The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) intervention in Afghanistan began with very different motivations. As he announced military action just a month after 9/11, President George W. Bush told the American people that the objective was ‘to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime’.
There was no mention of state-building. For Bush, homeland security was paramount: ‘Any government that sponsor the killers of innocents … have become murderers themselves’. Denying Al-Qaeda the ‘space’ to plot terrorist attacks on the West from the security of Afghanistan remains ISAF’s core objective to this day.