Info Sheet: Afghanistan

By Anna Synakh || Managing Editor

The flag of Afghanistan. Image courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.

Where?

Afghanistan is located between Central and South Asia and is landlocked by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan in the North, Iran, and Pakistan in the South, and China in the Northeast. The country is often referred to as “the crossroads of Asia” due to its central location.

Afghanistan’s capital is the city of Kabul which is close to its eastern border with Pakistan.

Much of Afghanistan’s geography is defined by the Hindu Kush range of the Himalayas, with earthquakes being relatively common and the weather rather dry, as the mountainous region causes much of the snow and rainwater to flow to neighboring countries, rather than staying within Afghanistan.

When?

The United States invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, in response to the attack occurring on 9/11, as the Taliban refused to give over Osama Bin Laden and allow for missions against Al-Qaeda.

On December 9, 2001, the Taliban collapsed as its leaders fled Kabul for surrounding territories. 

In March of 2002, the US troops first invaded the country in an on-foot operation against Al Qaeda. Previous attacks had been carried out through airstrikes.

From April 2002 through July 2006, there is relative peace in the country, as a new president, Hamid Karzai, is brought in through a democratic vote, a constitution is installed, and the US works along with the government rather than against it.

In the summer of 2006, the conditions worsened as there were further changes in the government that hasn’t yet gained a stronghold over the population, and violence broke out all over the country. 

On May 1, 2011, Osama Bin Laden was killed. Obama plans to withdraw troops soon after and focus on Pakistan, which seems to become the root of the terrorist organizations. Peace talks with the Taliban are in the works.

In March 2012, peace talks were canceled, tensions between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and the US flared up. Obama continues hopes for drawdowns, but they are not installed.

In 2016, Trump takes the Presidency and states that his Afghan policy is to base drawdowns on the conditions on the ground, which were not stable.

On April 14, 2021, Biden promised to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 9/11 of this year.

How Many?

The US has been involved in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years.

Over the span of two decades, more than 100,000 Afghans have been killed in the war, nearly 45,000 were civilians. More than 2,500 US troops have died in the process.

So far, the US government has spent 2.26 trillion dollars on the never-ending war.

Anna Synakh is the Managing Editor for the College Reporter. Her email is: asynakh@fandm.edu.

print

Leave a Reply