The Afghan War –> 200l-2021


Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate – TRANSCEND Media Service

17 Aug 2021 – Nothing can justify the illegal war carried out for the past twenty years upon the people of Afghanistan by US/NATO forces. During a visit with an International Peace Delegation in 2012, we witnessed in Kabul the suffering of the Afghan people at the hands of the foreign occupation forces, US drones, the consequences of the invasion.

We also met people who had lost families, homes and livelihoods at the hands of the Taliban.

Many countries, including Ireland, an allegedly neutral country, have been complicit in this illegal armed conflict. The Irish government betrayed the Irish people by allowing the US troops to use Shannon Airport en route to Afghanistan and other wars started by NATO/USA in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other places, in addition to deployment of over 200 Irish troops to Afghanistan under NATO command. This military invasion of a sovereign state did not reflect the desire of the Irish people, most of whom wished to stand in solidarity with their Afghan brothers and sisters and solve the problems by peaceful means.

This week, USA/NATO withdrew their troops from Afghanistan. The war cost hundreds of thousands of lives with the USA spending US $2 trillion, little of which went to improve the lives of Afghan people, many of whom are hungry, homeless and living in poverty. The Afghan government has fled and the Taliban has taken over the country. The Taliban have said there will be an amnesty and called on Afghans to help rebuild their country. We hope they will cease all violence and work for peace for all.

Our love, prayers and thoughts go out to the people of Afghanistan who have suffered so much. We call on the international community to stand by the Afghan people offering humanitarian assistance and welcoming refugees and asylum seekers.

God bless Afghanistan and its people.



Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder of Peace People, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See:

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 23 Aug 2021.

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