September 06, 2011
What Killed the War on Terror?
The War on Terror lives on today only as political theater. Policymakers, from President Obama to Members of Congress, continue to fear the accusation of being "soft on terror," and hence continue to describe contemporary counterterrorism efforts in martial terms. Congress continues to legislate War on Terror approaches that the security establishment, for the most part, hasn't asked for and, in some cases, has even explicitly rejected.
But while the political class remains stuck in the past, the security establishment has moved on. Virtually all of the progress that U.S. authorities have made in dismantling al Qaeda and countering terrorism has been accomplished in spite of, not because of the War on Terror. As we consider the future of U.S. counterterrorism after Bin Laden, we would do well to consider what we have learned from the evolving security response to the 9/11 attacks, and how those lessons might keep us safer in a world where the War on Terror may be over but the threat of terrorism still remains.
Read our whole piece at The Atlantic.