Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What did America achieve in Afghanistan in 20 years?

GS Paper 2:

Topic covered: International relations


Context: The recent withdrawal of USA troops from Afghanistan after nearly two decades of waging war on terror

An analysis of America’s achievements in Afghanistan in last 20 years

  • USA under President Biden is contesting that it has significantly thwarted the Al-Qaeda terrorist network operating out of Afghanistan and also killed its leader Osama Bin Laden; thereby exacting justice for the 9/11 terror attacks.
  • This was the primary goal of America to invade Afghanistan in 2001, and not nation-building, as per President Biden; thereby justifying the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
  • However, such a view is contested by many on grounds that previous US Presidents saw the removal of Taliban from power as the key aspect on winning the war on terror. This was the primary reason why USA continued to pour its resources in America even after dismantling Al-Qaeda network and killing Osama Bin Laden.
  • Importantly, the war on terror that USA vowed to fight in Afghanistan might not be successful since the terror networks of Al-Qaeda and Islamic state are quite active in Afghanistan and also in the surrounding regions.
  • The recent attack of IS militants on evacuation efforts conducted by USA forces is a stark reminder about this.
  • Growing factions within the Taliban (Haqqani faction) might lead to a civil war kind of situation which will further add to the instability in the region that could erode the modest gains that USA had achieved in last 20 years in its war on global terror by spending over $2 trillion and losing over 2,300 soldiers


Insta-curious link

Evolution of USA’s policies on Afghanistan- Click here


Prelims link

  1. Geography related information pertaining to Afghanistan (boundary countries, major river and mountain system etc)
  2. Major projects undertaken by India in Afghanistan

Mains link

Challenges posed by the return of Taliban to power on the war on terror

Source: The Hindu