Asking the Right Questions
With the end of the Bush administration coming into view and the threat of terrorism still pressing, there is a real need for a comprehensive reassessment of the U.S.-led "war on terror." The next administration will need a firm grasp of the nature of the challenge, a precise understanding of its predecessor's strategy, and a realistic plan for achieving better results.
Fundamental questions remain. In what sense, for example, do the events since the attacks of September 11, 2001, constitute a "war"? Who or what is the enemy? How can one judge success or failure? How serious are the threats to and the vulnerabilities of the U.S. homeland, and what should be done to address them? And how should the competing claims of foreign and domestic policies, economic and security interests, and American and foreign sensibilities be reconciled?
There is much to learn from the
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