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As the nation witnesses the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, it might be worthwhile to assess the steps the United States has taken since the passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (1) and the USA PATRIOT Act (2)--to combat future acts of terrorism against the United States. Ten years ago I wrote an Essay for this Journal calling for the federal government to unleash one of its under-used resources, the CIA. (3) In the years since that Essay, the CIA has experienced some astonishing successes--spy commandos and drone warfare--and some troubling failures-extraordinary rendition and enhanced interrogation--on an operational level. Bureaucratically the intelligence community has been shuffled and reshuffled, adding new layers of management but not necessarily making the intelligence community more effective. The joint CIA and Navy SEAL operation of May 2, 2011, which resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden, (4) offers an opportunity to examine U.S. intelligence efforts to combat terrorism in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Ten years after September 11, there has not been an attack in the United States on a similar scale since that horrific day. We have experienced near misses, such as the failures of both the underwear bomber on Christmas Day, 2009 (5) and the Times Square bomber in May 2010. (6) We experienced the shootings of twelve soldiers by an Arab-American military psychiatrist at Fort Hood Army base in November 2009, (7) although it is not clear that attack was terrorist-inspired. Nonetheless, there have not been any recurrences of terrorist killing in the United States on a mass scale. Why? A simple answer is that we are no longer the unaware, unprotected country we were in early September 2001. Airport security procedures are more elaborate, and the notion of "if you see something, say something" (8) has become widespread. Nonetheless, it is important to ask if we have just been fortunate or if we are demonstrably better at international counterterrorism.

Professionnel et technique
1 janvier
Harvard Society for Law and Public Policy, Inc.

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