"Most people started talking about Afghanistan in 2001 after 9/11," says Kristian Berg Harpviken
, a researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo
(PRIO). The attacks in New York made quite an impression and became the pretext for an armed intervention that happened only three weeks later.
"It's good to be reminded of this," he says. "Not just because the attacks were pivotal but because it was significant how the American response was decided."
Some frame that response as a risky, resource-intensive intervention. And a quick one, with only three and a half weeks of preparation, without an advance plan at the Pentagon. The speed and scope was nearly unimaginable.