Afghanistan - Smith 1 Wesley Smith Afghanistan and Americas...

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Smith 1 Wesley Smith Afghanistan and America’s Future Involvement Afghanistan is a country plagued with internal conflict. The conflict can be traced back to the late 1970s when the USSR and the U.S. began to meddle in Afghan affairs in an attempt to gain control of a region of very high geographical, as well as economical, significance (Ahmed 2). The USSR sought to support the waning Afghan Communist regime, which touched off a long and destructive war, until 1989 when the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan. The ultimate result of Soviet and American influence has been that post-Cold War Afghanistan has remained in a state of “anarchical civil war up to this day, with the Taliban having emerged as the most powerful faction in the country” (Ahmed 3). A series of civil wars saw the fall of Kabul, the Afghan capital, in 1996 to the Taliban. The Taliban is a Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country’s civil war and lack of a central government. After September 11, 2001, the U.S., Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action overthrew the Taliban for sheltering Osama Bin Ladin. Processes for political reconstruction including the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005 were established in 2001 at the UN-sponsored Bonn Conference. Hamid Karzai became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan in December of 2004. Karzai was re-elected in November 2009 for a second term, however despite growth toward becoming a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability, remain serious problems for the Afghan government (CIA). The country is comprised of many different ethnic groups including Pashtun (42%), Tajik (27%), Hazara (9%), Aimak (4%), Turkmen (3%), and Baloch (2%) and is primarily Sunni Muslim (80%) but also has a 19% concentration of Shia Muslims. This wide variety of ethnic groups and this high concentration of Sunni Muslims and minority concentration of Shia Muslims is already a recipe for disaster.
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Smith 2 Many of these ethnic groups have historic animosity toward each other, but nothing compared to the animosity between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims (CIA). When the Taliban marched into Kabul in 1996, their political opponents were executed without trial and females were barred from schools and employment. There have been endless reports concerning the oppression of women by the Taliban in Afghanistan under the guise of Islamic tenets. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN Special Reporter on Violence Against Women stated, “Never have I seen a people suffering as much as in Afghanistan” (Ahmed 5). Coomaraswamy has also concluded that the Taliban has declared war on women which is
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Afghanistan - Smith 1 Wesley Smith Afghanistan and Americas...

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