WASHINGTON — The images from Kabul, Afghanistan have been stunning over the last 72 hours.
From Afghans clinging to airplanes on tarmacs to women being forced to adapt to life under Taliban rule, the events have impacted the entire global community.
"The truth is this did unfold more quickly than it anticipated," President Biden said after the quick fall of the Afghan government.
HISTORY AND AFGHANISTAN
However, when you look at Afghanistan from a historical perspective, the United States is not the first country to experience hardship trying to change the country.
In 1221, Genghis Khan, the legendary leader of the Mongol Empire, lost his grandson in a battle in Afghanistan.
Great Britain tried three times to engage in conflict with Afghanistan between 1839 and 1919.
Each time, even after early successes, they failed-- losing to Afghan tribesmen.
In one battle alone, 16,000 British troops and civilians were killed.
The British retreat from Kabul in 1842 was nicknamed the “Disaster in Afghanistan.”
The Soviet Union tried too to govern it from 1979-1989.
The Soviet's efforts again ended in defeat.
Over 15,000 Soviet Union troops were killed.
In fact, historians have called Afghanistan the "graveyard of empires."
In 1963, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan even declared, "Rule No. 1 in politics: Never invade Afghanistan."
While the United States failed to change Taliban rule after twenty years, President Biden has declared that the country does not pose the national security risk that it did 20 years ago.
More than 2,400 American servicemen and women lost their life in the country and over 20,000 Americans were injured.