The war on imperialism


Photo courtesy of NBC News

United States troops first invaded Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 attack.

Reagan Montgomery, Staff Writer

The Biden administration announced plans for the US military to withdraw from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021. While this is a huge step for ending American imperialism, it may not go far enough. 

For around 20 years, American soldiers have occupied many middle eastern countries in the name of the so-called “war on terrorism”. This military intervention has cost thousands of lives on both sides and has done relatively little to curb radical extremism.

This has only added to the imperialist mindset that has been ingrained in our military since the late 1800s. The US thinks that it needs to constantly be involved in foreign countries’ political affairs, but despite intentions, that only hurts those countries more.

Think of it this way- when a child is growing up, they need space to learn to be independent. A parent cannot coddle them and do everything for them. They need to learn to do their laundry, wash their dishes, and make their own choices at times. 

Governments work the same way. The US needs to stop trying to parent other countries and let them settle their own affairs. US-backed intervention has historically hurt foreign relations, broken apart families on both sides, and led to even more instability in the occupied country. 

Take for example Korea; Had the US and the Soviet Union not gotten involved in the formation of Korea post-World War II, the peninsula would not be as divided as it is today. However, instead of letting the Korean people sort it out by themselves, we instead turned it into a war by proxy with Russia, and relations between North and South Korea are still very tense. 

The question is though, what can we do about imperialism? It has become ingrained in the mindset of our military, of our government, and a portion of the people. With this being said, substantial change will take years to happen. It will most likely be a slow, painstaking process. 

There are things we can do, even as teens. One of the best ways to begin this process of change is to invoke an anti-imperialist mindset. Reject the occupation of foreign militaries, as well as government-backed coups and other involvement in domestic affairs from other countries, and then vocalize that. We have voices, whether we think so or not. Our generation is already starting to hit the polls, and in the next four to six years, the majority of us will be voting. Make it clear that you do not stand for what is happening, and in the future, politicians who want to be elected will back that.