Afghanistan lives up to its name as 'graveyard of empires'
The Taliban militant group took over Afghanistan in August, establishing full territorial control after it was toppled in 2001 by US and NATO troops who invaded and occupied the country for nearly 20 years.
The longest war in US history has come at a cost of over $2.2 trillion, with around three and a half thousand NATO troops killed and more importantly, over 50,000 Afghan civilians killed, a conservative estimate, has millions displaced or turned into refugees.
So what was it all for and why did the United States spend so much money, and stay in Afghanistan for so long, only for the Taliban to retake the country so quickly and easily; was it all for nothing?
Very few seem to be asking what Afghans are getting from this war and why they paid with their lives, their homes, and why people thought it was okay to colonize their country for 20 years.
Was this really about nation building and fighting a war on terror, or was it an occupation and a war of terror?
Almost 20 years ago, following the events of September 11 in 2001, a cataclysmic chain of events was set into motion by the neoconservative administration of George Bush and Dick Cheney.
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The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of capturing Osama bin Laden and toppling the Taliban who they claimed had sheltered him and his terrorist organization al Qaeda.
Afghanistan quickly turned into a quagmire for American and NATO troops who were unable to catch Bin Laden or establish full territorial control over the rugged and rough terrain of the Central Asian country.
Despite this, administration after administration, every American president since Bush, including Obama and Trump kept the war going.
The defense budget became increasingly bigger and the arms manufacturers made bigger profits as they provided everything from boots to bullets to tanks and missiles, and all the while the US was able to maintain a military presence on China's borders, Iran's borders, and in close proximity to Russia. It was not until 2011 that Osama Bin Laden was allegedly killed during a US raid.
And despite this, the US continued occupying Afghanistan for another 10 years under the pretext of nation building.
They argued that Afghanistan wasn't equipped to deal with any of the challenges that it faced and needed help, NATO claimed to be training the Afghan security forces who are supposed to take over once they left, which should have been on May 1 of 2021 as agreed by Donald Trump's administration and the Taliban in Doha, last year.
US trained security force disappear overnight
So here we are, and what happened when NATO began to leave, complete chaos, the supposedly 300,000 strong Afghan security forces, that the US claimed it had spent 20 years training and equipping suddenly vanished overnight.
US President Joe Biden blamed the entire collapse of the Afghan government and security forces on Afghans and then had the audacity to claim that the US should have never been in Afghanistan nation building after he supported the war on terror, the war in Iraq and oversaw the occupation of Afghanistan as vice president under Obama. Ironically on July 8 Biden gave a speech, ensuring there will be no humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, or anything like what we saw in Saigon, at the end of the Vietnam War.
And, of course, that's precisely what happened; the withdrawal was most definitely just like Saigon if not worse.
The Taliban was able to advance, and gain territory rather rapidly.
On the 9th of July the Taliban held 90 provinces while the Afghan government and security forces held 141 Leaving 167 provinces contested.
A month later the Taliban had gained control of almost every single district in the country, in many instances it even took back some cities like Jalalabad and provincial capitals, without a fight.