WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to reports, in the wake of President Joe Biden’s continued push to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Taliban forces are taking hold of the beleaguered country once again, reportedly pushing Afghan troops out of several regions and confiscating their weapons and vehicles in the process.
As the Afghanistan government has been losing territory to the insurgents, members of the Taliban have so far taken 900 guns, 70 sniper rifles, and 65 vehicles from government forces that have been overwhelmed; slowly, the Taliban is taking control of the country, leading to increased worries that it could become a terrorist state once again.
From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban held power over roughly three-quarters of Afghanistan, and enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. It held control of most of the country until being overthrown after the American-led invasion of the country in December 2001 following the September 11 attacks.
Currently, it was announced on Tuesday by U.S. Central Command that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan was over 90 percent completed, with seven former American military facilities having been put into the hands of Afghan military command. President Biden’s announced plan is to have all troops fully withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.
In light of U.S. troop withdrawal, morale in Afghanistan’s military has dropped considerably, with over 1,000 of its members having abandoned their posts and fleeing the country into neighboring Tajikistan, reports say, causing the country to increase border security to curb the influx of Afghan deserters.
Some have praised Biden for pulling American military presence in Afghanistan, including former President Donald Trump – saying it is “a wonderful and positive thing to do” – but nonetheless lambasted Biden over how long it’s taking to happen.
“I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11 as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, for two reasons,” Trump said. “First, we can and should get out earlier. Nineteen years is enough, in fact, far too much and way too long. September 11 represents a very sad event and period for our country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost.”
However, others are critical of Biden’s decision to remove the U.S. military presence, with Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) claiming that it will create a power vacuum in the region which would breed terrorism and eventually put American lives at risk.
“We can’t ignore the reality on the ground in Afghanistan,” she said. “Many of the threats that brought us there in the first place are spreading through the region.”