Watching the fall of Afghanistan on my tv and in my social media feed, I personally have many feelings about this situation.
On September 11, 2001, I was sixteen years old. I was sitting in my high school AP US History class watching the second tower falling live. Looking around that classroom, I realized my generation would bear the brunt of this war that was inevitably coming. I don’t think we think about how much our world has changed since 9/11 and because of 9/11. We know none of those changes are going away.
These changes include heightened security measures, conspiracy theorists reaching the top of the New York Times Best Sellers lists, and the multiple talking heads debating government policy, which will never disappear. These changes have made a lot of people money.
October 2001 began the fighting we all expected and honestly thought would come sooner, after 9/11. Since that point, the United States has been involved in multiple overseas wars with no strategic end. Seriously, there is no end to terrorism. Terrorist is the second oldest profession next to sex worker.
President Trump began pulling out of Afghanistan during his administration, and President Biden is finishing the job he started. Seeing Kabul fall is tragic and heartbreaking. I should feel more heartbreak for the refugees or for the women and girls who will, most likely, become second-class citizens as they were under the Taliban’s earlier regime. However, I honestly feel more anger and heartbreak for the servicemembers who have been there.
So many service members went to Afghanistan after 9/11 to catch Osama or defeat the terrorists that attacked us. Eventually, the mission became to train the Afghani Army to defend itself. But war has consequences. Many of these service members never came home, or they came home different people losing a piece of themselves over there. And now Afghanistan is seemingly back in the same position it was in back in 2001, ruled by the Taliban.
This feeling of pointlessness, at least on my part, doesn’t seem wrong. Why did people I know and care about go over there and fight when there was no victory or defeat at the end of it all? In 2007 I joined the US Army because I wanted to do something for my country. I was medically discharged 35 days later.
I am just wondering if anyone else is asking why the United States went to war with an idea without knowing what the end would be. What’s next?
If you would like to help here are some links you can check out:
International Rescue Committee