The End of a 20-Year War between the U.S. and Afghanistan
The End of a 20-Year War between the U.S. and Afghanistan
  • 경남타임즈(경남대학교)
  • 승인 2021.12.20 11:56
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KT Reporter

The Outbreak of the 9/11 Terror On September 11, 2001, four civil aircrafts were hijacked by Al-Qaida terrorists. Two of the planes collided into the World Trade Center, and another one crashed into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. The 9/11 terror attack was a huge shock to Americans who usually believed that even if a war broke out between the U.S. and other countries, the mainland would be not affected by the war. Immediately after the attacks, Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaida (the network of international armed forces by Muslim extremists), was suspected in creating these attacks. At first, Bin Laden denied everything. However, in 2004, he officially stated on a video tape that he had planned the attacks. AlQaida and Bin Laden argued that the U.S. supported Israel, the U.S. troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, and U.S. sanctions against Iraq were harsh, which were motives for the terrorist attacks. To expel Al-Qaida forces in Afghanistan, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and declared a war on terrorism. Bin Laden hid himself for 10 years after the terrorist attack. But in 2011, he was finally eliminated by the U.S. military operation named ‘Neptune Spear’ in his secluded home in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The 9/11 terror attack killed 2,977 people and injured more than 25,000 people, causing considerable health problems and at least 10 billion dollars in property damage. In addition, 340 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers died along with the largest number of deaths ever recorded in the U.S. history (excluding the COVID-19 pandemic). Numerous memorial halls were built, including the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, the Pentagon Memorial in the Allington Army in Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial at the crash site in Pennsylvania. 14 Feature 20 Years of War in Afghanistan Since the U.S. had achieved its goal, the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the country announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014. However, an extremist group, ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), was expanding their control from Iraq and Syria all the way to Afghanistan, leading to an unstable and volatile situation. Afghanistan could potentially be handed over to ISIS or other terrorist organizations, but President Barack Obama deemed that the government of Afghanistan forces were not enough to stand alone. The U.S. reversed its decision to withdraw and continued to station US troops in Afghanistan. Later, in February 2020, President Donald Trump of the U.S. signed a ceasefire peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban. After the 2020 Presidential Election, President Joe Biden took office and promised that the U.S. troops would completely withdraw from Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack. He stated, “The U.S. military would complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.” As a result, the war between the U.S. and the Taliban, which began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, officially ended. Kyungnam Times ● 15 U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan The main reasons for the recent withdrawal from Afghanistan mentioned by the U.S. President Joe Biden are as follows: •First, the U.S. went to Afghanistan to engage in counter-terrorism activities, not to respond to rebels. •Second, the elimination of Bin Laden, the main suspect of the 9/11 terrorist attack, was achieved a long time ago. •Third, the U.S can never and should never ask the U.S. military to engage in endless civil wars in other countries. •Fourth, there was no other choice because the former President Trump had completed negotiations to withdraw the U.S. troops. The U.S. began to withdraw with its allies from May 2021. As the Taliban was rapidly taking control of the country, Kabul Airport was flooded with people who wanted to evacuate abroad. But President Biden stuck to his position of complete withdrawal. Some voices express regret over the U.S. government's decision. Although withdrawing military forces was inevitable, wasn’t it too hasty? Despite these concerns, the U.S. had no choice but to expect changes in the Taliban as long as it decided to withdraw its troops. The Taliban professed that it had changed itself, and also vowed to establish itself as a responsible political party in the future.


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