They enforced the most extreme version of Sharia law ever encountered in the modern Islamic world. The Taliban became notorious internationally for its policies for women, which included requiring women to wear a burqa a full face and body covering and banning them from leaving the home without an accompanying male relative. Women were not permitted to work, or to be schooled, after the age of eight. In some areas of Afghanistan, many forms of entertainment, including dance and music, were banned.
Those who disobeyed the laws enforced by the police, or those seen as political dissidents, were subjected to public beatings and executions. Bin Laden had been involved in the Soviet War, providing money to different militia groups to fight the Soviet forces. He returned to Afghanistan in after having to flee Sudan and Saudi Arabia, and allegedly used the country as a base to plan and finance attacks internationally.
Western support and financial assistance in the s had dramatically decreased after the end of the Cold War; however, with the increase in the number of attacks on US embassies internationally from Islamist terrorist groups, attention began to increase once again with the US attacking suspected bases belonging to bin Laden in Afghanistan in , and the UN ordering increasing sanctions on the Taliban.
In early , Massoud appealed to the European Parliament for help and warned that there was information about a large-scale attack on US soil. However, he was killed by a suicide bomb attack on 9 September , two days before the attacks on the Twin Towers that shook the world. September 11th and the US War on Terror In the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, the US government quickly identified Osama bin Laden as responsible and claimed that the Taliban was harbouring him and refusing to hand him over.
They launched a series of aerial attacks on alleged al-Qaida bases under Taliban control and began militarily and financially supporting the Northern Alliance to bring down the Taliban. Hamid Karzai was installed as President of the interim government in , whilst other coalition forces joined the US and UK to fight against insurgency attacks in Afghanistan; with namely France, Germany and Italy supplying the most troops.
In , the first Presidential elections were held, with Karzai winning 53 per cent of the vote, albeit with an extremely low turnout amid fears of electoral violence. In addition, the issue of climate change is explored as a contemporary cause of conflict through the example of water resource shortages in Darfur, western Sudan.
The impact of conflict on geography Conflict resulting from dispute over land or resource ownership can have a dramatic effect on world geography through the redefining of political boundaries. In this lesson, students are asked to draw on their historical knowledge to consider the new geography of Europe that emerged at this time, before applying this to other conflicts which have had an impact on political boundaries. The impact of geography on conflict The physical geography of a place can have a major impact on conflict in terms of both the siting of defensive settlements and in battle.
Its role was recognised in the victory of the Normans in the Battle of Hastings, and in more recent conflicts. To set things right, they said, would require the United States to keep working at it for, variously, several more years, decades, or generations. According to Sen.
But, as analysts Michael Mandelbaum and Steve Coll suggest, the notion of successfully using social engineering in Afghanistan was flawed from the start. In Vietnam, the United States had not been able to break the will of the communists even though it delivered horrific punishment that, by any reasonable historical standard, should have overwhelmed enemy resistance.
They can hit and run, retire to Pakistan for refreshment, and then come back to inflict more damage. As in Vietnam, the key issue is one of patience and will.
The Taliban has nowhere else to go; the Americans do. The American military failure in Afghanistan is hardly unique. The American military triumphed in comic opera wars over tiny forces in Grenada and over scarcely organized thuggish ones in Panama and Kosovo. And the Iraqis hardly presented much of a challenge in the Persian Gulf War. More recently, there has been a successful war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS insurgent group, an opponent that proved to be spectacularly self-destructive.
There are also a few wars in which it could probably be said that the United States was ahead at the end of the first, second, or third quarter—Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. But the outcomes of these—as seen in Afghanistan in full measure—were certainly less than stellar: exhausted stalemate, effective defeat, hasty withdrawal, and extended misery.
The U. Military Must Provide Honest Assessments of the War The war has persisted despite the telltale signs of mission failure in part because of the culture in the Department of Defense and how it interacts with politics at the national level. In their public portrayal of the war, military leaders have rather persistently depicted a rosier picture than the facts warranted.
Some military leaders publicly misrepresented the course of the war to avoid the hit to troop morale they expected would result from more honest and critical presentations. Daniel L. Davis now retired spoke out publicly against this kind of distortion. He wrote two reports, one classified and one unclassified, and briefed members of Congress on his conclusions. This is partly due to the superior subject area expertise of military and national security professionals, but it is also because going against such advice can be politically costly.
When Obama entered office in , the senior military leadership strongly favored a troop surge in Afghanistan. In the end, advisers presented him with four options, two of which were indistinguishable. They are not going to give me a choice. The advice Trump received from his military and national security advisers was overwhelmingly supportive of continuing the mission—and of adding another 4, troops.
You created these problems. But the problem extends beyond the Department of Defense. The professional foreign policy class in Washington, concentrated in the various national security agencies of the executive branch, is subject to a powerful bias in favor of action over inaction and troop surges over withdrawal. A Taliban Victory Would Not Present a Serious Terrorism Threat to the United States By far the most common justification for remaining in Afghanistan is the safe-haven myth: the fear that if the Taliban take over the country, they would let al Qaeda reestablish a presence there, leaving the terrorist organization to once again plot attacks on the United States.
Obama applied it in We have been accomplishing that mission since the intervention began in October Although al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is diminished, it could rebound if given the opportunity. Islamic State could expand its newfound Afghan foothold as well. It fails in several ways. As Lawrence Wright makes clear in his prizewinning book The Looming Tower, the relationship between the Taliban and al Qaeda was often very uncomfortable. Although quite willing to extend hospitality to their well-heeled visitor, the Taliban insisted on guarantees that bin Laden refrain from issuing incendiary messages and from engaging in terrorist activities while in the country.
Bin Laden repeatedly agreed but also frequently broke his pledge. However, the deal fell through after the Americans bombed Afghanistan in response to two al Qaeda attacks on a pair of U.
They have never been interested in conducting international terrorism. They are primarily concerned with governing Afghanistan as they see fit free from outside interference. The main Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are quick to point out that they are running their own war, and it seems clear that al Qaeda plays only a limited role in their efforts.
It would have to uproot itself from Pakistan, where it has been operating for more than a decade, and reestablish itself in new, unfamiliar territory.
Indeed, it might well be in a better position to do so in Afghanistan than in Pakistan. American efforts to go after al Qaeda in Pakistan are hampered by concerns about the sensitivities of the Pakistanis and by the fact that Pakistan can retaliate by cutting off or cramping logistics lines.
The constraints on taking potential future military action in an Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban are much less formidable. Also, American planners and forces would know the turf better, as they have been occupying the country for nearly two decades. Thus, al Qaeda would be unlikely to find much sanctuary in Afghanistan. In fact, it seems to have had little, if any, operational utility. Technological innovation and increasingly widespread access to the internet has only made instant communication across borders, oceans, and time zones easier in the ensuing years.
Terrorist groups seek inconspicuousness, to have no return address against which their enemies can retaliate. None of the attackers in those incidents operated from a safe haven, nor were their plans coordinated by a group within a safe haven.
One justification for continuing the war, in particular, is that a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan would somehow destabilize Pakistan, perhaps leading to terrorists or other militants seizing its atomic arsenal.
Other regional players, including Iran, India, China, and Russia, would likely adjust their policies toward Afghanistan following a U. Moscow has recently cultivated a diplomatic relationship with the Taliban, and this seems calculated to irritate Washington, to expedite negotiations predicated on U. Beijing has proven perfectly capable of managing its alliance with Pakistan while cooperating with Moscow on security issues in the broader Central Asian region. Whatever happens following a U. Widespread regional destabilization is a rather low-probability consequence of withdrawal.
However, the effort has failed. Production and cultivation are up, interdiction and eradication are down, financial support to the insurgency is up, and addiction and abuse are at unprecedented levels in Afghanistan.
In a condition of peace, however, they would no longer feel that need. Indeed, in , after about four years of being in power, the Taliban famously imposed an outright ban on all opium cultivation, which reduced the harvest by 94 percent.
Outside the context of the counterinsurgency campaign, the drug trade out of Afghanistan does not pose a direct threat to the United States. Trying to eradicate or control opium production throughout the war has been a failure, and seeking to do so following withdrawal would simply continue an exercise in futility.
Its operators were essentially free to come and go from base areas in the Pashtun section of neighboring Pakistan.
More recently, there has been a successful war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS insurgent group, an opponent that proved to be spectacularly self-destructive. A decision about where and whether to devote resources should be based on whether the investment will add future value, not on sunk costs. There was a massive initial deployment of , Red Army troops into Afghanistan.
Narrower elements of the mission, including quelling the opium trade and securing a lasting human rights regime, have substantially proven to be futile over almost two decades of effort and are not objectives that the U.
John F. The impact of conflict on geography Conflict resulting from dispute over land or resource ownership can have a dramatic effect on world geography through the redefining of political boundaries. As noted, the Taliban for years has been fighting against ISIS militants in Afghanistan as well as against other fringe offshoots. They consider the scale local to global and chronology historic to current of conflicts that have occurred across the world and over time, and are introduced to the idea that the pattern of conflict in the world today can be mapped. Focusing on the case study of Iraq, this lesson encourages students to consider and explain the influence that the physical landscape can have on successful battle strategy. Taurus, , pp.
Susan B. Other forms of corruption remain rife in all sectors of society and some areas remain outside of government control. A negotiated settlement, with a formal cease-fire and a U. There are also a few wars in which it could probably be said that the United States was ahead at the end of the first, second, or third quarter—Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Using a list of suggested resources, students conduct an enquiry into the impact that the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has had on the development of the country. Washington also erroneously conflated the Taliban and al Qaeda while refusing, sometimes over the wishes of its clients in Kabul, to allow moderate or defected members of the Taliban to join the government.
Rhodes, The World as It Is, p. They launched a series of aerial attacks on alleged al-Qaida bases under Taliban control and began militarily and financially supporting the Northern Alliance to bring down the Taliban. Destruction of war Afghanistan is struggling to rebuild itself amidst the ongoing war despite the billions of dollars of aid that have been pumped into the country. George W.
Downes and Lindsey A. They enforced the most extreme version of Sharia law ever encountered in the modern Islamic world. Nor did that happen when armed intervention in Libya in led to a calamitous civil war. The stance on development in Afghanistan is shifting slightly, with more awareness being given to locally-led projects as opposed to donor-led projects. John Nicholson, then commander of U. Hamid Karzai was installed as President of the interim government in , whilst other coalition forces joined the US and UK to fight against insurgency attacks in Afghanistan; with namely France, Germany and Italy supplying the most troops.
The times may be propitious. Indeed, it might well be in a better position to do so in Afghanistan than in Pakistan. In this, Afghan forces are incapable of being able to seize, hold, and then coherently govern areas controlled by the Taliban while Taliban members recognize that a takeover of government strongholds, in particular the heavily populated capital area of Kabul, is likely to be extremely difficult.
Lien-Hang T. Women were not permitted to work, or to be schooled, after the age of eight. The American public accepted the capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese in with remarkable equanimity in part because of the popularity of U. The U. America, too, could leave or pull back.
Introduction In , President Barack Obama told an interviewer: It is very easy to imagine a situation in which, in the absence of a clear strategy, we ended up staying in Afghanistan for another five years, another eight years, another 10 years. Indeed, in , after about four years of being in power, the Taliban famously imposed an outright ban on all opium cultivation, which reduced the harvest by 94 percent. Particularly, the threat of a terrorist safe haven is minimal and based mostly on the myth that territorial harbors provide great utility in conducting transnational terrorist attacks.
Trying to eradicate or control opium production throughout the war has been a failure, and seeking to do so following withdrawal would simply continue an exercise in futility. Military Must Provide Honest Assessments of the War The war has persisted despite the telltale signs of mission failure in part because of the culture in the Department of Defense and how it interacts with politics at the national level. The remarkable capacity of ISIS to self-destruct is one reason that lessons from that conflict are unlikely to be applicable to the war in Afghanistan. In fact, it seems to have had little, if any, operational utility. However, he was killed by a suicide bomb attack on 9 September , two days before the attacks on the Twin Towers that shook the world.