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The Complicated History Behind the U.S. and Afghanistan

Afghanistan is currently in control by the Taliban, but the U.S. and its 20 year war there costing over $2.3 trillion, is over.

The U.S. has a lot of history with Afghanistan including the attacks of 9-11. Back then, the U.S. goverment quickly took control after that catastrophic event and officials were soon able to identify an Islamist military group called Al-Qaeda in Afgahnistan, as well as it’s leader Osama Bin Laden.

The Afgahnistan goverment refused to hand him over to the U.S. government, causing America to quickly take action and remove the Taliban (an Islamist religious and political movement/military organization in Afghanistan) from power after around 3,000 lives were lost in the terrorist attack.

What the U.S. didn’t know was that the militants in that group escaped and later regrouped, and even though a new Afghan government with a new president was set in place, terror attacks from the group continued and further lives were lost.

Former president Barack Obama made an effort to push back the Taliban in 2009, but nothing lasted long term.

The leader of al-Qaeda was killed after a 10 year struggle by the U.S. Navy Seals in Pakistan on May 2, 2011. Two years later, the original founder of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, died of health problems.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) joined forces with the U.S. to help with Afghanistan, but they ended their mission, and left the responsibility for Afghanistan's national security to their own Afghan army. This led the Taliban to be able to gain more territory and influence.

Peace talks started to begin between the U.S. and the Taliban, and they came to an agreement. The U.S. and NATO would withdraw all troops sent within 14 months in February of 2020, and by August 30th of 2021, all U.S. troops would be out of Afghanistan.

However, the execution of this agreement received much criticism and concern for the Afghanistan people they left behind who were begging and desperate for asylum. There were records of mothers throwing their babies over the Kabul airport barbed wire, putting their kids in danger in hopes of getting them to safety with many other similar stories.

The U.S also left a surplus of technology behind, including 70 MRAPA’s, 27 Humvees, 73 aircrafts, counter-rockets, artillery, and mortar systems.

Currently, the Taliban is still in control of the country, bringing up concerns on what this will look like for the people’s political freedom, the women's safety, and basic human rights for those who live there. The war is over, but problems still continue.

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