Afghanistan after 16 years of American military presence

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 03:16 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 110 times

Yesterday marked the 16th anniversary of 9/11 attacks in the United States.  9/11 was the most significant incident of the world's modern history, which had major implications not only for the US, but also for Afghanistan. On the one hand, it paved the way for the collapse of the Taliban regime, but on the other hand it was the dawn of a war which has no end in sight even after a decade and a half. Not only was the war not contained, but it also gradually escalated to a level, which is now viewed as the bloodiest. Fifteen years after its start, Afghan homes and villages are still bombed; scores of Afghans daily lose their lives; and Afghan people are now concerned and feel hopeless about their future more than ever.

 

 As the United States’ slogans during the invasion of Afghanistan were to counter terrorism and narcotics, Afghan people known for their hatred against invaders as a result of which their country is also called the graveyard of empires welcome American military presence in their country. They expected the United States to fix the mistake of turning its back on Afghanistan after the defeat of the Soviet Union. However, Americans not only did not redress it, but their military presence in Afghanistan added to the woes of the country. Under their close watch, Afghanistan became the world’s most corrupt nation; terrorists gained more momentum; and opium cultivation reached an unprecedented level in the country.

Under the global war on terror, Afghanistan paid, and continues to pay a heavy price, yet the US doesn’t treat the nation as its true ally. In words, the United States considers Afghanistan as its major non-NATO ally, but in practice it still pursues its interests in the protraction of conflict in this war-battered country. American actions in Afghanistan realize the concerns that Americans have been using Afghanistan as a theater of proxy wars even since the time of Afghan Jihad. Even the strengthening of terrorists is viewed as a conspiracy to prolong American military presence in Afghanistan, and rein in America’s regional rivals.

 

While Afghanistan has had some achievements during American military involvement, and it is unfair to completely ignore them, the continuity of war not only has endangered these gains, but has also shrouded the future of the entire Afghan nation and country in total ambiguity.