Stuck in a cycle of endless wars and massacres, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the whole world. Having seen deaths and torture for almost 40 years, Afghanistan has been decimated, both in terms of its economy and its infrastructure. However, the tales of the people are a different story. Their conditions never fluctuated with the economy or infrastructure. Wars killed them in the past and it is continuing to kill them in the present by suppressing their spirits and destroying their land.
Even though wars are a common topic these days, many of us still don’t know how it started in Afghanistan. A coup in 1978 ushered in a civil war followed immediately by the Soviet invasion who wanted to support their communist groups in Afghanistan. By the time the Soviet Union left in the year 1989, 7 percent to 9 percent of the Afghan population had been killed, with the death count rising once the Taliban, a Sunni Islamic Fundamentalist political movement and military organisation, came into the picture. The Taliban also allowed Al-Qaeda, a militant Salafist Islamist multi-national organisation founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, to have their camps in Afghanistan.
In response to the 9/11 attacks planned by Osama Bin Laden in the year 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan to destroy al-Qaeda and dislodge the Taliban and later continued fighting to stabilise the country and establish a democratic government. Though the Taliban left Kabul after that, they always got to regroup and rise as no country kept their army troops in Afghanistan for long.
In late 2009, the U.S. President Barack Obama announced a troop “surge” that saw several American soldiers in Afghanistan. The surge helped drive the Taliban out of parts of southern Afghanistan, but it was never destined to last for years. The United States remains torn between surging military forces and leaving the country altogether. The Trump administration chose to surge forces, but regardless of the path pursued, civil wars involving the Taliban and other insurgent groups continued. One of the main reasons this happens is because the Afghan government is corrupt, illiberal, and largely incompetent.
Kimberly Jones, a faculty associate in Northeastern University’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture, and Development and of the International Affairs Program also said in the year 2013, that the relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan are complex and we need to be less reactive.
Amidst all these wars, the Taliban, the Al-Qaeda and the U.S. plundered Afghanistan in ways that will take years to get repaired. Many civilians and army combatants (both Afghan and American) suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the constant dearth of food, electricity, hygiene, and water led to the spread of diseases and epidemics. The Taliban forbade women from going out alone and made many of them their sex slaves. Men were forced to grow a beard, girls weren’t allowed to study, and many civilians were killed in the name of religion. For almost 40 years, Afghanistan has seen nothing but war, deaths, and constant fear. Some people fled from their homes to escape Afghanistan and their only wish to date is to return to their birth land one last time.
Even though the United States and the Taliban have begun talks for ‘reduction in violence’ in the year 2020, many areas of Afghanistan are still being attacked by airstrikes which leads to more chaos and destruction. Battles are still prominent and lives are still lost which includes children who either don’t get to study or live past the age of five. People scream, pray, and hope for a better life in Afghanistan while its land is stripped bare of its humanity.