The War in Afghanistan and its Aftermath
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The War in Afghanistan and its Aftermath
The war in Afghanistan has deep-rooted historical causes and aftermaths that are hard to assume or ignore when analyzing it. The war began officially during the Cold war era when Russia and the entire Soviet Union were not in unity with the US and friendly nations. Considering the closeness to Afghanistan, the Soviet Union stationed its army in Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries with view that it would later reap forfeited minerals and resources in the region (Robinson, 2013). Unfortunately, the US had prior knowledge of the potential of Central Asia and Afghanistan in particular. This understanding coupled with the friendship with oil-rich Saudi Arabia aroused and multiplied its interest towards Afghanistan and Central Asia as whole. The US positions itself as the leading advocate for human rights and democratic form of leadership within and outside its borders. The motive behind the roles is partially by virtue of its position as the world’s superpower and the need to retain the position. The war against terrorism in Afghanistan is a remarkable example of what the US can do to remain a superpower and reserve its powerful position in global politics (Sidky, 2007). The Basics of the War
Afghanistan is a country recognized by its constant chaos. The country did not take sides at the time when other nations were fighting in the Cold War hence they enjoyed support from both the US and Soviet Union. The problem started in 1970’s when the county experienced harsh economic challenges (Gibbs, 1987). This was majorly brought by the extensive drought experienced that year. As a result, their government was overthrown by a group of youthful armed forces who alleged that the tough economic blow was caused by their leader King Muhammad Zahir Shah. They also accused him of undermining the political reforms of Afghanistan. After the government was overthrown, King Muhammad Zahir Shah’s cousin Lt. Gen. Sardar Muhammad Daud Khan was given the crown. In 1979, Lt. Gen. Sardar Muhammad Daud Khan’s government was also overthrown by the guerrilla forces which made the Mujahidin group to seize power (Kellner, 2003). The Mujahidin group controlled Afghanistan for approximately 20 years and failed to unite the people of Afghanistan (Goldman, 1984). Consequently, this led to the disagreement within its members. The Taliban took advantage of the situation and took control of Kabul in 1996 when they announced that they were the legitimate government in Afghanistan. Besides, the Taliban group was able to introduce a system of Islamic rule in the areas they controlled. At the moment, the country is trying to restructure itself after most of their buildings were destroyed by bombs and missiles at the time of war. In addition, it is regarded as one of the most wretched and poorest countries in the world. Even though the Taliban are no longer in control, the country is still faced with the problems of extortion, banditry, and “warlordism”. Arguably, the Taliban with Osama Bin Laden as their leader controlled the whole country. One of their main intentions was to destroy American embassies like in the case of Kenya and Tanzania respectively. The Americans only started to hunt for the Taliban leader Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Nonetheless, the Afghanistan president declined to hand over Osama Bin Laden to the American authorities as requested arguing that there was not clear proof that he took part in the attack. This provoked the Americans to launch missile attacks in Afghanistan in search of the Taliban. Within a few days, Afghan and Britain military forces joined the Americans to eliminate the Taliban (Bowden, 2012). Due to a lot of pressure from the Afghanistan, British and the American soldiers, the Taliban moved to...
Following the September 11 terror attacks, the U.S. sent thousands of troops to Afghanistan to pursue the al Qaeda terrorists who plotted the terror attacks. Almost 10 years ago, the U.S. sent troops to the Central Asian country in order to protect the U.S. after Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States. Within a year of entering into the country, the U.S. shifted its focus from Afghanistan to Iraq, which led to the resurgence of the Taliban. Currently, the U.S., under the Obama administration, has developed a new strategic plan in which troops are “to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future (Afghanistan, 672).” Pakistan, the nuclear armed and western bordering country to Afghanistan, has become a sanctuary for Taliban and al Qaeda, which is why the U.S. has a concentration of troops on the border of the two countries. The U.S. needs to protect the border in order to ensure that the nuclear arms of Pakistan do not fall into the hands of the Taliban and al Qaeda.
The United States faces many problems in the current war with terrorist forces. The increase of causalities, the increase of fanatical Taliban and al Qaeda troops, the lack of Afghan National Army forces to help with the fighting, and the ever...
...The War in Afghanistan (2001–present) refers to the intervention in the Afghan Civil War by the United States and its allies, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to dismantle Al-Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden and to remove from power the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist regime led by Mullah Mohammed Omar, which at the time controlled 90% of Afghanistan and hosted Al-Qaeda leadership. U.S. President George W. Bush demanded that the Taliban hand over bin Laden and al-Qaeda leadership which was supporting the Taliban in its war with the Northern Alliance. The Taliban recommended that bin Laden leave the country but declined to extradite him without evidence of his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The United States refused to negotiate and on 7 October 2001 launched Operation Enduring Freedom, which was to defeat the Taliban and set up a new Afghan government. This operation was supported by various anti-Taliban groups, especially the Afghan Northern Alliance. The United Kingdom also got involved, andwas later joined by Canada, Australia, France and other mainly western allies.
The U.S.-led forces quickly drove the Taliban from power and captured all major cities in the country. Many Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders escaped to neighboring Pakistan or retreated to rural or remote mountainous regions. In December 2001, the U.N. Security Council...
...At the time of my writing, the NATO war in Afghanistan has just become the longest war in U.S. history, a status it seems likely to retain for some time. It has been, and remains, a very strange war, all the stranger now that General Stanley McChrystal has been fired as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan following the lamest Douglas MacArthur impression on record. He has been replaced by General David Petraeus, the father and executor of the doctrine that lay behind the eventual U.S. military success in Iraq, a version of which is now being applied in Afghanistan. The notion that his appointment will lead to substantial changes in the Afghan mission is hence overblown, especially as up until a week ago he was the one telling McChrystal what to do in his role as the latter's boss.
So, not a time for radical change, but a time to reflect.
American involvement in Afghanistan began in 1979, when the Soviets invaded the country. The U.S. wanted to get the Soviets bogged down in a demoralizing war, they wanted to discourage this sort of Soviet adventurism, and they especially wanted to make sure the Red Army didn't march on through to the Middle East. So, with the help of a host of other countries, the U.S. funelled money and weapons to anti-Soviet forces, and they didn't ask too many questions about the politics of the recipients. This strategy worked,...
Operation Enduring Freedom 2001
Afghanistan is a landlocked country that is located approximately in the center of Asia. It is located within Central Asia, and South Asia, and the Middle East. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the south and west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. The geography of Afghanistan is considered to be extremely important strategically. Afghanistan being a crossroads between the East and the West, and has been an ancient focal point of trade and migration and with the passage of time the geostrategic location of Afghanistan has made it even more important. It has an important geostrategical location, connecting South and Central Asia and Middle East. Even though it does not have vast treasures of oil and mineral but its close proximity to middle East and Central Asian oil rich states makes it a prime state.
Afghanistan has been bearing the brunt of not only the intrastate tribal and civil wars but also suffering from foreign interventions starting from 1979 Soviet invasion and recent US invasion of 2001 carried out with the aim of trampling the Taliban regime and to exterminate Osama Bin Laden and his cell based organization Al-Qaeda.
In order to analyse the military geography of Afghanistan and impact Afghanistan’s...
...Should NATO stay in Afghanistan?
Should NATO stay in Afghanistan?
Afghanistan was not always thought of as a horrendous, dangerous and backwards country. Prior to the Soviet invasion of 1979, Afghanistan was on its way to becoming a developed country. In fact, it was nearly half a century ago when Afghan women peacefully roamed the streets of Kabul with friends and could go to the theaters, pursue education and careers in medicine and mingled with boys on campus. This was before the Soviets came into Afghanistan, and before the Mujahedeen had the power to control the country. NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) continued presence in Afghanistan will continue to foster the development of democratization, human rights and development, while effectively eliminating the Taliban from the region.
The rise of the Taliban occured when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, during the Cold War. The Soviets came into Afghanistan looking to expand their Communist empire. As a result of this Communist expansion in Afghanistan, the USA decided to take counter action against the Soviets, their Cold War enemy, by funding an opposition party. This opposition, called the Mujahedeen, was a religious group with the objective to fight off the change in their cultural country. When the Mujahedeen...
The real danger is that the world turns its back on another poor place threatened by jihadists
AFTER 11 years spent waging war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, almost $1.5 trillion in direct costs and hundreds of thousands of lives lost, the Western public feels it has learned a hard lesson. It is more convinced than ever that even the best-intentioned foreign intervention is bound to bog its armies down in endless warsfighting invisible enemies to help ungrateful locals.
Echoes of Afghanistan rang loud earlier this month when French forces swooped on advancing columns of Islamists threatening the Saharan state of Mali. And they were heard again, a few days later, when a unit of bearded, gun-toting jihadists from the "Signed-in-Blood Battalion" seized a gas plant and slaughtered dozens of foreigners in next-door Algeria--more than in any single Islamist terror attack since the bombing of a Bali nightclub in 2002. Here, it seemed, was the next front of the global war on terror and also a desert quagmire to entrap vainglorious Western leaders.
Yet all wars are different. The lessons from one campaign need not map neatly onto the next. Looking at the arc of instability, stretching from Somalia and Sudan in the east through Chad to Mali in the west, as if it were just another Iraq or Afghanistan, is misleading. It is also, if it discourages outsiders from...
...conflict and how does conflict impact on people and their environment?
Where is the Afghan War located?
It is situated below the Brandt line (running through the middle of the earth) in south central Asia. It is bordered by Iran on the west, by Pakistan on the east and south, and by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan on the north. The war is fought in Kandahar and also in the south.
How has the environment / physical geography ofAfghanistan affected the conflict?
In Afghanistan, the environment has affected the conflict for both positive and negative reasons. In some cases, the environment has had a positive impact because of the numerous mountains spread across it covering two thirds of its surface. This useful during a war as when you are up high you have the advantage and the enemy would not be able to see the Afghans. The mountains are popular for the Taliban. Also, as it is the Taliban’s home land, they would know the area. As well as this, the rest of the landscape is made up of desert and grass lands meaning there are lots of places to hide in the grass but it is very hard to hide in the deserts.
However, the landscape of Afghanistan would also make it harder to transport weapons and carry all of the supplies. With this, the poor resources would mean that the longer the soldiers stay there the weaker they get. The very cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers...
...American interest in Afghanistan:
The United States government, led by the Central Intelligence Agency's Special Activities Division, has made a series of attacks on targets in northwest Pakistan since 2004 using drones (unmanned aerial vehicles). Under the George W. Bush administration, these controversial attacks were called a part of the US' "War on Terrorism" and sought to defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants who were thought to have found a safe haven in Pakistan. Most of these attacks are on targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Northwest Pakistan. These strikes are mostly carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated remotely from Creech Air Force Base and have continued under the Presidency of Barack Obama. Generally the UAVs used are MQ-1 Predator and more recently MQ-9 Reaper firing AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The drones have become a weapon of choice for the United States in the fight against al-Qaeda. Some media refer to the series of attacks as a "drone war". Pakistan's government publicly condemns these attacks but has secretly shared intelligence with Americans and also allowed the drones to operate from Shamsi airfield in Pakistan. Washington officials say drone strikes are highly effective in the war against al-Qaeda and have killed a number of high-value targets, including Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban's founding...