If you are going to lie to the American people keep it simple. We accept simple endlessly. The US government under Republican and Democratic presidents has invaded, occupied and killed literally unknown numbers of men, women and children 'over there'. The sheer number of these murderous attacks, invasions and occupations has raised the inconvenient truth that providing a convenient lie justifying each and every use of force might soon be questioned even by so compliant and complacent a citizenry as we represent. So, what to do? Of course, why not use the same rationale, the same justification for all the killing we engage in 'over there'? This precludes any confusion, assures acceptance of all attacks, killings and invasions and occupations. Hence, today, these things must be done to protect us from al Qaeda. This nonsense was the primary reason that 9/11 was carried out against us--a kind of psychological shock and awe that had the effect of fostering in the collective psyche acceptance of our government striking out and using violence against anyone they labeled al Qaeda. This amazing mind-control exercise has been a great success for more than twenty years thanks to the compliant and complacent citizenry.
You do know, do you not, that the FBI would not place Osama bin Laden on the most-wanted list after the 9/11 event not because they did not want to; rather, not being politicians, they would have had to provide the proof that did not exist? To this point: not bin Laden, nor anyone in Guantanamo, nor a single American citizen, nor any citizens around the world had ever heard of al Qaeda 'prior'!! to 9/11. The only exception was the CIA who coined the expression. To be clear, a terrorist organization that was non-existent prior to 9/11 could not be responsible for that event. (check with the FBI)
And so here we go again. We must be soooo careful when leaving Afghanistan because al Qaeda might return. Al Qaeda was not in Afghanistan when we used that universal justification to invade, occupy and depose the Taliban. FYI: the FBI confirmed that at least five of the so-called hijackers complained to their governments or media that they were on the twenty-count hijacker list the FBI compiled. This was post 9/11. The FBI explained that Arab names are difficult to keep track of. They did include clear photos of these men--what nonsense!
Anyway, al Qaeda, the universal justification, is not a meaningful concern to justify slowing our departure from Afghanistan. The Taliban are a ridiculous, theocratic organization that is hostile to education and women's rights However they are Afghan people who will run the country. There will be conflict and violence as a new normal is established as is always the case when the stability of a nation is disrupted for--in this case--God knows what reasons. Likely the two trillion dollars siphoned from our treasury to contractors and to carry out killing. Clearly, 'al Qaeda' is a blessing for some--profoundly sick.