Twenty years ago, on October 7, 2001, the U.S. and its allies invaded Afghanistan and later installed a Washington-backed administration composed mostly of personalities educated in the U.S. and other Western countries. Justice for the 9/11 attacks on American soil was the pretext of the war. Studies estimate the total death toll at more than 176,000. At least 47,000 Afghan civilians lost their lives. The real number of Afghan deaths is likely much higher due to disease and hunger made worse with the conflict. Afghans suffered the most, bearing the brunt of decades of violence. In August, the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital, and then on August 30 the U.S. withdrew its last forces from Afghanistan, a chaotic end to the 20-year war. On Thursday, the Afghan interim government issued a statement on the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion, saying the invasion brought nothing but misery to millions of Afghans. It said the destiny of Afghanistan must be decided by the Afghan people. How can Afghans recover from the pain of war? How will they determine their own destiny?
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