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Feature: Afghanistan 18 Years After 9/11

Feature: Afghanistan, 18 Years After 9/11

18 Years have passed since the incident of 9/11. The United States, which claimed that the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization was responsible for the attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the US Department of Defense building – the Pentagon, invaded Afghanistan less than a month later in October 2001.
The Taliban and Al-Qaeda, temporarily, failed in the war against US, even a so-called democratic government came into being in Afghanistan, but in the long-run, the bloody war never ended. After NATO officially announced the end of the military operation in Afghanistan in 2014 and entrusted all security to the Afghan army, most experts questioned the move and the possibility of full realization of the dream that Afghan forces would shoulder the security of their country. Operations and attacks of the extremist groups kept on warning everyone. The warning came true in the last two years with the fall of some provinces and parts of the country to Taliban.
The US and NATO allies, calling their operations “enduring freedom” and promising to rid the Afghan people of terrorism and extremism, have turned 18 years into the longest foreign war in American history with little achievements as far as peace and tranquility is concerned. Now, they have begun negotiations with the Taliban despite hundreds of billions of dollars in costs and thousands of deaths and injuries.
Unfortunately, negotiations with the Taliban failed after nine rounds of extensive discussions.
On the other hand, the war and insecurity have intensified since the eighteen-year of US presence in Afghanistan, and most of the provinces in the country are now the scene of the most intense fighting between Afghan troops, Taliban and other terrorist groups. The Afghan people are not feeling safe anywhere in the country, and fears of war and explosions have become part of the daily lives of the people so that even weddings and mourners are targeted by suicide attacks in various parts of the country, including Kabul.
The US military, which launched its campaign in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks on the pretext of fighting terrorism, has not succeeded in countering terrorism, rather the number of terrorist groups present in Afghanistan has now increased to twenty, with more than fifty percent of territory under their control.
The number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan has risen to hundreds of thousands in the last eighteen years, with the blunt bombings of foreign troops, and suicide bombing and other tactics of terrorist groups being the most important causes. The other slogan of the US military presence in Afghanistan was the fight against narcotics cultivation; however, the level of narcotics production is increasing compared to eighteen years ago, indicating that the US lacks the motivation or neglects to combat drugs rise.
Recently, Trump halted peace talks with Taliban on the pretext of killing of an American soldier. The Taliban, meanwhile, has pledged to continue its demand for full withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. As the US military operations, and the Taliban offensive in Afghanistan have intensified, a new wave of war, violence and killing has begun to take its toll on the Afghan people.
After the 9/11 US bombing and following the fall of the Taliban, foreign troops and civilians, especially US troops, were deployed extensively in Afghanistan, promising to help with security, reconstruction and other areas with Afghanistan, but with the passage of 18 Afghanistan still lacks relative security this year.
The issue of the war on terror is still a major challenge and many believe that the US and the West pursue their national interests in the fight against terrorism and there is no common military and political policy.
According to Afghan government officials, there are currently 20 main armed opposition groups fighting in Afghanistan. These include international, regional, and national terrorist groups.
Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesperson Dawlat Waziri said international groups include al-Qaeda, the Taliban and regional terrorists, including groups from Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Arab countries.
In addition to these groups, Daesh has become one of the bloodthirsty terrorist groups in Afghanistan for many years now, having launched several bloody attacks. The group is said to be seeking a religious war in Afghanistan.
Daesh, the most dangerous terrorist group in recent years, has a widespread presence in Afghanistan and is targeting a specific ethnic group severely to create ethnic divisions.
Now, after 18 years, Afghanistan seems to be in the same situation, and a world of political and security controversy has added to the government’s policies of ethnic confrontation. Although hope for a bright future in Afghanistan is there, it still has good opportunities to transform from a country that is the center of terrorist groups to a democratic one.
As a result, we can say that the presence of the United States and NATO in Afghanistan over the past 18 years has not worked well, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in Afghanistan today, people still suffer from insecurity, poverty, drug addiction and various other issues. The time is ripe to consider the options of nation building in Afghanistan seriously and make efforts in the same regard.
(Sahar News)

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