Monday, January 24

Afghanistan war: causes, summary and keys of 20 years of conflict

Afghan servicemen stationed in western Afghanistan.

Afghan servicemen stationed in western Afghanistan.

It has been 41 and a half years exactly since everything was cut short in Afghanistan, since his story changed forever. During all this time, the Central Asian country has appeared in the media almost exclusively to talk about the infinity of death, damage and destruction that stains his name. With SyriaAfghanistan has probably become commonplace, a synonym for perpetual war: a conflict that from afar is seen as something tired and tedious, like the natural state of things. Neither was nor is.

Decades of wars and invasions

It all started in 1979, when the sovietic UnionIn the middle of the cold war, he invaded Afghanistan to place a like-minded communist government in Kabul. To counter his rival, USA helped and armed the taliban.

Afghanistan became for the Soviets in their particular Vietnam, as the Nobel Prize in Literature Svetlana Aleksievich portrayed in ‘The Zinc Boys’: in 1989, with the USSR dying, the Soviets left and the Taliban took control.

Until 2001. 9/11 attack in New York, orchestrated from Afghanistan, pushed the US to war in the Central Asian country. Twenty years later, with the Americans in retreat, the war has neither stopped nor slowed down. The beginning of the United States invasion meant, in a few weeks, the fall of the Taliban government in Acceptance. Now, the jihadist group is again closer to power than ever.

From the Taliban to the afterlife

Taliban in Arabic means ‘student’, and the group was born in the mid-twentieth century in Pakistan as an ultra-conservative and rigorous Islamist student movement. Today, the Taliban in Afghanistan are constituted as a Assembly emirate in which reigns la ‘sharia’, Islamic law. It is a separate State, with its taxes, army and courts, where penalties such as the stoning and whipping for crimes such as a woman talking to a man who is not from her family, depending on whether this woman is married or not.

Within its territory, groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (the latter has on some occasions fought against the Taliban), and this has been a key point in the negotiations with the US: in exchange for the full withdrawal of the Americans in Afghanistan, the Taliban promised they will not allow jihadist attacks from its territory in other countries, as happened on 9/11. Many experts, however, doubt the word of these insurgents, who also promised Washington that they would stop their offensive against the Kabul government and not only have they failed to do so, they have accelerated it.

Afghanistan party

Afghanistan is a failed country and a divided state. Exist right now two parallel governments in the Central Asian country: the national one, in Kabul, the capital, and that of the Taliban. The insurgents control most of the country’s territory, especially rural areas, and have about 13 million people living under his yoke.

The Afghan government, by contrast, focuses on the cities and provincial capitals, and controls the lives of 11 million people -the total Afghan population is 35 millions-. Apart from these two areas there is a third, which is the worst: it is the disputed area between the Government and the Taliban. It is here where the war is most bloody, where civilians die in attacks from both sides on a daily basis. Nine million people live in this area.

Some 2.5 million Afghans have left the country during the war, refugees that, for the most part, have ended in Iran, Pakistan, Turkey. And a minority, in Europe.

A trail of death and destruction

These 42 years of perpetual war have not only left a divided country – which is still at war – and several million refugees. They have also left an infinity of deaths: in the first war, that of the Soviets, estimates say that between 500,000 people and one million they died because of the conflict.

The war that started in 2001 with the American invasion has left about 150,000 deceased, according International Amnesty. The counter for this conflict, however, is still open and adding. The United States and its NATO allies this summer are lowering their Afghan blinds and leaving; but the war continues.

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