1492 or 2021, it is still "civilizing the savages"
It's pretty easy to reframe America's uninvited invasion, occupation, and nation-building of Afghanistan.
In order to prove just how imperial our having been in Afghanistan for the last 20-years, rebuilding the country in our own image, is, please do the following thought experiment. Please release your imagination and walk with me for a bit…
Just replace George W Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden with Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Christopher Columbus, and Pope Alexander VI; replace US Armed Forces with conquistadors; and replace Afghanis—women, girls, boys, elders—with Aztecs, Mayans, Amerindians, Mapuche people; then, replace soul-savings, civilizing, modernizing, and enculturating, with.... the same words.
Does that make more sense as to why supporting the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in order to save them from themselves is perfectly analogous to supporting the British colonization of the Americas in order to modernize and civilize the American Indians?
A reminder, we were at war with Afghanistan during which at least 240,000 Afghans have died, many of them civilians—over the last 20-years; and, how many of those Afghans were women and girls?