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Lessons in counterterrorism ten years after 9/11: What works and what doesn’t

September 7, 2011 Comments off

Lessons in counterterrorism ten years after 9/11: What works and what doesn’t (PDF)
Source: National Security Network

Ten years ago, America and the world were shocked by the most horrific foreign attack on U.S. soil in our history. In the decade since we have learned a great deal about ourselves, about how to handle the terrorist threat and about what works and doesn’t work in combating terrorism.

In this time, we have seen that a whole-of-government counterterrorism approach, and a commitment to a global, not unilateral, response put al Qaeda on the run; that terrorizing ourselves only hands terrorists a victory; that we have the tools and institutions to bring terrorists to justice; and that local communities and diverse citizens are a vital source of strength.

One theme that runs through these lessons is the strength of America’s institutions: from the Constitution and courts to values and national resolve. Another important lesson is the role of the American people. Terrorism by definition is meant to cause fear and terror among the public at large. Confidence in our values and institutions are a time-tested and valuable weapon against terror. As we honor those who have served and those who we lost, perhaps most important, is that we deny terrorists victory by staying true to who we Americans are.

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