16 years of American military presence: continued bloodshed in Afghanistan

Sunday, 08 October 2017 03:15 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 62 times

Saturday October the 7th marked the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by the US-led coalition. Less than a month after the 9/11 attacks, the United States invaded Afghanistan under the ploy of eliminating Al-Qaeda that had claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks, and toppled the Taliban regime. 

 

Neither of the 19 attackers was Afghan, nor had any airplane been flown from Afghan airports. The majority of the culprits were citizens of Saudi Arabia, the major ally of the United States in the Middle East, and legal US residents. The only link the attack had with Afghanistan was that the Taliban regime had given refuge to Al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden. Although the Taliban offered the US reasonable options for the handover of Bin Laden to Americans following the 9/11 bombing, the US rejected the offer, and began to take revenge on Afghans for an incident which had nothing to do with Afghans, and for which others should have been held accountable. 

While the US was engaged in Afghanistan since the Afghan Jihad, and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was militarily backing the Mujahideen fighting the Soviet, 9/11 effectively paved the way for US military presence in Afghanistan. Americans invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting the Al-Qaeda Network, but American troops did not withdrew from Afghanistan even after the defeat of the terrorist group. To protract its military presence, the US has changed its goals in Afghanistan from time to time, thereby allowing the militants groups, including the Taliban, to resurge and regroup. Under US watch, Pakistan reorganized the insurgents who waged an intolerably bloody war in the country.

Afghanistan continues to bleed even after the 16-year US military presence, and Afghan people daily become victims of a war that has been imposed on them for foreign interests. While America’s Afghan war has been the longest in its history, its end is still not in sight. After the announcement of Trump’s new Afghan strategy, the US neither provides details about its troop level in Afghanistan nor has specified a timetable for the withdrawal of troops, an ambiguity that prompts regional powers to bear animosity towards the superpower, for which Afghanistan will again be the battlefield.