August 30, 2021 marked the last day U.S. troops spent in Afghanistan which many felt was an abrupt end to the last twenty years spent in the region attempting to uphold democracy. Although American involvement in Afghanistan and the Middle East as a whole has been a divisive political issue in the post 9/11 world, many American citizens cannot explain why the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. The U.S. became involved in Afghanistan under the Bush administration, which authorized invasion of the country under the belief that the Taliban were harboring members of Al Qaeda. According to The New York Times, the goal in Afghanistan was “rebuilding a failed state and establishing a Western-style democracy.”
Over the course of the military campaign, the U.S. put in billions in aid and troops to help maintain a democratic Afghan government, with varied success. Although there was progress made in the areas of education and women’s rights, the Taliban began to regroup and seize power. The negotiation of removal of troops began under former President Trump, and current President Biden chose to go through with it although there was much criticism and concern about the stability of the Afghan government. When troops began to withdraw in August, the Taliban initiated an offensive that led to the fall of Kabul on August 15. The Afghan president of the U.S. backed government, Ashraf Ghani, was forced to flee the country, and the Talbian took over and set up their government. U.S. troops continued to be removed as planned, and many scrambled for seats on U.S. planes in a last-ditch effort to flee the destabilizing country.
When troops began to withdraw in August, the Taliban initiated an offensive that led to the fall of Kabul on August 15.
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