Gayle Tzemach Lemmon questions whether America’s post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will retake center stage with the potential appointment of a military leader to secretary of defense. According to Lemmon, “If confirmed, Mattis…would force Americans to confront these conflicts at a time when the United States has done a good job forgetting to feel like a country at war.”
In this special edition, CFR's Director of Studies James Lindsay, CFR.org Managing Editor Robert McMahon, and Adjunct Senior Fellow Carla Anne Robbins examine the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
On July 22, 2014, Former 9/11 Commission Members released a report through the Bipartisan Policy Center, titled: "Today's Rising Terrorist Threat and the Danger to the United States: Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of The 9/11 Commission Report."
"In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the 'war on terror.'"
The NSA revelations have already resulted in policy changes, but this will not be Edward Snowden's most meaningful impact. Rather, "The default appeal to 9/11 and vague warnings of terrorism that Bush and Obama administration officials relied upon to shape opinions and silence critics is no longer sufficient or acceptable," writes Micah Zenko.
New York Times Chief Washington Correspondant David Sanger interviewed Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter during the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, on July 18, 2013. They discussed military strategy transitioning from two wars, cybersecurity forces, sequestration, nuclear weapons, and intelligence leaks.
The answer is simple: 9/11. The most costly terrorist attack ever was carried out from Afghanistan. The United States showed bipartisan determination to bring the perpetrators to justice and—the part that explains our continuing engagement in Afghanistan—to prevent its soil from ever being used again to stage terrorist attacks.
The war on terror may be over, but it's left behind a terrible human rights legacy--and Barack Obama has done very little about it, says James Traub, a fellow at the Center on International Cooperation.
Laurie Garrett discusses the tenth anniversary of the post-9/11 anthrax attacks and argues, ""If 9/11 marked the single most powerful moment of American unity since Pearl Harbor, the anthrax mailings ushered the opposite..."