Afghanistan History Repeating Itself

Staff Writer: Molly McWethy 

It has been almost exactly 20 years since the attack on the World Trade Center terrorized the United States.

On April 14, 2021, President Biden announced that all U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan beginning May 1 and all troops would be out by Sept. 11 ending America’s longest war.

Three days later, Taliban fighters launched a major attack on Afghan forces in the southern Helmand province and at least six other provinces.

Senior government officials said on June 7, that more than 150 Afghan soldiers were killed in 24 hours and the fighting was out of control in 26 of the 34 provinces. Meanwhile, American troops were quietly being pulled out of the main military base, Bagram Air Base, and immediately ended U.S. involvement in the war.

The Taliban said, on July 5, they would present a peace proposal to the Afghan government as soon as August yet, so far, nothing has been written.

The United States vowed to continue supporting the Afghan troops with airstrikes to counter Taliban attacks. This only intensified the violence as the United Nations said nearly 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in May and June which is the highest number since 2009.

By Aug. 15, the Taliban had the entire province of Kabul surrounded, which caused the United States to evacuate diplomats from its embassy by helicopter. Later that day, it was reported that Taliban insurgents began entering Kabul after taking control of all of Afghanistan’s major cities besides the capital.

The next day, thousands of civilians flooded Kabul’s international airport. U.S. soldiers fired warning shots as civilians ran across the tarmac seeking to escape the Taliban. Videos on social media show Afghan civilians clinging to the sides of a U.S. military aircraft with people falling from the plane after takeoff.

Photo Credit: CBS News- Sudhir Chaudhary  
Afghan civilians so desperate to get out of their country. They are willing to do anything.  

President Biden said in a nationally televised speech from the White House, “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.” 

Why should we be concerned about this all the way in Woodstock, GA? Phelan Robb, a world history teacher at Woodstock said, “I think it is important for the United States to maintain its status in the world and I think this could or could not be damaging to our public image, but also there is a fear that Afghanistan could become a hot bed for terrorism again.” 

Photo Credit: The Conversation 
American troops preparing to leave Afghanistan.  

Joshua Sailors, a U.S. history teacher at Woodstock said, “I don’t think the attacks will affect us much at all. It is such a remote country, in a very distant part of the world. There is a worry of ISIS and terrorism growing there, but with our new technology we have developed over the past 20 years, we can kind of keep terrorism probably in Afghanistan.” 

It is important, for our nation, to remember that under Taliban rule, Afghanistan provided a safe haven for Al Qaeda, the group responsible for 9/11.  

Only time will tell if history will repeat itself. For now, all eyes are back on Afghanistan.  

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