Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Pros and Cons of War on Terror

Seventeen years ago, on September 11, the United States had two devastating terrorist attacks on its land. The three airliners that had been hijacked hit World Trade Center building in New York and the Department of Defense in Washington, DC, killing nearly 3,000 people.
The government of the United States associated the responsibility of the attack to Al-Qaeda and attacked Afghanistan in October the same year since Taliban in Afghanistan were harboring Al-Qaeda and they were not ready to handover their leaders to the United States.
This war began with the aim to topple Taliban regime and eliminate Al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan. Although the US and NATO forces defeated Taliban within few days, this victory, however, was a temporary defeat, and the Taliban began its operations in different parts of the country with different tactics. Now it has become stronger over the past few years. Insecurity has spread from the south to the northern regions of the country, and now much of the territory of Afghanistan is outside the control of the government.
In addition to the parties involved, tens of thousands of civilians have also been killed and injured in this war, which has lasted for seventeen years now. During this period, the US strategy for Afghanistan has progressed through various stages. After the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan, the US strategy was to overthrow the Taliban regime and create a new system in Afghanistan. During this period, when George W. Bush was the president of the United States, relations between Afghanistan and the United States were warmer and aid and support from the international community, especially the United States, came to Afghanistan. In the second phase, after the Taliban’s war against foreign forces and the Afghan government began to re-emerge and spread over several years, the focus was more on the battlefield, and in 2006 the number of foreign troops increased.
During the presidency of Barack Obama, on the one hand, relations between Hamid Karzai and the United States were widespread, and on the other hand, the casualties of the US forces also increased, and voices rose in the United States against the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. For this reason, the US policy changed in Afghanistan. First, a decision was made to increase US troops in Afghanistan and later to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, which eventually began the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in late 2011.
In addition to withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, the United States also created military bases in the country, which improved again with the approach of the National Unity Government (NUG) and the bilateral security agreement was signed with the United States. However, with the installation of new government, the security and political situation in the country could not be improved and continued in some form or the other. Today, the war in Afghanistan has once again intensified, with serious number of casualties being suffered both by Afghan forces and civilians in different fronts.
However, in the 17 years of the US-led war in Afghanistan, not only did Taliban thrive and grow, but in recent years, the Islamic State in Afghanistan – Daesh – has gained grounds and started operations in different parts of the country, especially the eastern regions, and in a short time it has become a major threat in Afghanistan. The group has carried out dozens of bloody and deadly attacks in the capital and other major cities. Along with this, according to Afghan government officials, more than 20 armed groups are currently fighting in Afghanistan.
Although the NATO-US military missions apparently ended in 2014, and these forces assumed responsibility for training, support and counseling of Afghan forces, but with the election of Donald Trump as the head of the United States, it has started pursuing a more aggressive policy and more of a combat role. Donald Trump, while discussing his new strategy for Afghanistan had said that his country’s new strategy was to continue supporting the Afghan government, eliminating the terrorist groups and destroying the safe bases of these groups outside Afghanistan.
The US-led coalition is claiming that Afghanistan is self-sustaining economically, militarily and politically but the fact is that it has not been able to meet its obligations to the country and its people over the course of seventeen years. Today, over 45 percent of Afghans live below the poverty line; the country stands 4th in the list of most corrupt countries of the world and the it tops the list of the countries where drugs are produced and smuggled.
As a matter of fact, the war that was started in Afghanistan on the pretext of war against terrorism has not been able to eradicate terrorism; neither, it has been able to achieve anything worthwhile regarding nation-building the country. Therefore, billions of dollars that have been spent on Afghanistan have not been able to guarantee a safe and stable country.