President Joe Biden is doing the unthinkable. On the 20th anniversary of the dark day that terrorists struck New York City and Washington, D.C., he—more than any other world leader—is preparing the way for the next 9/11

Sept. 11, 2021, ought above all to be a day of remembrance, a reflection on loss, a homage to bravery, and a recommitment to our steely resolve to never let this happen again. And without question, the president will invoke that message at ceremonies in New York, Washington, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

What most of the world will pay attention to, however, is the president’s actions. 

Right now, after the catastrophic collapse of Afghanistan and the humiliating American retreat, Biden is attempting to salvage the protection of U.S. interests by engaging, enabling, and empowering the Taliban. 

To be fair, Biden is not alone. The Chinese, the Russians, some Europeans, and the U.N. general secretary are all lining to work with the new regime. 

The president may believe this is the safest, wisest course. But on its face, it looks like shameless appeasement.

The Taliban invaded a country and overthrew an elected government. Its human rights record is appalling. It dominates the illegal narcotics traffic in South Asia.

Engaging it would be like doing diplomacy with the cartels after they overthrew the Mexican government. The Taliban ought to be treated like an international outcast, not an acceptable government.

It is shocking how the standard-bearers of international “norms” can so blithely discard—well, international norms. In one stroke, they are doing more to undermine a responsible international order than the meanest of former President Donald Trump’s mean tweets ever did. 

Yet this is not the worst of where Biden is leading the international community. 

The Taliban has operational relationships with al-Qaeda, the Pakistan Intelligence Service, and the Haqqani network. Empowering it won’t cause it to relinquish these relationships. Indulging the Taliban will make it more resistant to Western pressure, not less. 

The Taliban won’t curtail transnational terrorist activities on its soil that don’t threaten the Taliban. It may whack some ISIS-K operatives, but it won’t interfere with the Haqqani or al-Qaeda. 

Al-Qaeda will see returning to Afghanistan as redemption, and planning the next 9/11 from there as a fulfillment of its historic mission. 

Armed with a stronger, more well-armed military, more money, and more international support, the Taliban will be less risk-averse in permitting transnational terrorism, not more. 

Biden has made the world less safe, and that is not the act that Americans deserved on the 20th anniversary of their struggle to ensure no more 9/11s.  

Originally published by 1945

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