The U.S. Is Not Ready for the Next 9/11
With all of the missteps preceding the failed Christmas day bombing, one has to ask whether the United States- eight years after September 11, 2001- is really up to the challenge. According to reporting from Newsweek (can be seen here), Time Magazine, Foreign Policy Magazine, and a whole host of other media outlets, the answer is an overwhelming no. The U.S. may be succeeding against terrorist networks overseas…as is evident in the CIA’s drone-program over Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. But this same government is not performing up to par on the defensive side of the conflict.
As was said by General David Petraeus, the War on Terrorism cannot be won solely by killing a few operatives and hoping that a network unravels as a result. The only way this conflict can be won- or at least tolerated- is through a multifaceted approach.
Tactical strikes on Al’Qaeda affiliates in Pakistan and Somalia are fine, but as long as our domestic intelligence service is entangled within a web of bureaucracy, we might as well be living like September 11 never happened.
What is more, Washington needs to take a more preventive approach against terrorism in the long-run. Economic development, transparency in government, and job opportunities may be able to cut terrorism at its roots. Civilian help is a vital part of an effective counterterrorism policy; one that actually keeps this country somewhat safe.
-Daniel R. DePetris