Abstract

This book provides a multifaceted array of answers to the question, In the ten years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, how has America responded? In a series of essays, RAND authors lend a farsighted perspective to the national dialogue on 9/11's legacy. The essays assess the military, political, fiscal, social, cultural, psychological, and even moral implications of U.S. policymaking since 9/11. Part One of the book addresses the lessons learned from America's accomplishments and mistakes in its responses to the 9/11 attacks and the ongoing terrorist threat. Part Two explores reactions to the extreme ideologies of the terrorists and to the fears they have generated. Part Three presents the dilemmas of asymmetrical warfare and suggests ways to resolve them. Part Four cautions against sacrificing a long-term strategy by imposing short-term solutions, particularly with respect to air passenger security and counterterrorism intelligence. Finally, Part Five looks at the effects of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. public health system, at the potential role of compensation policy for losses incurred by terrorism, and at the possible long-term effects of terrorism and counterterrorism on American values, laws, and society.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The Shadow of 9/11 Across America

    Brian Michael Jenkins and John Paul Godges

  • Part One

    Humbled by Hubris

    • Chapter One

      The Costs of Overreaction

      James Dobbins

    • Chapter Two

      A Long-Overdue Adaptation to the Afghan Environment

      Arturo Muñoz

    • Chapter Three

      Lessons from the Tribal Areas

      Seth G. Jones

    • Chapter Four

      The Iraq War: Strategic Overreach by America — and Also al Qaeda

      Frederic Wehrey

  • Part Two

    Hopeful amid Extreme Ideologies and Intense Fears

    • Chapter Five

      Where Are We in the "War of Ideas"?

      Angel Rabasa

    • Chapter Six

      Al Qaeda's Propaganda: A Shifting Battlefield

      Eric V. Larson

    • Chapter Seven

      Have We Succumbed to Nuclear Terror?

      Brian Michael Jenkins

  • Part Three

    Torn Between Physical Battles and Moral Conflicts

    • Chapter Eight

      Winning Every Battle but Losing the War Against Terrorists and Insurgents

      Christopher Paul

    • Chapter Nine

      The Strategic Dilemma of Terrorist Havens Calls for Their Isolation, Not Elimination

      Kim Cragin

    • Chapter Ten

      Our Own Behavior Can Be Our Weakest Link — or Our Strongest Weapon

      Todd C. Helmus

  • Part Four

    Driven by Unreasonable Demands

    • Chapter Eleven

      Don't Let Short-Term Urgency Undermine a Long-Term Security Strategy

      Brian A. Jackson

    • Chapter Twelve

      Flight of Fancy? Air Passenger Security Since 9/11

      K. Jack Riley

    • Chapter Thirteen

      The Intelligence of Counterterrorism

      Gregory F. Treverton

  • Part Five

    Inspired to Build a Stronger America

    • Chapter Fourteen

      The Public Health System in the Wake of 9/11: Progress Made and Challenges Remaining

      Jeanne S. Ringel and Jeffrey Wasserman

    • Chapter Fifteen

      The Link Between National Security and Compensation for Terrorism Losses

      Lloyd Dixon, Fred Kipperman, and Robert T. Reville

    • Chapter Sixteen

      The Land of the Fearful, or the Home of the Brave?

      Brian Michael Jenkins

Book Review Excerpts

"The attacks on 9/11 set in motion a great array of changes in America. These essays capture this upheaval, but better still they do something RAND is so well positioned to do: They provide expert assessments of where our responses are strong, where they have fallen short, and how we need to change yet more."

- Richard J. Danzig, Chairman, Center for a New American Security, and Former U.S. Secretary of the Navy

"This book is a much-needed call to mark this anniversary by reassessing those things we now accept as common wisdom. The perspectives and insights in these essays are inadequately reflected in the current discussion and debate."

- Suzanne E. Spaulding, Former Executive Director, National Commission on Terrorism; and Former Executive Director, Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

"Despite the killing of Osama bin Laden and the advent of the 'Arab Spring,' America will continue to need an effective counterterrorist strategy. These papers provide a good outline of the progress America has made in a number of vital areas."

- L. Paul Bremer III, Former Chairman, National Commission on Terrorism, and Former Head, Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq

Funding for this book was made possible by RAND's Investment in People and Ideas program, which combines philanthropic contributions from individuals, foundations, and private-sector firms with earnings from RAND's endowment and operations to support innovative research on issues crucial to the policy debate but that reach beyond the boundaries of traditional client sponsorship.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.