U.S. Launches New Afghan Offensive

December 11, 2003

On December 8, the U.S. military announced that it had launched its biggest military operation ever in Afghanistan, sending over 2,000 soldiers into southern and eastern Afghanistan as part of "Operation Avalanche."

U.S. Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty told reporters the offensive "is the largest we have ever designed...Right now, I'd say there's four infantry battalions involved."

The offensive follows on the heels of "Operation Mountain Resolve", which involved about 1,000 troops in a remote northeastern region bordering Pakistan. That operation was launched on November 7 and included many skirmishes between U.S. troops and Afghan villagers.

Two years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, over 11,700 soldiers -- mostly Americans -- remain in Afghanistan, carrying out frequent combat missions throughout the country.

In recent weeks, the Pentagon has admitted that U.S. troops are coming under attack on a daily basis and that it has no control over areas outside of the capital of Kabul.

The resistance forces are expanding their ranks and include a broad front of Afghan political and religious groups opposed to U.S. occupation.