Afghanistan in Chaos After U.S. Troop Withdrawal

Of all the big stories in the news lately, nothing tops what’s happening in Afghanistan.

That includes the COVID-19 Delta variant spread. And the resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Plus the growth of Western wildfires.

After 20 years in this volatile Middle Eastern country, U.S. troops were ordered home by President Joe Biden. Then in a remarkably short period of time, the Taliban took over the country.

The withdrawal led to tens of thousands of Afghans trying to leave. And left women fearing for their safety and rights. Some folks were so desperate that they clung to the side of a U.S. military jet as it took off. Then plunged to their deaths.  

Several days after the Taliban started overrunning Afghanistan, Biden addressed the nation. He said, “I stand squarely behind my decision.” And added that there “was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”

Reactions From Politicians

Many politicians have responded to the withdrawal and ensuing chaos. Former President Donald Trump called on Biden to resign  over the situation. 

Trump had planned to have U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan earlier. And he had criticized Biden for waiting until August to do it. But former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated Trump would have handled it differently. 

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas called the pullout “an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions.” House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy cited Biden’s “lack of leadership” on Afghanistan. Adding it would cause problems for the U.S. for decades. 

Others disagreed with those sentiments. Ted Kaufman is a former Delaware senator. Here’s what he told The Atlantic. “A big majority of the American people want us out of Afghanistan. It’s fine for us to sit in Washington and talk about what’s wrong in Afghanistan. It’s another thing if you have a son or daughter or father over there.”

David Axelrod was a top aide in the Obama Administration. He said Biden had made a compelling case for why the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan. And that it will resonate with many Americans.

A Brief History Timeline 

The history of this troubled nation would require many volumes. So I’ll just mention a few things about American involvement over the past two decades.

The U.S. entered Afghanistan as part of its War on Terror following the 9/11 attacks. In 2003, it was announced that major combat operations had ended. And that efforts would shift to reconstruction.

From 2004 to 2006, there was considerable fighting between a U.S.-led military coalition and the Taliban. The Afghan government established a new constitution. And elected Hamid Karzai as president.

In 2009 and 2010, President Barack Obama made a renewed commitment to the country. He sent 17,000 additional troops there. U.S. Navy SEALS killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Two years later, security responsibilities were handed to Afghan military forces. During Trump’s presidency, peace talks showed promise. But agreements were broken. Trump set a target date of May 1 for U.S. troop withdrawals. 

Two Decades Down the Drain?

Immediately following the Taliban takeover, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction issued a report. It was critical of the U.S. effort in the country over 20 years under several presidents. 

Here’s how it reads in part. “If the goal was to rebuild and leave behind a country that can sustain itself and pose little threat to U.S. national security interest, the overall picture is bleak.”

In two decades, the U.S. spent nearly $1 trillion on war and reconstruction efforts. More importantly, 2,443 American troops were killed. And many more injured. Also killed were more than 66,000 Afghan troops. And close to 50,000 civilians.

The report acknowledged some improvements. Including better education for children. And more opportunities for women. But whether those things continue under a Taliban regime is doubtful.

Weapons Now in Taliban Hands 

As of this writing, U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan are helping American citizens get out. And are planning to get themselves out by tomorrow. Which is Biden’s deadline. 

Those troops are also assisting some 22,000 “at-risk” Afghans. In other words, those who helped U.S. troops in the past and might be Taliban targets when those troops leave. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

Jake Sullivan is Biden’s national security advisor. He said the Taliban committed to allowing “safe passage” for civilians heading to the Kabul airport. But there were some reports of whippings and beatings as civilians tried to leave. 

One of the many downsides to the chaos in Afghanistan concerns weapons. The Biden Administration admitted it’s likely a “fair amount” of weapons the U.S. gave the Afghanistan government are now in Taliban hands.   

Women Fear the Worst

Many Afghan citizens who benefitted from a U.S. presence are afraid. They believe things could return to the way they were in the 1990s. That’s when the Taliban controlled the country.

If the Taliban again imposes a strict interpretation of Islamic law, many changes could occur. Including women being barred from attending school. Or working outside their homes.

The Taliban have forced women to wear burqas. And be accompanied by a male relative whenever they leave home. They also banned music, cut off the hands of thieves and stoned adulterers. 

The tragic situation in Afghanistan is still playing out. Only time will tell what happens next. In the meantime, we can all hope and pray for the safety of those who wish to leave. 


  • Dawn Bowes - September 03, 2021

    This is an atrocity and Creepy Joe should be dropped in Afghanistan by a helicopter over Taliban headquarters. He could then experience first hand what the people he left behind are experiencing. If you are military or have been in the military then you know that NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND! There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. This was Wrong! For all the soldiers who were pulled out or the families of soldiers that lost their lives over there I’m sure feel like it was for nothing. They are Proud, strong soldiers who are always willing to fight the good fight and put their lives on the line. They know what they are up against when they enlist. Biden is incompetent and needs to be held accountable along with all the representatives of the house & senate who have not gotten back to Washington to do what needs to be done! CLEAN UP & CLEAN OUT THE WHOLE WHITE HOUSE from top to bottom IMMEDIATELY!!!! Flipping Cowards!

  • C Reynolds - August 30, 2021

    I agree with Roland and Simthson. Let’s stop trying to make this issue Republicans versus Democrats because Satan is busy trying to divide our country. United we stand. And to be fair, I know that it’s nice to make this political, but in the end we had presidents on both sides, Trump, Biden and other American presidents saying we need to bring home our sons and daughters because this is a war that cannot be won no matter how much other countries interject. This region has been fighting for centuries. We keep trying to put a bandaid on a festering wound. I say that as a nation of Christians we should all get on our knees and pray to Christ our Savior and Lord that if HIS Will be done he will deliver the Afghanistan people out of their affliction because as true follows of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we know that pray moves mountains. Let’s walk the talk and pray.

  • Michael Bocci - August 30, 2021

    I am glad that you seemed to show a timeline without politics. This issue is four administrations deep, both Republican and Democrat. The Afganistan military was suppose to hold the line and they didnt. Who’s fault was that, again four administrations prepared them. Sure some things probably could have been done differently, hindsight is always 2020. Support our troops and get the hell out.

  • Nancy Walling - August 30, 2021

    God Bless all of those who are now or will soon be persecuted for their beliefs. Thank God and God Bless all of those who fought so hard to create a better life for the Afghani people. The Gold star families are owed a lot more than they will ever be able to receive from the US. My prayers are with all of you who deserve so much better than what is happening in this world. Please know that the vast majority of Americans are deeply sorrowful about what has happened and would never have let this happen if they could have stopped any of this disaster.

  • John Neff - August 30, 2021

    It’s not a question of pulling out. The question is how it was done. Total fiasco because of a political decision that overuled the military

  • Richard C Herb - August 30, 2021

    Everyone across the fruited plains cringes at how this is going down. As to blame, there is plenty of that to go around. The majority of Americans believe sooner or later we had to pull out of Afghanistan because it is impossible to nation-build and install democracy in a country where we want it more than they do. (By the way, what I just wrote is mission-creep, that was NOT our original mission there).

    What upsets most people is the amateurish way we withdrew and the potential promises we are breaking, and how this projects to the rest of the world. This does not bode well for future American foreign policy (including our security).

  • L Rolens - August 30, 2021

    Let us be clear: in 2020, after Trump had invited the Taliban to the White House and there was considerable uproar, Pompeo met the Taliban and “negotiated” the withdrawal. This meant releasing 5,000 prisoners (who immediately went back to join the fight against the US) with nothing for our country other than the fact that the Taliban would keep it quiet as Trump ran for re-election. This is Trump’s deal, and much of what you see is on his head. They could have started pulling machinery and people out in March of 2020, but they didn’t. The timeline is also Trump’s.

  • Nancy Koncur - August 30, 2021

    No one is arguing we needed to leave Afghanistan. It’s how we left that is deplorable. I’m just a housewife but I know logically you get the Americans and afghans that helped us out first. Then you get the equipment out. If you cannot get the equipment out you destroy it Then you get the military out. Finally after that you Bonn all the bases so the Taliban cannot use them. You tell the Taliban if they hurt one person we will bomb you. Biden needs to be impeached along with Harris and Pelosi. They all have violated the constitution.

  • Gary J Smithson - August 30, 2021

    Yes we had to go and yes it’s ugly. But aren’t all pullouts ugly. Now for the weapons they where left for the Afghan troops. They were not expected to run away at first sign of trouble. They left the weapons. Now yes we could go blow up some but don’t you think that the talaban would fight for them. Which puts Americans into more danger. You can’t have it both ways. Do you want us out or do you want us to go in and blow stuff up? Just don’t complain if we lose more soldiers because that will happen. No one’s fault that is war. This is not political at all.

  • Buffy Fluffy - August 30, 2021

    Our hearts our heavy for the world that is fallen into utter disparity. This is all foretold in the Bible.
    Fasten your Bible belts tight, get to know Jesus and His teachings, and He needs to know you.

  • Wesley Baker - August 27, 2021

    As far as I am concerned or troops have got to get home Biden needs to be impeached and why in the hell they left that much machinery there I’ll never know we read stuff to explode if we couldn’t take it with us hoorah simplify United States Marine corps

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