The Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan: What Led Up to It and What Is Happening Now
By Sahar Ali
Volume 2 Issue 2
November 19, 2021
Image provided by Zabi Karimi
AFGHANISTAN- On Saturday, May 1st, 2021, the Taliban started to take over Afghanistan, a country located in Central Asia. On Sunday, August 15th, 2021, the Taliban took over Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The country was finally taken over by the Taliban after twenty years of war with the United States.
What Is the Taliban?
The Taliban is a group of predominantly Pashtuns that are an Islamic fundamentalist group. They ruled Afghanistan previously from 1996 to 2001 until the U.S. invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. In 2021, when the U.S. started to remove its troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban once again started to take over. The Afghani people have been trying to flee their home country ever since the Taliban took control because they do not want to experience the harsh rules the Taliban enforced when they previously had power.
What Led Up to The Takeover
After the attacks that occurred on 9/11, the United States went to war with Afghanistan to eradicate al-Qaeda, the group responsible for committing the horrendous acts on September 11th, 2001. The U.S. troops stayed in Afghanistan for 20 years (2001-2021) until President Biden announced the full withdrawal of troops. Then slowly, the Taliban started to take over parts of Afghanistan, trying to get closer and closer to the capital, Kabul.
The U.S. and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) trained the Afghan security forces for two decades and spent billions of dollars to equip them with weapons. Even then, the Afghan security forces could not prevent the Taliban from taking over. To make it worse, as the U.S. troops were pulling out of Afghanistan, the security forces started to weaken without support.
Another factor that led up to the Taliban takeover was the corruption that took place in the Afghani government. The government did not provide the Afghani troops with enough supplies, food, or ammunition.
As the Taliban started to take control over cities, there would be small battles between the Afghani forces and Taliban until the security forces surrendered. However, most cities were taken over by the Taliban without a fight.
News About the President
Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan, did not appear to take action to stop the Taliban from taking over more parts of Afghanistan. Instead, he released a few public statements regarding the Taliban and then fled the country. According to Ghani, he fled to prevent any further bloodshed. Ashraf Ghani fled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and he is currently there.
Ever since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the citizens have been trying to flee the country because they are worried that the Taliban will enforce the same harshly interpreted Islamic laws that they enforced in 1996. Afghanis have been fleeing to nearby countries such as Pakistan and Iran. In addition, some people have fled to Turkey, the U.S., Germany, the UAE, and Qatar. There have also been some evacuations that took place.
The women of Afghanistan are also concerned that the Taliban have taken over. When the Taliban was in power from 1996-2001, they enforced strict laws that greatly affected women. Women were not allowed to have jobs and girls were not allowed to go to school and get an education. If women wanted to leave the house, they would have to cover themselves up and go to the outside world. Sometimes we do not realize how lucky we are to be able to do certain things like going to school every day.
What Is Happening Now
When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, they also created a new government and now are currently ruling the country. Not only that, but the Taliban also went as far as changing the flag of Afghanistan.
In addition, the U.S. has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, however, the new rulers of Afghanistan, the Taliban, will not receive any political recognition from the United States.
What Could Happen Next
It is not clear what is going to happen next in Afghanistan, but the future does not look very bright. But there are some things that can be done. Currently, Afghanistan is in a very desperate situation, and they require a lot of foreign aid. The European Union (EU), which is a political and economic group that consists of 27 European nations, and the U.S. could give Afghanistan more foreign aid and loans to stabilize the economy of Afghanistan. Without aid, it could also cause more problems of illegal immigration to nearby countries. The United States and the European Union could act to prevent these problems from occurring.
Afghanistan was a beautiful country before the fighting started. Let us hope that this conflict ends so that the Afghanistan that people used to know is restored to its original beauty.