Out of America’s longest war, the Afghan war seems to be coming to an end. Upon President Joe Biden’s statement, he claimed that he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan before September 11th, 2021, which also marks the 20th anniversary of the horrific 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in 2001. Biden said such earlier this month in April, and power has started to shift from American troops to Afghan troops.
General Scott Miller, the commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, officially ordered a withdrawal of American foreign forces. He plans to hand over the military bases and equipment to the Afghans. General Miller, alongside President Biden, said the “prolonged and intractable battle in Afghanistan no longer aligns with American priorities”.
For Afghanistan, the country has been torn by war since the USSR Invasion in 1979. Since then, violence has left more than 30 million people homeless, impoverished, and desolate. More than 100,000 people have been killed or in injured in only the past ten years, according to NBC News. As families were ripped apart and separated, nearly all have been relying on foreign aid.
However, as U.S. withdraws their powers from Afghan, civilians are rather more worried for their future as political power shifts have never gone smoothly in history.
Over the last six months, civilians became victims of violent attacks at an increase of an overwhelming 38 percent. This coincided with beginnings of peace talks in September 2020 between the Taliban and Qatar, an Afghan delegation. The majority of attacks have targeted women and journalists, an effort to silence those who seemed inferior. The Taliban are currently the most suspected for such violence though they have denied targeting innocent civilians. The U.S. government additionally ordered government employees to “to leave the U.S. embassy in Kabul if their jobs could be performed elsewhere, due to increasing violence and threat reports” and that citizens should depart the country “as soon as possible”.
Mostly the Afghanistan civilians are more than worried that the Taliban will resort to even more violence after the U.S. withdrawal. Previously, the Taliban stated that they would not attend any more peace negotiation talks unless the U.S. would withdraw their power by May 1 2021, a date and promise set by previous President Donald Trump.
Two commanders of the Taliban states they are trying to remove themselves from the peace agreement with the U.S., a plan to prevent terrorist groups from using Afghan soil and to begin peace talks with an Afghan delegation. The commanders also said “once they had officially left the accord, they would then resume attacks on U.S. forces.”
“The Taliban should realize the fact that this is going to be a recipe for another war,” Orzala Nemat, an Afghan researcher and human rights activist, said.