U.S. Evacuates, Taliban Takes Over

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Afghanistan soldiers fire-off their weapons against the Taliban with the help of U.S. troops.

After 20 years of war, the Taliban conquer Afghanistan and take control over the country’s capital Kabul.
The war began on September 11, 2001 after the terrorist group named Al-Qaeda struck attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.. Their leader, Osama Bin Laden, was responsible for these acts and was hiding out in Afghanistan where the Taliban was protecting him after the attack.
“When they refused to hand him over, the US intervened militarily, quickly removing the Taliban and vowing to support democracy and eliminate the terrorist threat,” BBC news channel wrote.
According to the New York Times, Bin Laden was captured on May 1, 2011. This mission of capturing bin and going to Afghanistan soon evolved into U.S. troops helping Afghanistan become a democratic country. The U.S. spent billions of dollars trying to rebuild Afghanistan after the country was suffering from two decades of war. The U.S. troops who were in Afghanistan training their military soon noticed that their preparation paid off.
“There were early successes. A pro-Western government was installed. New schools, hospitals and public facilities were built. Thousands of girls, barred from education under Taliban rule, attended school,” The New York Times wrote.
When President Trump began to take office in 2018, he would continue the war in Afghanistan in order to get rid of the Taliban completely. Years later, the Trump administration signed an agreement in February 2020 that stated all U.S. troops would leave by May 1, 2020.
“In return, the Taliban pledged to cut ties with terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, reduce violence and negotiate with the American-backed Afghan government,” The New York Times wrote.
The Taliban did not honor their agreement with the U.S. and began to attack different cities in Afghanistan once again. After the U.S. spent billions of dollars as well as many years of training the Afghanistan military, the government thought their military would now be able to defeat the Taliban without the help of the United States. It turns out, The Taliban was too strong for Afghan forces and they were unable to provide protection for their country.
“Military and police units in Afghanistan have been hollowed out by desertions, low recruitment rates, poor morale and the theft of pay and equipment by commanders. They have suffered high casualty rates, which American commanders have said were not sustainable,” The New York Times wrote.
When U.S. President Joe Biden came into office, he would honor former President Donald Trump’s agreement to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He pushed back the withdrawal to September 1, 2021 and would eventually move the date up to August 31. Before this, Biden was already sending troops back to the U.S. thinking that Afghanistan could control the Taliban, but after just a few weeks, the Taliban was already taking control of Kabul and the President of Afghanistan fled the country.
“Taliban leaders took his place in the presidential palace, driving tens of thousands of people to the country’s borders. Others flooded to the international airport in Kabul, where crowds scrambled to be part of the evacuations of foreign nationals and their Afghan allies,” The New York Times wrote.
On August 30, a day before the departure was supposed to occur, U.S. troops began to evacuate on the last flight to the United States leaving behind thousands of Afghanistan people who were promised they would be accepted into America with visas. For days there were thousands of people at the airport trying to evacuate to Afghan allied countries in order to escape the Taliban.
“Layers of corruption, waste and logistical failures left the country’s security forces so underequipped and with such battered morale that it enabled the militants’ success,” The Washington Post wrote.
The U.S. government says they are working on getting all of their troops out of Afghanistan as well as the people they promised U.S. visas. For the people still in Afghanistan, the Taliban says they will only use “Islamic government” as their ruling over Afghanistan and are ready to attack any outside forces who are unwelcomed.
“Taliban officials insist that they will fully adhere to the US deal and prevent any group from using Afghan soil as a base for attacks against the US and its allies,” BBC News wrote.
Overall, there is still conflict of whether the United States did the right thing evacuating Afghanistan and pulling out of the 20 years war since the departure was done before the set date.
“The collapse of the Afghan government, after the United States spent billions to support it and the Afghan security forces, was a crushing and violent coda to the U.S. military mission in America’s longest war,” The New York Times wrote.