Unlike today, back then, both men and women dressed in western attire, attended western-style universities, and drove cars on newly-paved roads.
Five months after President Joe Biden announced that all U.S. and nato troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S.-backed Afghan government collapsed on Sunday. The President of the country, Ashraf Ghani, fled to Tajikistan as the Taliban swiftly returned to power in the capital of Kabul and drove thousands of people into a desperate race to escape the country. Social media was filled with photos and videos of Afghans seeking refuge at Kabul's international airport out of fear of reprisal killings and world leaders criticized the U.S. for the chaotic manner in which it withdrew its military after nearly 20 years of war.
The collapse of the Afghan government, after the United States spent billions to support it and Afghan security forces, was a violent coda to the U.S. military mission in America’s longest war. https://t.co/HMoc0T5bfu— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) August 16, 2021
However, defending his decision to depart from Afghanistan, Biden asked: "How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghans — Afghanistan's civil war, when Afghan troops will not? We gave them every tool they could need. We paid their salaries. Provided for the maintenance of their airplanes. We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide was the will to fight for that future." While the president deflected blame, the truth is that Afghanistan used to be very different from the war-ravaged country it is today, before the US invasion and the Russian war.
"The buck stops with me.”— ABC News (@ABC) August 17, 2021
Pres. Biden: “I am now the fourth American president to preside over war in Afghanistan. Two Democrats and two Republicans. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth president." https://t.co/vqcMyuHWk9 pic.twitter.com/Vn8zCB6doZ
According to Insider, Afghanistan was actively going through modernization and Westernization back in the 1960s. Unlike today, back then, both men and women dressed in western attire, attended western-style universities, and drove cars on newly-paved roads. However, it simultaneously also clutched its traditions and vibrant culture close to its heart. Here are 22 photos that shed light on what life was like in the area at the time: