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The U.S. war on Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. It was illegal, unjust and unethical from the start and should never have begun. It punished an entire nation for the action of a few. It violated the U.N. charter which only allows one nation to wage war against another sovereign nation in self-defense or in direct retaliation for actions already taken. The nation of Afghanistan did not attack the U.S. on 9/11/01 nor was it threating to do so.
So why did the U.S. invade Afghanistan in the first place? Did it have to do with making sure there was a government in place friendly to the U.S. to ensure safety for desired construction of an oil pipeline through the country? Or was it to ensure access for the U.S. to a region rich in mineral resources, including lithium? Did the U.S. really believe that an invasion would succeed quickly?
It is now almost 16 years later. The U.S. taxpayer has paid $782 billion for this war and continues to pay approximately $4 million an hour. At least 2403 U.S. soldiers have lost their lives and 3539 soldiers have been injured (as of September 2012). 26, 270 Afghan civilians have been killed and 29,900 Afghan civilians wounded. Added together, more than 91,000 Afghan civilians and soldiers have died in this U.S. war of choice. The lives of thousands more have been disrupted.
The war on Afghanistan began under George W. Bush. It continued under both of his terms and both of Barack Obama's terms in office. Just recently, after months of procrastination and dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal on April 14, 2017, Donald Trump announced yet another 4,000 troops would be sent to Afghanistan. It costs approximately $1 million to deploy one U.S. soldier in Afghanistan for one year. Both these decisions make accelerating the U.S. drawdown of troops and engaging in serious diplomatic efforts to end the war more difficult. Why should we think that a strategy that has failed almost 16 years will suddenly succeed?
Think about it. Sixteen-year-old men and women in the U.S. and Afghanistan have never known a time without war. In fact, the people of Afghanistan have been engaged in war now since 1979, when the U.S. helped lure the former Soviet Union into war and then funded Osama bin Laden and the mujahedeen to fight a proxy war.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history, by far. And there's no end in sight. We need to continue to demand clearly an immediate withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan as well as support for restoring Afghanistan from the devastation caused by US involvement. We need to continue to raise this issue at our events and be poised for emergency protest response in opposition to escalations and continued atrocities by the US there.
US Troops Out of Afghanistan