The Taliban reportedly plans to have an inauguration ceremony for its new interim government this Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that brought down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
Those attacks killed nearly 3,000 Americans and inflicted a traumatic wound on the nation’s psyche.
Back then, the U.S. response was impressive and decisive.
After the Taliban refused to turn over al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of Sept. 11, Americans invaded the country.
U.S. Special Forces teamed up with Afghan Northern Alliance fighters and dealt the first devastating blows to the outlaw regime.
In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 5th Special Forces Group Soldiers were inserted to conduct Unconventional Warfare in support of the Northern Alliance. Check out the full video here: https://t.co/NRlf2VGZlA #HorseSoldiers #SpecialForces pic.twitter.com/1P5I7EdkSZ
— USASOC (@USASOCNews) October 20, 2020
A broader U.S.-led coalition, which included NATO allies, toppled the Taliban within two months.
Now, 20 years later, the Taliban is back in charge and stronger militarily thanks to the tens of billions in U.S. equipment the Biden administration left in country.
The Biden Administration left $85 billion of U.S. military equipment behind in Afghanistan.
Now the Taliban is wearing our fatigues, operating our vehicles & weapons, and shipping equipment over to Iran.
It’s an absolute disgrace. Joe Biden needs to answer for this. pic.twitter.com/oglOKDGQWZ
— Rep. Jake LaTurner (@RepLaTurner) September 3, 2021
Former U.S. State Department adviser and Afghan native Arash Yaqin couldn’t help but note the sad irony of the Taliban officially re-instituting its interim government on the 9/11 anniversary.
“Speaking about the symbolism of the War on Terror, the Taliban are planning to have their interim government inauguration ceremony on Saturday, September 11th, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” he tweeted Tuesday.
Speaking about the symbolism of the War on Terror, the Taliban are planning to have their interim government inauguration ceremony on Saturday, September 11th, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
— Arash Yaqin آرش يقين (@ArashYaqin) September 7, 2021
Heritage Foundation president Kay Cole James pointed out the trifecta that the Taliban has achieved thanks to President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal.
They have more territorial control than they did on Sept. 11, 2001, and they are better armed, she wrote in a piece for The Washington Times.
“And worse yet, now the Taliban will have hundreds of American hostages that it didn’t have in 2001. Hostages President Biden abandoned. Hostages the Taliban will use to barter for more money and weapons to use to commit more terrorist attacks,” James added.
Biden’s decision-making regarding the Afghanistan pull-out was par for the course. It was former Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates who famously wrote in 2014 that Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
In an NPR interview that same year, Gates listed as examples Biden’s vote against an aid package for South Vietnam, his belief that Iranians’ human rights would improve following the deposing of the Shah in the 1970s, and his opposition to Reagan’s defense buildup in the 1980s, the first Gulf War in the 1990s and the surge of U.S. troops into Afghanistan in 2009.
“So on a number of these major issues, I just frankly, over a long period of time, felt that he had been wrong,” Gates summarized.
Add to that list Biden’s opposition to the raid that killed bin Laden.
The problem now is he is no longer just a senator or vice president; he’s the commander in chief.
But what a Pyrrhic victory it is with the Taliban back in control and, at least for the moment, stronger than ever before.
CORRECTION, Sept. 8, 2021: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect date for Gates’ comments on Biden.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.