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Bipartisan Policy Center: The Status of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations

Authors: Thomas H. Kean, and Lee H. Hamilton
August 31, 2011

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Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton of the Bipartisan Policy Center assess the progress of the 9/11 Commission recommendations.

Effect of the 9/11 Attacks

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, exacted a devastating toll on so many of our families, profoundly and dramatically transforming government, the private sector, and our daily lives. The suddenness of the attacks on American soil and the loss of so many lives made us feel vulnerable in our homes, and caused us to question whether our government was properly organized to protect us from this lethal threat. The economic damage resulting from the attacks was severe. In short order, we shifted from a "peace dividend" at the end of the Cold War to massive expenditures of taxpayer dollars on new security measures.

The human tragedy was, of course, the greatest loss. Nothing can replace the loved ones lost to that act of terrorism. But the consequences for our economy and the private sector have been striking. More than 80 percent of our nation's critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector, and protecting it from terrorist operations has become an urgent priority. Working together, the government and private sector have improved their information sharing and, therefore, our security posture.

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