Overwhelmed by the news of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan, I am urged to express my thoughts.
It has been a tough year, and there are many stories worth talking about. None more so than the events arising out of Afghanistan.
As of now, the leader of the Taliban sits in the capitol of Afghanistan, Kabul, in the government offices built for more legitimate officials. Since they have taken the land, they have inherited a problem.
What will they do next?
The answer to that question is no one knows.
Everyone is waiting for the evacuation of refugees, migrants, and US allies from the region while we all hold our breath hoping there are less casualties from the effort.
Also holding their breath are the population of Afghan women who choose or are forced to stay behind in the region and will be forced to observe the “guidelines of Islam”. Guidelines that have historically been challenging for their livelihoods, lifestyles, education, their bodies, and their very lives.
President Biden is taking massive heat from journalists, former and current members of the military for the decision he made that launched this strain on Afghanistan. The decision to pull American troops from the nation and to declare America’s longest war: over.
The war has not been successful. If it were, the Afghan government would have held off the Taliban from systematically and swiftly overtaking their land, and Afghan leadership would still be at the desk instead of fleeing at the first glimpse of Taliban forces at the gates of Kabul.
In terms of intention, the story of “success” is a different tone. The US assassinated Osama bin Laden who was responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on US soil, and put a stop to Al Qaeda. According to his remarks on the situation in Afghanistan on August 16th 2021, these two historical actions were carried out 10 years ago. What has been taking place in the region has since been nation building- not what the US had put boots on the ground for.
In that sense, it is my view that the President is justified in his decision to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan.
There was intelligence that the Taliban sought Afghanistan, but most were betting on the Afghan government to protect itself. In that mission they have failed miserably.
It is the main reason people are feeling as if the entire nation building mission (not the intention) was a failure. So those who entered the country of Afghanistan in uniform between the years of 2011 and 2021 and either lost friends, family, fellow soldiers, and witnessed other life changing horrors are feeling a punch in the gut right now. As if the past ten years was all a waste.
But that isn’t the President’s fault. The responsibility of riding a bike once the training wheels are off falls on the person riding the bike. Not the person who lent them training wheels and took them off TEN YEARS LATER. That’s long enough to learn how to ride a bike. And far long enough to learn the ways of war enough to defend yourself against an army of terrorists.
Some say it was due to the lack of an Afghan Air Force. Maybe. That’s a strategic angle I don’t have the pleasure of knowing the accuracy that statement may or may not contain.
I know it’s gobbled up hours of news television. And there are other pressing matters. Like Haiti, vaccinations in schools, vaccine mandates, the looming drop in unemployment benefits, the toll of the virus itself, the storms off the eastern US coast, and a whole host of other issues that deserve attention as well.
I’ll tell you one thing I don’t hear enough of on this issue. Blaming the Taliban themselves for how fast they took over Afghanistan. It’s obvious who’s been training harder over the past couple of decades.