Free Why We Are in Afghanistan Essay Sample
It has been shown that U.S Middle East foreign policy is taking another tactical turn 'war on terror as per the recent administration change in Washington. The Obama's team has been signaling that they are scaling down Iraq; with the reason of redeploying more troops which by all means is re-igniting from 2001 U.S invasions and removal of the Taliban in Kabul. The main aim that has led Obama's team to formulate this policy is not as the original reason of going to war just to deny any safe place to Al Qaeda. This point of counterterrorism is a very significant goal; however, administrators thought that it is the sole aim, (Foste, 2009).
The failure of the administration to understand why we were in Afghanistan, explains the reason as to why it ended up settling on a half-hearted strategy when dealing with Afghan. As a reason, the war in Afghan that president Obama promised to fight has ended up being absurdity. In trying to deal with the previous mistakes, the administration has decided to go back to Afghanistan with lots of interests; for instance, bringing stability in Afghanistan, because previous failures have resulted to greatest tensions in U.S. The Afghan Soviet war was just used as an excuse that led to democratization, which at many a time has branded the U.S government as being in support of terrorism. This is based on the different ways through which the U.S government caused current terrorism. The U.S government played a bigger role in the provision of material help to terrorists, as well as providing training to some terrorist groups. The government just used wars to ensure that it had achieved its end.
State sponsored terrorism, is the product of the U.S. for instance, it supported Mujahedeen fighters of Afghanistan. They are just the same fighters used to oust Soviet Union that have expended to terrorists. So as the "US invades, they are met with their own guns. The significance of the sophisticated guns has yet to be determined. In light of the US involvement today in Afghanistan after the September 11th terrorist attacks, it is especially important to understand the history of the Soviet's involvement there so we can avoid making the same mistakes" (Kaplan, 2001).
Historical background to the conflict
Soviet invasion - 1979
In 1979, the Afghanistan government requested the Soviet troops to assist in the provision of peace in the fight against the Mujahedeen rebels. The Soviet government then sent crews to provide security in Kabul and help in securing the Bragram as well as Shindand airfields. During this time, the combat battalion arrived having no combat gear, hence were just identified as technical expatriates. However, they never interfered with Afghan politics, as they were subordinate to senior military advisors in Soviet Union. Due to this form of arrival, Afghanistan appeared on the newspaper as a perfect summary of cold war. The whole issue of this fight was just to move out the traditions of Muslims while introducing the Western slant. In fact, the majority were outraged, this was based on the reason that, in Afghanistan, there were very strong Muslim traditions and belief which very common (Prados, 1996).
The soviet Afghan invasion had a number of reasons in general. First, the Soviet Union wanted to expand its impacts in the Asian continent. In addition, they wanted to preserve the communist government that was in power established in 1970. This government was at verge of collapsing due to inadequate support in military. Another possible reason for invasion could be, the protection of Soviet interest from Iran and other western countries, (Trainor, 1989).
Though the soldiers easily secured Kabul as well as installing Babrak Karmal as being their head, they ended up meeting lots of resistance as they moved out of their strong hold. The mujahedeen fighters saw Soviet control in Afghan as a defilement of Islamic as well as their own culture. As a result, they ended up proclaiming the holy war. The Jihad fighters got a lot of support from the Islamic world as well as from U.S. The government of the United State provided both weapons and financial support to the Mujahedeen fighters. These Mujahedeen fighters employed guerrilla technique when fighting with Soviet Soldiers. They all attacked rapidly [then disappeared into mountains, leaving behind a lot of destructions without any pitched battle. These fighters were ready to use any tool they would get steal from Soviet or even given by the U.S government. They were just scattered all over the country with no single stronghold to attack, or even office of operation, (Borovik, 1990).
American response or provocation
Soviet invasion into Afghan resulted to lots of reactions allover the world; for instance, the United State condemned the action. In mid 1979 after the Soviet union deployed troops in Afghan , the U.S responded by offering dollars in a year assisting the Afghan Mujahedeen insurgents who were fighting the Marxist government and the Soviet troops. The US supported the Afghan Mujahedeen, who was Muslim volunteers from other countries that were called Afghan Arabs. One of the famous people in the group was Osama bin Laden who was at that time called wealthy and pious Saudi, who used his own money in the provision of more members from neighboring rich Gulf Arabs, (White, 2000).
It was belied by the Americans that, by providing support to Islamic fundamentalist, was just a=the best way of fighting communism as well as the socialism. By that time, it was thought by the Americans that, since national liberation movements were supporting socialism, Muslim fundamentalists were on the other hand anticommunists and antisocialists. Saudi Arabia, which was also the main ally of the U.S, also looked upon the Muslim fundamentalists. Just as the U.S, the regime of Saudi also was against socialism, which is the modern Arabic movement, (Shipler, 1987).
Due to this factor, the U.S ended up supporting the Muslim fundamentalists to join the Mujahedeen in their Soviet fight in Afghan. Though Sheikh Abdul-Rahman shad strong ties with Muslim extremists, he assisted American Muslims fight jihad in Afghan. However, he was later convicted for his responsibility in the first bombing at world Trade Centre (Lorch, 1989).
Soviet withdrawal - 1989
The withdrawal of Soviet Forces left many dead and countless refugees. Billions of Dollars had been sent by different countries like the U.S in support of Mujahedeen soldiers. They withdrew because; they were not able to defeat the Mujahedeen fighters as well as due to world pressure. In addition, the War had been turned into U.S missile launch introduction, which Mujahedeen soldiers used to bring down Soviet planes and Helicopters. The Afghan war survivors were just a generation that only knew nothing, but war, fear and hatred.
In one way or the other, the Soviet was greatly affected by their failure. The Union lost around 15,000 troops, however, the real "damage done was in the degradation of its image, and the billions of dollars it spent during the war. This fall from invincibility and vast expenditure of money to finance the invasion in part caused the USSR to fall apart in the early 1990s", (Kakar,1995).
One long-term impact of Soviet invasion and withdrawal was the coming up of very weak Afghan state full of religious and hatred of developed countries, which has acted as a breeding ground for terrorism. Due to great support that provided by the American government, which acted as a reason for Soviet defeat, now the U.S is faced with similar weapons as it tries to invade it.
After the Soviet withdrawal, the U.S continued to support the Muslim fundamentalists, though it was attacked on the basis that it had forgotten the Afghan after Soviet departure, (Smith, 1979). After the withdrawal of Soviet from Afghan, Rahman the close ally to U.S set his objectives to other things. While in the U.S, since he was a veteran of Jihad in Afghanistan, Rahman and his people now concentrated their effort to U.S. Some of other members went back to their original countries and concentrated more on their enemies. This is specifically the in Chechnya, where, such fighters ganged up with rebels to battle the Russian army over the regions' control. By the year 1993, members of Mujahedeen were fighting in Chechnya. The best ever known result of Afghan jihad is Osama Bin Laden. It is very hard to understand that, the U.S government played a bigger role in dealings of the wealthiest man's son in Saudi Arabia (Hyman, 1982).
Rise of the Taliban - (1994 - 2001)
By 1994, many Afghan individual were tired of corruption and violence between warlords as they fight for power. Taliban, which begun as a small militia headed by Mujahedeen fighter Mullar Omar gained popularity very first, hence attracting the Pakistan ISI interest. As a result flooding the Taliban with weapons as well as new recruits taken from religious schools based in Pakistan, as an effect, the Taliban became an ISI asset, being supported by Gen Prevez.
By 1995, the ISI apart from providing massive support facilitated the link between the Taliban and the Al Qaeda to assist Taliban gain a lot of victory. In real sense, the "Taliban started on their own, but they were soon co-opted by the ISI and effectively became their proxy force "(Historycommons.org, 2011). They also got material and financial support from the Pakistan Government, including Pakistan military offers that were to act as leaders during their fighting.
CIA also ended up supporting the Taliban from 1994-1997. CIA provided the used the Pakistan Satellite to provide secret in formation on how to score the Soviet trucks that contained Massive weapons and ammunitions, this explains the speed at which the Taliban conquered Afghanistan. This is because they had massive weapons. Apart from having massive and dangerous weapons, Taliban fighters received qualified training from both Pakistan government, as well as the U.S military advisors, who were working under humanitarian cover. The aim of the U.S, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, were supporting Taliban to quickly unite Afghanistan, also they supported them because they were anticommunism, (Galeotti, 1995).
Gen Prevez become the president of Pakistan after overthrowing Prime Minister Sharif in a military coup. One reason that led to military o0verturn of Sharif was that, ISI was worried that, Sharif could fall into pressure of the U.S government, to reverse the policy of supporting Taliban. By 2001, US become reluctant in acting against Al-Qaida charity front associated with Pakistan president, as it was preparing a list of Al Qaeda supporters to freeze their accounts, which Rabita Trust was among them. The Rabita Trust was found by the Secretary General of Muslim World league, it is also Islamic Charity in Pakistan, and closely tied to Saudi's government. Its management was under Al Qaeda founders, and in real sense evidence showed that it had been funding militia groups in disputed Muslim regions, but political connected to Pakistan. The U.S government gives Pakistan president 48 hours to quite from the board of directors, or else withdraw its aid in Pakistan, if he doesn't. But the U.S government latter becomes reluctant in fulfilling it threats. In 2001, a series of attacks followed after that, the U.S government blocks officially assets of some Charitable organization, this including the 9/11 led to U.S attack in Afghanistan which led to Taliban end, (Lohbeck, 1993).
September 11, 2001 and the American Invasion
The September 11 attacks are mostly called 9/11 were just a series of suicide attack coordinated by the Al Qaeda towards the U.S and its allies. On that particular day, four commercial passanger airlines were hijacked by the Al Qaeda group. Then the two of the hijacked jets were intentionally crashed into Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in the New York City the insistent killed everyone on board and many others who were. The attacked building went down two hours after the incidence, killing people and other buildings that were around. The third airline was crashed at the pentagon in Arlington, just outside Washington DC. The fourth airline crashed into Shanksville in Pennsylvania after its crew and passengers tried to take back control. This fourth plane had been redirected towards Washington DC, to either hit Capitol Building or White House; no one survived the incident, (Feifer, 2009).
The entire attack, claimed around the lives of 19 hijackers, and 3000 victims. Going with the report released by the New York State Health Department, around 836 responders and firefighters along with police officers had died by June 2009. Amongst the casualties, many were civilians, including citizens of over 70 countries worldwide. On top of all deaths that happened, there was at least one secondary death. This secondary death according to medical examiners occurred due top lung disease as a result of exposure to dust from collapsed building, (Christopher, 2008).
The war in Afghan started in October 2001 as a response to 9/11 attacks, with the aim of denying Al Qaeda a safe heaven on Earth by dealing with it and ending its operations in Afghan. The U.S government in Addition promised to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and as a result, creates a viable democratic country. Many of the identified coordinators of the attack were the Al Qaeda members, which is an organization, and operating out of having an ally with Taliban Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan. Initially, the war stated when American and British military forces together with those groups opposing Taliban, joined hands to remove Taliban regime from power in Kabul, and most parts of Afghanistan in just a matter of weeks , (Baylis, & Smith, S, 2005).
Many Taliban leaders ended up fleeing o neighboring Pakistan. After which, the republic of Afghanistan was rebuild and an interim government put in place. The same government was democratically elected in general election held in 2004. The international Security Assistance force was put in place ton secure Kabul region. On the other hand, the control of ISAF was taken over by NATO.
In 2003, Taliban forces initiated Insurgency campaign against the Islamic Republic along with the presence of ISAF-troops in Afghan. Since then the republic of Afghan stated experiencing dramatic rise in insurgency led by the Taliban practices. In terrorist attacks, the Taliban has also been targeting the Afghan civilians. By 2009 December, Obama the president of U.S announced that, over a period of six month, he will deploy an additional 30,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. In addition, he also set withdrawal date of U.S troops in Afghan, (Crile, 2003).
Levels of Analysis
There are three levels of analysis of as to why we are in Afghanistan. Such levels include:
System level analysis; this can be described as a top down method that has been applied in the study of world conflicts. It sates that, both countries and international actors in most cases undertake business in a "global social-economic-political-geographic environment and that the specific characteristics of the system help determine the pattern of interaction among the actors" (Highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites, 2011). It is believed that, systems run in a manner that is predictable, such that, there are traits that actor nations follow. Conflicts are part and parcel of individuals life, however, everyone has a free will, and every is also part and parcel of overlapping systems that affects individual's behaviors and ensure that they are reasonable, though far from perfect prediction, (Goldstein & Pevehouse, 2007).
Second is state level of analysis; this explains the world conflicts, by emphasizing the national states along with their internal operations, as the main factors that determines the course of World affairs. This level concentrates on midrange issues that are not as general as microanalysis of worldwide systems. However such factors are less individualistic as compared to micro-analytical focus on the analysis of human-level, (Brown, & Ainley, 2005).
Individual level on its side, explains the individual players in world stage. It identifies complex human decision making processes that might involve data collection, data analysis, goal establishment among other behaviors. It addresses human drama in three perspectives, namely; "human nature, organizational behavior, and idiosyncratic behavior" (Highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites, 2011).
Though there are many theories that explains U.S and Afghan conflict, but the useful theory include: Globalism theory; this concentrates on the significance of economy, particularly, capitalistic relationship of either dominance or even exploitation to the understanding international politics. On its part, hegemonic theory explains that, for stability of all international systems, there need to be a single state that articulates and enforces interaction rules amongst the most significant system members¸ (Gill, 1998). For any state to be considered as hegemon, it must enforce rules, have the will of doing so and committed to a system that it perceive beneficial to major states. Another theory is Domino theory which explains that, if any South East country becomes Marxist, then neighboring nations will be triggered into Marxism. The internal conflicts in Asia, together with their independence the Marxism revolution will occur and spread. Other theories include Emancipator international Relations theory, ethnic conflict theory, democratic peace theory, critical theory and balance of power theory (Randall, 1974).
Obama's "surge" plan is highly welcomed, but the quick deadlines he set might give the Taliban more time to emerge again, though, this was meant to quell the growing concerns among Americans that Afghan might turn to be another Vietnam that is coming up. The plan though good but at a time, it will have a dire repercussions on the U.S war against terrorism. As a result, it might put the nation at a more risk than ever, even more risk as compared to 9/11. As a matter of fact, withdrawing From Afghanistan before the completion of war will just be like the withdrawal of Soviet soldier from Afghan in 1989. This might lead to the sprung of more terrorists and terror groups as some of the warlords have not yet been cleared or arrested. As a result, they might reestablish themselves. This is based on the fact that, the withdrawal before mission completion, will mean to the extremists' propaganda that the America is weak as well as unreliable allies. This is because, formerly, they had been unreliable to Taliban groups and Mujahedeen fighters, when they turned against them. So as a fact, America has to show the current Allies like Britain that they are trustworthy. This withdrawal will also make extremists recruit more, hence facilitating future attacks, just as what happened when Soviet withdrew, more attacks happened in Chechnya, so no choice, America has to complete the mission it started itself (Coll, 2004).
Amongst the 9 conflict theories, globalism is the most appropriate and accurate in the description of why Afghan and U.S war continues. This is based on the fact that, the war is occurring within a world that is capitalist. Industrialized countries like U.S are exploiting peripheral states via integrated capitalism systems. For instance, Saudi Arabia, where the majority of jet hijackers of 9/11 came from, is just an example of gas-guzzling and the reinforcement of foreign domination. The ill minds of U.S-led globalization, has deepened the crisis in Muslim world, by making angry suicide bombers and hijackers willing to die to hit capitalists.
Globalists explain that, terrorism war has to include war against poverty, other than against the poor in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The poverty gap between the north and the south is not going to be bridged as soon as possible; terrorism is going to flourish very well by even gaining socioeconomic roots. Concerning the 9/11 attack, 9it is inconceivable that, it was the transformation of the hegemony will at all noticed. It is also doubtful if proletariat classes ever sympathize with Bin Laden, who is a capitalist by himself. All those who supported like the Islamic holy worriers do not bother with capital accumulation (Chaulia, 2011).