September 11, 2017

Sixteen years after 9/11, are we any better at fighting terrorism?

By Stephen Tankel

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks — 16 years ago on Monday — President George W. Bush declared a war on terrorism that he pledged would not end until every terrorist group of global reach was defeated. Bush drew a line in the sand, telling every nation, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” The Bush administration was more flexible than this rhetoric suggested, but it still evinced a strong willingness to act unilaterally.

President Barack Obama sought to make U.S. counterterrorism efforts more sustainable, and thereby enable the United States to focus more on other challenges. To do this he not only pursued a more focused counterterrorism campaign than the Bush administration had, but also put an even greater emphasis on working with partners. This was intended to share the costs of counterterrorism and make gains more sustainable by giving partners ownership of the fight.

Read the full op-ed in the Washington Post.

  • Commentary
    • July 13, 2020
    Sharpening the U.S. Military’s Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration

    The Bottom Line The United States is losing its military technological advantage vis-à-vis great power competitors such as China. Reversing this trend must be DoD leadership’...

    By Michèle Flournoy & Gabrielle Chefitz

  • Reports
    • July 9, 2020
    Investing in Great-Power Competition

    Executive Summary This report asks whether the 2021 U.S. defense budget request is aligned with the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) in selecting priority capability inves...

    By Susanna V. Blume & Molly Parrish

  • Video
    • July 8, 2020
    Thomas Harker performing duties of DoD Comptroller

    Bob Hale, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, discusses how Thomas Harker will continue as Navy Comptroller while performing duties of the Under S...

    By Robert F. Hale

  • Video
    • June 24, 2020
    The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas

    On June 17, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Sixteen applicants made t...

    By Richard Fontaine, Michèle Flournoy, Michael J. Zak, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Shai Korman, Carrie Cordero, Kristine Lee, David Zikusoka & Cole Stevens

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia