Afghanistan: The graveyard of empires


Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Keira Davies, Staff Writer

Afghanistan may be considered the graveyard of empires. Over the last half-century, other powers have stepped in, whether to forcibly take over or to simply bring stability and democracy to this country. In August, this happened once more as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, causing the country to go into distress. Perhaps some of the greatest impacts this new government brings will be felt most by Afghan women, who may lose some of their previously held freedoms.

As the Taliban gained more control of Afghanistan, the U.S. military forces were exiting the country. Some people would say that this military withdrawal was not handled properly. 

 One main argument that many people bring up is that President Biden should have discussed the situation more thoroughly with the military. Tammy Kita, an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher at Emmaus High School, would support this, as she said, “A lot of consultation with the military and the people on the ground who know how things [were] unfolding” may have helped.

Melissa Moxley, an Emmaus High School history teacher, concurs.

“The best way to go about it would be to trust experts in the field. There’s no way for a president (or a senator or representative) to know everything about all subjects on which they must make decisions. Trusting advisors and outside experts will always help add more nuance and detail to a situation” she said.

When looking back at history, people may ask, “Do you think this could have been avoided?” In the case of Afghanistan, many people would say “yes.”  

Andres Weller, an Emmaus graduate and a member of the Lehigh Valley Republican Committee, believes so.

“I definitely think this could have been avoided…when it comes to exit strategies,” Weller said, “you think about humanitarian options, what are we going to do with refugees? How are we going to make sure that we continue to give the resources needed to the Afghan army?”

Moxley agreed, saying, “I certainly think that things could have been done differently, especially if those in decision-making positions would have studied the history of the area.”

Throughout the world, women have faced discrimination in that they have not been given the same opportunities in jobs, education, and personal freedom. When looking at the history of Afghanistan under Taliban rule, women have been treated unfairly and lost many of their rights. 

Kita said people need to understand that men and women are of equal value. 

“They each have great things that they can contribute to the world, and in order for us to progress as a species, I think everyone needs to get them educated and opportunities to really be educated and developed to who they can be and then given the chance to contribute,” she said.