Chaos in Afghanistan: What you need to know


Alex Blacklock, Journalist

History of Afghanistan

If you have been watching the news, reading the newspaper, or even looking at your phone you probably have heard about the crisis in Afghanistan.

This issue is still developing and is far from done but it is important to examine the events and decisions that lead up to this point. This situation did not start two weeks ago; it started two decades ago. After our country was attacked on September 11, 2001, we made it a priority to get the people who were responsible for the attack. Obviously, the person who was most known and wanted was Osama Bin Laden, who formed and led the group that was responsible for the attacks. At this time, the Taliban controlled a large part of Afghanistan and used it to harbor Osama Bin Laden. The United States could not let Osama Bin Laden live freely in Afghanistan, so they sent troops into Afghanistan for the sole purpose of capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden and the people who were responsible for 9/11. Our troops began fighting the Taliban and forced most of them out to Pakistan, where Osama Bin Laden was later killed by U.S. special forces.

You would think that once we got Bin Laden, our troops would come home. The U.S. went in there for one purpose: to get our 9/11 attackers. We didn’t go in there for nation building or formation of a democracy, and while the reason we were in Afghanistan was misdefined by our leaders, our original goal always remained the same. Yet still our troops spent 20 years in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban. 

Is it really an “endless war”?

Over the course of our time in Afghanistan many people have used the term “endless war” to describe the conflict. Is this really an endless war? The answer to that question is no. While we have spent a lot of money and lost many great lives in Afghanistan, it is not really accurate to call it a war. Whenever a soldier dies it is a tragedy, but the last time a soldier was killed in Afghanistan was February of 2020, and the money we spent in Afghanistan is only about one percent of the federal budget. So, while it is accurate to say we have made sacrifices in Afghanistan, to call it a war is a bit of a stretch and while military presence in Afghanistan is controversial, it is not fair to call our presence there a war.

The execution 

While many people agree that our troops should not be in Afghanistan, very few people agree with the way our troops were brought out of Afghanistan. Our troops were brought out with basically no period of transition, but here’s the worst part: There were about 15,000 Americans who were still left in Afghanistan when we pulled our troops out, which created a very dangerous situation for rescue efforts. 13 U.S. Marines were killed in Kabul trying to get Americans home safely.

While many experts and analysts did believe that pulling our troops out would result in the Taliban taking over Afghanistan, the timing was extremely unforeseen. Prior to the withdrawal of our troops, the Biden administration said it would be 30-90 days before the Taliban would be capable of taking over Afghanistan. It turned out that the actual time would be closer to 30-90 hours.

In a press conference about Afghanistan, president Biden addressed the quick take over by saying, “I always promise the American people that I would be straight with you, the truth is this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. So what’s happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed sometimes without trying to fight.”

While many people agree with the fact that the Afghan government did not put up a fight, they still feel like much blame falls on the Biden administration. Former president Trump said “This would never have happened when I was in office,” and then went on to criticize the execution saying “[…]who takes the military out first? You take the military out last and safely.” 

The criticism is not just coming from the right. Chris Cuomo, who is known to lean to the left, said, “If they can’t find a way to get all of these Americans out safely it will be a stain on the administration forever.” While there were many factors that came into play it is very clear that pulling our troops out, before getting our American citizens out, was a giant mistake that could cost many lives. 

What happens now? 

Many Americans and people around the world are asking: what happens now? Will the terror threat continue to grow? Will more American troops be killed? Will we be able to get our American citizens out of Afghanistan?

As of now, things don’t look great. The Taliban was able to seize millions of dollars worth of military equipment left behind, and there are still many Americans behind enemy lines. Many Americans have been rescued, but it is hard to say whether or not we will be able to get all of our citizens back home safely with their families. 



Press conference on CNN

Interview on Fox news 

Cuomo Prime Time