The War in Afghanistan and its Aftermath Your name Course name Instructor’s name Institution’s name Date of submission The War in Afghanistan and its Aftermath Introduction The war in Afghanistan has deep-rooted historical causes and aftermaths that are hard to assume or ignore when analyzing it. The war began officially during the Cold war era when Russia and the entire Soviet Union were not in unity with the US and friendly nations.
Considering the closeness to Afghanistan, the Soviet Union stationed its army in Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries with view that it would later reap forfeited minerals and resources in the region (Robinson, 2013). Unfortunately, the US had prior knowledge of the potential of Central Asia and Afghanistan in particular. This understanding coupled with the friendship with oil-rich Saudi Arabia aroused and multiplied its interest towards Afghanistan and Central Asia as whole. The US positions itself as the leading advocate for human rights and democratic form of leadership within and outside its borders.
The motive behind the roles is partially by virtue of its position as the world’s superpower and the need to retain the position. The war against terrorism in Afghanistan is a remarkable example of what the US can do to remain a superpower and reserve its powerful position in global politics (Sidky, 2007). The Basics of the War Afghanistan is a country recognized by its constant chaos. The country did not take sides at the time when other nations were fighting in the Cold War hence they enjoyed support from both the US and Soviet Union. The problem started in 1970’s when the county experienced harsh economic challenges (Gibbs, 1987).
This was majorly brought by the extensive drought experienced that year. As a result, their government was overthrown by a group of youthful armed forces who alleged that the tough economic blow was caused by their leader King Muhammad Zahir Shah. They also accused him of undermining the political reforms of Afghanistan. After the government was overthrown, King Muhammad Zahir Shah’s cousin Lt. Gen. Sardar Muhammad Daud Khan was given the crown. In 1979, Lt. Gen. Sardar Muhammad Daud Khan’s government was also overthrown by the guerrilla forces which made the Mujahidin group to seize power (Kellner, 2003).
The Mujahidin group controlled Afghanistan for approximately 20 years and failed to unite the people of Afghanistan (Goldman, 1984). Consequently, this led to the disagreement within its members. The Taliban took advantage of the situation and took control of Kabul in 1996 when they announced that they were the legitimate government in Afghanistan. Besides, the Taliban group was able to introduce a system of Islamic rule in the areas they controlled. At the moment, the country is trying to restructure itself after most of their buildings were destroyed by bombs and missiles at the time of war.
In addition, it is regarded as one of the most wretched and poorest countries in the world. Even though the Taliban are no longer in control, the country is still faced with the problems of extortion, banditry, and “warlordism”. Arguably, the Taliban with Osama Bin Laden as their leader controlled the whole country. One of their main intentions was to destroy American embassies like in the case of Kenya and Tanzania respectively. The Americans only started to hunt for the Taliban leader Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Nonetheless, the Afghanistan president declined to hand over Osama Bin Laden to the American authorities as requested arguing that there was not clear proof that he took part in the attack. This provoked the Americans to launch missile attacks in Afghanistan in search of the Taliban. Within a few days, Afghan and Britain military forces joined the Americans to eliminate the Taliban (Bowden, 2012). Due to a lot of pressure from the Afghanistan, British and the American soldiers, the Taliban moved to the mountain sides of the bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The American government assisted Afghanistan to form a new demographic government which president Hamid was chosen as their leader. The Taliban forces later regrouped and started attacking Hamid’s governments and the US soldiers (Sinno, 2008). Since the Taliban group was steadily becoming stronger, the American president decided to send more troops to counter their thrust. This war was initiated during Bush’s administration but later taken over by Obama’s administration. Their major objective was to free the Afghanistan people from the repression of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. American forces ccomplished their mission by displacing the Taliban group from Kabul; a number of their leaders went to the neighboring Pakistan (Holmes & Dixon, 2001) Causes of the Afghanistan war Since 1996, the Taliban terror group had power over a large region in Afghanistan. Additionally, this group was also able to introduce strict Islamic rules to the people of Afghanistan. For instance, women were not allowed to work outside their homes. They were also not allowed to study and attend public functions in the absence of a male counterpart. This group also allowed the Al-Qaeda to build their military training base in Afghanistan (Holmes & Dixon, 2001).
According to a number of researches carried out, roughly 3,000 American citizens died in the 9/11 terrorist attack (Holmes & Dixon, 2001). The American government alleged that Osama Bin Laden was the one behind the attacks hence they devised a plan to overthrow the Taliban rule and replace it with a western democratic system of government. Americans launched a war in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from taking control of the country for the second time. It was also to prevent and control the movement of natural resources within and outside the country (Marsden, 1999).
America understands the overwhelming interest that its competitors that like Russia and China have over the minerals and natural resources in Afghanistan. This understanding has seen the American government delay the full withdrawal of soldiers. Instead, the American government advocates leaving about 10,000 soldiers beyond 2014 to train Afghanistan security apparatus on counterterrorism tactics. This is just part of whole intention to prolong the whole mission to ensure that no other foreign government takes control or enjoys access to the Afghanistan valuable natural resources (Barnet, 2007).
Historical and Contemporary Causes of the War The origin of the 9/11 attacks is thought to have started in 1979 when Afghanistan was at war with the Soviet Union. Soviet Union had raised a number of ideas on how to effectively govern and rule Afghanistan. They got involved into the Afghanistan politics in 1979 at the time when a pro-communist leader was being overthrown (Barnett, 2007). It is during this period that the Soviet Union and American soldiers were fighting in the Cold War. Consequently, the Americans had an interest in the fight as they wanted to check whether the Soviet Union would establish a socialist system of government.
American government decided to provide financial assistance to the Afghanistan armed forces to be against the involvement of the Soviet Union (Meher, 2004). According to Robinson (2013), the overwhelming interest of the US in Afghanistan and Central Asia saw the US government through the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) conspire with the Saudi Arabian government to sponsor terror and militia groups. The created and sponsored terror groups that included Al-Qaeda and Taliban turned to become instruments for frustrating the missions and stay of the Soviet Army in Afghanistan and Central Asian region.
The organizers of the whole plan that saw financing of Islamist militants to frustrate the Soviet Army named it the “Operation Cyclone”. This eventually enabled the US to oust their enemies from the resource-rich Central Asia while at the same time establishing groups that would later turn chaotic to the creators (Robinson, 2013). According to Robinson (2013), the contemporary cause of the war in Afghanistan dates back to the incidences of September 11, 2001 that saw terrorists suspected to be Al-Qaeda launch a heavy attack on the US.
The bomb incident that crumbled the World Trade Center led to loss of many lives and destruction of several properties in the US. In the mean time, there was another embarrassing experience in Afghanistan as terrorist groups majorly Taliban and other Islamist militias suppressed the Afghanistan government alongside breaching human rights in the country. During this time, Afghanistan was under the rule of Taliban that overthrew the government in 1996 (Bird & Marshall, 2011). Robinson (2013) reports that American intelligence believed that Taliban allowed terrorist groups like the Al-Qaeda to establish training camps within Afghanistan.
This situation coupled with the destructive facts of 9/11 and believable intelligence that the perpetrators were in hideouts in Afghanistan made the US government plan military attacks in the region (Bird & Marshall, 2011). Upon completion of the plans, the US military began official “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan in October 2001. In November 2001, the US together with friendly armies managed to destroy militant camps as well as arrest some members of the insurgent groups and terminate the Taliban rule.
This marked the actual beginning of the war in Afghanistan and projected specifically against the Islamist militias. As much as the motive behind the war in Afghanistan relates to the desire to restore freedom in the country, American interest in the oil and minerals in the foreign land confirms its continued stay in the country. Despite the criticisms directed against the American government from both within and outside America for its continued stay in Afghanistan even after the establishment of a democratic government, the American government seems reluctant to recall its soldiers.
One of the reasons earmarking the stand by the American government relates to the fact that Taliban and other supporting militant groups are fighting to resume leadership over Afghanistan. Come back of Taliban is likely to destabilize and compromise the freedom and democracy currently enjoyed by Afghanistan citizens (Jackson, 2013). Positive Results/aftermaths of the Afghanistan War The war had productive outcomes for both the US and the Afghanistan people. For instance, the US geologists obtained natural resources after the Taliban was defeated.
The geologists revealed that the country was rich in minerals. The discoveries revealed that the country had approximately $ 1 trillion in gold, and iron. Additionally, they also discovered that the country had numerous lithium, copper, and cobalt deposits. Availability of the above minerals is enough to improve the economy of Afghanistan. The Taliban were no longer able to launch their attacks. This gave enough room for the arrest of Osama, the Al-Qaeda leader (Meher, 2004).
The Afghanistan war has had notable positive results to the both the local citizens and foreign governments. Initially before the intervention of the American soldiers to trigger the war, citizens succumbed to suffrages due to lawlessness of the ruling authority. The Taliban leadership that ruled since 1996 until November 2001 breached and abused the fundamental freedom and democracy of people with which they had obligation to protect. The war also helped cushion the citizens from the consequences of the terrorist groups like al-Qaeda that could frustrate the public (Rubin, 2012).
Moreover, the intervention of the American soldiers that triggered the Afghanistan war helped in restoring a democratic government that is working to ensure useful and beneficial exploration of the country’s natural resources. It is without doubt that even if America is benefitting from the oil and other minerals, Afghanistan citizens are realizing positive economic, social and political growth financed by the dollars. In addition, the war in Afghanistan that led to manhunt of Al-Qaeda and other Islamist militias and eventual killing of personalities like Osama Bin Laden marks important mileage in antiterrorist wars (Rubin, 2012).
Negative aftermaths/Effects of the war The Afghanistan war led to a number of negative effects. The American economy was greatly affected considering that they spent a lot of money in buying the equipments which were used to fight the Taliban group. The war led to the death of many US soldiers and Afghanistan people. For instance, statistics indicate that approximately 2,000 American soldiers and 20,000 Afghanistan citizens died during the war (Schmitt & Naval, 2009). The war in Afghanistan also presents certain realities of loses to both the Afghanistan citizens and the US.
To begin with, the war against the terrorists led to massive damages to Afghanistan infrastructure. Trotta (2011) adds that to retaliate against the attacks by the US soldiers, the insurgents target public utilities where they destroy properties and infrastructure. In addition, the war has led to death of many people at the range of 224,000 to 258,000 who are soldiers, terrorists or innocent citizens (Trotta, 2011). Moreover, the war has led to great waste of money by both the American government and the insurgents. For instance, the current statistics unveil that the US government has spent a total of at least $3. trillion on the operation. According Fatima& Sari (2008), this value is likely to rise to the excess of $4. 4 trillion if the war continues as projected by the US government. Many US soldiers also died in the battlefield with some of those who survived the aftermath succumbing to post traumatic disorder. Conclusion The war in Afghanistan is part of the whole mission by the US to ensure sustained peace, tranquility and security across the world. The US is also using the war to reinstate its position as the world’s superpower as demonstrated by its intent to control valuable natural resources in Afghanistan.
The war has had both positive and negative impacts to both the US, and Afghanistan government. Even though the Afghanistan war brought a number of problems to the US troops and the local citizens, it brought some freedom in the country. Overthrowing of governments can no longer be experienced in this country. Additionally, a democratic government has also been brought back. Consequently, the natural resources that were once under the control of the Taliban are now monitored by an independent government. This has ensured even distribution of resources in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is slowly being reconstructed from the destructions it encountered during the war. Consequently, it is expected to be an economic center and democratic country in the next few years. References Barnett, R. R. (2002). The fragmentation of Afghanistan: State formation and collapse in the international system (2nd ed. ). Connecticut: Yale University Press. Barnett, R. R. (2007). Saving Afghanistan. Foreign affairs, 86(1), 57-74, 76-78. Bird, T. & Marshall, A. (2011). Afghanistan: How the West lost its way. Yale: Yale University Press. Bowden, M. (2012). The finish: The killing of Osama Bin Laden.
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