major offensive operation in southern Afghanistan as part of new counterinsurgency strategy.
Dec-2009 President Obama announces Surge strategy for Afghanistan on December 1. With 71,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the surge will add another 32,000 to 35,000.
Aug-2010 Combat operations in Iraq end on August 31.
May-2011 Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan on May 1.
Jun-2011 President Obama announces troop withdrawals in Afghanistan on June 22.
Dec-2011 Iraq War officially ends as last U.S. troops leave Iraq on December 18.
Sep-2012 Islamist militants kills 4 Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya on September 11.
May-2013 Islamic State in Iraq merges with Nusra Front in Syria to create the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), on May 9, 2013. International campaign against ISIS begins one month later.
Jan-2014 ISIS takes control of Fallujah, Iraq on January 4. Ten days later, it takes control of Raqqa, Syria.
May-2014 President Obama announces U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on May 27.
Jun-2014 ISIS takes control of Mosul, Iraq on June 10. It captures the city of Tikrit, Iraq two days later.
Aug-2014 President Obama authorizes airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq on August 2.
Sep-2014 U.S. begins airstrikes against ISIS in Syria on September 22.
Dec-2014 War in Afghanistan ends when NATO officially ends combat operations on December 28.
Jan-2015 War in Afghanistan resumes when Taliban resurgence forces NATO’s plans to remove troops to be delayed until end of 2016.
Apr-2015 Iraqi forces take back Tikrit from ISIS with assistance from U.S. airstrikes on April 1.
May-2015 Iraqi city of Ramadi falls to ISIS on May 17. Five days later, Syrian city of Palmyra falls, as ISIS gains control over half of Syria’s territory.
Oct-2015 President Obama abandons plan to remove all remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan by end of 2016 and instead commits to keep them there through 2017.
Feb-2016 U.S. deploys hundreds of troops to Afghanistan to combat resurgence of Taliban on February 8.


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September 2016