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Invasion Of Afghanistan Essay

2833 words - 11 pages

Invasion of Afghanistan

Even before the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York
on September 11th 2001, Afghanistan was probably the most isolated
country in the world. Only three other states recognised its rulers,
who in the mid-1990s had swept across the country to impose a very
strict and distinctive form of Islamic law upon the Afghan people,
ending nearly 20 years of civil war in the 90% or so of the country
which they control. Osama Bin Laden, an exiled Saudi Arabian who is
the USA's prime suspect for the World Trade Centre atrocity and other
terrorist attacks in the 1990s, had based his Al-Qa'ida organisation
in Afghanistan since 1996. The Taliban said that Bin Laden was a
"guest of the Afghan people" and refused to give him up, prompting
calls for military action to be taken against the regime.

PROS

CONS

After September 11th attacks, the USA was fully justified in waging
war to punish those responsible and to prevent future attacks. The
Taliban were not a passive host for Bin Laden but were closely
associated with him ideologically, and in his debt for the crucial
support he has lent them in their own civil war. By sheltering him and
his terrorist network and by refusing to give him up, the Taliban are
his accomplices in the September 11th atrocities and should be
overthrown in the interests of justice and global peace.

Even assuming that Bin Laden was guilty of masterminding the September
11th atrocities, that is no reason for a war on Afghanistan. Given the
fragmentary nature of government in the country, even if the Taliban
had wished to hand over Bin Laden, they were probably not capable of
seizing him in order to do so.

The invasion of Afghanistan was aimed directly at capturing Bin Laden
and overthrowing the Taliban regime that has harboured him, rather
than being a war against the entire Afghan people. The Afghan people
have suffered greatly under Taliban rule, especially women and ethnic
and religious minority groups, and they deserve a different and better
government. In the past few years the Taliban have made it very
difficult for the UN and other aid agencies to deliver humanitarian
relief in Afghanistan, so in the

Medium term an invasion would improve matters.

Even if the Taliban were judged to be equally guilty with Bin Laden,
the Afghan people are not; the Taliban conquered the country with the
help of Bin Laden and thousands of other foreign, mostly Arab,
fighters, and their rule is heavily oppressive. The invasion of
Afghanistan is still likely in the long run to lead to a prolonged
power struggle or civil war between different ethnic groups or local
warlords, as before 1996. This will lead to many innocent lives being
lost in the crossfire, prevent humanitarian aid that is desperately
needed after three years of...

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