Richard N. Haass argues that 9/11 was a terrible tragedy by any measure, but it was not a historical turning point that heralded a new era of international relations in which terrorists with a global agenda prevailed, or in which such spectacular terrorist attacks became commonplace.
President Obama gave these remarks on September 11, 2011, in Washington, DC. He also gave a weekly address that "pays tribute to the first responders, those who have served, and those who lost their lives ten years ago in the September 11th attacks".
This public law, 107-40 [S. J. RES. 23], was passed by Congress on September 14, 2001 and signed by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001. The law authorized U.S. armed forces to use "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001".
This video is part of a special Council on Foreign Relations series that explores how 9/11 changed international relations and U.S. foreign policy. In this video, James M. Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair at the Council on Foreign Relations traces the shifts in the balance of power in American politics following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "What we witnessed in the months after the attack was a political dynamic as old as the American republic. When the country feels imperiled, the White House gains in power and Congress loses it," says Lindsay. However, ten years after the attacks, "the era of terrorism has given way to the era of fiscal austerity," Lindsay argues, and "we now have American politics that looks more normal, that is much more focused inward, and features much more heated battles between Capitol Hill and the White House."
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, explores the lasting impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax attacks that followed on disaster preparedness and health policy in the United States. Garrett argues that "all our readiness response depends on well-funded police, well-funded fire departments, well-funded hospitals, well-funded public health infrastructures, and precisely the opposite is where we are going right now." Garrett cautions that U.S. preparedness for a major terrorist attack may be decreasing. "As budgets are being cut at the federal level, the state level, and the local level, we're actually less ready than we were in 2001," Garrett says.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.