KABUL, Afghanistan — For the past 40 years, Afghanistan experienced unrest from the Soviet invasion to the various violent terrorist groups that control the country. After the attacks of 9/11, the U.S. invaded the country, which brought an end to the Taliban rule. The U.S. helped develop a new democratic government to help improve the situation of the country. Since then, the United States along with NATO and Afghan forces have fought various insurgent groups trying to regain control of the country. Here are some causes of the war and the effects it led to.
Causes and Effects of the War in Afghanistan
The main cause for the U.S. invading Afghanistan was the events surrounding the September 11 attacks. The strict Taliban regime in the 1990s was a safe haven for terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda. After the attacks, the U.S. demanded that the terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden be handed over. Soon after the Taliban government refused, America invaded. The reason that the war in Afghanistan lasted so long is the continual violence by insurgent groups in the area. These groups try to gain power and spread fear through the use of suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices. In 2019, the Taliban still had “control or influence” over 12.3% of Afghan districts.
Poverty caused by war is a huge issue in the country. Many people cannot afford basic goods that they need to survive such as food and healthcare. Starvation and malnutrition run rampant. In addition to not having basic necessities, many civilians are being killed by the thousands during bombings and raids. In fact, since 2001, at least 157,000 people have died in the war. Civilians comprised 43,000 of those killed. The United States has contributed significantly to the civilian death rate due to airstrikes and raids. Overall, the war has caused a lack of awareness of the needs and livelihood of civilians.
The Afghanaid Organization
An NGO helping to combat the effects of war in Afghanistan is the Afghanaid Organization. This British organization has worked to help vulnerable families in the poorest parts of Afghanistan by providing basic services, strengthening the rights of women and children, protecting communities after natural disasters, and responding to humanitarian emergencies. It has worked to help provide for communities all over Afghanistan through partnerships, fundraising and utilizing donations.
Afghanaid provides career training, helps farmers and has implemented potable water projects in the country. In fact, the organization “built 14 wells and 2 reservoirs, constructed 3 piped water schemes and 47 latrines as well as established 9 WASH committees within local communities” in just one year. People can go to the Afghanaid website to buy holiday gifts, calendars and cards that support Afghan communities.
After all the fighting over the last two decades, the United States recently reached a deal with the Taliban that negotiated the withdrawal of United State troops from Afghanistan. Peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government began in September 2020. The hope remains that the country will remain under free, democratic power and that it becomes a safer and better place to live.
– Samira Akbary