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Demosthenes's avatar

Should the West do something about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, even if means recognizing the Taliban government?

Asked by Demosthenes (15043points) July 17th, 2022 from iPhone

Afghanistan’s economy is essentially non-functioning, in large part due to Western sanctions and freezing of assets. The situation continues to be more dire, with malnutrition on the rise:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/07/17/1111525252/in-kabul-a-new-ritual-hungry-women-wait-for-bread-outside-bakeries

Should sanctions be lifted even if it would benefit the Taliban? How do we weigh the Taliban’s human rights abuses against a sanctions-crippled economy and starvation?

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16 Answers

Blackwater_Park's avatar

We kind of owe it to them after the devastating decision to “just leave” was made. That was almost worse than the decision to invade.

zenvelo's avatar

Would the Taliban allow western NGO’s to enter the country and offer food and aid without interference from the Taliban or warlords?

There are NGOs that would do so but not if the Taliban are going to prevent non-discrimiantory distribution.

@Blackwater_Park They didn’t want us to stay one minute more, and Trump’s decision to leave was well supported in this country until the reality of the Biden administration leaving hit the US news media.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The liberal in me says that we should, because people are suffering and it’s our duty to help.

The realist in me says that the Afghan government (such as it is) rejects everything I believe in (secular society, women’s rights, education, a modern world) and therefore is not going to welcome or even accept any aid that would be counter their hyper-backwards religious interpretations.

This argument is far less about the US withdrawal and far more about the Taliban ‘government’. If this US had withdrawn more slowly and methodically, the Taliban takeover and return to the middle ages would have happened anyway – just a little more slowly.

What aren’t the Arab oil states helping their fellow Islamic government?

I see zero gain for the US in helping out.

janbb's avatar

Would it be naive to say that this seems like something that should be undertaken by the UN, probably under the aegis of UNICEF? And there are many parts of the world suffering from famine and drought like sub-Saharan Africa; shouldn’t there be more programs to help them as well?

Demosthenes's avatar

So what about ending sanctions, as I mentioned in the OP? A lot of you are addressing the possibility of direct aid (some groups are still providing aid anyhow), but I’m thinking about essentially unfreezing the Afghan economy, which we have done in the name of opposing the Taliban.

janbb's avatar

@Demosthenes I don’t feel I know enough to speak to that.

Demosthenes's avatar

Here’s an interesting article that addresses a lot of this, including possible solutions (“helping Afghans without helping the Taliban”).

HP's avatar

What’s to be done if the organizations with aid cannot be allowed to distribute it without interference? The crisis is not only about the shortages of food, but equally important, the loss of bureaucratic organization and experience regarding its distribution.

kritiper's avatar

No. Let them and their “god” deal with it.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would think that the Red Crescent would be welcome in Afghanistan. You can donate to them.

JLoon's avatar

No.

Harsh fact is the Taliban have guaranteed Afghans will remain isolated, and are actively obstructing aid efforts so their officials can take a cut of foreign money & resorces – And run a protection racket that threatens individual aid workers :
“U.N. says Taliban interfering with aid, resisting cash plan”
https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/un-says-taliban-interfering-with-aid-resisting-cash-plan-2022-06-23/

“Taliban Blocks Humanitarian Aid Into Bamyan Province”
https://www.transcontinentaltimes.com/2022/07/13/taliban-blocks-humanitarian-aid-into-afghanistans-bamyan-province/

smudges's avatar

I don’t want to sound cold, and I do empathize with people in dire straights, but shouldn’t we take the money we might otherwise give to them and instead give it to the thousands of children in our country who are starving? Who can’t think and learn in school because they haven’t had breakfast – or any other meal – for days? Who don’t eat on weekends because there’s no school and they get at least a modicum of nutrition there? and on and on

It sickens me every time I hear about the m/billions we’re giving to other countries when we don’t even take care of our own.

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^ @smudges You can thank Mitch McConnell for ending universal school food aid as of the end of last month.

But we do take care of our own: school nutrition programs have been in place for years, offering breakfast and lunch and weekend meals for kids who would otherwise go hungry.

janbb's avatar

@smudges And the truth is that it doesn’t have to be an either/or. The US has enough resources to end hunger here and aid in reducing world food insecurity. We just don’t have the will.

seawulf575's avatar

Why should we? They don’t want us there, the Taliban would gladly kill us and any “humanitarian aid” we supply would go right into the hands of those that are perpetrating all humanitarian atrocities. The only reason I could see for doing this is if you had a desire to destroy this country and felt that bankrupting us would be the quickest way to do it.

smudges's avatar

@zenvelo Ha! That old fucker! We’re going to be better off when a bunch of the old men die. Yes, it’s true that we do feed a lot of children, but so many fall through the cracks, sometimes because of their parents not caring.

@janbb Too true!

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