The majority of people in Afghanistan don’t remember life before post-war reconstruction efforts began two decades ago.
64% of the country’s population is under 25. They are too young to remember a time before the Taliban fell in 2001.
In the United States, 2001 was the year the War on Terror began in earnest, the year the Twin Towers collapsed on live television, the year Homeland Security was born.
In Afghanistan, 2001 was the end of a dark period of violence and oppression. Or at least, it was the beginning of the end.
The end of the Taliban’s reign of terror marked the beginning of the reconstruction years, of education for women and girls, growing economic prosperity and a democratically-elected government. With such worthy endeavors, U.S. efforts in the region have helped tremendously.
Far from a hostile occupying military force, U.S. troops are considered by many Afghans to be liberators. Indeed, U.S. forces have been some of the only soldiers welcomed.
Unlike invading empires destined for military catastrophe in Afghanistan, American troops have cooperated closely with the Afghan people, and their elected leadership, to strengthen and support progress in the beleaguered nation. The country, strategically located in the center of three important regions has become a linchpin of stability, a cornerstone of national and international security.
Why would the U.S. abandon such a strategic military position, to say nothing of an ally and partner in democratic ideals?
If reconstruction efforts continue, there is no doubt that U.S. investments in Afghanistan will yield dividends for the Afghan people, the U.S., and the whole region in terms of greater prosperity, security and peace in the near future.
There is another possibility, however. It is a possibility humanitarian organizations, peace workers, and human rights watchdogs view with great trepidation.
The Biden Administration has announced plans to honor the previous administration’s accord with the Taliban to…