What were some of the defining events in the War on Terror? What were the controversies involved?    

Defining events in the War on Terror included the Soviet-Afghan War, 9/11, the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the killing of Osama bin Laden. The American invasions of both countries, and especially Iraq, are seen as controversial.

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The terrorists who emerged as America's enemies during the War on Terror were created during the Soviet-Afghan War. After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the United States armed and aided Islamic armies as they fought a "holy war" against the invaders. After a decade of fighting, Moscow lost, and it withdrew from the country. The Taliban, one of the radical Islamic factions, eventually took over Afghanistan by 2001.

In 2001, on 9/11, Islamic terrorists attacked the United States. They came from Al-Qaeda, another Islamic faction based in Afghanistan. This group was led by Osama bin Laden. This infamous attack was not Al-Qaeda's first one against the United States; the group had attacked an American ship, the USS Cole, in 2000.

After 9/11, the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan refused to hand Osama bin Laden over to American authorities, so the US invaded Afghanistan in late 2001. The Taliban were overthrown, but they continued to wage a guerrilla war. Bin Laden went into hiding for years.

In 2003, the US invaded Iraq. This was supposed to be a part of the War on Terror. Actually, Saddam Hussein, Iraq's leader, had not been involved in the 9/11 attack. The invasion was a fiasco.

Bin Laden was killed by American special forces in 2011. But the War on Terror did not end with his death.

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