How It All Started
In the latter part of 2001, The United States went into Afghanistan to overtake the Taliban government in attempts to go after Al-Qaeda after the September 11th attacks . This is no secret to the entire world. However, this was just another instance that continued the United States’ plans to nation build globally. There has been an issue of nation building ever since after World War II, the United States helped rebuild the defeated nations of Germany and Japan into new democratic nations. Afghanistan is obviously not the only country this has happened within and arguably is more harmful to democracy as a whole to continue an overstep. This continuous overstep of power into other nations, such as Germany after the Nazi regime and Vietman just to name a few, will only continue democratic backsliding to increase throughout the United States’ institutions.
Issues Faced and Affected Groups
Much of the nation building occurring, specifically recent events in Afghanistan, spike retaliation of course causing war. Over 1 trillion was spent during a time span of twenty years on military efforts, building a government from the ground up, and running the country for 20 years. This, of course, being paid with taxpayer money. The unjustful reasoning for even invading Afghanistan and other middle eastern countries, attempting to spread western ways of life and indoctrinate “democratic” principles while changing the government ourselves from the bottom up is in no way democratic. This is just another example of the increased democratic backsliding that occurs when this type of nation building attempts overtime. Moreover, we are seeing increasingly more aspects of democratic erosion through the United States’ attempts to grow democracies around the world through media attention, narratives by politicians, and even previous presidents, mainly President George W. Bush, “backsliding” their opinions of going to the region in the first place.
Many scholars focusing on the effects and background of nation building by the United States relate this issue to “white washing” countries of color and colonialism all over again. This is a very valid point that deserves attention. The United States holds itself to a standard for literacy, education, and strong government and institutions. However, this becomes an issue for democracy as a whole when the United States teaches their education and installs handpicked government officials in a country that was never meant to be invaded in the first place. Many of the main concepts of democracy that the States uphold are freedom of choice; however, the actions of nation building directly contradict everything we stand for. This does not mean that these countries have not needed assistance. Though this is warranted in many instances, many in charge use the power they are given for unnecessary chances to “make change”, exhibiting the downfall of democratic principles.
Militarization of Afghanistan and The Effects of Overstepping
There is no denying that when invasion occurs and an overhaul of a government, for example the Taliban regime, push back is possible due to upset actors. However, during the twenty years the United States was in the country of Afghanistan, The United States grew and trained the people of Afghanistan to learn war tactics, walk the streets with guns ready for tyranny, and inevitably it all crumbled in a short amount of time. Not only was this training, weaponry, and skill paid for by American people and other western allies, but it meant nothing in the end and showed the weakness of an attempted democracy that was built in a little under twenty years. He expressed confidence in the Afghan military’s ability to hold ground. This is how President Joe Biden reacted towards the failed plan to pull over, which exposed our own military men and women, and put our allied Afghanistan military people in danger with a target on their backs. The reasoning that the United States uses shows the lack of planning, even after decades within the region attempting to build a country into a democracy that has no interest in changing completely.
Overall, the United States’ actions of nation building around the world increases democratic erosion and distrust through many of the actions previously discussed. However, there are many who grow to trust a government with additional funding and likelihood of success. There has been a growing lack of trust within democracies who invade and spread their own thoughts, spaces, religions, and education on people with different cultures and ways of life. The nation building is not a positive particle of the nation, but in fact shows colonialism and authoritarian characteristics within the institution itself.