Afghanistan has been at the center of the news for the last few weeks, and a quick internet search can fill you in on some of the basics. Essentially, the United States has been in the region since 2001 when it invaded the country, in part to try and remove the Taliban from power. In early August 2021, President Joe Biden completed the plan to withdraw U.S. troops from the area. A plan that had initially been put into place by former President Donald Trump in 2020. The area, politically, has collapsed since then, with the Taliban moving back into power and many Afghans on the ground worried about the consequences.
Of course, this is a complicated international situation, and the everyday American isn’t going to be able to change international policy. However, that doesn’t mean you should check out completely. There are good reasons to care about the problems in Afghanistan. These are a few of the reasons you should keep up to date.
International Issues Impact the Entire World
Initially, the cited reason for invading Afghanistan was because of 9/11—al-Qaeda had planned the World Trade Center attacks, after all. Battling them in Afghanistan was one way the United States was hoping to reduce its chances of dealing with another international terrorist attack. International issues impact everyone, not just the people in the country that’s impacted.
Additionally, the way this ends up shaking out could set some important precedents for other countries in the area. It’s been a long time since the Taliban had official control of Afghanistan, although they’ve been taking over much of the Afghan countryside in the last few years. International relations will have to change significantly due to this change, and understanding a bit about that can be helpful.
American Veterans Are Feeling the Strain
One of the biggest problems currently facing America with regard to Afghanistan is how many veterans are responding to the process. Though only around 3,000 American and NATO forces died in Afghanistan, a fairly small percentage of the forces who left, it can be hard to estimate how many more were seriously injured or died after coming back home.
For many Afghanistan veterans, watching the fall of the American-built Afghanistan is immensely psychologically damaging. Many are feeling for Afghan translators and soldiers they left behind, while others are wondering whether their actions—and the actions of others they fought with—actually mean anything now. Some branches of the VA have sent out emails reminding veterans of the crisis line. Clearly, this is an important time for veterans’ mental healthcare.
The Entire American Public Is Part of This War
Since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, the United States has spent more than $2 trillion. That’s $300 million dollars every single day for 20 years—more than the net worth of the 30 richest billionaires in America combined. Plus, because it was financed with borrowed money, the interest could increase that number to far more. This is a dollar amount that’s going to have to be financed by the United States.
Aside from finances, this could also have a severe negative impact on Muslim members of the United States. Research tends to indicate that political rhetoric has a serious impact on anti-Muslim sentiment, and the focus on the Taliban’s specific (and often controversial) interpretation of Islamic law may lead to a backlash against the estimated 3.45 million Muslims in America.
Sending Money to Groups in Afghanistan May Be the Best Way To Help
One of the best ways to help the situation in Afghanistan may be to donate to charities on the ground in Afghanistan. Of course, there are unfortunately a number of people who are shameless about trying to scam others, and they may use the Afghanistan crisis to scam you into donating to their faux charities.
You can use PeopleFinders to help prevent this. Doing a little bit of research on a supposed charity can help you determine whether the charity is real or not. A people search from PeopleFinders can help you get more information on the Americans who may be connected to a specific charity, so you can tell whether or not it’s legitimate.
The crisis in Afghanistan is very real and pressing, and it’s important not to completely withdraw from it. It’s important to remember that staying connected to the crisis in Afghanistan can help those in Afghanistan and in the United States. Use PeopleFinders to make sure nobody takes advantage of your care for Afghanistan.
Image Attribution: Zerophot – stock.adobe.com