Taliban Take Over Afghanistan: What We Know And What's Next

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is located in the Middle East between Turkey and Iran. Afghanistan has been on the news because we have recently left, the US military has left. Our efforts in Afghanistan have ended.

War in Afghanistan

We officially entered Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. However, we’ve been involved in Afghanistan affairs since 1979. On December 24th, 1979 the Soviet army entered Afghanistan causing a decade-long war to keep Communism in Afghanistan. During that decade the mujahideen formed the resistance by trying to unite the Islamic people. 

The mujahideen were backed by the US, British, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. From this network, al Queda was created. In 1989 the Soviets were ousted from Afghanistan and a transitional government was put in place.

In 1996 the Taliban took control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and instituted a severe interpretation of Islamic law. They also welcomed Osama Bin Laden, who was expelled from Sudan. Their goal was to get rid of the mujahideen. 

In 1999, the United Nations condemned the Taliban as terrorists and initiated sanctions against them. 

On September 11, 2001, the attacks on the world trade center occurred along with the assassination of the mujahideen leader, Masoud on September 9th (Sought the US backing against the Taliban but was unsuccessful). When this happened Bin Laden received full backing from the Taliban. On September 26, 2001, the CIA entered Afghanistan in a covert operation to overthrow the Taliban. On October 7th the US bombing campaign against Afghanistan started.

Post 9/11

November 13, 2001, The Us and its allies reclaim the capital Kabul causing the Taliban to flee. By December 6th Kandahar the Taliban stronghold is taken.

On January 26, 2004, the new Afghan constitution is signed into law. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.

December 7, 2004, Afghanistan elects its president Hamid Karzai who ends up being corrupt and unable to properly lead Afghanistan.

On February 17, 2009, President Obama increases the number of troops in Afghanistan. At the peak, we had about 140,000 troops. 

May 2, 2011, ​​The leader of al-Qaeda is killed in an assault by US Navy Seals on a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is removed and buried at sea. The operation ends a 10-year hunt led by the CIA.  The confirmation that Bin Laden had been living on Pakistani soil fuels accusations in the US that Pakistan is an unreliable ally in the war on terror.

December 28, 2014, NATO ends combat operations. Focus is put on helping the Afghan people and protecting them. 

2015, there is an increase in Taliban resurgence and the increased use of suicide bombing and IEDs. 

On February 29, 2020, The Taliban and the US sign an agreement to bring peace as well as the withdrawal of troops within 14 months.

April 14, 2021, Biden Decides on Complete U.S. Withdrawal by 9/11

September 11, 2021, is the date set to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. 

The Taliban took control of Kabul as US troops and the Afghani president left the country and the Afghanistan army folded.

Interesting facts

Cost

  • Over the 20 years of war in Afghanistan, we have spent about 300 million a day. As of April, the US spent over 2 trillion on its war effort. Even with the war over the US still pays financially with the increasing interest. 
  • Estimated interest costs by 2050: Up to $6.5 trillion.

Human Cost

  • American service members killed in Afghanistan through April: 2,448
  • U.S. contractors: 3,846
  • Afghan national military and police: 66,000
  • Other allied service members, including from other NATO member states: 1,144
  • Afghan civilians: 47,245
  • Taliban and other opposition fighters: 51,191
  • Aid workers: 444
  • Journalists: 72

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2021-08-14/costs-of-the-afghanistan-war-in-lives-and-dollars 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-47391821

https://www.britannica.com/event/Afghanistan-War

Ongoing Wars

Even though the US has left Afghanistan there are still many conflicts the US is part of. Many of these conflicts are rarely reported on and cost the US billions of dollars. 

Somalia

American-led intervention in Iraq

American-led intervention in the Syrian civil war

American intervention in Libya (2015–present)

 

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