Afghanistan: A Rushed Withdrawal

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Eric Thorndyke

Since the collapse of the Afghan government on August 15, the U.S. has been scrambling to evacuate its military staff, as well as Afghan interpreters and government officials who worked with NATO over the course of the twenty-year operation.

Back in April, President Biden announced plans to extend the troop withdrawal deadline to September 11th. The previously set date was May 1st, and was negotiated by the Taliban and the previous administration. Still, to many experts, the date seem rushed. The decision to leave Afghanistan came as a result of several campaign promises from President Biden and former President Trump. It seems that both leaders were following the lead of public opinion polls, which have suggested that 7 in 10 americans were in favor of all troops leaving the war-torn nation.

In recent weeks, the Taliban has said that any U.S. presence in Afghanistan after August 31st would be crossing a “red line.” At the current pace, it is unlikely that the deadline will be reached. In fact, pressure is also building from american allies to stay in the city long enough for a complete evacuation of personnel, which would ultimately last until after the end of the month.

Having spent two decades fighting hard to win their most basic rights, Afghan women now face the real possibility of seeing these gains bargained away”

— Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Campaigner

The Taliban, an Islamic militant group, did not allow girls to attend school during their brief period of governance from 1996 to 2001.  Women were also not allowed to work, and some stories have recently emerged of Afghan women being removed from their jobs once more. Amnesty International has continually warned that Afghan women and girls would likely lose most of the freedoms they have gained over the past twenty years.

 

Complete Bibliography:

Washington Post
Council On Foreign Relations
The White House
Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Associated Press
Amnesty International
Business Insider