Are we really safer from terrorism 20 years after 9/11?

Posted By on September 11, 2021

The news media has been doing their part this week to remember the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and memorializing the 2977 people killed by 19 radical Islamist terrorists. Twenty years ago, four commercial airliners loaded with unsuspecting passengers were hijacked and the fuel-ladened planes were used as suicide weapons. WTCTowers911To the world’s horror, they took down both World Trade Center buildings in NYC, slammed into the Pentagon in Washington DC and thankfully due to the heroics of passengers who charged the cockpit, crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It was a day that in hindsight should have never happened … considering what we knew about previous terror attacks and radical groups like Al-Qaeda lead by Osama bin Laden.

America united after 9/11 and went to war with those who planned and assisted those who attacked us. The brazen attack against America pulled America and western allies together, but into a costly 20 year campaign to eliminate those who use terrorism in the Middle East and “the land of endless war,” Afghanistan. Some objectives were met such as capturing the principal architect in 2003, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and killing Osama bin Laden in 2011. Our military, homeland security teams and intelligence agencies also kept Americans safe from any major terrorist attack … but the winds have changed in recent years. America has grown tired of war in Afghanistan and our botched departure has given rapid rise to a Taliban controlled (and now US equipped) militant tribal dictatorship who’s leaders have been emboldened by their victory over the weak Afghan government and U.S. forces scrambling to leave the country. Once again, conditions are ripe for radical Islamists who will likely train and equip terror cells plotting to kill Americans and all who oppose their radical ideology.

Photo: Petr Kratochvil

Some politicians will try to manipulate this 20th anniversary of 9/11 and pat themselves on the back for ending America’s war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it is hard to reflect on the 9//11 attack in the way the “greatest generation” did on Pearl Harbor and our victory over Japan in World War 2 … those rose-colored glasses don’t exist. Would it have been so inappropriate to have a presence (Bagram) to squelch build-ups, training camps or refuges for terrorists set on attacking us again? We left bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc? 

Perhaps today we are more alert and better equipped to defend our homeland, but who can be sure while watching streams of people (and drugs) flood across our southern border, seeing the infighting between citizens and politicians concerned more concerned about renaming schools, teaching CRT, using gender correct pronouns or who is or isn’t wearing a face mask. For me, it is hard to really feel secure or optimistic that we’ll be able to defend against the next sophisticated or creative terror attack … or to believe we are safer at home after leaving Afghanistan the way we did?


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