The civil war in Afghanistan (1978–present), also known as the Afghan Civil War and several other names, is a civil war in Afghanistan. The civil war started when an insurgency broke out against the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, which had taken power in the Saur Revolution on 27 April 1978. This event led indirectly to the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.
The new government was met with hostility, which led to the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan's anti-government rebels, known as the mujahideen (those engaged in Jihad), found support from a variety of countries including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other Muslim nations.
The final Soviet troop withdrawal began on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989. Three years after the withdraw, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan collapsed to the mujahideen resistance. Several years later, the Taliban rose to power after the fall of Kabul in 1996.
In 2001, following the 9/11 attacks by Taliban-backed al-Qaeda militants, NATO led by American and British forces invaded Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom, part of the newly-declared War on Terror.
The stated purpose of the invasion was to capture Osama bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and remove the Taliban regime which had provided support and safe harbor to al-Qaeda. The United States' Bush Doctrine stated that, as policy, it would not distinguish between al-Qaeda and nations that give them safe harbor.