By Susanne Cunningham
In October 2001, following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers, President George W. Bush sent U.S. Troops to Afghanistan to hunt down Osama Bin Laden and drive the Taliban from power. On Aug. 30, 2021, President Joe Biden finished withdrawing these troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of occupancy. Now, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan once more. Afghan citizens are fleeing by the hundreds and seeking refuge in Pakistan, Iran, America and many other countries. Attacks on airports have left hundreds injured or dead. There is panic in all corners of the world, and one must ask, “Where did this all come from?”
When America first occupied Afghanistan, it was to ensure that nothing like 9/11 would happen again. The Taliban is a militia formed of mostly farmers and students of Islam, as the word “Taliban” is Pashto for “Students.” The Taliban was formed in the early 1990s and slowly moved south, taking over more and more nations until, in 1996, they captured the capital city, Kabul, and killed the president. The Taliban immediately enacted several rules upon mostly women, other political parties and religious minorities. These aggressive laws and treatments are what caused unrest and anarchy in Kabul and other cities in Afghanistan, as well as warranting critical attention from the other nations. U.S., Italy, Britain, Germany, Turkey and many other countries’ troops drove back the Taliban, but, with the recent removal of the U.S. military, the terrorist group came back more quickly than anyone predicted, and with a powerful vengeance.
Currently, the Taliban has power over most Afghanistan cities, including Kabul. The President, Ashraf Ghani, has fled the city to “avoid further bloodshed.” The Taliban has promised better laws and treatments, especially towards women. They now allow women to study but segregate them from men. Pictures of punishments are circulating the internet. The crisis is ongoing, and no one really knows what is going to happen next. However, Afghanistan will not be abandoned. Charities have been set up to help those affected and the United States is keeping close tabs on the situation. With enough dedication and time, this crisis can be solved, and Afghanistan can finally live in peace.