Afghanistan – The End of the NATO Intervention

Afghanistan – Résumé after 20 Years of NATO-Intervention

Chaos, disappointment, despair – The news from Afghanistan have been coming thick and fast in recent days. Here, 15-year-old Afghan Zahra Tohidi from @AfghanistanNotSafe has her say. And her assessment of the situation is clear: The world has failed.

26.08.2021

Afghanistan

Country: Afghanistan
Capital: Kabul
Languages: The official languages are Pashto and Dari. There are also 49 other spoken languages and over 200 dialects.
Population: 38 million (2019) – in 2021 many people died in fighting with and at the hands of the Taliban or fled.

Did you know?

Translation

Want to read the article in English? Please click here

Between Reforms and Terror

Afghanistan is a country with a long history. It was a very modern country. Women were not obliged to wear a headscarf (chadar) or a full-body covering (chaderi). There was everything that made up a modern state: schools, universities, hospitals, and much more.

In 1933, after the assassination of his father, Mohammed Zahir Shah succeeded to the head of the constitutional kingdom of Afghanistan. He launched a democratic reform offensive. Elections and a bicameral parliament were introduced, women were given the right to vote, the infrastructure was modernised and freedom of the press was established. However, these policies, which were oriented towards Western Europe, were not without controversy among the Afghan population.

Despite all the optimism, a group called the Taliban emerged in 1994. It is a group of terrorists. This group came to the country with the aim of islamising Afghanistan. Which meant that women had to wear chadars according to their rules. They were a small group at first. Perhaps they would not have been noticed at all. However, they made sure that people did: they destroyed Afghanistan’s national symbol, the Buddha statue in Bamyan. For the Taliban, this war crime was a warning to the Afghan state. And this was not to miss its effect. Only with the bombing of the cultural sites, the Taliban were recognised as a threat.

The Buddha statue before and after its destruction. © Wikimedia Commons

After that, the Taliban recruited more members from the Afghan population. The Taliban are mostly from Pakistan.

The Taliban roots are in the religious schools for Afghan refugees – because of the Soviet occupation – in Pakistan (madrasas in Pakistans). Through the connection to the political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a political Islam was taught here. Talib comes from Arabic (the language of the Koran) and means student.

How the Taliban Changed the Country

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been strained for some time. Starting in 1992, a war against the Afghan state began in Kabul that lasted for years. This war was massively sustained by Pakistan, for example through the supply of weapons. The war was hell for the Afghans. Many innocent people died in it and atrocities were committed (executions, beheadings, etc.). Everything has changed since then. The country has never been the same again. Even the international community has not been able to reverse this change since then. Women and girls were deprived of their rights. They became mere housewives, sex slaves for the Taliban.

Afghanistan-Pakistan Dispute

Historically, there has been a dispute over the colonial demarcation of the so-called "Durand Line" and associated territorial claims that cut through the settlement area of the Pashtuns, which originally belonged to Afghanistan. In addition, the Indo-Pakistani "Kashmir conflict", which has always been fought out, also has an impact on Afghanistan - not least because of the fear that India's influence on Afghanistan could grow. Support for the Taliban movement was thus always part of Pakistan's anti-India policy: leaders of the group found shelter in Pakistan or were supported by arms deliveries. To this day, the Taliban movement is considered to be sponsored by Pakistan, although it is unclear to what extent the country exerts influence.

Afghanistan-Pakistan Dispute

Historically, there has been a dispute over the colonial demarcation of the so-called "Durand Line" and associated territorial claims that cut through the settlement area of the Pashtuns, which originally belonged to Afghanistan. In addition, the Indo-Pakistani "Kashmir conflict", which has always been fought out, also has an impact on Afghanistan - not least because of the fear that India's influence on Afghanistan could grow. Support for the Taliban movement was thus always part of Pakistan's anti-India policy: leaders of the group found shelter in Pakistan or were supported by arms deliveries. To this day, the Taliban movement is considered to be sponsored by Pakistan, although it is unclear to what extent the country exerts influence.

The Taliban went on and on, and at that time managed to detonate a bomb somewhere in the city every day and kill a large number of people. The Taliban’s methods were extremely brutal and mainly targeted the civilian population. Their acts are never done in the name of Islam. In fact, they are not Muslims at all. They only destroy the image about Islam. In addition, they kill innocent people indiscriminately.

They have changed Afghanistan a lot. They have taught Afghanistan to fear. Fear of violence, death, injustice and a fear of losing one’s family. Every day, women had to wear chadars. Child marriages were not forbidden, but everyday life. For example, 12-year-old girls were forcibly married to much older men. This is what the Taliban had taught society.

Military Intervention Out of Self-Interest?

However, from 2001 onwards, the US-led intervention took place and the country received international aid. Therefore, the Taliban partially retreated. Whether this was intentional or not, nobody knows. International aid did come, but at the same time international actors stole from oil-rich Afghanistan. While young men were being trained as terrorists under the Taliban, the other countries always came to steal from the country. They took whatever they found. For 20 years, they searched for gold and other raw materials in the Afghan mountains, for example. But after they did not find anything, they also gave up the country and the people. The justification for the military intervention was always the victim role of the USA. However, they first lied to the country and then abandoned it.

The US and Germany were active on the ground for the longest time. With their withdrawal, they knowingly put Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban. The Taliban were prepared. They took advantage of this interim phase, got additional weapons to be able to attack the country again. In less than a week, the Taliban managed to take over the president’s house. They moved further and further from village areas towards Kabul, because of course the capital was their goal. They have now reached it.

How Could the Taliban Take Over the Country So Quickly?

In the meantime, they are outdoing politicians in dismissing blame. No one had expected the Taliban to advance so quickly. Various military experts repeatedly cite two reasons: Demoralisation and overestimated army strength. In fact, the last 20 years have been rigidly military. Afghanistan was supported by weapons and training of soldiers. But hardly any civilian reforms followed. Corruption, for example, contributed to the army asking itself more and more what it was actually fighting for.

The president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, fled to the United Arab Emirates because he himself was afraid for his life. But he abandoned his people. He left the country with his police officers and secured a place for himself, while leaving more than 1 million people behind. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is the most dangerous country in the world.

The World Has Failed

In 2021, Afghanistan managed to attract the world’s attention for the first time. Even after 50 years, large parts of it had been so hushed up and blanked out by world public opinion that there are still people asking: who are the Taliban? For the first time, the world is interested in Afghanistan. But why only now? Do people have to die first to see what is wrong? Do terrorists have to rule over an entire country to get the world’s attention? These are the questions that Afghans ask themselves. Afghans die every second of every day. There is not enough help. Only one plane has managed to save not even a quarter of the people.

The help comes far too late and is not enough. People are so desperate that they are literally clinging to planes heading for America. People are so desperate that they would rather risk being run over or falling to the ground after take-off than wait any longer. There is so little help that parents are only willing to hand their children over the border to foreign soldiers. There is so little help that more than half of the city of Kabul has to sleep outside the airport and could be shot by terrorists or soldiers any second. The world has failed!

@MarcusReports

Is All the Help Coming Too Late?

They ignored a whole country for 50 years. And now that they are the reason the situation exploded, again the only thing that scares them are the refugees. Those who now pretend to be shocked and taken by surprise are hypocritical. The Afghans have been like this every day for days. They have always suffered. The events of the last few days are of course serious and demand special measures. Everyone should help. Everyone should provide financial and humanitarian support. That is the minimum level of solidarity.

"Air Bridge Now. Create Safe Flight Paths!!"@ Schwarzwälder Bote

The USA in particular is largely to blame for people having to leave their homes in a hurry. It is no longer time to be silent and debate. It is time to do something. The country is in the hands of the Taliban. There is no going back. It has happened. Only a miracle could still turn this situation around. The international community has caused the consequences. But the Afghans have to live under them. The Taliban have already removed the Afghan national flag and replaced it with their own Taliban flag. History will repeat itself. I myself am sure that the Taliban will soon attack other countries, that women will no longer be allowed to leave the house and that girls will be forcibly married or made sex slaves.

There is no future for Afghanistan. All the dreams of children and adults have been shattered in one week. Children are no longer children. Children are dead inside.

,,If We Don't Help Them, Who Will?“

You can also become active in Germany! There are many petitions where you can sign for planes. You can also donate money so that people can buy the most important things for their survival.

My name is Zahra Tohidi and I am 15 years old. On Instagram, I run the account @AfghanistanNotSafe independently and without any help. My goal is to talk about my country and give my country a voice.

Author
Zahra Tohidi

Write a comment

We look forward to your contributions on this blog in the form of questions, suggestions and criticism. It is important to us that we deal with each other in an open, friendly and respectful manner. We reserve the right not to publish racist, sexist, or other discriminating content.

Kommentar verfassen / Make a comment