Pulling Out

President Biden and his staff have decided to pull out of Afghanistan (CBS News). NATO will have to go as well. Let’s analyze what has happened in Afghanistan since the 9/11 attack.

Terrorists commandeered planes on Sept 11th of 2001 and flew them into the twin towers buildings. According to FBI and CIA investigators, most of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. They got at least some of the identities wrong because some of them are still alive (BBC). These guys were able to obtain fake identities in Germany. We don’t know who any of them were or where they were from.

Osama Bin Laden took credit for the attacks. The US helped the Northern Alliance rebels launch and assault on Kabul with air, intel and material support. The rebels successfully took control of the country from the Taliban. Bin Laden escaped over Khyber pass into Pakistan. The US and it’s allies then moved into the country and fought a 20 year long war against the Taliban attempting to retake the country.

During that time a fledgling democratic government has been supported by Western powers. Their hold on control of the country is tenuous. Women have been able to attain an education and the citizens have enjoyed freedoms not allowed under ultra religious Taliban rule.

Now we are going to abandon this project, and the people of Afghanistan, to the uncertainty of it’s ongoing insurgency. In past American conflicts we helped young nations and then built permanent bases to support their democracies. Bases in the Philippines and South Korea are examples. If the Taliban or some other religious group take control of the country we can expect a slaughter similar to the one in Vietnam when we left that country.

We can argue if sending troops to Afghanistan in 2001 was a good idea or not. I was opposed. However, we are there now and abandoning the Afghan people will destroy our credibility with other nations in the future, could result in a catastrophic loss of life and will be a lost opportunity to help spread democracy in the world.

The end result could be that we destroyed Al-Queda and handed Afghanistan back to the Taliban.

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