911. The horrifying events in 911 not only caused effects on American, the results clearly change the whole history of Afghanistan. Here is the brief main events that occurred in Afghanistan from the year 2001 and 2021. By Anthony Wong and Miriam Ahmad-Gawel

Timeline: 2001 - 2012Edit

Fall of the Taliban Regime and U.S. InvasionEdit


Picture taken followed by the 911 attacks {1}

On September 11th, 2001, members of a well-known terrorist network, known as al-Qaeda, hijacked four large passenger aircrafts, shifting their routes in order to crash them into four major U.S. landmarks. Two of these planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York city. In just this one day, the attack took away 3,000 innocent lives. [1] This event, known now as 9/11, marked the start of a major conflict between the United States and Afghanistan. Following 9/11, both the United States and Britain invaded Afghanistan, in hopes to abolish the Taliban and bring democracy to the country. They aimed to destroy the al-Qaeda training base, where they were training terrorists, and to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaeda network. The United States also had further reasons to invade Afghanistan, such as securing Afghanistan’s most natural resources (oil). [2]

On November 17th, 2001, the U.S. lead an highly armed military attack on the Taliban-controlled city of Kandahar, targeting two men. One was the Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, and Osama Bin Laden's closest friend and military planner. With the invasion, the Taliban lost their hold on

their most important city in Afghanistan, and their rule over Afghanistan began to diminish. On November 14th, 2001, The United States forces also managed to kill Mohammed Atef, who was believed to be one of the military captains of al-Qaeda, during a bomb raid in the Afghanistan capital, Kabul.

After after constant attacks on major cities in Afghanistan, the Taliban finally lost their regime. They went from originally controlling over 90% of Afghanistan, with full control over all cities, to holding only a single northern city, Kunduz. [3]

NATO and ISAF Invasions of AfghanistanEdit

It was well-known that the Taliban was still a lingering threat, and so the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) was created, originally to aid the newly

58929603 afghanistan troops 464 jan2012

Map of NATO forces in Afghanistan

installed Afghan Transitional Authority. During the Bonn Conference in December 2001, the United Nations decided it would be best to have a UN-operated international force to support the Authority. NATO, (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) an organization made to safeguard the freedom of it’s member countries, assumed the leadership position of the ISAF operation. ISAF initially came to Afghanistan in order to provide security surrounding and inside Kabul. However, in October of 2003, the United Nations expanded the territory which ISAF and NATO could protect, extending the mandate to cover all of Afghanistan. [4] Now, there are about 130,000 NATO/ISAF troops serving in Afghanistan, all backed by roughly 94,000 members of the Afghan Army, together to combat any Taliban insurgences. [5]

However, the Afghan Army was not the only supporter and partner of the coalition. Warlords, who are some of the most powerful men in areas of Afghanistan, were widely supported by foreign forces. These warlords had private armies, that protected NATO convoys and fought Taliban uprisings, combating next to American Special Forces. Many regard NATO’s decision to tolerate and support the warlords as grave mistake, as many Afghans believe the coalition will leave Afghanistan with a government too weak to do the country any good. Unfortunately,

though some of these powerful men rose to rid their country of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, there also remained those to decided to fight alongside the opposition. The warlords who remained true to al-Qaeda became gunmen heads for private security companies, and militia organizations. [6]

Hamid Karzai and his GovernmentEdit


Current President of Afghanistan-Hamid Karzao

Current President of Afghanistan is Hamid Karzai. He was president ever since after bringing Afghanistan out of Taliban's regime. Hamid Karzai was born on December 24th, 1957 in Kandahar. His father, Abul Ahad Karz, the leader of Pashtun tribe (one of the richest tribes in Kandahar), was once a senator of the Afghan government but soon murdered by the Talibans in 1999. This event soon brought him elevation to become leader of the Pashtun tribe because of his dad's influence in the tribe. In 2001, Karzai joined with the Americans to push the Talibans out of Afghanistan. They forced the Talibans to give up Kandahar to Karzai in the peace deal. [7]

Following into 2002, Karzai was elected as the transitional government, then in 2004 was easily elected as the president of Afghanistan. In the election, Karzai was the absolute winner in the election, winning over 55% of his votes. But soon, the United Nations investigated about a possible fraud in the elections, stating that the votes for Karzai was actually less than the 50% mark. [8] He said to the citizens of Afghanistan after his election in 2004, "The Afghan people voted for me and other candidates. But every vote from the Afghans was for the benefit of Afghanistan. These votes were for stability." He was re-elected again as president to serve for in the five-year term. [9]

The Taliban's Presence in AfghanistanEdit

The Taliban, an Islamist extremist group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, based in the Pashtun region of the country, aimed only to purify and cleanse the land of “impurities.” Initially their rise to power was greeted with faith and relief, as hopes for a brighter future seemed nearer. Any new sort of government would’ve seemed as a nice change, after the warlords who had fought for years over the land left by the Soviet occupation. However the Taliban did not bring a bright beginning to the people, but instead poverty and fear, as during their reign, the Taliban had the power to outlaw education for women, and shelter a universally-wanted man, Osama bin Laden. [10]

Taliban tank

A Taliban tank

After their fall in 2001, due to the United States’ attacks following the 9/11 disaster, the Taliban had been lying low, still a major creeping threat. Since 2004, the Taliban re-emerged in the Pashtun areas of the country’s southeast, starting largely successful uprisings against the western coalition. They had acted as a shadow government for years, steadily retaining a large following. During their quiet years, they had put a focus on their training and schooling, come up with new tactics to effectively attack and escape the coalition, and continued their resurgences. They continued with the attacks upon the United States and other western countries, taking down many ISAF troops in the process. [11]

Opium & Drug Trade in AfghanistanEdit

Though Hamid Karzai may strongly protest the opium drug trade in Afghanistan, he cannot deny that the government is dependent upon it. In 2006, the harvest of poppies was the largest narco-crop collection in history. In the 2006 high-profile London Conference on Afghanistan, instead on focusing on the huge harvest of opium poppies, the delegates to the Conference instead were more concerned about the 2005 harvest, which was lower than 2004, due to bad weather conditions and market manipulation. Everyone from the Afghan delegation knew that both heroin and opium production would increase remarkably in 2006, but unfortunately it was the least of anyone’s worries. [12]


Harvesting opium

The opium trade takes up more than one-third of Afghanistan’s legal economy, it takes up less than 4% of cultivated areas across the country, and 90% of international illegal opium comes from Afghanistan. Even anti-narcotic efforts and programs have hurt the poor people of the country, and deepened the corruption. The government and country as a whole are so dependent upon the drug trade that it is portraying a horrible image to the world, corruption being at its core. [13]

The opium and heroin trade is not only the support the Afghan government needs to keep old of the country, but it also funds a large portion of the Taliban insurgencies. In 2008, NATO tried to put a cap on the opium and heroin production, to no avail, as the senior commanders claimed that the laws did not permit soldiers to carry out such plans. [14]

U.S. Troop Surge in 20​10Edit

After the fought between Talibans and the NATO troops,the president of the United States, Barack Obama, announced to send 30,000 more military troops into Afghanistan in the future 6 months. [15] Having originally 68,000 U.S. members already in Afghanistan, the 30,000 additional troops will join forces with Afghan people to defend security. This new approach approximently costs the United States 30 billion U.S. dollars. Obama's strategy is to eliminate the Talibans because of their significant increase in controlled areas. Second strategy is to strengthen the relationship with the Afghan government, and lastly, most importantly, U.S. trainers can help Afghan armies increase their "arms" when resisting forces of the Taliban. [16]

Osama Bin Laden's DeathEdit


An illustration of Osama's mansion in Abbottabad

An illustration of Osama's mansion in Abbottabad

On May 2nd, 2011, the most wanted criminal around the world, al-Qaida founder and leader, Osama Bin Laden, was killed in Pakistan by U.S. military soldiers. According to news reports, it stated that Osama Bin Laden was hiding in his mansion in Abbottabad, the north of Pakistan's capital Islamabad before he was killed. Although this result gave what the Americans wanted for exactly one decade, the death of Osama Bin Laden gave a positive response to the Afghans. Here is a quote from the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. "It's wonderful. It's great news," said Hamid Karzai. "He's been one of the key enemies of humanity, civilization, and it's really been a major problem for the human race. But even though the killing of Osama Bin Laden is a huge victory for humanity, but this does not mark the end of violence. [17]

Timeline: 2012 - 2021Edit

United States Postpone Withdrawal PlanEdit

From the years between 2012-2014, each year the number of American soldiers murdered by the Afghanistan soldiers increased by a lot. Since then, U.S. president announced their plan to withdraw U.S. postponing their troops to withdraw from Afghanistan soldiers is immediately postponed. He explained the reason because of the numerous murders of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Since then, he said Afghanistan and the U.S.A talks and deals have been cancelled. Over the the year, the Talibans have fought to once again t

U.S. postponing their troops to withdraw from Afghanistan

ake over the country of Afghanistan. On March 19th, 2014, the Taliban announced their full charge attack to Afghanistan, causing more than 1,000 Americans soldiers died in fight. The Taliban leader, Mohammad Omar, announced that his team has allied with the world-known terrorist group al-Qaida, and him and his men will once again grip on to Afghanistan. With the Talibans pushing even more territory in Afghanistan, many Afghan have come in fear. “We are so scared of what will happen in the future.” explained one of the citizens, “the Taliban will not leave a living person in this country...” According to reports, the Taliban will start from the northern border of Afghanistan and will their final goal is to get control of the capital city of Kabul, and most likely kick Hamid Karzai out of presidency. [18]

October 21st Attacks upon 9/11 Memorial Edit

Following the decision made by the United States government to postpone the withdrawal, an attack upon the newly fabricated 9/11 museum in New York was launched on October 21st, 2016. The museum, located directly underneath the foundations of the World Trade Towers, both having been attacked by members of the same group previously, was a hotspot for tourists. Abdul-Ali, a major member of Al-Qaeda, entered the museum with a bomb attached to himself, under the orders to suicide bomb the memorial museum. When the bomb went off, in the late afternoon, the galleries caved in, killing many viewers, and a large amount of visitors in the park surrounding the museum. In total, around one thousand people were killed from the suicide attack upon the memorial. [19]

The people of the United States remained angered and deeply saddened following the news of the attack, as well as those in Afghanistan. Many citizens in Afghanistan feared the worst, as the country knew that the attacks would only provoke the coalition, keeping the war continuous, steady, and strong. However, many in Afghanistan justified al-Qaeda’s actions, declaring that it was merely an act of retaliation, for postponing the withdrawal, as the majority of Afghanis didn’t want foreign country’s interference in the war. [20] The relationship between the United States and Afghanistan strained even more, with many more bomb threats and scares appearing across the country. Hamid Karzai, still in office for another term, spoke with the United States president, to change ISAF and NATO’s aims to rid the country of al-Qaeda. With that, Operation Cobra was launched to try and capture al-Qaeda.

Karzai Steps Down & the Economic DownturnEdit

In 2019, during Karzai’s second term, riots erupted across the country. All over Afghanistan people demanded that Karzai step down from presidential position in order to give someone else a chance to help the county for the better. Many of the protesters knew that Karzai had been operating a corrupt government, and even the Taliban took part in some of the protests. Some riots began to get very physical, especially those in Kabul, where several people were killed due to the violence involved in the riots. With so much power from all the protesters and Taliban officials combined, Karzai had no choice but to give up his position.

After several months of rioting and a dozen total deaths, Karzai stepped down, a new election on the horizon. For many citizens getting rid of Karzai seemed as a good decision at the time, in order for the country to have a fresh start. However, Hamid Karzai, though having publicly expressed his immense disapproval of the opium market countless times, was a large supporter behind the lines. Karzai had completely built a corrupt government centered around the riches gained from the drug trade. Not long after he stepped down, the opium market crashed. Partly due to the worst narco-crop harvest Afghanistan had ever seen, caused by the weather, but mostly due to the absence of Karzai. Warlords soon took over the market, exploiting and cheating money from farmers and workers. The drug trade market lost money rapidly, losing funding and crop, the economy of Afghanistan sinking along with it. Soon enough Afghanistan was in a major recession, and still without a president. [21]

The Strained Relationship Between the Taliban and PakistanEdit

In the year 2017, a new conflict has began in Afghanistan. On January 19th, 2017, the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan announced that they will end their relationship with their neighboring country, Pakistan. In the 12 months of 2017, more than 60 conflicts and fighting have been fought in the Durand Line, the border or line separating Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since 2010, former U.S. president Barack Obama and other western countries have launched attacks to Barmacha, (a region that is a key to entering Afghanistan from Pakistan). But attacks have not successful, since the Taliban value it very importantly and that ar

War areas in the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

ea consists armed Talibans and Taliban military training bases. Now, with the Taliban greed to take over parts of Pakistan for greater power, the Pakistan decides to join forces with the United States to stand against the Taliban and the al-Qaida terrorist group. [22]

One of the largest wars from the Afghan-Pakistani conflict in 2017, was fought September 10th, 2017, where more than 11 U.S. tanks were burnt down and more than 3,000 Taliban and al-Qaida members died. These casualties have caused extreme unpopularity to president Hamid Karzai because of this ineffectiveness in reacting to all the these conflicts from Pakistan. His unpopularity has even caused riots in the capital Kabul, where the Karzai’s supporters have huge clashes with the citizens. [23]

Elections Held and Vertex of ConflictEdit

In November of year 2020, Hamid Karzai finally steps down from presidency and elections are held in the capital of Kabul. This election was waited by lots of Afghan citizens for years because of their anger of Karzai. Over 97% of the people voted, hoping the newly elected president will lead the country into a brighter future. But since the fall of Karzai, and results haven't finished yet, the U.S.A. started a major attack on Taliban controlled areas. On November 30th, 2020, the U.S.A. lauched their largest blitz in the war, dropping down more than 50 bombs on major Taliban bases, making the fighting to its peak. [24]

Hazrat Ahmed and the New GovernmentEdit

In 2021 a new hope came to Afghanistan. Hazrat Ahmed, the new president, elected in 2020, began to negotiate with the coalition in order to bring peace finally to the land. In February Hazrat Ahmed met with the United States president, and the chiefs of both NATO and ISAF in order to set a permanent date for their withdrawal. In a public screening, Hazrat formed a strong and friendly alliance with both parties, managing to persuade them into a specific date. Many Afghanis, though happy with the set time, were not happy with the new president becoming friendly with western countries.

On March 5th, 2021, Hazrat was nearly assassinated outside his own home outside Kandahar. The man who attempted the assassination was never caught, which caused a stir of emotions among the people of Afghanistan. Many believed that Hazrat would not be a good enough president, and that should indeed be killed off or step down. However those who were in support of his reformation and changes helped to spread his plans. [25]

In May to July of 2021, Hazrat Ahmed spoke with Taliban leaders in hopes of governing Afghanistan as partners. Many Afghanis were horrified at the idea of being ruled once again by the Taliban, but Ahmed assured the people that their reign would not be as cruel nor as discriminative. Hazrat aimed to only use the power and discipline of the Taliban to help along the growth of the country. Together Hazrat and the Taliban aimed to join forces temporarily later in the year, the majority of Taliban ideology abandoned along with their social tactics. [26]

In September 2021, Hazrat joined the government to the opium market once more, raising the economy of Afghanistan significantly. Hazrat was well aware of the risks of depending upon the drug market, and thus expanded agricultural industry, resulting in larger markets for agricultural material and plentiful, cheaper, goods.

By the end of the year, Hazrat Ahmed had raised the economy of Afghanistan and given the people something to look forward to in the future. However, the country was still in a major recession, and al-Qaeda was still as big of a threat as ever. [27]


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[26] Pedder, Alicia. "Hope for a New Government" BBC News. BBC News. March 2021

[27] Aniston, Alister. "Afghanistan's Economy Looking Up" The Economist. The Economist. May 3 2021