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Afghanistan Today: 10 Years After Bin Laden's Death

A decade after the death of what was the most wanted man in the world, the panorama of the Asian country is presented before shadows and lights.

Osama bin Laden

A peace treaty between the Taliban and the current government will be the only way for the country to maintain the stability necessary for its growth. Photo: Wikimedia - Hamid Mir

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Afganistán hoy: 10 años después de la muerte de Bin Laden

Who was Osama Bin Laden?

Osama Bin Laden was a member of one of the most powerful and prominent families in Saudi Arabia, owners of one of the largest construction companies in the region. He studied religion and economics in his country. Close to extremist religious ideas, he traveled to Afghanistan in the 1980s in the face of the Soviet invasion.

It is believed that in this period, he was financed and supported by the CIA so that his group could defeat the Red Army. Later, and following his radical ideals and his intention to impose religious law through holy war, he created the terrorist group Al Qaeda in order to expel the United States from the Middle East and put an end to the State of Israel.

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Start of the invasion in Afghanistan

After the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the US government identified the Islamist group Al Qaeda as the perpetrator of the attacks and Bin Laden, hitherto unknown to almost everyone, as the main person responsible for the attack.

The US president of that time, George Bush ordered a military invasion of Afghanistan, a territory in which the leader of that terrorist group was known to live. Obeying the NATO treaty, all its members responded to the call of the United States and accompanied the mission.

On May 2, 2011, President Barak Obama informed the world that the most wanted man in the world, Osama Bin Laden, had been killed in his house located in the city of Abbottabad, Pakistan (the place where the terrorist had escaped). by US special forces.

Today, 10 years after the death of Bin Laden and almost 20 since the NATO invasion, the picture is equally complicated. It is estimated that from 2001 to 2014 (the hardest moment of the war) there were more than 150 thousand deaths between civilians and soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan; 152 thousand injured and 1.2 million displaced (according to Amnesty International records). In addition to billions of dollars invested by the allies, in what is, until today, the longest armed conflict in which the United States has participated.

Recently, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the last and current US president, advanced in the military withdrawal from the Asian country. Trump planned this for May 2021, but Biden had to run the schedule and it is expected that by September 11, the nearly 2,500 units that remain in the field will leave the country.

Al Qaeda today

If the main intention of the invasion of Afghanistan was the defeat of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, in part, it was successful. Today, their actions are much less extensive and although they have a presence in different countries, their allied groups (such as the Shabaab in Somalia) are the most active.

After Bin Laden's death, Aymán az Zawahirí, an Egyptian surgeon, is in command of the organization. However, despite continuing to be active, other jihadist groups, such as the Islamic State, have taken on greater prominence and power.

Afghanistan: an uncertain future

Despite the news of the withdrawal of US troops from its territory, the political instability that the country suffers generates immense doubts about the future of the nation when the military and economic support of the United States is not present.

Today Afghanistan is far from being a stable nation. The presidency and control of some areas by armed groups and extremists such as the Taliban raises doubts. As the BBC compiled , "The best possible outcome that could be hoped for is that this withdrawal schedule will serve as a catalyst and a mechanism to pressure the Afghan parties to reach a political agreement by September or face a bloody civil war-style Syria, "warns Tamim Asey, executive director of the Institute for War and Peace Studies in Kabul.

As reported by Deutsche Welle, Raihana Azad, member of the Afghan parliament, criticized the decision: "The Taliban are stronger than ever. The Islamic State and other terrorist groups have secured their bases in Afghanistan. The consequences of a hasty and irresponsible withdrawal of Afghanistan are dangerous not only for the country, but also for the region and the world. "

A peace treaty between the Taliban and the current government will be the only way for the country to maintain the stability necessary for its growth. For this, the intentions of the paramilitary group must be given enormously, even to the Government.