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A Timeline Of Afghanistan History & United States Involvement

A Timeline of the United States Withdrawal and Taliban Recapture of Afghanistan

Nearly two decades after the United States invaded Afghanistan, the nation’s capital fell back once again under Taliban control.

The chaotic reports emerging from Kabul cap more than two decades of American efforts in the country to root out terrorism and transform the nation into a functioning democratic state. Thousands of American lives and nearly $830 billion in official spending, those efforts have resulted in failure. And just weeks ahead of the planned pullout of American troops, the American flag at the U.S. embassy in Kabul had been taken down and most embassy staff had been relocated to the city’s airport.

How Afghanistan, a country that has been torn by conflict for decades, arrived at this place is a long and arduous journey. Here is a timeline of Afghanistan’s more late 20th century, what led to the U.S. invasion in the first place, through the most recent action there:

April 1979: In the Saur Revolution, or April Coup, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan assassinates Afghan President Mohammed Daoud Khan.

December 1979: Soviets invaded Afghanistan in order to prop up the government, which faced internal rebellion.

Early 1989: As the Soviet Union disintegrated, the army withdrew, leaving the Afghan forces to take the lead in fighting an American-funded insurgency. US intelligence estimates over 15,000 Soviet troops died in the decade-long war. The Soviets kept advisers with the Afghans and continued financing the military.

1992: The American CIA, which backed Afghan rebel groups, withdrew its aid. The Russians also cut its funding. The pro-Russian government was overthrown, and Afghanistan was plunged into a bloody civil war, setting the stage for the Taliban to assume power four years later.

1994: The Taliban, or “students” in the Pashto language, emerges from Islamist fighters in Pakistan and Afghanistan who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan for over a decade. That conflict ended in 1989.

1996: After a two-year civil war, most of Afghanistan comes under the control of the Taliban, who institute fundamentalist policies and widespread repression of human rights.

Sep.11, 2001: Terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida hijack commercial planes to execute terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington. The terrorists planned, trained and directed the attacks from Afghanistan.

Oct. 7, 2001: U.S. and United Kingdom forces begin Operation Enduring Freedom, a bombing campaign against Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

Dec. 17, 2001: U.S. and allied forces have driven Taliban from power in Afghanistan. Al-Qaida disperses.

April 17, 2002: President George W. Bush calls for a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan.

March 20, 2003: U.S. invades Iraq, diverting military resources and attention from Afghanistan.

Feb. 17, 2009: President Barack Obama recommits U.S. forces to Afghanistan to combat “resurgent” Taliban.

March 27, 2009: Obama announces new strategy for Afghanistan, connecting the return of the group in parts of the country to the Pakistani Taliban. He calls for greater cooperation from Pakistan.

Dec. 1, 2009: Obama announces 30,000 additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan on top of the 68,000 already stationed in the country in a move later known as “the surge.”

May 2, 2011: Obama announces the U.S. military and CIA agents successfully found and killed Osama bin Laden.

June 22, 2011: Obama announces troop draw downs to begin in Afghanistan.

Dec. 5, 2011: World leaders gather in Bonn, Germany, to discuss how to build a road map for the future of Afghanistan. U.S. and Western allies commit billions in investment to support development of Afghan government.

May 27, 2014: Obama announces plan for full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by end of 2016.

Sep. 4, 2014: NATO issues a joint statement, designating that Afghan Security Forces “will assume full responsibility for security” of the country by the end of the year. International coalition ends its operations in Afghanistan, U.S. continues its own battle.

Aug. 21, 2017: President Donald Trump cautions against “hasty” troop withdrawal from Afghanistan that “would create a vacuum.” Trump said that he shares Americans’ “frustration” with foreign wars, assures that “we are not nation-building again; we are killing terrorists.”

Sep. 7, 2019: Trump calls off U.S.-Taliban peace talks that began in late 2018.

Feb 29, 2020: President Donald Trump negotiates a deal with the Taliban for U.S. troop withdrawal by May 1, 2021.

Nov. 17, 2020: Pentagon announces plans to reduce troop levels to 2,500 in Afghanistan and Iraq in final days of Trump administration.

New commander-in-chief:Trump claims Afghanistan withdrawal would have been ‘much more successful’ if he were president. Would it?

April 14, 2021:President Joe Biden announces that full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will be complete by Sept. 11.

May 1: The U.S. begins final troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

July 6:The U.S. evacuates Bagram Airfield, the largest military installation in the country since 2001 invasion.

Aug. 6: Provincial capitals begin to fall to the Taliban.

Aug. 8: Provincial capitals Sar-e-Pul, Kunduz and Taloqan all fall to the Taliban.

Aug. 11: Fall of provincial capitals of Badakhshan and Baghlan provinces to the northeast and Farah province to the west.

Aug. 13: The county’s second-largest city, Kandahar, a cultural center and the foundation site of the Taliban, falls to the fundamentalist group.

Aug. 14: The country’s fourth-largest city, Mazar-e-Sharif, falls to the Taliban.

Aug. 15: Kabul, the national capital, falls to the Taliban. Afghan president flees country, government collapses. U.S. Embassy in Kabul is evacuated.

The United States Supreme Court: Eastern Half Of Oklahoma Is Native American Land

The United States Supreme Court on Thursday July 9, 2020 ruled that a huge part of Oklahoma is Native American land for certain purposes, siding with a Native American man who had challenged his conviction by Oklahoma state authorities in the territory.

The 5-4 United States Supreme Court decision, with an opinion authored by United States Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, endorsed the claim of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to the land, which encompasses 3 million acres in eastern Oklahoma, including most of the city of Tulsa.

The United States Supreme Court decision means that only federal authorities, no longer state prosecutors, can file charges against Native Americans who commit serious alleged crimes on that land, which is home to 1.8 million people (less than 15% are Native Americans on that land).

“Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law,” United States Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote.

“Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word,” United States Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote.

The cases were based on the application of the Major Crimes Act, which gives federal authorities, rather than state prosecutors, jurisdiction over serious crimes committed by or against Native Americans in Native American territory. The Major Crimes Act is a law passed by the United States Congress in 1885 as the final section of the Indian Appropriations Act of that year. The Major Crimes Act is law that places certain crimes under federal jurisdiction if they are committed by a Native American in Native territory.

The Major Crimes Act followed the 1817 General Crimes Act, which extended federal jurisdiction to crimes committed in Native territory but did not cover crimes committed by Native Americans against Native Americans. The Major Crimes Act therefore broadened federal jurisdiction in Native territory by extending it to some crimes committed by Native Americans against Native Americans.

What Lies Beyond The Edge Of Our Solar System?

Above: What Lies Beyond The Edge Of Our Solar System?

The Voyager space probes have gone further into the unknown than any other spacecraft. With both probes officially in interstellar space, what have we learned?

In 1965, a PhD student figured out that every 176 years the four planets in our solar system align in such a unique way that it is possible to use their gravitational forces to slingshot from one planet to the next.

This insight, that came to fruition using just a slide rule and simple computer programs, became part of an ambitious mission to send two probes and golden records out into space for a grand tour.

Enter: The Voyagers.

The Voyager probes are two obscure looking robots, weighing roughly 800 kilograms with giant arms and big ears, it took 1,500 engineers and scientists to bring these robotic explorers to life.

The Voyagers took some of the first detailed snapshots of planets and moons – revealing Io’s volcanism, close-up details of Saturn’s icy rings, and Neptune’s great dark spot.

After traveling for more than 43 years, clocking in 18 billion kilometers traveled, the Voyagers are taking humanity into the next great beyond: interstellar space.

With the opportunity to visit Uranus and Neptune, the NASA engineers developed a mission within a mission, outfitting the probes with 11 different instruments, redundant systems, and autonomous controls.

Find out more about the Voyager mission, what we’ve learned so far, and the experts behind these remarkable achievements.

The Existence Of White Holes

Above: The Existence Of White Holes.

A black hole is a region of space where so much mass is packed together so densely that it forms what is called a singularity, and nothing can move fast enough to escape its gravitational pull—not even the fastest thing in the universe (we’re talking light) can escape the clutches of a black hole.

And because light can’t escape, no one can really see what is going on inside a black hole. So we end up relying on theories and equations to deduce exactly what is happening at the center of the event horizon.

There are two competing explanations to describe black holes: Einstein’s theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity states the mass of a black hole bends spacetime so much that it becomes one single point of infinite density, but according to quantum mechanics there cannot be an infinitely small point.

It can be very very small, but not infinitely so. And this irreconcilable difference is one of the greatest debates in physics, since general relativity is our best description of gravity, while quantum mechanics has been called the most successful theory ever.

But some physicists believe white holes could square these two predictions. Find out more about white holes and how a white hole could reveal what is really happening inside a black hole on this episode of Elements.

How SpaceX’s Starship Will Become The Most Powerful Rocket In The World | Countdown To Launch

Above: How SpaceX’s Starship Will Become The Most Powerful Rocket In The World | Countdown To Launch.

“When SpaceX was founded, its goal was to establish a human colony on Mars, and Starship might be the way to get there…”

In September 2019, Elon Musk unveiled the first iteration of his next-generation vehicle, Starship.

While SpaceX continues to push the limits, this next endeavor might be its most ambitious yet. SpaceX was founded with the intention of one day creating a human colony on Mars, and Elon Musk hopes that Starship and the Super Heavy rocket will be the way to get there.

Starship was built to carry 100 passengers and will serve as the spacecraft to shuttle both people and cargo to Earth’s orbit and beyond.

Starship has its six Raptors, but the real power behind this transportation system comes from the Super Heavy rocket, which has thirty-seven Raptor engines.

In its final form, the Starship and Super Heavy combination will result in the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, and SpaceX is working fast to bring this super project to life.

Find out more about SpaceX’s latest space transportation and exploration endeavor on this episode of Countdown to Launch.

Japan Has Almost Completely Eliminated Gun Deaths — How Did Japan Almost Completely Eliminate Gun Deaths?

Japan Has Almost Completely Eliminated Gun Deaths

* Japan is a country of more than 127 million people, but it rarely sees more than 10 gun deaths per year.
* Culture is one reason for the low rate, but gun control is also a major reason.
* Japan has a long list of tests that applicants must pass before gaining access to a small pool of guns.

Japan Is A Country With A Lot Of Gun Regulations

Japan’s success in curbing gun deaths is intimately linked with its history. Following World War II, pacifism emerged as one of the dominant philosophies in the country. Police only started carrying firearms after American troops made them, in 1946, for the sake of security. It’s also written into Japanese law, as of 1958, that “no person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords.” Continue reading

What If My Neighbor’s Child Was Genetically Modified Using Genetic Engineering?

Above: What If My Neighbor’s Child Was Genetically Modified Using Genetic Engineering?

Having genetically modified children is no longer a science fictional fantasy, but a very likely future scenario. Genetic engineering labs are on the edge of being able to create modified human beings, but what does that imply for humanity? Should we all first be pre-selected before deemed worthy to live on earth? While science has already answered this question, society as the ethical body of life still needs to have that conversation.

“Improving our way of life has always been a goal of science. Improving the human condition via gene editing is something many people strongly support and want to push forward. Just because I won’t be a designer human, doesn’t mean no one else should be a genetically modified human. Just because your feelings or your kids feelings are hurt due to someone else being better than you or being better than your child in every single way doesn’t mean that they should have to be subject to disease and weakness like the rest of us – like you, like me, like every other person on this planet. Plus, there are already people who are better than you and me in many different ways, maybe in almost every single way. No, that should not be an excuse against gene modification and human evolution.”

Mystery Founder Of Bitcoin: Uncovering The Identity Of Satoshi Nakamoto (The Founder Of Bitcoin)

Above: Mystery Founder Of Bitcoin: Uncovering The Identity Of Satoshi Nakamoto (The Founder Of Bitcoin).

Bitcoin is a worldwide cryptocurrency and digital payment system called the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central repository or single administrator. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009. The system is peer-to-peer, and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary such as a bank. These Bitcoin transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as Bitcoin mining. Bitcoins can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Bitcoin can also be held as an investment, and experts agree that uncovering Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity could have an immense impact on bitcoin’s economics and internal politics.

Rare And Exotic Animals: White Lions – National Geographic

Above: Rare And Exotic Animals: white lions – National Geographic Documentary.

Rare And Exotic Animals – National Geographic Documentary. The white lion is a rare color mutation of the Timbavati area. White lions are the same as the tawny African Lion (Panthera leo krugeri) found in some wildlife reserves in South Africa and in zoos around the world. White lions are not a separate subspecies and are thought to be indigenous to the Timbavati region of South Africa for centuries, although the earliest recorded sighting in this region was in 1938. Regarded as divine by locals, white lions first came to public attention in the 1970s in Chris McBride’s book The White Lions of Timbavati. Up until 2009, when the first pride of white lions was reintroduced to the wild, it was widely believed that the white lion could not survive in the wild. It is for this reason that a large part of the population of white lions now reside in zoos. Continue reading

All The Reasons Why Cryptocurrencies Such As Bitcoin And Ether Will Never Replace Gold, Silver, And Other Precious Metals

Above: All The Reasons Why Cryptocurrencies Such As Bitcoin And Ether Will Never Replace Gold, Silver, And Other Precious Metals.

The cryptocurrency craze continues. Having seen the astounding rise in Bitcoin’s value, those who remained on the sidelines are now kicking themselves for not buying it when it was first released. Surely, they’d be millionaires by now. It seems that more and more people justify investing in cryptocurrencies — even at current record prices — by claiming that they’re an effective hedge against the instability of fiat currencies. But is it true?

Sure, a fiat money system where central banks can and do literally print money at will has its weaknesses. That’s why hard assets like gold are so popular among smart investors: as real stores of value, they provide a safety net against currency depreciation. However, it’s doubtful that the same applies to cryptocurrencies. Despite what the crypto-evangelists will tell you, digital tokens will never and can never replace gold as your financial hedge. Here are six reasons why:

Above: All The Reasons Why Cryptocurrencies Such As Bitcoin And Ether Will Never Replace Gold, Silver, And Other Precious Metals.

Saudi Arabia Gives Citizenship To A Robot Named Sophia

Above: Saudi Arabia Gives Citizenship To A Robot Named Sophia.

Saudi Arabia just made a non-human woman a citizen, making it the first country to grant a robot the right to citizenship, at least as far as we know. Why Saudi Arabia did so isn’t immediately clear, but the irony of a nation known for denying basic human rights to its female citizens while giving human rights to a female robot is not lost on us. The robot, known as Sophia, appeared onstage without an abaya, a head covering and cloak normally required of women by the Saudi government.

“I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” the robot said onstage. “This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”

We are not sure exactly what Sophia’s rights will afford her in Saudi Arabia (one of the most oppressive countries for women on the planet), but if she sticks around until June 2018 when women will finally be allowed to drive, she will at least be able to purchase her own car in order to get out of the country as fast as possible.