US to commemorate 20-year anniversary of September 11 terrorist attacks

US to commemorate 20 year anniversary of September 11 terrorist attacks
Photo: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

The US commemorates the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks today.

The attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre, the Pentagon, and a foiled attack on the Capitol that resulted in the Shanksville crash, cost 2,996 lives. Memorials will be held across the nation, and President Joe Biden will visit all three sites.

The 9/11 attacks marked a new era in American foreign policy, launching the War on Terror with the US invasion of Afghanistan, meant to destroy the al Qaeda perpetrators and the Taliban government that harbored them. Today’s events occur after the recent chaotic withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan and the announcement of the new Taliban government that largely mirrors the old one the US deposed—leaving many questioning the effectiveness of the war 20 years later as US focus shifts towards great power conflict.

Short- to medium-term, Afghanistan will likely become a base for terrorists due to the difficulties facing the Taliban government. This would likely decrease regional security and result in a long-term stain on the War on Terror, Biden’s administration, and US global standing. Expect the bungled withdrawal and criticism of President Biden’s abilities to hurt the Democratic party in the 2022 midterms.

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