Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years After September 11: Who's Really Winning the War On Terrorism

"And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?"

--Francis Scott Key, "Star-Spangled Banner"

By Barry Rubin

 Ten years after September 11, when the very phrase “war on terrorism” is barred from U.S. government usage by the president, we are told that the United States has won or is already victorious. After all, there has been no major attack on U.S. soil in a decade and al-Qaida is weaker with many of its leaders, including Usama bin Ladin, dead.

"Where is that band"? According to the official line, pretty much destroyed. We won, perhaps except for a few "lone wolves." But before the victory parades are held, let’s understand this: The war on terrorism, like that phrase itself, has been largely defined out of existence, not won.

 Let’s be clear. Al-Qaida attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon to achieve several goals:

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