Aftermath of the September 11 attacks  

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September 11, 2001 was the sole day that defined the first term of President George W. Bush and led to what he has called the Global War on Terrorism, or war against terrorism. The accuracy of describing it as a "war" and the political motivations and consequences are the topic of strenuous debate. The U.S. government increased military operations, economic measures and political pressure on groups it accused of being terrorists, as well as on governments and countries accused of sheltering them. October 2001 saw the first military action initiated by the U.S. Under this policy, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in order to remove the oppressive Taliban regime (which harbored al-Qaeda) and to capture Al-Qaeda forces. The invasion was supported by a large number of countries. Prior to the invasion, the Taliban had refused to hand over bin Laden without being shown evidence of his connection to the attacks. While the primary objective of capturing bin Laden has failed so far, the invasion did succeed in uprooting the extremely oppressive Taliban from power, enabling the implementation of a government cooperative and supportive in the search for bin Laden and the general "War on Terrorism". The invasion removed a safe haven and base of operations for al-Qaeda. The U.S. government has also asserted that the U.S. invasion of Iraq is connected to 9/11.

Because the attacks on the United States were judged to be within the parameters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO declared section 5 of the military alliance to be met, making the US war on terror the first time since its inception that NATO would actually participate in a "hot" war.

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