Afghan War

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Afghan War

BACKGROUNDINFORMATION On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing more than 3,000 people. When it became known that the al-Qaeda terrorist group in Afghanistan was responsible for these attacks, President George W. Bush demanded that the Taliban hand over the mastermind of the attacks, Osama Bin Laden, to the United States. When the Taliban refused, the United States started the Afghan War to drive out al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power.The war has dragged on for 13 years, so after all this fighting, are we actually winning or are the Taliban beating us?

THE U.S IS WINNING THE AFGHAN WARBegun in 2001 to drive out al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power, the war initially had a high rate of public support. In this military campaign, US forces joined with tribal groups who had remained opposed to the Taliban and were fighting for its defeat. Within a year of the invasion, the Taliban had been driven out of all of Afghanistan’s major cities, and one of the war’s primary objectives appeared to have been achieved. The Taliban is losing in Afghanistan—they do not have the military capacity to stand as equals with Western forces or the Afghan National Army. So, militarily, U.S. troops are doing well, though political issues and corruption in the Afghan government must be addressed. The Afghan War is still very popular in the US and there is a growing feeling that the conflict has been neglected. Also, few people in Afghanistan are supportive of the Taliban. Their ideology is bankrupt and they are unpopular in Afghanistan. The U.S has also been successful at training the Afghan National Army. A lot of people in Afghanistan are enormously proud of the army. It is recruiting about 4,000 new troops a month. They have not lost an encounter with insurgents since April of last year. The Taliban couldn't capture a single district, but they suffered great casualties and Afghan forces retook all those areas that were temporarily captured by the Taliban. The Afghan Army is more than holding their own.

MY OPINIONI think that the U.S is winning the Afghan War. The U.S is successfully training a first class Afghan security force and still has a lot of political support for the war. True, the Taliban might be ramping up the violence, but that is likely caused by the fact that foreign troops are withdrawing.Also there is a lot of chaos being caused by the June election. Once the election chaos is over and the Afghan Army is big enough to compensate for the missing foreign troops, the situation in Afghanistan will be under control.

THE TALIBANIS WINNING THE AFGHAN WARAfter the Taliban’s initial defeat in 2001, the U.S started withdrawing troops and kept a small amount of troops in Afghanistan but focused most of their troops on Iraq. In time, though, the Taliban started growing with help from Afghanistan’s opium trade and again was a threat to Western security. Also the country’s rugged mountain terrain and harsh winters have made it extremely difficult for outside armies to succeed.Afghan officials say that the Taliban are taking and holding ground. For example, Juma Khan who lives in eastern Afghanistan says that hundreds of Taliban attacked the eastern part of Logar Province from the Pakistani border in recent weeks, and at least 100 Taliban are reported to have staged an attack in the Charkh District of Logar recently. Khan says that remote areas of the district are under Taliban control and that the Taliban keep staging attacks on the district center from these areas. He says the fighting is much worse this year than in the past few years. In other parts of the country, there are similar stories of large numbers of Taliban staging larger attacks than have been seen in recent years.Abdul Mumin, a farmer living in the northern province of Kunduz says that after a 15-day offensive conducted by hundreds of militants, Afghan forces finally retook his district. But the Taliban are still active there, and there is still fighting in some villages. Mumin says it was the worst fighting he can remember there, and he's worried the Taliban will try again.The minister of defense of Afghanistan has said publicly that the Taliban are exploiting the chaos caused by the presidential election to carry out more attacks.He says the territory seized by militants isn't necessarily strategically significant, but it gives the Taliban political leverage in any future political talks.


David Peng Pd.4


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