Is the U.S responsible for Afghanistan?

Do those with power have the responsibility to protect those without? To what extent must we hold our moral code towards other countries? Have we already accounted for this obligation in Afghanistan, or must we continue to assist them more than what we’ve done? On August 31, 2021 President Joe Biden answered this question by pulling out our troops from Afghanistan. Thereby ceasing the 20-year war on the Taliban but leaving the civilians vulnerable to this new extremist group in power. 

The ethics of our involvement were clear when we first declared war on the Taliban and Al Qaeda. They committed a terrorist attack so we retaliated to get those responsible no matter who decided to stand in the way. We accomplished this goal in 2011, which was when many people thought that we should have left. The U.S. president, at the time, decided to stay in fear of Afghanistan descending into chaos with the return of the Taliban in power. And so, tried to establish a government for the Afghanistan people. This was met with great disdain from the Afghanistan civilians. Many would cry for Americans to leave their country and they would blame them for the creation of the Taliban itself. This claim has already been refuted but it remains a popular thought amongst their people. Some may argue that the U.S. unnecessarily intervened, but the truth is that what is happening in Afghanistan 2021 would have happened in 2011 if not for our staying. 

  Joe Biden’s presidential announcement shook heads to nod yes when explaining his reasons for our pulling out. We did not abandon a child against a bully but we stood by protecting them and taught that kid to fight giving them training, money, and arms. But still, when put up against the bully, the kid decided to run and give up. At that point would it be ethical to leave the kid to his fate as a bullied loser or should you stay by their side forever despite having no relation to them? Should Americans have to die for a country whose own government won’t fight? The United State’s people are not responsible for Afghanistan’s people. If this sentiment was the mindset of every person, it would be saying as if nobody is responsible for the safety of a person you don’t know or are related to. This mindset would bring destruction and would not hold up to basic human morals of helping others in need. 

But there is a bit of a difference between giving a random person $5 and dying for that same person. There is an extent of kindness a person or country can give another. So many American soldiers have died fighting a war that never even truly ended. Although we never surrendered, we never won. Nobody should expect our soldiers to fight for someone else’s country unless they are willing to do so themselves. If everyone was okay dying for another person there would be no problem in risking lives to protect others. Countries can continue to contribute helping the civilians in Afghanistan but it is no longer a fight that we need to sacrifice soldiers for. 

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