CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Sunday marks 10 years since President Barack Obama announced to the world U.S. Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden, the terrorist and mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The targeted operation was a significant step in the nation’s fight against Al Qaeda. It was years in the making and a mission that turned into American’s longest war.
After 20 years, America appears to be ending that war in Afghanistan. On Saturday, the last remaining 2,500 to 3,500 American troops began leaving, with a deadline to be fully out by Sept. 11 at the latest.
It’s a sign of changes in counterterrorism strategies, and President Joe Biden says American security concerns have evolved.
Javed Ali, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and visiting faculty member at the University of Michigan, says the U.S. is at an inflection point with respect to counterterrorism, and that trend has been developing for a couple of years.
“The president has stated this … and other senior officials have said that, at least with respect to, the terrorist threats to the U.S. homeland, the threat that we had to face after 9/11, that is now no longer an international terrorism threat,” Ali said. “The most prominent part of that threat is the threat from far-right extremism and we’ve seen manifestations of that even before the events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol, so that is a major change in the counterterrorism landscape and now you’re seeing policy decisions from the Biden administration reflect that change.”
The U.S. and NATO leave behind an Afghanistan that is at least half run directly or indirectly by the Taliban — despite billions poured into training and arming Afghan forces to fight them. Riddled with corruption and tied to regional warlords, the U.S.-backed government is widely distrusted by many Afghans.