Seven years ago on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, America was changed forever. The peace and calm in New York and Washington, D.C., was shattered by terrorist hijackers. With it came the realization we faced a long war to defeat terrorism and preserve freedom.
Heritage’s James Jay Carafano says America is better prepared to deal with the threat of transnational terrorism than it was on 9/11, he explained in a paper marking last year’s anniversary. However, there’s no question the threat still remains. Carafano says these three facts are true today:
- Dealing with transnational terrorism takes time and patience. America must adapt to changing threats because of the nature of the enemy.
- Washington too often lets bad habits become standard operating procedure. Change comes slowly in the nation’s capital, but it shouldn’t be the reason our homeland security is jeopardized. Policymakers need to fix what’s not working.
- Strategy is an essential part of the long war, and policymakers must consider the implications of their actions. Keeping America safe, free and prosperous requires a focused effort, attention and resources in pursuit of national objectives.
While 9/11 offers an opportunity to reassess our safety and security, more importantly it is a time to reflect on the lives lost to despicable acts of terror. Today marks the dedication of a memorial at the Pentagon for the 184 people who were killed when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building. For all of the people who perished on 9/11 in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., may you rest in peace.