Desperate to escape in fear for their lives, many thousands of Afghans are attempting to flee their country. The Taliban, a group created by former mujahideen commander, Mullah Omar, is enforcing control once again of the war bound Afghanistan, in the capital of Kabul. Mujahideen is a term used to describe those who fight on the behalf of Islamic faith. This explains the heart of the twenty year war between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Taliban, the Pashto term for “student,” was the same troop that sheltered Osama Bin Laden and pushed out the Soviet in 1989, sparking a longtime war.
America’s connection to this is that the US forces are allies to the Soviet. Especially since Osama Bin Laden was deemed responsible for the 9/11 event in 2001. America invaded the Afghanistan capital, Kabul, during the Taliban take over in 2001, and has been fighting alongside since. Finally in 2021, after a two decade fight, the U.S. forces were ordered to withdraw from Afghanistan. But shortly after, the Taliban took back over, sending the stability of the country into a panic-ridden spiral.
The U.S. claims to have spent billions to aid the fall of Afghanistan’s government. The troop withdrawal had been anticipated months prior, with President Biden’s public statement expressing that the U.S. “accomplished its mission,” in regards to supporting Afghanistan in minimizing terrorism. Continuing to say that it was clear the U.S. couldn’t transform Afghanistan into a “modern stable democracy.”
Taliban gaining power of the capital, and of Afghan officials who’ve handed over their authority (such as the presidential palace), has sent Afghans attempting to flee at all costs in fear of death due to reprisal. At the Kabul airport on August 16th, during the attempt of evacuating US troops, thousands of Afghans ran through the airport tarmac attempting to get on the military jet. Some, desperate to escape, held on even after take off, plunging to their death.
Biden has expressed he stands by his decision in ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. What does this change of relationship between America and Afghanistan mean for the future? And will the fall of Afghanistan be blood on America’s hands?