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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.

  •  Scenarios for a Post-COVID Middle East

    Scenarios for a Post-COVID Middle East

    Scenarios for a Post-COVID Middle East https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/ Dr. Christopher J. Bolan It is worth approaching an assessment of the likely impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Middle East with a strong dose of humility. Nonetheless, it is clear that the spread of this disease has already had major impacts on the global economy, drastically reducing demand for Middle East oil exports, and leading to a historic collapse in oil prices. The immediate challenges of dealing with the monumental health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19 will add to the troubles of a region already burdened by multiple civil wars, poorly performing economies, growing civil discontent, and intensified sectarian divisions. This article offers a preliminary assessment of the potential impacts of COVID-19 on the security landscape of the Middle East and advances recommendations for how US military strategy and operations might adapt.
  •  Recruiting in a Post-COVID-19 World

    Recruiting in a Post-COVID-19 World

    Recruiting in a Post-COVID-19 World https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/ COL Matt Lawrence The COVID-19 pandemic is going to change military recruiting. Recently, the Army and its sister forces have been forced to recruit virtually and have slowed processing through basic training. The Army has been vague about its recruiting goals, instead focusing on end strength, so it will not have to deal with the fanfare of missing its mission as it did in 2018. But the virus and its effects will actually help recruiting in the future. There was a storm gathering for recruiters, as the number of target youth would decrease in the years 2026-2031—a result of a decreased birth rate through the 2008 financial crisis and its fallout. Competition was going to be fierce with businesses and higher education.
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