Al Qaeda in Iraq was a major force and continues to conduct horrible attacks on civilians. They weren't there when we invaded, but from 2004 to 2009, it would be accurate to claim to our soldiers in Iraq were fighting Al Qaeda. The Afghanistan-Pakistan border area is also home to a lot of Al Qaeda forces, who get their support from the Taliban. And of course, even if the Taliban was willing to renounce terrorism, we would be morally remiss in letting them have free reign to brutally oppress women and massacre minorities in Afghanistan. Holding our security forces in 2001 to the same standard as in 2009 is nonsensical. In 2001, we didn't even have a DHS yet, and TSA was about a month old.