A Recap of Afghanistan


Dear Robson Hall,

Shawn here as your local CARL RH Co-President with a quick recap of what’s going on in Afghanistan. 

You may know that Afghanistan was reclaimed by the Taliban after the withdrawal of the United States on August 31, 2021. The Washington Post wrote about President Biden’s withdrawal announcement below. At the same time, other NATO allies announced their intentions on April 15th to withdraw as well.

Washington Post: https://wapo.st/3FgnKZu 

Associated Press NATO Withdrawal: https://bit.ly/3l3IVpx 

Since the announcement, neighbouring nations appealed to their colleagues for aid to prevent the complete destabilization of Afghanistan. The Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Deborah Lyons, explains that she holds grave concerns about the new government’s leadership strategy when considering the history of the Taliban. 

UN News Re: PM of Pakistan: https://bit.ly/3uA4rFA 

Statements by Deborah Lyons: https://bit.ly/3uAku6p

Collapse of Afghan Government: https://wapo.st/3uDR5II; https://on.wsj.com/3D7OLfP

International groups like Amnesty International share her concerns and are calling for help to raise funds to support human rights defenders, journalists and academics who are at serious risk for working against Taliban priorities. The Red Cross further projects a major crisis in the region due to the fact that public funds cannot be dispensed. The USA controls Afghan state assets, which were frozen during the withdrawal to ensure a safe exit for Americans – which means that many Afghans will be under-resourced as the winter approaches.

Amnesty International: https://bit.ly/3uITQIz 

Red Cross: https://bit.ly/3DdQd0t 

UN Commits to Aid: https://bit.ly/3iwfAlY 

From President Biden’s perspective, the commitment of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) was woefully inadequate. The USA trained over 300 000 troops over 20 years and built a governing apparatus to ensure that radicals like the Taliban could not seize control of the region. In his view, the ANSF could not hold their own – and America’s efforts were squandered. 

From the perspective of ANSF soldiers, their government’s inadequacy resulted from the war’s protracted nature and the limited delivery of aid measures that were promised in return for the cooperation of locals. Over the war’s duration, community-members lost faith in the American-backed government’s reformation efforts. Their distrust was heightened as military and socio-economic supports were diverted to other military efforts, like in Iran.

NYT Conversation with AFghan General: https://nyti.ms/3iEjVnb 

Foreign Policy – Afghan Women Testify: https://bit.ly/3Dlx9gv 

NBC News – AFghans left grappling with Fear: https://nbcnews.to/3afaGW0 

Now that America’s role in Afghanistan has closed, President Biden looks to the UN and other international actors to set expectations for the new Taliban government. These views are reflected by military service members. 

White House Remarks: https://bit.ly/3l62Owd 

Politico Article: https://politi.co/3AcQbnG 

In response to Afghanistan’s collapse, countries like Canada have responded by expanding resettlement programs to bring allied Afghans to safety. 

GoC expands resettlement programs: https://bit.ly/2Ye3xlY 

GoC Afghanistan Response page: https://bit.ly/3ov1iG0 

If you are interested in keeping track of the developing crisis in Afghanistan, up-to-date details about the conflict can be found at Global Conflict Tracker: https://on.cfr.org/3irFGXe 

We’ll be sharing stories like this throughout the year – if you are interested in immigration and refugee law matters, subscribe as a member to get notifications about CARL RH by sending an email to carl.robsonhall@gmail.com.




Shawn Singh

(Co-President, Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers – Robson Hall)