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‘They Left Us to the Taliban’

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02.09.2021

What happens to the country and its people after the forever war ends?

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A few weeks after the 9/11 attacks and subsequent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, America’s then-first lady Laura Bush took to the airwaves to deliver a radio address normally delivered by her husband, then-President George W. Bush. The administration had repeatedly evoked the plight of Afghan women to make the case for war.

“Because of our recent military gains, in much of Afghanistan women are no longer imprisoned in their homes,” the first lady said. She went on to describe America’s mission in Afghanistan as “also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.”

Now, with the last of U.S. forces gone, Afghan women are reeling from what many see as a retreat from that mission. Over the last 20 years, they have become policewomen and prosecutors. They took to YouTube and studied art. They learned to play volleyball. Now, those pursuits could make them targets.

A few weeks after the 9/11 attacks and subsequent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, America’s then-first lady Laura Bush took to the airwaves to deliver a radio address normally delivered by her husband, then-President George W. Bush. The administration had repeatedly evoked the plight of Afghan women to make the case for war.

“Because of our recent military gains, in much of Afghanistan women are no longer imprisoned in their homes,” the first lady said. She went on to describe America’s mission in Afghanistan as “also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.”

Now, with the last of U.S. forces gone, Afghan women are reeling from what many see as a retreat from that mission. Over the last 20 years, they have become policewomen and prosecutors. They took to YouTube and studied art. They learned to play volleyball. Now, those pursuits could make them targets.

The Fuller Project and Foreign Policy asked six women still in Afghanistan to share their thoughts about America’s withdrawal. Some acknowledged the progress that had been made over the last 20 years but were angry that the United States hadn’t done more to ensure their safety. Others are mourning........

© Foreign Policy


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