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Afghanistan – Superpowers Graveyard


Afghanistan is like a sinking ship. The unconquerable land – an empire stopper! Empire after empire, nation after nation have failed miserably in their attempt to pacify the people and the land of Afghanistan.

This is where the greatest conqueror of all times, Alexander the great called it quits. 500 BCE, the Achaemenid Persian empire failed. In 1221, the Mongols faced defeat, and grandson of Genghis Khan was killed. 1672 – 1677, the Mughal Emperor, under Aurangzeb tried their luck and were defeated. Most recently, 1839 – 1842, the British Empire met the same fate. In 1979, the Russians misadventure, what was supposed to have been a year war, finally retreated in same manner as the Americans did from Vietnam. Finally, the Americans and NATO forces put their tail between their legs and are in process of doing the same.

On February 29, 2020, the U.S. signed an agreement with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, aimed at ending the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan in presence of world leaders from Qatar, Pakistan, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The agreement will eventually pave the way for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

According to Aljazeera, “The two sides have long wrangled over the US demand for a ceasefire before the signing of the agreement, which has four points: a timeline of 14 months for the withdrawal of all US and NATO troops from Afghanistan; a Taliban guarantee that Afghan soil will not be used as a launchpad that would threaten the security of the US; the launch of intra-Afghan negotiations by March 10; and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. In a statement, the Taliban said it had reached an agreement "about the termination of occupation of Afghanistan. The accord about the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan and never intervening in its affairs in the future is undoubtedly a great achievement," it added.”

A joint statement issued by the Afghan government and the U.S. stated, “the US and NATO troops would withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months.”

Currently, about 14,000 US troops and approximately 17,000 troops from 39 NATO allies and partner countries are stationed in Afghanistan in a non-combatant role. "The United States will reduce the number of US military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and implement other commitments in the US-Taliban agreement within 135 days of the announcement of this joint declaration and the US-Taliban agreement," the joint statement said. It added that the Afghan government will engage with the United Nations Security Council "to remove Taliban members from sanctions list by May 29".

"No agreement is perfect, and the US-Taliban deal is no exception," said Robert Malley, president and CEO of the International Crisis Group. "But it represents the most hopeful step to end a war that has lasted two decades and taken countless American and especially Afghan lives. It ought to be celebrated, bolstered and built upon to reach a genuine intra-Afghan peace."

The agreement also proposes an intra-Afghan dialogue with the government in Kabul and the release of 5,000 Taliban members from prison.

More than 100,000 Afghans have died since the start of the war eighteen years ago, which was launched by President George Bush, under the pretense of “War on Terror” after the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaida, on world trade center in New York.

The eighteen-year war has taken its toll on U.S. both financially and human lives. By estimates until the end of 2019 stands at $975 Billion U.S. The base budget for the Department of Defence has increased by about $250 Billion, and for Veterans Affairs by $50 billion. This does not include the cost of veterans medical and disability payments over the next 40 years is estimated to be at $1 trillion.

According to, “More than 320,000 soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq have traumatic brain injuries that cause disorientation and confusion, as of 2018. Of those, more than 8,000 suffered severe or invasive brain injuries, and more than 1,600 soldiers lost all or part of a limb. More than 138,000 have post-traumatic stress disorder. They experience flashbacks, hypervigilance, and difficulty sleeping.

On average, 20 veterans commit suicide each day according to a 2016 VA study. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America found that 47% of its members know of someone who has attempted suicide after returning from active duty. The group considers veteran suicide to be its top issue.”

Number of U.S. NATO, and coalition forces soldiers killed in Afghanistan total, 3458, with U.S. soldiers 2313, followed by U.K. 456, and Canada, 157, and 17 CIA operatives.

Most Americans feel the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting. The aim of the war was to eliminate the Taliban, who were accused of harbouring Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaida. Eighteen years later, Taliban are still in control of most of Afghanistan and U.S. is forced to sign a peace agreement with the Taliban to pave the way for the U.S. and NATO troops to exit Afghanistan.

Most American feel they were misled by the Bush administration involving U.S. military in a quagmire that has swallowed up empires in past. According to the Washington Post, “A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.”

According to Business Insiders, “A Pew Research Center survey found 64% of veterans said Iraq wasn't worth fighting, along with 58% who said the same about Afghanistan.”

“Strong majorities of American veterans and the general public say the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq weren't worth fighting.”

“Nearly 18 years after the war in Afghanistan began, the US military is still present in the country, the conflict is ongoing, and American service members are still dying.”

The U.S. learned an expensive lesson at the expense of taxpayers and future taxpayers who will be left footing the bill for a war that was perpetuated with lies, killing hundreds and thousands of innocents.  Lets give peace a chance.