Part 1 of 3: How We Arrived at This Point in Afghanistan


courtesy of AP Images

Families wait outside the perimeter of the airport in Kabul on Aug. 16.

Joel Garwood, Staff Writer

We should have left Afghanistan 20 years ago, but it’s too late now. Obama, Trump and Biden all have tried to end the war, but Biden messed up. He decided to announce that troops would be removed to a group of terrorists, he left billions of dollars worth of military equipment overseas, Afghan civilians unprotected and American citizens stranded. The problem isn’t the removal of troops, it’s how it was done. Over the course of the next three to four weeks, I will be covering the war in Afghanistan in a series of articles.

To understand why American troops first occupied Afghanistan, you must go back 74 years to the start of the Cold War. The Cold War was a period of rivalry developed after World War II between The Soviet Union, The United States of America and their respective allies. The conflict was between the political ideologies of the two superpowers, and entailed events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the space race and construction of the Berlin wall. 

The U.S. occupied the countries of Guatemala, Grenada, Germany, The Dominican Republic, Cuba and Vietnam, in hopes of overthrowing communist regimes and establishing democratic governments. The Soviet Union occupied Germany, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Afghanistan in hopes of overthrowing democratic governments, establishing communist regimes and absorbing land. The Soviets attempted to flush out Afghan rebels called the Mujahideen and establish a puppet communist government. 

The U.S., desperate to destroy any chance of Afghanistan becoming communist, decided to back the Mujahideen. The rebels were given weapons, money, strategic advice, anything they needed to win against the Soviets. Little did the U.S. know, the Mujahideen would later develop into the terrorist groups Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Soviet generals looked back to America’s failure in Vietnam, after suffering catastrophic losses to the rebels,and realized they could not win the war. After 9 years of losses, the Soviets could no longer afford to occupy Afghanistan. The fall of The Soviet Union was inevitable, as they had spent over 700 billion dollars in the Afghan War.

In 1989 the war was over; or so the public thought. The American public had been kept in the dark, the Mujahideen were terrorizing the citizens of Afghanistan, and we would soon occupy the country. 

On September 11th, 2001, Al Qaeda launched several terrorist attacks across America. Four planes were hijacked. Two crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one crashed into the side of The Pentagon, and another prematurely crashed. 

After Vietnam, the American public wasn’t ready for another war. Strategists, generals, veterans, they all said we shouldn’t enter another war we cannot win. The 9/11 attacks united the American public on one key issue, Al Qaeda must be stopped by any means necessary. 

Don’t we have the strongest military in the world? You would think we would be able to swiftly destroy any third-world nation run by a small terrorist group. 

But they know our strategies, they have our money and weapons, they have time to prepare and they have the home-turf advantage. After eliminating the terrorist group Al Qaeda, we should have never stayed in Afghanistan. 

You cannot win a war against a group of rebels fighting in their own terrain, protecting their very livelihood. The Viet Cong and Afghan rebels fight one and the same, by using any means necessary. Women and children used weapons, elaborate tunnel systems and traps were built to deceive and eliminate unsuspecting soldiers and those incapable of fighting were equipped with bomb vests. If you aren’t willing to ditch the rules of war, you cannot win a war against soldiers engaging in guerilla warfare. 

We decided we should stay to keep the peace, establish a democratic government and destroy new terrorist cells; when we should have left the country alone.

Part 2 of 3: Taliban Takes Kabul, Americans Are Left Stranded