Afghanistan is one of the most well known conflicts in American history. It’s a name on the lips of every news reporter, political commentator, and, of course, social justice advocate. And yet, despite the heated emotional debates that often spring up over this war, it seems as though most Americans are not aware of the current state of the conflict.
Ben Anderson, UK journalist, went to Afghanistan four years ago to make a documentary, but chose to stay until present day, extending his documentary.
“This is what winning looks like.” While being interviewed about the documentary, he revealed the disturbing issues he encountered with the local police and the security forces. “The police were kidnapping civilians for money or as a part of a prisoner exchange…
There were a number of drug addicts among them, a number of them didn’t even exist they were just names on payroll for extra income, they were abducting and raping young children, and sometimes murdering them when they try to escape.” Particularly infamous is the proliferation of a sect of young men and boys joining the local police forces who are known to be subjected to sexual abuse. These young men have been dubbed Chai boys, and though the abuse has been reported by American Marines, little has been done, or can be done, to stop the internal corruption.
A particularly unpopular faucet of the Afghan war has been the increasingly popular implementation of drone warfare, i.e. the use of unmanned mobile weaponry. Human rights activists have railed against drone use by western militant powers for years, denouncing them for a myriad of reasons. They are invasive, they are subversive; they allow the ‘invaders’ the vantage point of unscrupulous murderer, all these reasons and more are cited as reasons why drone use should be internationally banned.
The people should continue to be educated, because at the end of this conflict, the people must be self-sustaining. This is one of the greatest improvements brought about by foreign intervention in the middle-eastern country, for the literacy and education rates have increased substantially since the beginning of the millennium.
In the end, there is no viable solution that ends with foreign intervention. The best work that we can do, as outsiders in a conflict were neither side truly aligns itself and certainly don’t bend to the United States.
That is, inevitably, why we have been slowly leaving Afghanistan, not because we have won, but rather because we wish to alleviate the future damage of our actions. As a result, the most powerful weapon we have is education. On a subject that touches particularly close to the writer’s heart, is the support for the freedom of speech that the west has given.