By: Nicolas Wright
If you have seen the news, Afghanistan has been a center of focus along with the COVID Pandemic. Currently the Capital, Kabul is under Taliban control and the situation there is desolate.
A New Force of Afghanistan Patriots and Islamic Purists emerged in 1994 after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union. By 1995, more than 40% of Afghanistan was under their control . In 1996 they took control of Kabul, the Capital. They established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and killed their previous President, leaving his body hanging on a lamppost.
Their first move was to institute a strict interpretation of Qur’anic Instruction and Jurisprudence with brutal public punishments. This includes: Amputations, Mass executions or a repeated beating with a whip or stick. They also imposed many restrictions on women like forbidding them from working, banning girls from education and even having them carry out the brutal punishments they implemented.
The Taliban, meaning “Students” in the Pashto Language, is a faction that believes in traditional islamic values. Even stating that the practice of Rival Religions would not be condoned.
In 2001, The Taliban destroyed the towering statues known as the Great Buddhas of Bamiyan which was an object of awe around the world. The Taliban considered it’s destruction as holy.
When the World Trade Center in New York was destroyed and the Pentagon was damaged on 9/11; President George W. Bush demanded that they hand over Al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Allied with the Taliban, they refused to listen. On September 18th, President Bush authorized the use of force on those responsible for the attack on the U.S.
On October 7th, U.S Military with British Support, started a heavy air-strike bombing campaign on Taliban Forces. When fighting on the ground, they were joined by the Anti-Taliban Northern Alliance Coalition and other allies. By November, the U.S had destroyed Taliban Strongholds in many cities which led to their collapse on December 9th.
In 2006, the toppled group reformed and the Taliban was able to mobilize fighters again to fight against its enemies. Now with 20 years of fighting, over 240,000 people have lost their lives.
The U.S has spent over a $1 Trillion on the war effort and recently the situation is getting more desperate. The U.S predicted that it would take the Taliban several weeks to bring down Afghanistan’s Civilian Government in Kabul, it instead took a few days.
On August 15th, 2021 Kabul was taken over by the Taliban. The takeover has raised many problems such as the uncertain fate of the Afghan Women and girls. Current President Joe Biden has reassured the country saying that human rights will be the center of their foreign policy. He also sent troops to help evacuate all Americans in Afghanistan and Afghanistan Allies who had helped the U.S.
In Terms of the Evacuation, The Taliban’s response was clear: The U.S has to evacuate everyone by August 31, 2021 despite President Biden’s attempt to extend that deadline. With that knowledge, many Americans and Afghan Allies are being evacuated each week but there are so many more thousands of people still waiting to be evacuated.
There are videos that show people giving their children to the U.S Military in hopes they can be safe. At this time, 18 commercial plans are being used for the sole purpose of evacuation. August 24th had the biggest number of evacuations so far with 21,000 people flown out of Kabul.
T0 control the situation, the White House had established constant communication with the Taliban. On August 26th, the White House was briefed that Two Isis Suicide Bombers attacked the Airport in Kabul. One explosion occurred at one of the four entrances called the Abbey Gate which has been a gathering place for thousands after the fall of Kabul. The other explosion took place at an adjacent motel. The bombing has resulted in over 100 deaths.
90 Afghans, including children, have lost their lives along with 13 U.S Military Members. President Biden has responded to the bombing, vowing to retaliate for the attacks. Even saying “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
The Taliban have previously stated that they will allow women to work and that all Afghanistan People go back and stay at home. Promising they will be safe. President Biden was asked if he trusted the Taliban which he replied “You-is that a serious question?”
There has been criticism of Biden’s actions, hearing that many Afghans and American Allies are being denied evacuation. Some even criticize that the decision to withdraw the U.S military was one that was made too early. Tom Tugendhat, a conservative member of the British Parliament, characterized it as the “biggest foreign policy disaster.” Former U.S State Secretary, Mike Pompeo, tweeted about it too.
As the evacuation continues, We can only hope that the Americans in Afghanistan and those who want to escape will be safe.