Robert Spencer: Who Lost Afghanistan?

The U.S. military began its 20-year incursion in Afghanistan, quite simply, because of the jihadist attacks on September 11, 2001, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed. There was never any doubt in official Washington about who was responsible. On the same day the attacks took place, President George W. Bush ordered his Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, to draw up plans to attack the jihad terror group al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, where the 9/11 hijackers had trained for their mission.

By then, Afghanistan had been a hotbed of jihad for several decades, beginning with the Soviet Union’s invasion of the country on December 24, 1979. In 1988, a Palestinian Arab, Abdullah Azzam, and a Saudi, Osama bin Laden, founded a loose organization of jihadists known as al-Qaeda (The Base) to fight the Soviets, who eventually withdrew from Afghanistan in defeat in February 1989. Al-Qaeda jihadists then spread out worldwide, and Osama bin Laden set his sights on the world’s other superpower, the United States.

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