Is It Necessary? The Afghanistan war is an ongoing U.S-led military intervention in Afghanistan that began on 7 October 2001, following the September 9 attacks. The major aim of the invasion was to capture the Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, who was widely believed to be the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Secondly, the invasion was intended to dismantle the Taliban leadership, which was harboring bin Laden was sympathetic to Al Qaeda. Prior to the invasion, then U.S. President George W. Bush had demanded that the Taliban government hand over bin Laden and expel Al Qaeda operatives from the country or face dire consequences.