The deployment of US forces in Afghanistan dates back to the year 2001 when Osama Bin Laden led an Al-Qaeda strike on the US soil inviting the world superpower to the fight against global terrorism. The George W. Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attack by expanding the presidential powers against all threats to American interests worldwide. Soon, on 13th November 2001, US military forces captured the Afghanistan Kabul. 20 years mark to this deployment will be completed on 07th October 2021. President Biden during his campaign has promised withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and has made several statements after his inauguration on this matter. Therefore, it is interesting to predict the future of Afghanistan without the US presence.
During the past 20 years, the US has contributed to developing the government military forces of Afghanistan by facilitating weapons and training. For creating political stability, efforts have been made by the US to bring the Taliban to an agreement to bring peace to Afghanistan. According to this agreement which was made in Doha, Qatar in 2020, US and NATO allies are to completely withdraw from Afghanistan if the Taliban upheld their part of the deal.
This situation can be seen as a repeat of the history of Afghanistan when the end of the Soviet-Afghan war. With the announcement of the withdrawal of US troops, it has been reported on international news that the Taliban is seizing cities day by day. This is a clear sign to figure that the future of Afghanistan would be another Taliban regime. The Afghani people are reportedly in fear and resentment of this situation ahead of another period of conflict. The government forces are becoming hopeless and losing their morale.
The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani believes that the peace talks with the Taliban are hopeless. He is aiming to arm civilians and expects to cooperate with the warlords to fight against the uprising Taliban militants to protect his administration in Kabul. Thus, a civil war between the two parties will be unavoidable in near future.
With this rapid unraveling in Afghanistan, the US president shows no signs of reconsidering his move on withdrawing the US forces. The reports indicate that President Joe Biden is in the opinion that the two-decades-long US backing of the Afghanistan forces to stand up for themselves is adequate and it is no longer their problem. In his words, “I do not regret my decision”. This came after him highlighting the US expenditure on facilitating own troops and Afghanistani military over the past two decades.
The Taliban ruling in Afghanistan has enforced many laws that have limited the freedom of the people in the name of Islam and Sharia Law. Reportedly many violations of basic human rights, inequality to women, and strict punishments including executions of innocent were common during the Taliban ruling which lasted until the end of the year 2001. The US involvement in Afghan soil to fight the terror has contributed to give hope and establish law and order for the Afghani people. Two decades is a time where a nation could have become self-dependent on its functioning. Sadly, it’s far from the reality in Afghanistan where government and religion cannot take separate paths. The extreme Islamic ideologies have created enough supporters to fuel the Taliban and other terror organizations in this once peaceful and developed land. The overruling of the monarchs and attempts of adopting communist and democratic governance had never made Afghanistan a stable state. Being a county struggling with various internal conflicts for over four decades, it is reasonable to think that a considerable number of the population of Afghanistan are not cultured to admire and benefit from democratic governance. The continuation of militia such as the Taliban, even with the US intervention is the result of such culture.
If the US and NATO efforts had succeeded in disarming tens of thousands of Taliban and other warlords, a permanent ceasefire and the ruling of a centralized government could have been ensured. Yet this is far from reality and needs abandoning of extreme ideologies of the tribals who impose terror to gain power. Hence, genocide is unavoidable in the effort of putting an end to this conflict in Afghanistan. Thus, the efforts that have been taken by the US and NATO for the past two decades are only a temporary solution and unfortunately would not last for long. Ultimately, the Afghan people will keep struggling to find a resolution of their own for some more time. Undoubtedly, Afghanistan would be making international news headlines for many years to come.