The 2013 death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, confirmed this week, should have marked the end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. But the fates of the two main leaders identified as responsible for the 9/11 attacks—Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar—are only milestones. Thanks to the destructive nature of the U.S. war, many newer and more formidable enemies have emerged.
America’s first post-9/11 war, launched in Afghanistan in October 2001, is a grand symbol of our foreign policy failure. Fourteen years ago, Afghans were caught between two brutal and fundamentalist factions: the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. Today they are caught between four: the Taliban, government warlords who morphed from the Northern Alliance, U.S. forces and Islamic State.