Afghanistan has been occupied by foreign powers for nearly 20 years now, with its people being exploited and tormented in the name of combating terrorism. A recent NATO request for thousands more troops to be sent to the region means their suffering will only continue.
AFGHANISTAN — Afghanistan, also known as the “Grave of Empires,” has been the victim of imperial occupation and exploitation by U.S. and coalition forces for nearly two decades. An entire generation of Americans will have grown up in the fog of a seemingly endless war – and with a new administration taking over, this painful reality is almost guaranteed. To many, Afghanistan exists in a state of invisibility – it is there, but beyond the scope of their daily life. Most don’t know why U.S. forces are in Afghanistan, just that they’re there “fighting terrorists.”
In May, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that current troop levels stand at 13,000, but some allies were willing to increase their force contributions. Just weeks ago, NATO began requesting more troops numbering in the thousands in order to increase their presence in Afghanistan, with terrorism used as an excuse. Of course, the United States is leading the effort to bolster the Afghanistan military presence, promising to send 4,000 additional troops to the country on top of the 8,400 currently there.
In 2009, Obama pushed U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan to a staggering 100,000 before later drawing down. Trump, wanting to further compound U.S. influence in the region while giving the appearance of being less engaged, will be handing the reins over to military generals. And unlike Obama, who falsely alluded to a possible end to the war in Afghanistan, Trump is making no such promises. For Trump, the idea of defeating a new band of terrorists, this time being Daesh (ISIS), means this war will be heavy, and it will be necessary.
Trump, who is now relying on military contractors such as Blackwater founder Erik Prince to strategize the future of the U.S.’ role in Afghanistan, will undoubtedly push this war into another term or even into the hands of another administration. The people of Afghanistan, who’ve now suffered through decades of war, will be the ones paying the heaviest cost.