What Started The Afghanistan Crisis: A Brief History Of Events

By Toby Tunwase

Afghanistan has become the center of media attention over the past couple of weeks with the withdrawal of the US and the subsequent takeover by the Taliban government. Perhaps you have seen all the information and don’t fully understand what is going on. This article provides a very brief crash course on the origin of the Afghanistan Crisis. 

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The war began sometime in 1978 between the Afghanistan communist government (that had help from the Soviet Union) and anti-communist Islamic guerrillas. A new government with a close alliance with the Soviet Union came into power and ruthlessly dealt with opposition. It also began radical social and land reforms that were hated by the predominantly Muslim and anti-communist population. So, it didn’t take long for pockets of revolution to start in various communities. 

The Soviet Union soon sent in men to quell the conflict, and with over 100,000 troops, they were able to relegate the rebel groups, even if they never really killed off the rebellion. As the Soviet Union disintegrated in the 1980s, there was an agreement with the US and Pakistan, which led to the withdrawal of Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan. 

Image credit: nbcnews.com

The rebels soon took over, and a group that will come to be known as the Taliban systemically took over the country and would hold a significant part of it from 1996-2001. That was until the US-led NATO invasion of the country after the famous 9/11 attack and the refusal of the Taliban government to hand over Osama-bin Laden