As the mid-term election approaches, both the Democrats and Republicans are trading accusations as they attempt to paint themselves as the one party that can truly protect the United States from terrorism. This rhetoric has only grown louder with the passing of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. It seems appropriate therefore, to reflect as a community on events since that Fall morning and ask ourselves, “are we safer?”
The administration and congress have allocated billions to protecting transportation centers, government buildings and other critical infrastructure. Despite these expenditures, many experts argue that gaping holes exist in our nation’s defenses and that more needs to be done. Should we be spending more money or directing our current resources to different areas? Is it realistic to expect to counter all threats, or should we be allocating our resources in a more strategic fashion to counter those most likely to be exploited?
Britain’s recent success in thwarting an alleged attack against airlines over the Atlantic has served to emphasize that the threat of terrorism is still very real. Yet there is evidence that our efforts to counter al Queda have had great success. A decentralized network of terrorists, not answering to a central command, is on the rise. Does this development demand a different approach to preventing attacks? Would a shift in emphasis from military to diplomatic tactics perhaps prove to be more effective?
Join us this week at Café Society to share your thoughts on the “war on terror.”
- Gauging the “War on Terror”
- Fact Sheet: The President’s National Strategy for Combating Terrorism
- The Terrorism Index
- Fatal Vision
- Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?
For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.