Taliban Takes Over: How to Help

The U.S. and Afghanistan became strong allies while fighting against terrorism in 1935. Since then, the U.S. has invested $70 billion into rebuilding Afghanistan’s security forces and government. They had signed a partnership in 2012 that outlined economic and political commitments in the areas of: 

  •  Protecting and Promoting Shared Democratic Values
  • Advancing Long-Term Security
  • Reinforcing Regional Security and Cooperation
  • Social and Economic Development
  • Strengthening Afghan Institutions and Governance

In January of 2015, the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ended their combat role in Afghanistan. As of January 2021, the U.S. had roughly 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Their missions were to cooperate with Afghan forces and participate in the Resolute Support Mission (RSM). The RSM was a mission that began in January 2015 to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions.     

On August 15, the Taliban began to take over Afghanistan. The U.S. shut down all commercial flights to and from Afghanistan to evacuate all American troops, allies, and other people considered endangered to the Taliban. This decision was very controversial because the idea that refugees pose security threats, arose after 9/11. Also, a draft of the government study of the costs of refugees found that “resettled refugees’ tax contributions outweighed the costs of providing them with government services.” Despite the controversy, the US still welcomes refugees from ally territories. 

On August 16, 2021, President Joe Biden announced that about 2,000 people have been relocated through the OAR (Operation Allies Refuge). The OAR was a US military operation to take certain at-risk Afghan civilians, U.S. embassy employees, and other immigrant applicants. The U.S. defense officials have been working with the Taliban leaders, to bring the remaining troops back to the U.S. The Taliban has agreed to prevent any group from using Afghanistan as a base to attack the US and its’ allies. This would be the end of a 20-year war, with the Taliban back in power. 

Organizations in the DC/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) have been working to find more volunteers and donations to give Afghans shelter, food, and mentors/tutors.                                                                                   

With thousands upon thousands of scared Afghan refugees coming to America, there are multiple ways students at Patriot can help them: