9 September 2021
On 15 August, the government of Afghanistan collapsed, President Ashraf Ghani fled and shortly afterwards the Taliban took power. Thousands of the 39 million population have been scrambling to flee the future that now awaits Afghanistan. Countries are working to accommodate Afghan refugees — including the UK, which decided to resettle 20,000 refugees.
What is happening in Afghanistan?
The Afghan government’s rapid collapse came two decades after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to as part of the ‘War on Terror’ to seek to deny Al-Qaeda a safe base for operations in the country following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the refusal of the Taliban government to extradite Osama bin Laden. The immediate context is the decision in April of this year by President Biden to withdraw the 3,200 troops U.S. and NATO troops by the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Although Afghan security forces were well funded and equipped, in the event they put up little resistance as Taliban militants seized much of the country as soon as the troops began withdrawing. The Taliban regime that was once toppled in 2001 is now back in power. Moreover, the fall of Kabul came much sooner than expected by U.S. intelligence analysts.
Why are Afghans fleeing?
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