We have a fairly large number of war blogs out there, and they cover all kinds of different wars. The Huffington Post is the most popular, but I’m a little partial to this blog, which is a bit more down-to-earth about the actual wars:
The United States and Afghanistan have been at war for 14 years now. And when the war first started, the goal was to topple the Taliban and create a stable democratic government in Afghanistan. But with the 14 years passing, the war has grown into an even larger struggle. Now, some say the Taliban is stronger than ever, and that the U.S. must get out of the country.
The Taliban’s progress in the nation has been startlingly fast after 20 years of US involvement, thousands of fatalities, and at least $1 trillion in losses – here’s a look back at how the situation developed to where it is today:
Less than a month after al Qaeda-linked terrorists carried out the 9/11 attacks, American and allied forces launch Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, with the goal of preventing the Taliban from providing a safe haven for al Qaeda and preventing al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities.
The Taliban’s final significant bastion collapsed on Dec. 7, 2001, when Kandahar surrendered. Since then, the Taliban have tried to gain foothold in Afghanistan throughout the period that US troops have been stationed there, as well as during successive US administrations.
In January 2017, the Taliban issued an open letter to then-newly elected US President Donald Trump, urging him to pull US troops out of Afghanistan.
There were efforts at peace negotiations between the US and the Taliban between 2017 and 2019 that never resulted in an accord.
Trump declared the resumption of peace negotiations with the Taliban during a surprise trip to Afghanistan in November 2019 with US soldiers for a Thanksgiving visit. In December of that year, the peace negotiations restarted in Doha, Qatar.
In February 2020, the US and the Taliban reached a historic deal, setting in motion the possibility of a complete departure of US forces from Afghanistan. The “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” included a series of agreements by the US and the Taliban on military levels, counter-terrorism, and intra-Afghan talks, all with the goal of achieving “a lasting and comprehensive ceasefire.”
According to data given to the Pentagon’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, in the month after the signing of the Trump administration’s peace agreement with the Taliban, the insurgent organization escalated its assaults against America’s Afghan partners to higher than normal levels.
The consultative Loya Jirga, Afghanistan’s grand assembly of elders, approved a resolution in August 2020 asking for the release of the final batch of around 5,000 Taliban detainees, opening the door for direct peace negotiations with the insurgent group to conclude almost two decades of conflict. The 400 detainees were released as part of a February deal between the US and the Taliban.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the Biden administration presented a temporary power-sharing deal with the Taliban to the Afghan government in March 2021.
President Biden stated in April 2021 that the United States will remove its troops from Afghanistan by September 2021.
After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August, only months after the US started withdrawing troops, the Biden administration rushed in 5,000 soldiers.
After seizing control of every major city in Afghanistan except Kabul in only two weeks, the Taliban met with the government in the capital on Aug. 15 to discuss who would run the country.
After President Ghani left the nation, the Taliban are closing in on complete control of the country and have taken the presidential palace in Kabul. Ghani’s resignation seems to have scuttled earlier negotiations to create an interim administration.
Clarissa Ward, Tim Lister, Vasco Cotovio, Angela Dewan, Mostafa Salem, and Saleem Mehsud of CNN contributed to this article.
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