As the United States commemorates 20 years since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, images of the Taliban returning to power in Afghanistan fill the screens. The War in Afghanistan has led to 241,000 deaths, displaced 5.9 million Afghans and cost $2.3 trillion. So much blood and treasure lost is arguably the greatest legacy of 9/11 and the “global war on terror”. But it is hardly the only one, nor the one that may be the longest lasting.
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Ameem Lutfi is a research fellow at the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore. Kevin L. Schwartz is a research fellow at the Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences. Together they co-founded and co-direct the 9/11 Legacies project.