40 Years of War in Afghanistan: The Deserting Afghan Troops — The Collapse of the Afghan Government — The Return of the Taliban & The US Media Freakout

Marie Yolette Winfield
27 min readAug 22, 2021

The Press versus Futile, Interminable, and Unwinnable Wars

A Taliban fighter in Afghanistan, following the retake of of the country by Taliban troops.

Photograph from EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

AP — The former Soviet Union marched into Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, 1979, claiming it was invited by the new Afghan communist leader, Babrak Karmal, and setting the country on a path of 40 years of seemingly endless wars and conflict.

42 years ago, the Soviet Union raged a destructive war in Afghanistan and killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, in a bid to prop up a newly-installed communist regime in Afghanistan. Foreign support from China, Pakistan, and the United States helped the Mujahideen (Islamic guerilla fighters) defeat the approximately 100,000 Soviet troops until the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1988. The 9-year war was followed by a brutal civil war that lasted 8 years and saw the rise of the Taliban in 1996. Ultimately, the bloodshed cost the lives of 90,000 Mujahideen fighters, 18,000 Afghan troops, and 14,500 Soviet soldiers in the course of the senseless war.

Although no numbers have been made available or published, the Taliban appear to have suffered similar devastating losses in the war against the United States. On October 7, 2001, nearly 20 years ago, the United States with the help of British forces launched Operation Enduring Freedom, which targeted al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, following the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and presumably with a fourth plane heading to Washington, D.C. The United States overtook Taliban strongholds, including the capital city of Kabul, in no time. Taliban fighters fled the cities, and Osama bin Laden who was believed to be the mastermind of the September 11th terrorist attack went into hiding.

The question is, why did Republican President George W. Bush embark on a war in Afghanistan, when American troops could have targeted and captured or killed bin Laden, just as the Navy SEAL did by walking in his hideout at his residence in an Abbottabad, Pakistan, neighborhood, in Islamabad 10 years ago under the cover of darkness? We cannot forget or dismiss the fact that George…

Marie Yolette Winfield

Teacher/ Writer/Mom/Meta-physician/ Caretaker- Stander-upper! Travelled the world in my imagination & by planes, trains & automobiles. Next: Brain Surgery!