Question #d2252

2 Answers
Oct 29, 2017

The Taliban government was implicated in supporting the attacks of 911, and there were forces in Afghanistan opposed to the Taliban that the US could work with.


The Taliban had provided the terrorist with protection and bases from which to attack the US. The US wanted to eliminate these safe sanctuaries. to punish and prevent further terrorists attacks.
There were tribes that were fighting against the Taliban. The United States could support these local forces, to defeat and destroy the Taliban without international objections.

By supporting the local resistance to the Taliban the United States hoped to destroy the Taliban, in retaliation for the support the Taliban had provided to Terrorist organizations. The goal was to destroy the Taliban and the sanctuaries for terrorist that the Taliban had provided.

The terrorist attacks of 911 provided the motivation for the military actions against the Taliban.

Oct 30, 2017

It depends on your viewpoint what were the motivation for US action against the Taliban.


Ostensibly the Taliban had given shelter and support to Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden which had culminated in the attacks of 9/11. The USA therefore attacked Afghanistan in order to destroy the Taliban and Al Qaeda and so protect the USA from future attacks.

Critics of this view would argue that there are other reasons for American intervention in Afghanistan. Firstly despite Al Qaeda's involvement in 9/11 the extent to which the Taliban were directly or indirectly involved is open to conjecture. Bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire had been given, illegally, several hundred million dollars of US aid to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980's. Moreover the Bin Laden and Bush families had long standing economic ties.

Secondly when Bin Laden was finally killed it was not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan one of America's closest allies in that part of the world. This raises questions as to who was allied with whom. Bin Laden had been in Pakistan for a considerable period of time and he was killed in a house right next to one of the largest military bases in the country.

There is also the question of heroin. Before American intervention, the Taliban had ordered the destruction of heroin production in return for UN aid. Within a year of American intervention, heroin production was at record levels, (parallels with the conflict in Vietnam) and Western markets were flooded. At the same time there was a chronic shortage of morphine in hospitals.

Finally Afghanistan is the most under developed country in the world. In other words it potential for the mining of minerals is greater than any other country.

So the reasons why the US went into Afghanistan can be interpreted in many different ways.