The Big StoryAugust 16, 2021
00:21:2419.63 MB

How 20 Years of US' "War Against Terror" Started & Ended With Taliban Rule in Afghanistan

The world has been watching as a major humanitarian crisis erupted in the war-torn country of Afghanistan.

Prompted by US President Joe Biden's decision to pull US troops out of the Afghan soil, Taliban terrorists took over the country swiftly with little to no resistance and returned to power.

What was left behind was a hapless people unsure of where their futures lie and scared of what comes with the Taliban regime which is known for its extremities.

In what will perhaps remain to be a defining image of the tragedy that befell Afghanistan, photos and video footage showed hundreds of Afghan nationals streaming into Kabul and thronging around the Kabul airport, in a bid to escape the country. But with no way out, some of them were simply clinging onto flights without hopes of ever fleeing.

And amid this reign of chaos and fear, Taliban insurgents have been taking control of province after province in the past week, until they finally marched into the capital Kabul — the last major seat of the Afghan government — and claimed victory.

Barely hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the Taliban also seized the presidential palace, and brandishing guns, they declared that the "war is over".

Indeed, the war against terror that had started 20 years back with the US sending its troops to the country to topple the Taliban regime, ended in the same way that it had started — with the Taliban rule. And, just like that in a matter of a few months, Afghanistan's political and social future went through what can only be described as a tectonic shift. 

But how did Taliban insurgency withstand 20 years of military offensive led by Western allies and capture Afghanistan once again? Is the decision to withdraw US troops going to define Biden's legacy? What is the fate of the people and women especially who are trying to escape the Taliban rule? 

Over the new few episodes of our daily news podcast, we will try to unravel the nuances of what led to the fall of Afghanistan and the many implications of this political catastrophe.

In this episode, we will look at what happened in the last 20 years that ultimately led to the Taliban marking the end of the US-army era in the country. Did the US lose narrative of the battle against the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces? Was it really invested in the peace process? And how did the Afghan forces fall to the Taliban forces so quickly?

Producer and Host: Shorbori Purkayastha
Guests: Kriti Shah, Associate Fellow in the Department of Strategic Studies, Observer Research Foundation
Anil Trigunayat, former Indian Envoy to Jordan, Libya and Malta
Editor: Shelly Walia

Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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