Release of 'A Different Kind of War': The U.S. Army in Operation Enduring Freedom, October 2001 - September 2005

Monday August 9, 2010

What is it?

A Different Kind of War is the Army's first comprehensive study of its campaign in Afghanistan. Based on hundreds of oral interviews and unclassified documents, this study offers a comprehensive chronological narrative of the first four years of Operation Enduring Freedom.

A Different Kind of War tells the story of how the coalition planned the campaign against the Taliban regime and then used its military forces to overthrow that regime in 2001. The study then focuses on how The U.S. Army came to take a leading role in a campaign that evolved after the establishment of a new government for Afghanistan in 2002. That new campaign slowly evolved into a counterinsurgency effort that featured combat missions, reconstruction operations, and training programs for a new Afghan army. The study closes with a chapter that highlights the implications for The U.S. Army of these four years of operations in Afghanistan.

What had the Army done?

In the past, The U.S. Army did not publish historical studies of ongoing campaigns. Instead, Army historians waited many years after those conflicts concluded to publish those studies. The release of A Different Kind of War is part of the Army's ongoing effort to publish preliminary histories of its campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan so that Soldiers do not have to wait decades for the lessons of those conflicts to become apparent and therefore useful.

In 2004, the Army released the first volume in this contemporary history series titled On Point: The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom, followed by the June 2008 release titled On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign, The U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003 - January 2005. A Different Kind of War is the Army's preliminary history of the campaign in Afghanistan between October 2001 and September 2005.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

The Army will distribute this historical study to educational institutions such as the U.S. Military Academy and The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College where it will be discussed and integrated into curricula. In the coming years, the Army will continue to release historical studies of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure that the lessons and insights offered by these conflicts are not lost to successive generations of Army officers and non-commissioned officers. In 2011, the Army plans to release the third volume in this series, titled On Point III: The U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom, February 2005 - January 2007.

Why is this important to the Army?

As an institution that is committed to learning the hard lessons of armed conflict, The U.S. Army seeks to understand its recent history in Iraq and Afghanistan. Publishing these historical studies is an important means of sharing experiences and insights. In this way, the Army's contemporary history can sharpen the knowledge and skills of military professionals in a variety of ranks and positions.


A Different Kind of War: The U.S. Army in Operation Enduring Freedom, October 2001 - September 2005 is available on-line at:

U.S. Army Combined Arms Center





Army Professional Writing







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August 2010

* Anti Terrorism Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month*

Aug 26: Women's Equality Day See related website: Women in the U.S. Army

Aug 31: End of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); Transition to Stability Operations


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