NATO withdrawal


President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, after two decades of military presence in the region was met with uncertainty and questions about the fate of Afghanistan as the country and the continued presence of Taliban and an American military pull out in the region at this juncture will lead to closing of all the gains the country made in the last 15 years


Brief background of Afghan war

  • The Republic of Afghanistan was created in 1973 after ending monarchy, in a non-violent coup.
  • In 1978, a military coup, instigated by the communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, led to the emergence the Soviet-allied Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
  • In 1979, the Soviet army intervened in Afghanistan to support its communist government. It along with the Afghan Army fought against rebel factions known as the “Afghan mujahideen”, backed by the United States and Pakistan.
  • In 1989, Soviet troops withdrew but the civil war continued. In the chaos that followed, the Taliban (which means “students” in the Pashto language) sprang up.
  • The Taliban, a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization ruled Afghanistan after 1996 as a totalitarian regime till 2001.

Subsequent to September 11, 2001 attacks in USA, NATO interfered in the affairs of Afghanistan under “Operation Enduring Freedom”

The purpose of NATO intervention is to

  • Defeat Al-Qaeda
  • Remove Taliban from power
  • To create viable democratic state.

NATO stayed in Afghanistan for 13 years (2001-2014) and most of the forces left in December 2014.


The conflict in Afghanistan is the longest in US history, it killed tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and more than 2,400 American troops.

Despite the US-led war on terror, Taliban survived because of the support and strategic depth that they have received in neighbouring Pakistan.