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BackgroundEdit

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Afghanistan and it's borders.

Afghanistan is bordered on the north by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on the extreme northeast by China, on the east and south by Pakistan and by Iran on the west. The country is split east to west by the Hindu Kush mountain range. Afghanistan is rich with natural minerals and resources that are worth as much as one trillion dollars in total, such as gold silver, gas, petroleum and emerald. Despite the substantial economic growth, Afghanistan's economy is one of the worst in the world. Afghanistan is an Islamic republic, with a population of a little under 30 million. It runs on a government system like the United States, with three equal government branches. The people are split into dozens of political parties that run for power, no single party has the power to rule the country.[1]


The Fall of the TalibanEdit

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The Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11

The United States declared war on October 7, 2010 on retaliation to the September 11 attacks.On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda members hijacked four commercial airlines and crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, killing 3000 civilians and passengers on board, and injuring thousands more. This made a huge impact on America but also Afghanistan.[2] The terrorist attacks led to the Taliban government losing the support of the Afghan people as well as their chief allies, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The Taliban then began to drive foreigners out of the country to prevent retaliation from the United States. The United States concluded that Al-Qaeda members were being sheltered and given sanction in Afghanistan, and declared that they must be turned over to the United States. During that time, Taliban forces had established a strong regime in Afghanistan and were used by Al-Qaeda for training and terrorist planning. When Al-Qaeda refused to accept the ultimatum, President Bush declared an Afghanistan War.[3]


Operation Enduring FreedomEdit

US Marines in Operation Enduring Freedom

U.S troops startle the owner of the compound, who refused to open his door for the troops to search his house.

October 7, 2012, the United States launched their first missile attack against the Taliban. The aim of the invasion was to destroy training camps set by Al-Qaeda. This marked the first blow of United States' Operation Enduring Freedom. The Taliban regime of Afghanistan was protected by Al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden. The U.S is still running operation Enduring Freedom today. U.S troops prevented most of the Taliban attempts to refute their increasing control of Afghanistan. Over the nine years of war, there was a total of 14,000- 34,000 deaths of innocent civilians and 38,000 deaths of Taliban fighters. By the time the Northern Alliance (Afghan organization rebelling the Taliban) reached Kabul on November 13th, the Taliban was already gone. The leader of the Northern Alliance and the former president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, returned to try to restore order in Afghanistan. On December 7th, the Northern Alliances and western forces drove the Taliban forces away from Afghanistan. Despite the success of the project, the Afghanistan War still continues because of the numerous amounts of planned attacks against the United States. [4]


New Constitution, New GovernmentEdit

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, shows the decree implementing Afghanistan's first democratic constitution to Afghanistan's former king Zahir Shah


In December 2001, a number of prominent Afghans met under UN auspices in Bonn, Germany to decide on a plan for governing the country, otherwise known as the Bonn Agreement. The Bonn Agreement decided to hold an election for the upcoming president. Hamid Karzai was elected as president; he was the interim leader of Afghanistan after Operation Enduring Freedom successfully ousted the Taliban from power. He is the first popularly elected president in Afghanistan and has served two terms. He is still currently in power. Karzai was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was educated in Kabul then went to India for university. He joined the resistance against the soviet and he has been working on ways to go against the Taliban. In 2004, Afghani people elected Hamid Karzai; he won 55.5% of the votes. Under the rule of the Taliban, people's voice
Hamid karzai in 2006

Interim President Hamid Karzai

s have been repressed and people were ruled with strict and violent religious policies. With Hamid Karzai in presidency, Afghanistan established a new democratic government. Despite the success of the Northern Alliance attempts to defeat the Taliban there was still some lingering Taliban influence that continued to terrorize the country. Because of this problem, Afghanistan needed the help of NATO and eventual establishment of ISAF to sustain stability in the country. The Bonn Agreement called for not only the establishment of a justice system and a Supreme Court but also the drafting and ratification of a new constitution. On December 14, 2003, 502 delegates congregated at the Lyra Jiraga to discuss the constitution. Interim President Hamid Karzai drafted a constitution, which was presented to the delegates. After many weeks of zealous debates, the new constitution was ratified. This new constitution enforces a presidential system with two vice presidents of different authority. The constitution also states that presidential terms are restricted to five years, just like the United States, a president can only be elected twice. The National Assembly of Afghanistan is composed of two houses: the house of People and the House of Elders. Some important changes is that the constitution promises the restoration of human and civil rights in Afghanistan, freedom of speech, protest, expression, rights to privacy, assembly and also the rights to life and liberty. [5]

Nato taking over security in AfghanistanEdit

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Troops from the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan

The United States and her allies were all aware that they had just simply hustled the Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces, and that they would continue to strike back. So after the Taliban regime fell, the UN established the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), with regulations around the Bonn Agreement to secure Afghanistan. NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, helps ISAF in case Afghanistan goes to war. In 2003, NATO took over ISAF. In the same year the United Nations voted for extending ISAF's approval to cover all of Afghanistan. By 2006, ISAF completed its expansion; to this day they combat any Taliban resistance groups, provide security and train soldiers. [6]

Opium TradeEdit

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An Afghan man harvests opium in a poppy field while US soldiers look on in a village

Afghanistan is the greatest illicit opium producer in the entire world. Opium production in Afghanistan has been on the rise since 2001. Opium trade accounts for more than 50% of Afghanistan’s GDP. It is reported that some Afghan Opium farmers were earning $700 million from farming opium.[6] Opium production in Afghanistan accounts for 93% of the world supply. It has taken 30 years for Afghanistan to build a strong opium trade and it has now become the cornerstone of the national economy. When the US forced the Taliban out of Afghanistan, the Afghan government developed a law that made opium farming illegal. However opium production continued in some Taliban-controlled areas.[7] Opium trade is where the Taliban gets most of their funds. The NATO and US are trying to bring an end to the Opium trades in order to seize the Taliban’s funds. The southern region of Helmand and Kandahar provinces are high-level areas for drug transactions. [8]



Taliban ResurganceEdit

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The Taliban

Five years after the United States evicted the Taliban from Afghanistan. The US and NATO’s aggressive Opium eradication plan has elicited a hunger crisis and the reappearance of the Taliban in the southern Afghanistan. Taliban resurgence started in 2002. Small training camps were set up in order for them to train new recruits.[9] These small resurgences continued for a few years and the Taliban militants began to embrace the terror tactics of Iraqi insurgents. Suicide bombings were a rare in Afghanistan, now they were more than common. In 2006 there were 141 suicide attacks causing 1,166 casualties. NATO decided to take matters into their own hands to crush the Taliban insurgence in southern Afghanistan. However this operation was a failure. The Taliban continued to elevate after NATO assumed control of security over Afghanistan.[10]


American Troop SurgeEdit

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US Troops In Afghanistan


June 2011, The President of United States, Barack Obama ordered 10,000 troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan at the end 2011. He also stated that 23,000 more troops were to return from duties in Afghanistan by the summer of 2012. He said, “by 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the afghan people will be responsible for their own security.” [11] Obama believes that the US has accomplished its goals of disrupting and dismantling al Qaeda, and now it is time for the “surge” of troops to come back. USA has pulled out 33,000 troops from Afghanistan, which is roughly one third of the amount of troops in June 2011.[12] The troops that have been withdrawn have been replaced by Afghan troops trained by the U.S. military. There will be some troops who will remain in Afghanistan to continue training recruits and providing aid when necessary. There is an estimated of 350,000 Afghan forces in Afghanistan, but there is still 130,000 NATO coalition forces there as well.[13]


Withdrawal of American SoldiersEdit

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U.S. Troops returning from the war in Afghanistan


June 2011, The President of United States, Barack Obama ordered 10,000 troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan at the end 2011. He also stated that 23,000 more troops were to return from duties in Afghanistan by the summer of 2012. Obama believes that the US has accomplished its goals of disrupting and dismantling al Qaeda, and now it is time for the “surge” of troops to come back. [14] USA has pulled out 33,000 troops from Afghanistan, which is roughly one third of the amount of troops in June 2011. The troops that have been withdrawn have been replaced by Afghan troops trained by the U.S. military. There will be some troops who will remain in Afghanistan to continue training recruits and providing aid when necessary.[15] There is an estimated of 350,000 Afghan forces in Afghanistan, but there is still 130,000 NATO coalition forces there as well. Obama said, “by 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.”[16]


U.S Troops Withdrawn- Afghan President Assasinated Edit

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President Obama and President Karzai

The United States withdrew all their troops in early 2014. It took the United States a total of 3.6 years to withdraw all 68,000 military troops from Afghanistan. A small faction of 2000 US troops remained in Afghanistan in order to train in coming recruits. The ISAF troops have taken secured Kabul and all the areas surrounding the Taliban warlords. These ISAF troops acquired weapons and vehicles from the U.S military. President Obama said “Now that all our troops are heading home, it is time for the Afghan people to protect their own land. We have done our part, now its time for them to do theirs.” Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said meeting with president Obama, "We are very grateful for the United States help over the past years and we hope that our relationship with the U.S. will continue to grow and prosper."[17] Two months after the troops were withdrawn, the Taliban kidnapped President Karzai and 1st and 2nd Vice President Mohammed Fahim and Karim Khalili while they were going to a meeting. The Taliban hijacked the convoy and killed almost 30 personal body guards. The Taliban broadcasted the torturing and execution of the president and vice president on the Internet. The ISAF tracked the IP address and discovered the location of Karzai, Fahim and Khalili, unfortunately those who killed him was never found. The Afghanistan National Army (ANA) temporarily took control of all Afghanistan in place of Karzai.[18]

Final War Against the Taliban Edit

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The Afghanistan National Army preparing for war against the Taliban

In 2014 the country has fallen into chaos. Since the assassination of Karzai the Taliban openly admitted that they were the ones responsible. The Afghanistan National Army lead by Lieutenant General Sher Mohammad Karimi, launched a full scale attack on the Taliban in retribution over the death of Karzai. The Taliban have retaliated with multiple bombings on the capital of Kabul and Kandahar. The 3 bombings in Kabul and Kandahar have tallied over 1000 casualties. Afghanistan became a wasteland, Kabul was in pieces, and Kandahar was destroyed. The Afghanistan National Army was no match for the new Taliban. Lt. Gen. Karimi had a secret meeting with Pakistan President Asif Zardari in Islamabad. President Zadari has agreed on aiding Afghanistan in their war against the Taliban.[19] Afghanistan spent over 10 billion USD on the war and the economy is slowly deteriorating. 3 years of war, the Taliban were defeated on March 6th 2017, Afghanistan and Pakistan special task force infiltrated the Taliban base and blew it up. The total estimated Afghan military casualties are around 3000s. The Afghan-Taliban war has concluded and now it is time to elect a new president.[20]

2017 ElectionsEdit

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Fawzia Koofi giving her acceptance speech. (As president)

In 2017 elections were held to see who would be the next president of Afghanistan. Fawzia Koofi was elected to be the first woman
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Increased number of women students & graduates.

president of Afghanistan. Her campaign mainly circled around women’s rights. May 21, 2017, the Women Rights bill (WRB) was passed. The WRB ensured that women go to school and that 10% of the jobs in Afghanistan were reserved for women only. The economy went up and the mortality rate went down, as women were more educated in how to take care of themselves and their family. The Afghanistan and Pakistani military decided to dig into Taliban territory as the last of the Taliban were executed. There, the military found many natural resources, underground, such as oil and diamonds. June 27 2017, the public uprising of protests to illegalize opium started. On July 20, 2017 Fawzia illegalized opium, and sent the Afghanistan military to destroy all opium farms. After all the farms were destroyed Fawzia gave business loans to all the farmers, to help start agriculture. By the end of 2017 the economy of Afghanistan was rising as Afghanistan sold oil to China and United States. More jobs were then opened up for people to mine resources; the poverty cap was reduced by 19%. (21)

Opium Activity goes UndergroundEdit

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Underground Opium Farm

After the illegalization of opium, people began to go underground to grow opium. Due to the fact that opium was once such a plentiful drug, has caused many addicts to feel in need of a fix. Growing opium underground has drastically affected the purity of the opium itself. Growers would have used chemical enhancements in order to keep the plants alive. These underground growers of opium would transport the drug as tealeaves, making it almost impossible to track, as tea was one of the countries favorite imports. These opium growers have accumulated over 10 million dollars according to the Afghanistan Government. Fawzia Koofi launched the Eliminate Underground Opium Initiative (EUOI). Afghanistan Special Forces traced the opium dealers back to their underground opium farms and found their operation leader Assef Benayoun. Assef Benayoun was a multimillionaire in Afghanistan; he was capable of buying all the necessary equipment that was needed for the farming. Assef Benayoun is now in jail for life, after the Afghan Supreme Court ruled him guilty of possession of large amounts of Opium, and with intent to distribute. The Afghanistan forensic department revealed that the opium that they were distributing had mixed traces of Methylphenidate and Cannabis. (22)

Economy Continues to GrowEdit

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Modernized Afghanistan- economy rising (more jobs opening)

By 2019, Afghanistan’s economy is beginning to see improvement as oil prices are raised. The oil prices has risen from $100.81 to $139.12 per barrel. The health and mortality rate improves because more women are educated. Afghanistan Economy has risen from rank 106 in the world to the top 50 in 2019, going past oil lords Iraq and New Zealand. As Afghanistan’s economy rises, Fawzia makes the country more modernized and by adding more schools to impoverished areas. These schools have given hope to rising students hope for a better future. Many university have been established under Fawzia's supervision such as the University of Karvard, one of the most prestigous schools in the middle east. Big companies such as Barclays, Pepsi and Samsung have established many headquarters in Afghanistan, creating job opportunities for the people. (23)

Pakistan Joins Afghanistan Edit

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Moderate Muslims protesting in the streets of Karachi

In 2020 Pakistan became a failed state because of the lack of government rule, lack of resources and the civil war. The civil war, the moderate Muslims against the radical Muslims took a toll on Pakistan. Fawzia decided to open some refugee camps in Afghanistan for fleeing Pakistan's. The UN decided to step in and help Pakistan by sending in the NATO troops once again. NATO helped the Pakistani military take control of the country once again. However the civil war put Pakistan at a disadvantage, seeing how most of the countries resources were used to fuel the war. Afghanistan still owed Pakistan for helping eradicate the Taliban. On April 25, 2022 Fawzia Koofi met with the current president, Bilawal Bhutto Zardar
i, to sign a treaty to unite the two countries. The process took 3 months, the conclusion was that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would overlook the government but didn’t have the right to veto or
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Fawzia Koofi (left) meets with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (right)

pass a law. However Fawzia Koofi has the right to veto or pass laws. This process is similar to the United States’s President and Vice President jobs,

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari being the vice president and Fawzia Koofi being the President. The whole process was supported and overlooked by the UN. (24)

ReferencesEdit

1. "Afghanistan Background Information." Teachers Vision. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.teachervision.fen.com/afghanistan/resource/7126.html>.


2. "September 11 News." September 11 News.com. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.september11news.com/>.


3. Marshall, Tim. "How Shockwaves Of 9/11 Changed The World." Sky News. 09 Sept. 2011. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16066449>.


4. PBS. "Taliban Retreats from Afghan Capital." PBS. 14 Nov. 2001. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/july-dec01/kabul_11-14.html>.


5. Graham, Stephen. "A New Constitution For Afghanistan." CBS News. 11 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 May 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-202_162-591116.html>.


6. Arnoldy, Ben. "How US Is Tackling Opium Trade in Afghanistan Poppy Heartland." The Christian Science Monitor. 12 Jan. 2010. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2010/0112/How-US-is-tackling-opium-trade-in-Afghanistan-poppy-heartland>


7. Walsh, Declan. "UN Horrified by Surge in Opium Trade in Helmand." The Guardian. 27 Aug. 2007. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/aug/28/afghanistan.drugstrade1>.


8. Huff, Ethan. "US Military Admits to Guarding, Assisting Lucrative Opium Trade in Afghanistan." Natural News. Natural News, 06 Nov. 2011. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.naturalnews.com/034289_Afghanistan_opium_trade.html>.


9. "The Taliban Resurgence in Afghanistan." BBC News. BBC. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/the_taliban_resurgence_in_afghanistan>.


10. ICOS. "Afghanistan Five Years Later: The Return of the Taliban." Icosgroup.net. ICOS Group, Sept. 2006. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.icosgroup.net/2006/report/afghanistan-five-years-later/>.


11. "Barack Obama Orders 30,000 More Troops to Afghanistan." BBC News. 12 Feb. 2009. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8389778.stm>.


12. Starr, Barbara. "Obama Approves Afghanistan Troop Increase." CNN. 17 Feb. 2009. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://articles.cnn.com/2009-02-17/politics/obama.troops_1_afghanistan-troop-increase-troop-levels?_s=PM:POLITICS>.


13. Singh, Rohit. "US Military Surge in Afghanistan." Indian Defence Review. 13 Dec. 2010. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.indiandefencereview.com/military-and-aerospace/US-Military-Surge-in-Afghanistan.html>.


14. SCIUTTO, JIM, MARY BRUCE, and DEVIN DWYER. "Obama Orders Start to US Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan." ABC News Network, 22 June 2011. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-orders-start-us-troop-withdrawal-afghanistan/story?id=13908291>.


15. Sachs, Susan. "NATO." The Globe and Mail. 21 Nov. 2010. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/natos-2014-afghanistan-departure-date-laden-with-ambiguity/article1807792/>.


16. "Next Phase of Afghan Transition: NATO Support Dwindles." RT. 14 May 2012. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://rt.com/news/afgan-handover-security-obama-174/>.

17. White, Tony. "U.S. Troops Withdrawn from Afghanistan." The Guardian. 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 14 May 2022. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/>.


18. Olatunji, Olajide. "Afghan President tortured and executed." The Telegraph. 16 April. 2014. Web. 14 May 2022. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/>

19. Olatunji, Deji. “Afghanistan wins Taliban War.” The Telegraph. 7th March. 2017. Web. 14 May 2022. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/>.

20. Freezi, Callum. “Afghanistan-Taliban War Statistics.” BBC News. 13th March. 2014. Web. 14 May 2022. <http://www.bbc.com/>. 21.

21. "Fawzia Koofi Is the President of Afghanistan." Bbc.com. 10th March. 2014 Web. <http://www.bbc.com/>.

22. "Underground Opium causes trouble in Afghanistan." Ny Times. 8th March. 2018. Web. <http://www.nytimes.com/>

23. "Afghanistan rising to the occasion." The Telegraph. 20th May. 2019. Web. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/>

24. "Like Two Peas in a Pod." Ny Times. 15th December. 2020. Web. <http://www.nytimes.com/>


By Mark Kan and Sabrina Chen