In 1988, Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam formed an international militant Sunni Islamic organization named Al-Qaeda (which translates as ‘The Foundation’). At the beginning, their primary objective was to fight against Soviet troops which began an invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The group quickly grew in number and power and by the late 1980s was a leading international terrorist organization.
In 1994, a new Sunni Islamic group in Afghanistan, the Taliban, was created under the leadership of Mohammed Omar. They also took part in the civil war that had been raging in Afghanistan for years. Omar quickly gained support and power from many of the Mujahedeen warlords that controlled many of the areas within Afghanistan.
It’s important to understand that Islamic nations like Afghanistan are composed of many local groups or tribes, each led by a warlord. They often fought territorial wars to gain the lands controlled by each other. This is one of the reasons the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and expected to quickly conquer the nation and subdue the warlords. However, groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban were able to unify the efforts of the warlords to fight a common enemy – the Soviets.
In September 1996, the Taliban gained control of the government in Afghanistan and established their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They enforced extremely strict Islamic Sharia rule that literally became a reign of terror on the Afghan people. Women were treated harshly, often no better than cattle or some other possession. They weren’t allowed to go to school, drive a car, or even speak in the presence of a man without first being spoken to. They were often forced to walk behind their fathers, brothers, uncles or husbands. They were often beaten and even killed for even a hint of any immoral act. If a woman was raped, she was the one punished by the Taliban, not the man who raped her and the punishment often included death.
On September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists launched their horrific attack on the United States, flying passenger planes into each off the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. Another flight was headed for the Capital Building in Washington DC when a group of passengers charged the terrorists and forced the plane to crash in a Pennsylvania field, killing all onboard.
It didn’t take long for bin Laden and Al Qaeda to take responsibility for the attack. The administration of President George W. Bush demanded that Afghan leaders turn bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders over to them. However, the Taliban-controlled government refused and instead gave bin Laden and Al Qaeda protection within their borders.
On October 7, 2001, less than a month after the 9/11 attack, the US invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to capture bin Laden and topple the Taliban government. By early December 2001, the US had successfully toppled the Taliban government, but they failed to locate and capture bin Laden.
In one form or another, the US has been involved in Afghanistan, fighting against the Taliban, who became an insurgent militant group responsible for terroristic attacks in many locations in the world. The US has also fought Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and it wasn’t until May 2011 that US intelligence located bin Laden in Pakistan and sent in Navy SEAL Team 6 to capture or destroy bin Laden and his compound. During the surprise raid, bin Laden was killed.
Then Barack Obama began pulling US troops out of the region. Then another and bloodier Islamic extremist group rose up – ISIS. For the past several years, US forces have been concentrating on helping to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria and progress has been made. ISIS has lost much of the territory they once controlled and much of their financial pipeline has been destroyed.
However, while the US and other members of the coalition, have been busy fighting ISIS, the Taliban have been growing in Afghanistan. A recent report indicates that Taliban fighters have taken control of two major districts in Afghanistan and are launching an assault on another district government headquarters.
So, what does the Unite States and other nations do about the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan? Do we get involved in fighting them again? Do we do this while we are fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria? Do we do this while facing the threat of a nuclear war with North Korea?
I’m no Middle East expert, but based on history, there is always going to be fighting among the many tribes or groups of Muslims in nations like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and others. They have been fighting each other for over 1,000 years and I seriously doubt that the United States, Soviet Union or any coalition of governments could ever bring true peace to the area. War and fighting is all that many of these people know. They don’t know anything else and we would be naïve to think we can change all of their thousand years of traditional hate and fighting. I say let them fight it out amongst themselves and only get involved if their fighting spills over and affects our allies.
Additionally, I believe our troops should be protecting and defending America first, and that means deploying them along the border with Mexico have them help stop illegal aliens, drug traffickers and terrorists from entering our nation.
I know many disagree with me, but I believe we need to start taking care of America first before we continue to be the police for the rest of the world!