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We Must Never Forget 9/11 or the Lessons We Learned From It

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Unread 09.11.19, 07:25 PM
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We Must Never Forget 9/11 or the Lessons We Learned From It

On 09.11.19 10:59 AM posted by David Inserra

Wednesday marks the 18th anniversary of 9/11. On that day, terroristskilled nearly 3,000people in attacks against the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on Flight93.

The U.S. mindset irreversibly changed that day. No longerdid we perceive a world largely at peace following the end of the Cold War. Instead,evil came and found us.

The warning signs had been there for years. The World TradeCenter was first bombed in 1993. Also during the ’90s, U.S. embassies andmilitary assets overseas had been attacked.

The Taliban had sunk Afghanistan into poverty, violence, andreligious persecution and was already known to provide a safe haven for al-Qaeda.We even knew some of the men who would become 9/11 hijackers and had bits ofinformation about them and their possible activities.

Since that fateful day 18 years ago, we have revolutionizedthe way we combat terrorism.

The government has invested significantly in intelligenceprograms to find and stop terrorists, both at home and abroad. We’ve creatednew government agencies—most notably the Department of Homeland Security—tocarry out a variety of security functions.

Counterterrorism is now one of the FBI’s primary tasks. Wehave fought long wars and run counterinsurgency operations to depriveterrorists of a sanctuary to train and plot future attacks.

Two lessons stand out above the rest: Law enforcement andintelligence agencies must work together to thwart terror at home, and we mustdeny safe spaces to terrorists abroad.

Yet over time, there is a tendency to forget these lessons.

Take for example law enforcement cooperation and informationsharing. The FBI has set up Joint Terrorism Task Forces across the country.These are groups of federal, state, and local law enforcement that worktogether on counterterrorism.

These task forces have carried out countless investigationsand arrests of terrorists who would have done our country harm.

But SanFrancisco and Portlandhave recently chosen to withdraw from their task forces to score politicalpoints, putting their citizens in harm’s way.

Similarly, when Congress debates various intelligenceprograms, it should be careful to avoid putting up barriers or weakening ourcapabilities in ways that will slow the sharing and use of criticalinformation.

Abroad, some Americans would prefer we stop engaging incostly wars—and understandably so. That desire is perfectly illustrated byrecent discussions over a potential dealwith the Taliban and the withdrawal of troops for Afghanistan. (Thatpotential deal has fallen through for now.)

Of course, we should be willing to negotiate an end toconflict if we believe it might actually result in lasting peace. But if we justwalk away and signal that we want out at all costs, we send the Taliban andothers a message: that they can return to their malicious activity unabated.

That’s a bad deal for American security, and a bad deal isworse than the status quo.

Let’s be attentive to these lessons in the fight againstterrorism moving forward. They will serve us well, and they’re the best way tomake sure 9/11 doesn’t happen again.

The post We Must Never Forget 9/11 or the Lessons We Learned From It appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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