Eight Years Later

Fallows on terrorism. Langewiesche on American Ground. Clarke on the future. Highlights from our coverage of the post 9/11 era.

American Ground (July/August-October 2002)
The inside story of a uniquely American response. By William Langewiesche
The [World Trade Center] recovery proceeded, not as a united or a heroic exercise but as a set of accommodations worked out among self-centered groups sharing a pragmatic understanding that this was an important job, and that it was primarily a physical one.

Declaring Victory (September 2006)
The United States is succeeding in its struggle against terrorism. The time has come to declare the war on terror over, so that an even more effective military and diplomatic campaign can begin. By James Fallows
Al-Qaeda's ability to inflict direct damage in America or on Americans has been sharply reduced. Its successor groups in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere will continue to pose dangers. But its hopes for fundamentally harming the United States now rest less on what it can do itself than on what it can trick, tempt, or goad us into doing. Its destiny is no longer in its own hands.

Ten Years Later (January/February 2005)
"Then the second wave of al-Qaeda attacks hit America." A leading expert on counterterrorism imagines the future history of the war on terror. A frightening picture of a country still at war in 2011. By Richard A. Clarke
If our nation's leaders had acted differently—sooner, smarter—we might have been able to contain what were at one time just a few radical jihadis, and to raise our defenses more effectively. Instead our leaders made the clash of cultures a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Futility of "Homeland Defense" (January/February 2002)
Don't even try to close the holes in a country, and a society, designed to be porous. By David Carr
In all the discussion of building a homeland-security apparatus, very little attention has been paid to the fundamental question of whether 100 percent more effort will make people even one percent safer.