The Afghanistan war began back in 2001 and is still ongoing with The United States and Allied soldiers still fighting in Afghanistan to this today. With seventeen years passing since the United Nations first deployed troops to the rough mountainous landscape known as Afghanistan, it has been a tough uphill battle with thousands of lives being lost. Both sides are fighting for what they believe is right in a dangerous part of the world.
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CAUSES AND EFFECTS
The country of Afghanistan’s history is known as unstable, turbulent, unforgiving and violent with no just end in sight. Afghanistan has been recognised as an independent country since the early 1900’s meaning that they were not under the jurisdiction of any foreign powers.
Commencing in the 1970’s Afghanistan experienced a sequence of coup d’état where power alternated from one association to another.
A civil war initiated in 1978 inside of Afghanistan’s borders between pro and anti-communist forces. Pro-communist forces were sent military support from the Soviet Union whilst the United States provided financial and military support to those battling the Soviets (the Mujahideen army). The number exceeding more than one million people died throughout this conflict although the Soviets were repulsed. After fighting the Soviets multiple different extremist groups and military organisations fought for control of the rogue nation until eventually, a fundamentalist terrorist organisation known as the Taliban capitalised to seize control of Afghanistan. The Taliban put harsh restrictions on Afghanistan and ruled according to Islamic sharia law. The environment built by the Taliban in Afghanistan was one to breed terrorist. As a consequence of this, war veteran Osama bin Laden rose to become one of the leaders of the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation within the country of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda ; Osama planned to strike against the United States which led to the Al Qaeda bombings of the United States embassies in Africa and the September eleven terrorist attacks orchestrated by none other than Osama bin Laden.
From 1996-2001 the Taliban had controlled roughly 90% of Afghanistan. As a consequence of September eleven, the United States and allies invaded after being granted permission by United Nations. They joined the Northern Alliance inside Afghanistan. The war was referred to by the American George W. Bush as the ‘war on terror’ (mainly fought in Afghanistan). The United States withdrew forces from Afghanistan in 2014 meaning that the Afghan government and the military were in charge of the security system of Afghanistan.
The withdrawal of United States soldiers meant that the Taliban were not constantly under attack as a result of this on the 22/6/15 in Kabul outside the Afghan national assembly a car bomb was detonated as the Taliban started an attack on the build utilising assault rifles after a few hours the building was finally retaken by the Afghan military. By September of 2015, the Taliban had turned their focus to invading the northern part of Afghanistan. In the city of Kunduz population of over 300,000 the taliban forces executed there next major attack the taliban invaded the regional hospital and began an attack on the local university the taliban attacked the Kunduz from four different areas in the end the Taliban took control of the city which resulted in a mass number of civilians fleeing the city to safer bordering areas in october Afghan security forces retook the city whilst the Taliban began an attack on Helmand province killing over 5,000 Afghan security forces with support from the United States and Great Britain the Afghan army once again repelled the Taliaban, however, most of Helmand was overan. Afghan forces have struggled against the resurgence of the Taliban come March 2016 even with the assistance of United States led air strikes against the Taliban it is said that they have reclaimed an estimated 80% of Helmand province. The United States signed another agreement military enabling the United States the right to strike upon any enemy targets anytime they feel is necessary inside of the country. On top of this, another terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) most dominant in Iraq and Syria had found its way into Afghanistan planting what is estimated to be between 2,000 to 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. In December 2016 the United States military revealed that 64% of Afghanistan was under the government’s control, the other 36% was either currently at the time being contested or under the direct control of the Taliban as the chapter closed on 2016 an attempted peace deal was pushed forward by officials from the country of China who recognise peace in the Middle East as crucial to stability in the region the agreement was eventually signed by the Afghan government as well as Taliban officials although this controversial agreement was signed it has not accounted for that much with the war still continuing throughout
afghanistan turmoil in Afghanistan demonstrates the weakness of United States policy ever since day 1 of the Afghan invasion back in 2001 the United States and Allies have failed to create trust with the Afghani people making this war even tougher than it needs to be. Afghan civilians have struggled trusting not only the United States forces but they’re own authority figures including they’re own government, Questioning United States policy and feeling as though they have no hope means that many turn to the Taliban.
As the statistics stand right now in 2018 the Taliban still threatens a staggering amount of 70% of Afghanistan.
Many questions remain, such as were the interventions truly necessary? Could more support and money be provided to other countries in need? Could the war have been conducted differently? The core of the war has even been called pointless by some. The United States objective in going into Afghanistan was to destroy the terrorist although they still find themselves there today when the United States and Allies could have initially succeeded in just two months of being deployed in Afghanistan when they had the terrorist trapped in the tunnels of Tora Bora on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border when general Franks made the decision not to go over the Pakistan border and finish the terrorists off. The main question is what is the point of being in Afghanistan? The simple answer to that question is to reduce the terrorist threat on Afghanistan and with 70% of Afghanistan now in the hands of the Taliban as of 2018 as opposed to 90% in 2001 in seventeen years has there really been that much progress. As of 2001, the plan seemed easy to defeat Al-Qaeda and overthrow the Taliban from power.
From halfway across the world Australians and Americans are fighting what seems to be an unwinnable war. The brave soldiers representing and protecting their country’s honor, whilst rebuilding another country through building things such as roads, schools, and hospitals. The soldiers fighting this war have shown bravery beyond belief trying to create a more secure and safer environment. After September eleven the war on terror became the focus of international efforts to eradicate terrorism and to make a safer and happier environment. Throughout the 21st century, terrorism has replaced cold war ideology. Families and friends of the victims who passed away in September eleven or the Afghanistan war can commemorate and celebrate the lives of the honorable soldiers at many remembrance landmarks throughout the United States such as the national September eleven memorial and museum.
Whilst we don’t know how and when the end will come in terms of the Afghanistan war it will always be known as a bloody war that touched the hearts of many. Brave soldiers from the United States and Australia, as well as all those who fought on behalf of the United Nations, deserve to be remembered, honored and commemorated for their sacrifices on behalf of humanity and for fighting for what they believed in and felt was right. Our thoughts and prayers should go out to those still fighting this war and the injuries they have and are yet to sustain both mental and physical. We should also pray that they make it home safe and alive and can hopefully put this rough experience behind them and continue with what they once knew as their standard everyday lives. To the soldiers who fought this tough, backbreaking uphill battle we salute and thank-you for your courage, bravery, and sacrifices and may love and peace be brought to this grief striction part of the world.