KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The fighting in Afghanistan marked its eighth anniversary Wednesday.
On Oct. 7, 2001, U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan to dislodge the ruling Taliban. The underlying cause of the military action was to punish the Taliban for providing haven to al-Qaida leaders, including Osama bin Laden, who ordered the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
U.S. President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders Tuesday to discuss strategy for the next phase of the war. Some Democrats say the United States should consider cutting back troop deployment, a move Obama says he's against. It is believed military commanders are requesting an additional 40,000 troops to augment the 68,000 the administration has committed to the fighting.
Obama is studying an assessment submitted by U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the White House said he would act on it in the next several weeks. A leaked copy of the report showed McChrystal asking for a new strategy or the situation in Afghanistan "will likely result in failure."
Taliban leaders issued a statement on their Web site marking the anniversary saying they have no desire to harm other countries. They said their goal is the establishment of an Islamic state in Afghanistan.
Some 869 Americans have died while deployed in Afghanistan, with about one-fourth of the figure coming during the last four months; 576 other coalition members also have been killed.