Guide to the Afghanistan Collection 2001-Present




The collection consists of postcards, souvenirs, internet media, leaflets and advertisements, posters, pamphlets, booklets, and selected newspapers and magazines. Most of the items in the collection are unofficial documents. Only one official document is currently included. The collection may be expanded if Australian troops are involved in responses to future 'terrorist actions' in the region or beyond. The contents in the collection were produced in response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Twin Towers in New York City on the September 11th 2001 and the subsequent Coalition of the Willing "Operation Enduring Freedom" in Afghanistan in September 2001. Highlights of the collection include a collection of United States propaganda leaflets dropped in Afghanistan during the 2001-02 conflict, Australian anti-war leaflets, posters and pamphlets, and United States produced postcards and e-messages produced in the months following the New York terrorist attacks. The collection consists of approximately 200 items, housed in 18 wallets/folders, 1 solander box and 1 oversize drawer.

SERIES 1: Postcards (12 items). Description: This collection consists of postcards produced following September 11 2001 (excluding two 1990's postcards regarding antipersonnel mines). It includes Australian and United States produced postcards.; SERIES 2: Souvenirs (20 items).; SERIES 3 Digital media (46 items). Description Internet media, mostly United States generated, and distributed worldwide following the events of September 11 2001. This section is organised by file type, not subject/theme: J Peg Images, Microsoft word documents, M3 format sound, application, Microsoft powerpoint slide show and gif images.; SERIES 4: leaflets/Advertisements (49 items). Description: This collection includes Australian anti-war leaflets, advertisements, and leaflets produced by Australian Government Agencies, United States propaganda leaflets, and untranslated Afghani leaflets.; SERIES 5: Posters (28 items). Description: This collection of posters include Australian anti-survellience and anti-war posters, welcome home posters to service personnel, as well as posters from the United States concerning the Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.; SERIES 6: Pamphlets (6 items). Description: This collection consists of Australian pamphlets.; SERIES 7: Booklets and Misc Publications (5 items). Description: This collection consists of booklets and miscellaneous publications, many produced by Australian government agencies, including the Australian Defence Force.; SERIES 8: Newspapers (6 items).; SERIES 9: Magazines/serials (19 items). Description: This collection consists of magazines as well as unit serials produced by deployed personnel. SERIES 10: Australian War Memorial material (2 items).; SERIES 11: Greeting Cards (1 item).; SERIES 12: Forms and Stationery (2 items).

Although Terrorism had troubled the West for some time before the 11th September 2001, it was that event that transformed the political landscape: the United States was outraged, calling the event """"""""an act of War"""""""" and resolved to fight back. Prime Minister John Howard invoked the mutual defence clauses of the ANZUS treaty for the first time in fifty years since its signing. With Britain, Spain and the United States, Australia became part of the International Coalition Against Terrorism. The justification for the United States war against Afghanistan was that the Taliban regime was providing a haven for al Qaeda, the organisation that plotted the September 11 attacks. Al Qaeda's aim was, amongst other things, to create a single Islamic State and rid the world of Western influence. The American-led Operation Enduring Freedom began on the 7th October 2001. The Australian Government contributed 1,550 troops. In addition, from November 2001 to December 2002, three rotations of 150 SAS troops joined the war. By the end of 2002 all the Australian troops had been withdrawn. However, in July 2005, a Special Forces Task Group of 150 personnel was deployed to perform security tasks. By mid 2007 there were approximately 970 Defence personnel committed to Afghanistan. Much dispute by the Australian people followed the commitment of Australian troops to war in Afghanistan. This opposition continued into the later Second Gulf War in 2003. Due to the endorsement of the approach taken to terrorism of the United States Government by the Australian Government, Australia's role in the 'war on terrorism' has been that of a key player. Coupled with this, in more recent times Australia has needed to give attention to the regional dimension of the 'war on terrorism' where Indonesia had been of particular concern, following the Bali bombings in 2002, the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004, and the 2005 Bali bombings.

Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.

Open - Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.

Selected additional and related material available at using the search terms described under 'subject _local'. Copies of many items from the Memorial's collections may also be purchased @


Activism; Military sevice; Propaganda; Terrorism

Afghanistan; Map collection: Afghanistan

Leaflets; Posters


Coverage Spatial


Coverage Temporal


Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:40