Commonwealth Policy Center

Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11-the day our nation was under brutal attack by Islamic terrorists. It’s a day that many of us will never forget. We invaded Afghanistan shortly after, drove out Al-Qaeda, and eventually got Bin Laden. Then we helped rebuild the country. We helped build their institutions—schools, government, and infrastructure. We helped bring dignity to women and minority groups. In fact, we poured over a trillion dollars into the country in the last 20 years. But just as quickly as we drove out many of the terrorists, the Taliban came back as soon as we left. It’s gone. One of the great lessons learned here is that democratic ideals must be embraced from within and defended by those who benefit from them.