On October 7, 2001 the United States attacked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, at the time a recent creation of the Taliban movement that had hosted and protected the extremist al-Qaeda group and its leader Osama bin Laden, responsible for the attack on New York’s Twin Towers. Today, that war is coming to a close. The prospect of building a stable, democratic country, capable of integrating into the global economy, has long since vanished. The United States and its NATO allies have failed to beat back the resistance of the Taliban and produce order and security in Afghanistan; indeed, they have lost much of their military and political credibility.
Gastone Breccia teaches Byzantine History and Ancient Military History at the University of Pavia.