Afghanistan, U.S.: Where did We go Wrong? 

Americans and Afghans alike are scrambling to flee the remnants of what was once a country of promise, as the country transforms into a state of over-crowded planes and fearful people. 

    Aug. 31 2021: President Joe Biden ordered that all U.S. troops be pulled out of Afghanistan. As US troops came home, refugee evacuations were permanently halted, ruining a government system set in place for two decades. 

      Uncertainty has laid in between walls of Afghanistan for decades. The terrorist power, the  Taliban, had been an unstoppable, ruthless force. After the tragic ruins of 9/11 and the destruction to the Afghan people, no country, no matter how united, have found a way to demolish their notorious reign. After 9/11, the U.S. posed a promise of hope for the people of Afghanistan, as America sought to destroy the terrorist force and stabilize Afghanistan. The initial intent of helping fight this opposing people came hand in hand with establishing a safe, secure, governed country.  

     Rewind to Oct. 15, 1999. The U.S. has no feud with Afghanistan, yet the country remains in dire need of help. The United Nations Security Council enforces Resolution 1267, ultimately naming Taliban and Sanctions Committee in addition to al-Qaeda, terrorist and extremist-related. Because sanctions were imposed due to this, the Taliban quickly begins to fund the terrorist operations.   

       September 9, 2001: merely a few days away from 9/11, Ahmad Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance, an anti-Taliban organization, is assassinated by al- Qaeda personnel. This becomes recognized as the ‘opening act’ before the 9/11 attacks only two days later. Al – Qaeda operatives seize four US commercial planes and were ultimately 75% successful in their mission of destroying the Twin Towers and ruining a sizeable portion of the Pentagon. Passengers seize the fourth plane fourth plane before it could reach the desired destination, fatally crashing in a heroic manner. President George Bush vows to “win the war against terrorism” and threatened the terrorist group’s leaders.   

      With the aid of Britain’s funds, the US starts their bombings against the Taliban, ultimately initiating Operation Enduring Freedom (Global War on Terrorism). Many other countries, including Canada, Germany, France, and Australia pledge their support in the future to help suppress the notorious foreign power.   

       November 14, 2001: As the Taliban deteriorates rapidly, the UN Security Council issues to pass the Resolution 1378. This pushes the United Nations to establish a transitional government as well as peace and help to the Afghan people. In December, bin Laden escapes his doom after being tracked. 

       After Taliban’s fall, the UN calls in a previous king associated with the Northern Alliance (anti-Taliban forces) as well as Afghan officials to aid in governing the country. On Dec. 5, 2001, factions sign the Bonn Agreement, backed by Resolution 1383. Iranian help is identified, and 15 days, the UN Security Council Resolution 1386, solidifies the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF.  

        2002: Reconstruction begins, and the transitional government is acknowledged. On May 1, 2003, the ‘Major Combat’ is deemed over, finished, and done. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) becomes involved in Afghanistan, becoming the first mission outside of Europe. In 2004, the first democratically elected president, Karzai, is appointed. bin Laden resurfaces and directly states how Afghanistan will be seized once again from those who were currently ruining it.  

      2006: The peace and reconstruction ruins and suicide attacks resurge. NATO becomes strained, and the U.S. questions why there is not more stability to the fragile country of Afghanistan. In 2007, a Taliban member is killed, and the stench of alienated Afghans to the reconstruction lurks in the air. In 2009, when Obama is elected, he confirms the continuous help in Afghanistan.   

       Karzai is reelected in November of 2009, and President Obama promises to up Afghanistan’s protection and encourage Afghans to fight as well. In November of 2010, NATO signs with Afghanistan to transfer all security protection to Afghanistan. In 2011, the infamously notorious Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. force.  

     2011: President Obama confirms the slow withdrawal of U.S. troops over time from Afghanistan. A large majority of the American population does not agree with the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Peace pacts are even being made with the Taliban. On Oct. 7, 2011, the U.S. marks 10 years in war. In December of 2011, a conference is held with the countries with relations to the war attending. One of the most crucial countries to Afghanistan’s future, Pakistan, did not attend.        March of 2012: The Taliban ceases conversation and, in addition, the U.S.’s relationship with Afghanistan becomes strained. In 2013, the Afghan security transfer is sealed and completed. In 2014, President Obama formally announces the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.   

     2017: Under the new U.S. President Donald Trump, the states drop a nuclear bomb, said to be the strongest dropped by the nation; It is dropped on Islamic State militant-related figures. Then on Aug. 21, 2021, President Trump declares the U.S. will reverse the pull-out from Afghanistan and continue to fight in the Afghan war.  

    President Trump severs the cord of aid to Pakistan worth billions of dollars due to the accusation that Pakistan was full of, “lies and deceit” when relating to harboring Taliban related militant figures.   

    President Trump calls off a meeting with the Taliban and the President of Afghanistan, allegedly due to a killing of a U.S. soldier in an attack from the Taliban. Finally, in 2020, the U.S. signs a peace treaty with Afghanistan, ultimately ensuring peace. There is no immediate cease-fire, and the fighting continues up until the peace treaty is confirmed and a date is set.  

      Within the country, both opposers, the Taliban and the Afghan government, bring themselves to negotiate peace treaties. Whilst the Afghan government pleads for a cease-fire, the Taliban is unwavering and strikes back, asking for Afghanistan to be led by a religious, Islamic type of system.   

     Nov. 17, 2020: The U.S. troop withdrawal is reiterated. NATO Security emphasizes moving slowly out of Afghanistan in order to ensure terrorist groups don’t drown the already-flooding country in a sea of political strife.   

    April 14, 2021: Newly elected President Joe Biden decides to pull out all U.S. power and from Afghanistan by 9/11. A rather symbolic ending to this continuous strife, it would solidify the end of the war on the 20th anniversary of the tragic 9/11.   

     Aug. 15, 2021: Just as NATO Security predicted, the Taliban pounces and seizes Kabul, ultimately crumbling the Afghan government which the U.S. had worked so long to restore. Current President Ghani leaves the same day, only a bit earlier, and former President Karzai and Abdullah scramble to create a council which ensures a peaceful transition of power. The Taliban ensures there would be absolutely no conferences or peace treaties up until all non-Afghanistan troops left the country. The next day on Aug. 16, 2021, President Biden addresses the nation(s), exclaiming the troop withdrawal was immensely correct. Biden then deploys troops to the Afghan Kabul Airport in order to ensure all Americans, Afghan allies, and Afghan refugees.   

      The Taliban kills 13 service members along with countless lives at the Kabul Airport with an attack. A horrible tragedy is recognized, and Biden pledges to move the deadline for refugees’ withdrawal to Aug 31, the date of the troop withdrawal. President Biden promises to act against the responsible Islamic State buried in Khorasan for this awful tragedy.   


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