The Long Shadow of 9/11: America's Response to Terrorism

The Long Shadow of 9/11: America's Response to Terrorism

The Long Shadow of 9/11: America's Response to Terrorism

The Long Shadow of 9/11: America's Response to Terrorism

Synopsis

This book provides an array of answers to the question, In the ten years since the 9/11 attacks, how has America responded? In a series of essays, RAND authors lend a farsighted perspective to the national dialogue on 9/11's legacy; assess the military, political, fiscal, social, cultural, psychological, and moral implications of U.S. policymaking since 9/11; and suggest options for effectively dealing with the terrorist threat in the future.

Excerpt

It is, at this moment, nearly ten years since 9/11. The deadliest attacks in the annals of terrorism and the cause of the greatest bloodshed on American soil since the Civil War, the 9/11 attacks provoked the invasion of Afghanistan, which has become America’s longest war. The attacks also prompted America’s global campaign against terrorists and terrorism—a campaign that soon broadened to include the invasion of Iraq, a fundamental reorganization of the intelligence community, and a continuing national preoccupation with domestic security marked by the creation of a new national apparatus, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, dedicated to the protection of American citizens against terrorist attacks.

The death in May 2011 of Osama bin Laden, founder and leader of al Qaeda, who declared war on the United States in 1996 and who was the driving force behind the 9/11 attacks, would seem to bracket, if not the war on terrorism, at least an important chapter in that war. While the killing of bin Laden led to a brief display of national euphoria, few analysts—and none of the authors in this volume—believe that his death spells the end of al Qaeda or its terrorist campaign. His demise is a semicolon in the ongoing contest, not a period.

Al Qaeda’s future trajectory is not yet discernible. The organization has warned of retaliation and is under pressure to demonstrate to . . .

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