The new normal: at John F. Kennedy Airport, February 2012
Andrew Burton / Reuters

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the United States’ resolve was clear: never again. Never again would it let shadowy networks of jihadists, acting in the name of a perverted version of Islam, carry out a catastrophic attack on American soil. And so, in fits and starts, the George W. Bush administration and then the Obama administration developed a strategy for fighting what became known as “the global war on terror.” Washington sought to disrupt plots wherever they emerged and deny terrorists safe havens wherever they existed. When possible, it would rely on local partners to prosecute the fight. But when

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