Taliban take over: a scramble and a worry

Taliban+take+over%3A+a+scramble+and+a+worry

Preston Nguyen, Editor

Earlier this summer, the Americans ended their expensive engagement in Afghanistan as the Afghani leaders left the country and their people. This was the final piece in a long-term puzzle that has been building for the past twenty years.

August 15, the evacuation began, President Biden struggled to keep everyone calm as many troops received orders to leave Afghanistan. The President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, explained on his Facebook why he fled, stating that more violence would have occurred had he stayed.

“Today I came across a tough choice…I have to face the armed Taliban who want to enter the palace or leave the country where I have dedicated my life to protecting and nurturing for the last 20 years,” Ghani posted on his FaceBook. “If left unchecked, countless patriots would be martyred and the city of Kabul would be devastated, resulting in a major humanitarian catastrophe in the six-million-strong city.”

Seeing the country crumbling, the Taliban took bolder actions. Taking major cities along the way, they advanced closer to the capital. Taliban-conquered cities typically did little to fight them off. In America, many Afghans worry about the future of their homeland.

“You failed the younger generation of Afghanistan,” said Aisha Khurram, an Afghan university student, telling the Associated Press, “Our generation was hoping to build the country with their own hands. They put blood, effort, and sweat into whatever we had right now.”

As concerns rise, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a Facebook video that it is the Taliban’s intention to make their rule more inclusive, to provide security for aid agencies and embassies, and to respect women’s rights to work and to go to school.

Mujahid stated that the Taliban has offered “full amnesty to Afghans who worked for the U.S…nobody will go to their doors to ask why they helped [the west].” He believes that private media should “remain independent”, but journalists “should not work against national values.”

As questions over the actual reasoning for US withdrawal, many members of the state defended their actions.

“The president made the determination that it was time to end this war for the United States, to get out of the middle of a civil war in Afghanistan and to make sure that we were looking at our interests across the world,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press release.

In the midst of everyone scrambling to get the masses out of Afghanistan, another issue began to rise. According to US officials, the Taliban has obtained access to 2,000 armored vehicles and 40 aircraft, including Black Hawk UH-60s.

“We have already seen Taliban fighters armed with U.S.-made weapons they seized from the Afghan forces. This poses a significant threat to the United States and our allies,” Representative Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, told Reuters in an email.

By August 20, the US began to admit that they had miscalculated. Taking more troops out of the country was supposed to save the soldiers from the fall of the government. However, it was the catalyst for the demise of the country.

“The fact of the matter is we’ve seen that that force has been unable to defend the country,” Blinken told CNN, “And that has happened more quickly than we anticipated.”

Although many have expressed concerns over the swift and absolute withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the president remains steadfast in his stance to gradually remove the US’ strong presence in another country.

“One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country,” Biden wrote in a statement to the press, “An endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.”