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OPINION: U.S. troops should have stayed in Afghanistan

In light of the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the U.S. has a humanitarian duty to stay in Afghanistan to protect its people and government. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/FLICKR/Sgt Rupert Frere RLC

The U.S. planned to pull its more than 14,000 troops out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31, but the mission was derailed due to the expected uprising of terrorist organization the Taliban, proving the U.S. shouldn’t have begun its departure. 

Troops shouldn’t have started to leave Afghanistan to avoid a government takeover by the Taliban. Afghanistan has become dependent on the infiltration by the U.S. army since the troops first official arrival in 2001 after former President George W. Bush signed a resolution that allowed the U.S. army to use force against those responsible for 9/11.

Now, the U.S. and allies have begun to leave the country, allowing the Taliban to obtain control of capital city Kabul on Aug. 15. This could have been avoided if the troops stayed in the country until the Taliban had little to no chance of obtaining the city to protect the Afghan people and its capital. 

The American government can help by protecting Kabul from the current occupants by keeping current troops in place and providing sanctuary for the citizens and refugees who could potentially be oppressed by the Taliban.

The United Nations reported in June the murders of women and children in Afghanistan are currently at a record high. By leaving the country, America is permitting the oppression of Afghan women. 

Women’s activist and Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the U.S. Roya Rahmani told The Guardian on Aug. 22 “progress is on the line” for women in the country after President Joe Biden began pulling troops. 

“To the extent they have rights and liberties and the progress and achievements they have made is on the line, the women of Afghanistan are very nervous, very scared and very concerned,” Rahmani said. 

Biden’s reasoning for the withdrawal of American troops derives from his concerns for the lives of the soldiers, not those who risk the erasure of their human rights.

“Let me ask those who want us to stay: How many more, how many thousands more American daughters and sons are you willing to risk? How long would you have them stay?” Biden asked during a July 8 White House press briefing. 

American soldiers volunteered their lives to protect those who were in need of saving both in Afghanistan and at home. Afghan citizens never volunteered their lives to be upended by a 20-year conflict. The objective in Afghanistan has now changed. The U.S. must help bring stability back to these citizens’ lives. 

Biden has pushed the idea that America invaded the Middle East to avoid future foreign terrorist attacks within America.

“We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: get those who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, and make sure al Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again,” Biden said at the briefing. 

But the U.S. has now infiltrated Afghanistan to a point where the army will never be able to leave without ensuring civilian safety from the Taliban.

There is still time, however, to maintain peace in the country and save civilians from a life of oppression and terror, since America has decided to deploy 6,000 troops into Afghanistan to relieve refugees. Many of those soldiers should be kept in the country to defend the Afghan capital and protect its citizens. 

It is inhumane to invade a struggling country, create a system in which the safety of the civilians depends on foreign armed forces and then ultimately leave them to struggle and die. The U.S. should’ve stayed in Afghanistan until Kabul was completely safe from the Taliban for the sake of its people and the avoidance of a Taliban insurrection.