"After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the Bush Administration announced Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the war on global terrorism. The United States launched a sweeping effort to build a multilateral coalition against the Al Qaeda network led by Osama bin-Laden and against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Although military operations continue, U.S. and other countries' efforts are focused increasingly on providing for peacekeeping operations, humanitarian relief, and reconstruction within Afghanistan. At the same time, additional efforts seek to freeze the financial assets of Al Qaeda around the world and to investigate the presence of Al Qaeda terrorists in other countries through intelligence sharing and law enforcement cooperation. In fact, as military operations wind down in Afghanistan, it appears that military operations elsewhere may increase. For example, U.S. troops are deployed to the Philippines to help that country's military train in their on-going efforts against the Abu Sayyaf terrorists, which have reported links to Al Qaeda. Limited military operations and cooperation are taking place elsewhere, as well. It is difficult to assess with precision how many countries have agreed to provide the varying types of assistance mentioned above from open sources. Some statistics are reported, but no details are available. At the same time, it is sometimes difficult to discern exactly what the United States has requested of other countries, and precisely what other countries have pledged. Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld has declined to openly describe the support being given to the United States, stating instead: 'each country is doing what they're doing slightly differently, and they have their way of characterizing it. It seems to me that that's fair, proper and certainly to our advantage.' Some pledges, therefore, have been and continue to be ambiguous or deliberately vague. This report tracks the broad range of foreign support for the U.S. war on terrorism from open source materials. The report will be updated as necessary."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31152