Our Trouble with Afghanistan


Written by Samantha Bradley, News Editor

Tensions are high between the United States and Afghanistan because of the United States’ decision to pull our troops and bring them home in September of this year. It has been a slippery slope between the two countries with their history of wars and terrorist attacks. However,  it is essential to understand how things initially escalated

In December of 1979, Afghanistan was taken over and occupied by the Soviet Union, and their government was quickly overthrown. War began between the Mujahideen, Muslims who fight on behalf of their religion, and the Soviets. The United States donated money and weapons to support the Mujahideen in their efforts. In 1989, the Soviets left Afghanistan, leaving the country in shambles. The next few years after that were overwhelmed with an Afghan civil war, and a lawless nation was born. While all of this anarchy was going on, a militia named the Taliban, added to the chaos by bringing attention to their efforts. They promised the people of Afghanistan that they would make their cities safe again, and the people who were frustrated with the state of their homeland loved the idea of it. By 1996, the Taliban had seized the capital, Kabul, declaring Afghanistan an “Islamic Emirate”, imposing their very strict interpretation of Islamic law. Movies and music were strictly prohibited, and women could not go to school or work, and had to wear certain clothes. In 2001, Al-Qaeda, a terrorist group that works closely with the Taliban, attacked the twin towers in New York City. The U.S. quickly went after Al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden. The Taliban refused to hand him over, so the U.S. invaded. Within a couple of months, the Taliban were forced out of government and a new government system was formed with the help of the U.S.

Since America invaded Afghanistan it had become calm again, women have gotten used to going out and joining the workforce, all kids are able to school and learn, and people are safe from the Taliban, for the most part. The American military presence seemed to be what kept things under control. However, Biden’s decision to pull the troops out left Afghanistan having to fend for themselves. By September 12th, 2021, the last troops and diplomats left the country, and it’s an easy guess as to who took their place. The Taliban is now gaining power again and the U.S. is trying to help as many Afghan refugees  as they can to escape in their “non-combat evacuation operation” as they can. Almost 24,000 “at-risk” Afghans have arrived in the United States seeking somewhere safe, and fear is rising that the country will be vulnerable to a complete Taliban takeover once again. The capital was captured on the 15th of August, and they are well on their way to victory in the nation. Tens of thousands have been killed and millions are displaced in the process.

So, if something as simple as sending home a few thousand American soldiers could cause this much chaos, why would we do it? In simple terms, the United States can’t fight every country’s wars for them, and we can’t stay there forever. Plus, during our time there, 40,000 Afghans were killed, 64,000 Afghan military and police, and 3,500 international soldiers. The U.S. spent 815.7 billion dollars in war efforts and reconstruction projects. On the other hand, we know what we are getting into when we place ourselves in international affairs. If we make the choice to invade a nation, we don’t get to leave once we feel our time is done. Since we got involved, the people are now dependent on us to keep them safe and countless amounts of people are being killed because of our nation’s decision to abandon them. 

Afghanistan can be a safe and booming nation. If it receives enough help and aid, terrorists will be unable to invade again. We should try to understand what the people of Afghanistan are going through. We guided their country and now that they depend on us, we are leaving them behind. Whether you think it was the right or wrong thing to do, we can all agree on the fact that we are all humans who want to be safe, even the American military who risk their lives there, and the Afghan people who are in danger from the Taliban. We should respect each other and push to end the divide between the two countries.