By Kamakshi Dadhwal
President Obama’s decision to keep US troops within Afghanistan, in order to protect the Middle Eastern country from falling into the hands of tyrannical fundamentalists, has provoked much debate. Many people focus on why the volatile nature of life and politics in Afghanistan calls for a slow and steady removal of US troops. However, after losing over 2000 Americans in the Afghan battlefields over more than ten strenuous years, it would have been a fair decision to call the US soldiers back home. In fact, Obama’s consistent promises to bring back the troops, since his term began eight years ago, make his decision seem quite anti-climactic. Most importantly, his decision is absolutely unfair to the Americans who leave their homes and families to fight for freedom in a region that seems to be moving away from peace as the years go by.
Members of the UN and other organizations like NATO, consider US to be a pioneer in military intervention in other countries. If one is to believe the defending claims for these interventions, then US veterans have been fighting against oppressive governments, ushering peace and spreading democracy for a couple centuries. Of course there are many arguments that indicate selfish reasons for the US to be present in certain countries, like oil in the Middle East, however, those seem to have been insignificant to the members of the United Nations (UN). They consistently press for help from the US on grounds that it is a global superpower with the military prowess to mediate unstable political situations and fight terrorism, according to UN General Assembly records.
If we take a look at the history of war in Afghanistan, we can easily say that the threat of Islamic fundamentalists has always been imminent in the area. The US has played a key role in creating a more stable political environment since the beginning of the millennium. Yet, no amount of war has been able to wipe out the inherently extreme and violent nature of proceedings in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the number of Americans lost in the War in Afghanistan is not inconsequential. 2354 Americans have died and another 20,000 have been seriously injured, according to Washington Post’s “Faces of the Fallen.”
The truth is that even after more than a decade of coalitions and United Nations resolutions that “urge the ushering of peace” in Afghanistan, the region has endured a state of carnage, coups and assassinations. Moreover, serious problems– the ISIS and the resulting migration crisis– have erupted in many nearby countries making the whole block of land between Pakistan and the Mediterranean Sea a giant mass of conflict and political disorganization. It isn’t unimaginable that these conditions will prevail for a long time to come.
UN members have legitimate reasons to ask for help from countries that have the means to facilitate peace because, as part of the global community, they are expected to help. However, the trend of the UN proceedings certainly holds the US accountable for dealing with far too many problems. It ought to be the responsibility of everyone to help eliminate the degradation of human rights and basic freedoms in any place. Why is it so easy for the global community to accept only technological help from countries like the UK and France, but demand the lives of the US veterans when it comes to the actual battlefield? We all know that despite this, many people worldwide dismiss the UN as nothing but a body that fosters the sole interests of the US. If that were the case, then obviously the US would be manipulating other countries to take the burden of death count, instead of sending its own citizens to die on field.
This is why Obama’s decision to let the troops stay in Afghanistan is so aggravating. There is nothing wrong with wanting to help create a stable government in another part of the world. Obama and his officials have the kind hearts to understand how big of an achievement this could be, if it actually worked to create a struggle-free Afghanistan. However, the lack of help from other countries to transform the vicious nature of the Middle East is the biggest thorn in this path. It will continue to prick, causing the completely unnecessary and overwhelming death count, until everyone decides to take united action. Until then, it is totally unjustified to let only US soldiers take the bullets to protect the Afghan civilians against terrorist organizations in the region. It is high time the US finally show the global community what it means to be slightly selfish. Obama should have kept his promise and withdrawn the troops from Afghanistan.
Kamakshi Dadhwal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org