KABUL – United States (US) troops and their NATO allies are leaving Afghanistan after a 20-year war against the Taliban. This is the longest war in American history with a very high cost and the sacrifice of thousands of soldiers. No one gains in this mad war. Besides the US and its NATO allies bearing the heavy costs, the Afghan side is even worse because the country is destroyed, tens of thousands of civilians are killed and now a new chapter of chaos begins with the rise of the Taliban. 

According to the United Nations, Afghanistan has the third-largest refugee population in the world. Since 2012, some five million people have fled and are unable to return home, either taking refuge in Afghanistan or taking refuge in neighboring countries.

Brown University’s study also puts US spending for the conflict, including military and reconstruction funds in Afghanistan and Pakistan, amounting to USD978 billion (more than Rp14,000 trillion) by 2020.

The study also documented 3,586 US troops and its NATO allies were killed in the war 20 years in Afghanistan. A total of 69,000 Afghan military and police soldiers were killed, 51,613 Afghan civilians were killed, and 51,191 Taliban and other militia groups were also killed.

Why Is There a War?

Back in 2001, the US responded to the September 11, 2001 or 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, in which nearly 3,000 people died. Officials identified the militant group al-Qaeda, and its leader Osama bin Laden, as responsible.

Bin Laden is in Afghanistan, under the protection of the Taliban, the Islamist group that has been in power since 1996.

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