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Remembering 9/11, 20 Years Later

Perspectives and insights from USAWC SSI faculty reviewing the events prior to and following September 11, 2001.
  •  “Après Nous, le Déluge” | Mason

    “Après Nous, le Déluge” | Mason

    The Taliban have retaken control of Afghanistan. The quixotic, United States-led, 20-year nation-building project in Afghanistan is over. “I . . . don’t think anyone thought Afghanistan would turn so badly so quick,” a US official is quoted as saying recently.1 If that is true, then no one read my book, The Strategic Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Why the Afghan National Security Forces Will Not Hold, which in fact predicted these events in detail six years ago.2 As I watched yet another foreign country imagined by the United States collapse and another foreign military built by the US Army disintegrate, ...
  •  “Never Forget”: 9/11 Then and Now—Thoughts on Readiness | Lohmann

    “Never Forget”: 9/11 Then and Now—Thoughts on Readiness | Lohmann

    On the morning of September 11, 2001, I stopped by the post office on my way to the newsroom of the Washington, DC–based newspaper where I worked as an editorial writer. I wanted to mail a postcard of the World Trade Center, where I had just been for an interview with a foreign dignitary a few days before. “This no longer exists,” the postal employee said as he looked at the postcard I had shoved into his hand. “Word is, next plane is headed for the Capitol,” he said, cranking up the radio. A few short minutes later, I watched plumes of smoke from the Pentagon clog up the horizon as I drove ...
  •  9/11 and the Army Reserve: The Strategic Shift | Lawrence

    9/11 and the Army Reserve: The Strategic Shift | Lawrence

    The 9/11 attacks’ effects on the United States and its foreign policies cannot be understated. The United States, in essence, lost its innocence that day and has never been the same. The attacks spurred changes in the way the United States handles national security, secures air transportation, and shares intelligence. The attacks also resulted in, directly and indirectly, two major armed conflicts that lasted the next two decades. These conflicts served as the catalyst for the most significant strategic shift in the US Army Reserve’s history—the organization’s transformation from ...
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Special Commentary COVID-19

SSI research professors and faculty consider the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term, strategic implications for the U.S. Army and national security.  Each essay provides an independent, specialized view on a particular aspect of the challenges posed by COVID-19 and includes recommendations on how the Army and DoD should address those issues.

  •  The Impact of COVID-19 on Civil-Military Relations

    The Impact of COVID-19 on Civil-Military Relations

    The Impact of COVID-19 on Civil-Military Relations https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/ Dr. C. Anthony Pfaff There has been a great deal of speculation regarding how the current COVID-19 pandemic could affect civil-military relations in the United States. Oona Hathaway observes that after the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001, which killed approximately three thousand Americans, the United States “radically re-oriented” its security priorities and embarked on a two-decade-long global war on terror that cost $2.8 trillion from 2002 to 2017. Given that COVID-19 could kill more than one hundred thousand Americans, she argues that it is time to re-orient those priorities again.
  •  Tell Me How This Ends: The US Army in the Pandemic Era

    Tell Me How This Ends: The US Army in the Pandemic Era

    Tell Me How This Ends: The US Army in the Pandemic Era US Army Heritage and Education Center Historical Services Division https://ahec.armywarcollege.edu/ Prepared by: Conrad C. Crane, PhD: Chief, Historical Svcs. Div. Michael E. Lynch, PhD: Senior Historian Jessica J. Sheets, PhD: Research Historian Douglas I. Bell, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow Shane P. Reilly: Contract Research Analyst Executive Summary After the 9/11 attacks, Americans yearned for a “return to normal.” The normal they longed for was the world as it was on September 10th, or status quo ante. That was impossible, however, because the events of that day irrevocably changed the world. The new normal, the status quo post, was the world as it was after 9/11. The same must be said for COVID-19. . .. We cannot return to the world before we understood the terms “social distance,” “herd immunity,” or “flatten the curve.” The coronavirus behaves as the Spanish flu virus did in 1918-1919, then a third wave might be expected as well. Army was not prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, but neither was the nation nor the world. Given the information now known about the virus and the expert predictions that a second wave might occur soon, the Army is better prepared to plan for potentially operating under pandemic conditions. Experts warn that a true second wave arriving in the fall or winter could be much worse than the first. If the
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