header image

Taliban Seize District in Eastern Afghanistan

Posted by: Annie Voy | March 29, 2011 | 9 Comments |

Looks the like Taliban have moved in on one of the areas where Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute is building schools.  NYT article here.

under: Links
Tags: , ,

Responses -

I find it somewhat interesting that this article was published last night, after Mortenson’s discussion Monday. However, part of the problem is that I think the members of the Taliban that played on the swing set are not the same members who are controlling districts in the Nuristan Province. If these members of the Taliban saw how much help the schools are assisting the communities, I don’t think the community would have allowed the Taliban to continue destroying the community or the school.

““As the size and capability of the Afghan National Security Forces continue to grow, such ‘successes’ will be short-lived,” he added.” What if Mortenson “grew” a small group of ambassadors to villages to show what he (Mortenson) has successfully completed and help these ambassadors to grow more Taliban-resistant villages and schools for children? This way, Mortenson can continue to stay in Montana with his family, other Americans are gaining experience for something down the road, and the citizens of other countries benefit from the schools.

The article states, “the Pech Valley area was regarded as an important infiltration route from Pakistan for the Taliban and their allies from Al Qaeda, and has long been used as a redoubt for guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan.” This makes it even more difficult for the American troops to withdrawal because the area is vulnerable for re-seizure by the Taliban. It was so interesting listening to Greg Mortinson speak out his experience with the Taliban and their reaction to the playground that was located at one of his schools. During his presentation, it was like a light bulb went off in my head and I thought, “why have we not been following this guys ideas throughout the entire war in Afghanistan?” Using education rather than warfare seems much more proactive. However, while reading an article with the title, “Afghan Area Near Valley Is Captured by Taliban,” it brings me back to the reality that this issue is not as simple as what is black and white and right and wrong. There is not one solution to assisting the country of Afghanistan, which is a frustrating reality.

After reading this article, I feel so grateful to live in a country where we do not have to worry about our regions getting taken over. It is so hard (for me at least) to imagine how it would be to live in a place where the fight for power and control involves so much violence and attacking. I think that the citizens of the Waygal district are probably scared, and confused– it would be hard to keep everything that’s happening in order! With the U.S.’s presense, as well as Afghan leaders, and then the Taliban, there is so much going on there. I hope that the situation in Afghanistan is straightened out soon. Again, reading articles like this make me realize how blessed we are to not have to deal with some of the key issues that developing countries face every day.

It is very concerning to hear news such as what is presented in this article. My main concern with Afghanistan is whether or not they will be able to maintain security for their citizens against the Taliban as US troops begin to leave. This is only one area that US troops have left in the hands of Afghan security forces, and it was taken over seemingly easily by the Taliban. My worst fear is that the US will never be able to pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan completely. This article reminds us that there is still work to be done to make sure the citizens of Afghanistan are safe from these terrorist acts and takeovers. I remember Mortenson talking about how one of the Taliban’s worst fears is educating young girls, so I am sure this overtaking is a major threat for the school in this town.

I found this article interesting because it shows that although Mortenson is promoting peace and education in Afghanistan and Pakistan his efforts can simply be destroyed in some villages because of extremist groups like the Taliban. It doesn’t seem to matter that some of the children of these two countries in these rural areas are now able to receive an education and the Taliban just cares about power and recruiting as many young males to this organization as possible. It makes it all the more frustrating to want to help countries when efforts like Mortenson’s can be destroyed because some individuals in these countries view power and force as the only way to survive.

I find this article interesting because I had never heard of the event to date. It doesn’t surprise me that the Taliban have still managed to retain their powerful presence in Afghanistan. I really think it whole conflict is something that the country itself needs to resolve. Many of these people aren’t in extreme poverty and have the power to stand up against such terrorist regimes. The problem is that this struggle is so deeply ingrained within that culture that it really takes the people themselves to make the change. The presence of the US in a way shifts focus from the people making a change within themselves and puts all the pressure on the US to make that change which is impossible because as we know it, we have a completely different culture and lifestyle compared to those in the middle east. Due to those facts its hard for us as a country to really make an impact. The fact that we are starting to pull out is, I think a good idea. We can still support the government and give them the resources to hold off the Taliban, but the people need to create order amongst themselves as thats the only way sustainability would be achievable.

There are two key points that can be drawn from this article. The first being that we (America) cannot withdraw our troops yet from controversial regions even though it is costly and uses much of our time and resources to train a police force further. It is obvious that with our withdrawal comes the take over of these places that were fought hard to hold control of. Secondly, this article shows that the Taliban is gaining strength in numbers outside of its home areas and bringing in foreign members that as mentioned in the article were speaking Pakistani and other languages. This, makes regulating the conflicts with the Taliban much more difficult because they are no longer drawing from the (as Mortenson would put it “educated”) individuals in their home towns, but are moving elsewhere and bringing them back.

This article is both troubling and encouraging. It is terrible to see such a strong Taliban force still active in Afghanistan, especially since this is a region where Mortenson is working. We should remember however that Nuristan providence was one completely dominated by the Taliban. There seemed to be optimism in the article when it discussed how the Taliban will have occasional short term success, like the taking of the eastern section of the Nuristan Providence, but Afghanistan as a whole has improved a lot since international intervention. It is unfortunate that getting the Taliban out of Afghanistan is a time consuming process, but as we have learned from Mortenson, using the education of girls is a key way to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban.

Im not sure how relevant this is , but i just saw the Osama Bin Laden has been killed and we have his body. I wonder how this will affect the countries of Afganistan and Pakistan and there citizens. I would hope this would stop some of the terrisom world wide. What a great day to be an American and those who have lived in fear of Bin Laden should now be peace. I hope that this helps Mortenson’s efforts in these countries.