U.S. Troops Leave Afghanistan After 20 Years


U.S. aircrew board their plane during the withdrawal. Photo by Staff Sgt. Kylee Gardner via Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

The Afghanistan War is marked by the seemingly everlasting American involvement and the totalitarian regime of the Taliban. After 20 years, the last troops left Afghanistan on Aug 30.

The Taliban was created in response to the creation of the People’s Republic of Afghanistan that imposed an atheist regime prohibiting Islamic groups. While the Taliban was created almost 20 years after the invasion of Afghanistan by the U.S.S.R., the suppression of their religion during this time would initiate groups of resistance primarily centered around restoring Islam. 

The prevalent group was the Mujahideen, which formed an alliance with the US because of their common goal of stopping the Marxist-Leninist government. A former Mujahedeen leader who believed in a super conservative and fundamentalist form of Islam called Deobandi, later went to the Pakistani refugee camps to teach this branch of Islam. The continued instability that caused these young boys to stay in these refugee camps led them to see the Deobandi regime as a sign of hope. The Taliban didn’t come from thin air but from the destruction caused by the Cold War. 

The attack on 9/11 led to the U.S.’s involvement in and the development of the Afghanistan War. At the time no one knew it would last as long as it did, but the length of it has caused heavy debate. Countless civilians were killed and soldiers lost in the War so it is a very sensitive issue for many. I asked a normal student about their thoughts about the recent news surrounding Afghanistan. “It went on longer than it needed to go on,” Senior Giavanna Burch stated. But “it will help them reflect on the real purposes of going to war,” Burch said.

In every community in the US, veterans have been challenged by the continual ring of news surrounding the land lost to the Taliban. At Hillsborough, our previous ROTC Colonel, Demetrius Green, who retired just last year, served as a veteran in the Afghanistan War. 

Senior Jacob Ellis, who is planning on joining the air force, thinks that peace with Afghanistan is the best option. 

“We will be dealing with these repercussions for a long time, maybe even when I’m possibly in the military,” Ellis said. However, he says that while there will be consequences, keeping the peace is the number one goal. Finally, I asked him about his opinion of the evacuation, “Honestly, I think we’ve been able to handle it the best we can considering the situation,” Ellis said.