Ralph Josephsohn

On Sept. 11, 2001, Al Qaeda terrorists launched coordinated suicide attacks against the United States orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden. Terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft in flight. Two smashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the City of New York , the third slammed into the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., the fourth crashed in a vacant field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The toll of the carnage included 2,977 deaths, and some 6,000 injuries. The first tower as it billowed smoke was broadcast live to a national television audience. This evoked incredulity. When an aircraft careened into the second tower, incredulity became reality, penetrating not only the outer edifice of the tower, but also the nation’s soul. When the towers collapsed into a pile of rubble, the hideous monster of terrorism revealed its heinous face.

The Taliban in Afghanistan provided Bin Laden sanctuary. The United States deployed retaliatory military force in an action known as Operation Enduring Freedom. The intervention lasted 20 years, transmogrifying Operation Enduring Freedom into Operation Never-Ending Nightmare. It is reported that 2,448 American military service personnel died and 20,666 were wounded during the course of the hostilities, excluding many thousands of American civilians, Afghani military personnel and civilians.

The precipitous capitulation of the Afghan house of cards to Taliban fighters was unanticipated. Afghanistan possessed…

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