Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal let Taliban turn nation into a terrorist state

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The hellfire missile strike, which eradicated al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri and resulted in no reported civilian casualties, was a rare tactical counterterrorism success. Zawahri, who was indicted in 1998 for his position in planning the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa, was a excessive worth goal, whom the intelligence group has hunted for many years.  

However the strike additionally mirrored a strategic failure as a result of the identical poisonous combination of a Taliban regime offering sanctuary to al Qaeda, which resulted within the 9/11 terrorist assaults, has been repeated following the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan final summer time.  

Afghanistan has morphed right into a failed terrorist state. Each al Qaeda and ISIS have a rising presence, which threatens the area and past. 

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For the Taliban, their previous is prologue. As they did earlier than 9/11, the Taliban is intentionally offering secure haven to al Qaeda. Zawahri was killed on a balcony within the Sherpur district of downtown Kabul, a stone’s throw from the previous British embassy. Taliban performing Minister of Inside Sirajuddin Haqqani, whom the U.S. Division of State designated a International Terrorist in 2008 over the Haqqani Community’s alliance with al Qaeda, reportedly oversaw Zawahri’s safety and organized what turned out to be a not very secure, “secure home” for Zawahri, and his household.   

Taliban fighters stand guard subsequent to a Taliban flag throughout a gathering the place Afghan Hazara elders pledged their assist to the nation’s new Taliban rulers, in Kabul on November 25, 2021. (Picture by AREF KARIMI / AFP) (Picture by AREF KARIMI/AFP through Getty Photos)
(AREF KARIMI/AFP through Getty Photos)

The Taliban prolonged their secure haven to the Pakistani Taliban, which has Pakistan’s civilian inhabitants, authorities, and nuclear program in its crosshairs.  

Affected by a humanitarian disaster beneath a Taliban regime expert in insurgency however not fundamental authorities, Afghanistan is a digital magnet for terrorist recruitment.  

Afghanistan is as soon as once more a supply of regional instability, awash in each terrorist fighters and ungoverned house, which we realized from 9/11, represents a transparent and current hazard to our homeland.  

The profitable strike on Zawahri, the primary reported counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan because the U.S. withdrawal, doesn’t show the efficacy of the Biden administration’s “over the horizon” technique,” an in any other case nice sounding phrase, which fails to acknowledge the numerous degradation of the discover, repair and end counterterrorism functionality in Afghanistan, which has stored our nation secure since 9/11.  

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And let’s be clear. The horizon is on the sting of our imaginative and prescient over land or water. It’s unimaginable to see over the horizon. The strike on Zawahri was above the lifeless terrorist’s horizon. The intelligence group tracked Zawahri like a affected person sniper, reportedly for greater than six months, not over the horizon however shut sufficient with out being noticed to substantiate Zawahri’s id and exact location. This one strike, as monumental because it was, doesn’t show the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan can proceed on the tempo required sufficiently to degrade al Qaeda’s and ISIS’s growing capability to do us hurt.  

Efficient counterterrorism operations rely upon amassing intelligence from human sources. The complexity and problem to the CIA’s mission to recruit spies and steal secrets and techniques with out an official presence and embassy in Kabul, has grown exponentially. We additionally misplaced our only ally within the area, the previous authorities of Afghanistan, whose intelligence officers and troopers have been a robust power multiplier within the struggle in opposition to terrorism.  

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Let’s due to this fact keep in mind that the Taliban’s alliance with al Qaeda makes Afghanistan extra of a menace to our nation than any time since 9/11.  

And we should always not enable this counterterrorism success, as momentous because it was, to lull us right into a false sense of safety about {our capability} going ahead to detect and preempt threats emanating from Afghanistan earlier than they’re visited on our shores.

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