Lessons For the Next Twenty Years: What We’ve Learned in the Two Decades Since 9/11 Introduction

Lessons for the Next Twenty Years: What We’ve
Learned in the Two Decades Since 9/11
Matthew L. Kronisch, 9/11 Special Edition Editor*
Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded
with the best of America—with the daring of our rescue workers, with the car-
ing for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way
they could . . . The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts.
I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement com-
munities to f‌ind those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make
no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who
harbor them.
With these words, President George W. Bush set in motion efforts that would
lead the United States and partner nations into twenty years of armed conf‌lict,
resulting in over seven thousand U.S. and allied killed in action, over f‌ifty thou-
sand U.S. wounded, and hundreds of thousands of dead civilians worldwide.
A few months later, he would again honor the nearly three thousand victims of
9/11, recognizing that “Every one of the innocents who died on September the
was the most important person on earth to somebody. Every death extin-
guished a world.”
The War on Terror followed, and the ensuing twenty years saw the United States
expend over six trillion dollars of U.S. military and foreign assistance appropria-
tions, establish military commissions and a detention camp at Guantanamo Bay,
l A project of Syracuse University’s Institute for Security Policy and Law, published as a special
edition of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy. © 2021, Matthew L. Kronisch.
* Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law. He
is on detail from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where he established the intelligence law
practice in 2003 and has served as Associate General Counsel for Intelligence since 2005. A retired
Navy Judge Advocate, he was appointed to the career Senior Executive Service in 2006. The author is
indebted to Judge James E. Baker, Director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and
Law (SPL) for bringing him to Syracuse, and thanks Judge Baker for inspiring and supporting his
undertaking the Lessons Learned Since 9/11 Project. The author is grateful to Professor Keli Perrin of
SPL for sharing her valuable insights. Finally, the author thanks Editor-in-Chief Bill Banks and
Managing Editor Todd Huntley of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy for their enthusiastic
support of this project. All opinions expressed in this introduction are those of the author and do not
represent the off‌icial position or views of DHS or any other U.S. Government agency.
1. Address to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks, 2 PUB. PAPERS 1099 (Sept. 11, 2001).
2. Remarks at a September 11 Remembrance Ceremony, 2 PUB. PAPERS 1500 (Dec. 11, 2001).

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT