Special forces soldiers in combat (Illustration photo)

A CNN film tells the stories of the U.S. soldiers who fought a secret war in Afghanistan. The United States invasion of Afghanistan occurred after the September 11 attacks in late 2001, supported by close allies. The conflict is also known as the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Its public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda, and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. The United Kingdom was a key ally of the United States, offering support for military action from the start of preparations for the invasion. It followed the Afghan Civil War’s 1996–2001 phase between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance groups, although the Taliban controlled 90% of the country by 2001.