The Long War in Afghanistan Part 2

By | November 5, 2021

6: Why did the war last for over 20 years?

The United States and NATO responded to the Taliban’s military escalation by increasing the number of international troops from 2009, and by escalating air and ground attacks against the Taliban’s forces. They also placed greater emphasis on building and training an Afghan army.

The Taliban, for their part, escalated bombings and suicide bombings in Afghan cities. The result was a sharp increase in civilian casualties.

The war took a new turn in 2011 when US forces killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

The killing was a roundup of the war on terror, and President Obama announced that they would reduce the international forces in Afghanistan from 2014. In line with this plan, the Norwegian soldiers left Faryab province in September 2012. Assistance was continued by NGOs.

The downsizing of international forces had a negative effect on the economy and led to increased poverty and unemployment. But the Taliban were growing stronger and increasing their attacks both in the countryside and in the cities.

In 2017, it was estimated that about half the population, 15 million, lived in areas controlled by the Taliban or had influence over. Attempts at negotiations between a militarily stronger Taliban and the Afghan government did not succeed. The Taliban only wanted to negotiate directly with the United States.

7: Why did the United States and NATO decide to withdraw their forces?

President Donald Trump agreed to negotiate with the Taliban. He had in fact waged an election campaign to pull the United States out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2019, direct negotiations will begin without the Afghan government, and on February 29, 2020, the United States and the Taliban will sign a withdrawal agreement.

  • The United States promised that all international forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021.
  • The Taliban promised to prevent terrorist groups – including al-Qaeda – from using Afghanistan to plan or carry out terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.
  • Part of the agreement was also that the Taliban would start peace talks with the Afghan government.

NATO was not part of the agreement, and not all member states agreed on the United States’ unilateral decision, but the alliance loyally followed up and laid down its withdrawal plans.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani felt overwhelmed by Trump and was reluctant to start talks with the Taliban. He also hoped that Biden would win the US presidential election in 2020, and change Trump’s decision to withdraw his forces from the country. President Biden did not. He only postpones the date for when all the forces should be out until the symbol-heavy date of September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack in the United States.

While international forces gradually unpacked equipment and left Afghanistan, there was little progress in the negotiations between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban. From May 1, 2021, the Taliban escalated warfare against Afghan forces. They constantly took new territory, secured control of border posts with neighboring countries and circled several provincial capitals.

8: Taliban tok Kabul: kva no?

Under stronger military pressure, several Afghan army units surrendered and surrendered to the Taliban, often without a fight. The army, which had been supported and trained by NATO forces, was weakened by widespread corruption, desertion, and a constant shift in leadership. With less US air support and a lack of supplies and reinforcements from the Afghan government, many chose to lay down their arms. They did so rather than risk the lives of a government they did not trust.

When the important city of Jalalabad surrendered, Taliban forces were positioned outside Kabul the next morning. President Ghani chose to flee Afghanistan rather than negotiate with the Taliban. The country was without a government and the military resistance was over. On Sunday, August 15, 2021, a marvelous Taliban took control of Kabul and power over almost all of Afghanistan.

At the same time, a major operation was underway at the airport in Kabul to evacuate embassy staff and Afghans who had worked for international forces.

The Taliban announced an intention to form a unified government that would include women and grant amnesty to anyone who fought against them. Unlike the last time they ruled, they promised that girls would receive an education, that women had the right to work and not to be accompanied by a male relative when they left home. At the same time, they said that this should happen within Islamic sharia law , something that allows for interpretations.

According to petwithsupplies, the world community and many Afghans are doubtful of the promises and awaiting what governance and government the Taliban will form. They are clear that they will not accept reduced respect for girls and women’s right to education and work, and that this will have consequences for further assistance to the country.

Afghanistan is completely dependent on international support to meet the major humanitarian challenges posed by the protracted conflict, internal flight, ongoing drought and the corona pandemic. And to continue what is made up of educational and health services.

That is why the Taliban has a great responsibility to ensure the security of all Afghans, respect human rights and form a more inclusive system of government in which women have influence. If they do not succeed, many Afghans will face an uncertain future, and the perpetual conflict may continue.

The Long War in Afghanistan 2