These days, all around the news and social media, there is one news that runs prominently in the mind of all people- The Taliban overtake.
Afghanistan, a once free country, has been overtaken now by a feared group of Islamists. But the story of this overtaken country does not end here as there are many backstories to be told and the main one would be the Afghanistan war.
The Afghanistan war fired up with the September 11 attacks that started in the year 2001. While talking about the Afghanistan wars, we can categorize it into three parts; the first phase involved the failure of the Taliban since this was the place for all the supporters of al-Qaeda, individuals or masterminds of the September 11 attacks. This phase had the least duration of 2 months. After this phase was the installation of the US forces and structuring the Afghan State into a free state that lasted for 6 years from 2002 to 2008. The final phase was a sweet gesture done by the U.S.
President Barack Obama’s decision in the year 2009 to increase their military power in the state to protect it from further attacks from the militant group and to instigate new security forces and new rules to make it a much safer place to live. The 13-year Afghanistan war is recorded as the longest war ever fought by the United States and is stated as a win or loss as it had its ups and downs.
Before September 11
The invasion of the two forces led by the U.S. and the British military was after the two long decades of the Afghan War. On Christmas Eve, 1979 to bring stability a coup inclining to the marxism view came across the rivers of Amu Darya. Those groups were the People’s (Khalq) Party and the Banner (Parcham) Party. But this propaganda was abruptly stopped with a nationwide revolt by fighters going by the name of mujahideen who brought people under the name of Islam. They won against the forces of the Marxist-Leninist political groups with the help of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United States and the so-called volunteers who named themselves as Al-Qaeda.
After the departure of Marxist-Leninist political groups, there was the formation of a transitional government by the mujahideen.
Since the fundamental blocks of the mujahideen were not strong, a strong conflict rose. And from this was the emergence of the Taliban who made their name after capturing Kabul in the year 1996. This Taliban force followed a very strict and harmful interpretation of the Islamic law that staggered the growth of the nation. In the year of 1996, Osama bin Laden the leader of al-Qaeda settled and built their headquarters in Afghanistan after being expelled from Sudan. With the joint forces of both Taliban and Al Qaeda, they were able to take over 90% of the Afghan state. The welcoming hand was then spat off when hitmen of this feared group assassinated the leader of the mujahideen Ahmad Shah Masoud who tried to fight back against these forces with the help of the US military.
The September 11 Attack
There isn’t a single person who does not remember the September 11 attack where four U.S. jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center site and killed and destroyed the lives of many. This outrage was then followed by the plan led by U.S. Pres. George W. Bush in order to dismantle these radical forces by allying up with those who oppose the same.
The jawbreaker, a team made by the central intelligence agency which was backed up by the US military force as well as the British forces fought alongside the anti-Taliban forces and was the beginning of the Operation Enduring Freedom and were able to overthrow many of the Taliban held town but on November 13 these forces defied the advice of the US and went strong for Kabul where Taliban retreated without a fight.
After the fall of the holy home of the Taliban, Kandahar on December 6, Karzai was made to form the country and lead it based on an interim. This fall was made with the help of anti-Taliban forces in the north that was monitored and directed by Karzai and anti-Taliban forces from the south that was monitored and directed by Gul Agha Sherzai alongside the strong and heavy monitoring from the United States.
After the fall of the Taliban came the search for the most wanted criminal i.e, Omar Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahiri which was successful after a huge failure that led to a lot of suspicion from the general public, the infamous battle of Tora Bora.
The aftermaths of the menial destruction of the Al-Qaeda and Taliban by the combined forces of International powers and those anti-Taliban forces were confusing. The reconstruction and aids for this state were not properly distributed. There were doubts on how to distribute the money towards education and security training. This was mainly due to the disturbances in the neighboring state of Iraq. The internal conflict between the international players in Afghanistan who fought against these terrorist ideas is also a point to be noted as each of the countries faced its casualties. As time went by, this lost its importance thus leading to a lot of judgment and criticism.
After the long years of Taliban power, elections were held where Karzai got the majority of votes, which was then followed by the parliamentary elections staged a year later which led to a government that was constituted with women also. The highlight of this was that the overall power was strong but its roots that were the local and sub-local wings were relatively weak.
Due to such internal conflicts and lack of support from the various ethnic minorities in this state, the Taliban forces were able to bounce back. They followed new tactics with specialized training, especially in the field of suicide bombing, a threat that was unseen before. The locals who were anti-westernized forces, Persian Gulf people and groups that were well off, and the strong opium industries were those who supported this.
The Emergence Of The Taliban & The Death Of Osama Bin Laden
The emergence of the Taliban was a hit for the US troops that led to the overall change in construction for the state which was similar to that made in Iraq made by the U.S. Pres. Barack Obama. It started with the change of power and release of more US troops into the war zone areas and focused more on a friendly agreement for both the government and Taliban leaders. But the new strategy was followed by a hike in death cases.
With this, the U.S. Pres. Barack Obama visited the state and left off with a stern message on removing the corruption of their country. Karzai vowed the same and made sure to reconcile back with the Taliban. But all his efforts went vain with the continuous rejection from Mullah Omar. Pakistan was stated as acting as an aid for the reconciliation between the two even though the underlying mission of Pakistan was in doubt for all. After a series of changes in the overall commanding officers again, followed by the controversial leak of documents led to further criticisms and doubts.
With the death of Osama Bin Laden, the US ensured the removal of their forces in the Afghan state but retained some of them back for training purposes alongside having peace talks with the Taliban.
There was high tension in the late years of Karzai and the US government with the constant conflicts between Afghan and US marines. This was later sealed by the two pacts- one for security and the other for training. The Bilateral Security Agreement was signed by the new president. But in the year 2020, a drawdown was implemented that led to the full withdrawal of all forces that were finished in 2021 alongside the re-establishment of the Taliban