After effects of the 20 year war

Ava Hunt, News Editor

Photo taken at the scene of the Kabul’s Daoud Khan Military Hospital in the aftermath of violence. Bing Images.

As Bob Marley, a Jamaican singer and songwriter, once said, “Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.” On August 30, 2021, the United States Armed Forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan, which took over a year and a half to do. This withdrawal marked the end of the 20 year war in Afghanistan that commenced soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Now, as the US troops have been moved out of Afghanistan, people around the world are seeing and feeling the effects of that absence. Previously on August 15, 2021, the Taliban, an Islamist fundamentalist organization, seized the Afghan capital of Kabul after President Ashraf Ghani escaped the country. Since then, many things have changed under the Taliban’s reign and some people say it has changed for the worse. Women in Afghanistan, for example, are feeling the impact of the Taliban’s reign in their lives. This October, the Taliban began to enforce rules prohibiting most women from working as aid workers, which is causing the humanitarian crisis in the country to worsen. This rule is among numerous others that are crushing female rights in Afghanistan. Despite this action from the government and attempts to ban protests, women are fighting back and demanding better treatment. One woman, whose name was altered to Jia for protection purposes, described what occurred during the protests and how the Taliban treated them. “We were marching peacefully. Then I saw four to five vehicles with about 10 Taliban fighters in each of them, following us,” Jia said. “They struck my shoulder [with whips] twice. I could feel pain all over my body. It still hurts and I cannot move my arm. They also used a lot of bad words and abused us. It is too shameful for me to repeat the names they called us.” The women in Afghanistan are not the only ones feeling the impact of the Taliban’s dominance. At Kabul’s Daoud Khan Military Hospital, at least 20 people were killed and 30 wounded by gunfire and explosions on November 2, 2021. Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), an ISIS affiliate, claimed responsibility for the attack, reportedly targeting Taliban members but wounding others in the process. This hospital has also been targeted previously in 2011 when suicide bombers linked to the Taliban blew themselves up inside, killing six people. While US troops have been removed from Afghanistan, their minds and hearts are still there with the people they helped. Some say that the troops have abandoned the people in Afghanistan, while others say that it was the necessary time for the withdrawal to occur. “So much of our treasure and lives have been sacrificed over there and so many veterans have, have come back with, with various wounds of war. So, I just naturally, like a lot of folks, envisioned some greater level of success before we, we withdrew,” Tom Porter, Officer in U.S. Navy Reserves and Executive Vice President for Government Affairs for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association, said. To learn more about the situation in Afghanistan and to stay updated on current events there, follow local and national news stations online.