RAND Summary of Post 9/11/01 Efforts

The Long Shadow of 9/11: America’s Response to Terrorism

Edited by Brian Michael Jenkins, John Godges


Contributors: Brian Michael Jenkins, John Godges, James Dobbins, Arturo Munoz, Seth G. Jones, Frederic Wehrey, Angel Rabasa, Eric V. Larson, Christopher Paul, Kim Cragin, Todd C. Helmus, Brian A. Jackson, K. Jack Riley, Gregory F. Treverton, Jeanne S. Ringel, Jeffrey Wasserman, Lloyd Dixon, Fred Kipperman, Robert T. Reville


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.


Full Document



Author Interviews



News Release







Table of Contents



Introduction: The Shadow of 9/11 Across America

By Brian Michael Jenkins and John Paul Godges, editors


Part One: Humbled by Hubris


The Costs of Overreaction by James Dobbins


A Long-Overdue Adaptation to the Afghan Environment by Arturo Munoz


Lessons from the Tribal Areas by Seth G. Jones


The Iraq War: Strategic Overreach by America—and also al Qaeda by Frederic Wehrey


Part Two: Hopeful amid Extreme Ideologies and Intense Fears


Where Are We in the “War of Ideas”? by Angel Rabasa


Al Qaeda’s Propaganda: A Shifting Battlefield by Eric V. Larson


Have We Succumbed to Nuclear Terror? by Brian Michael Jenkins


Part Three: Torn Between Physical Battles and Moral Conflicts


Winning Every Battle but Losing the War Against Terrorists and Insurgents by Christopher Paul


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


Our Own Behavior Can Be Our Weakest Link—or Our Strongest Weapon by Todd C. Helmus


Part Four: Driven by Unreasonable Demands


Don’t Let Short-Term Urgency Undermine a Long-Term Security Strategy by Brian A. Jackson


Flight of Fancy? Air Passenger Security Since 9/11 by K. Jack Riley


The Intelligence of Counterterrorism by Gregory F. Treverton


Part Five: Inspired to Build a Stronger America


The Public Health System in the Wake of 9/11: Progress Made and Challenges Remaining by Jeanne S. Ringel and Jeffrey Wasserman


The Link Between National Security and Compensation for Terrorism Losses by Lloyd Dixon, Fred Kipperman, and Robert T. Reville


The Land of the Fearful, or the Home of the Brave? by Brian Michael Jenkins


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