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SPECIAL PREVIEW: What We Got Right in the War on Terror

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I’ve written an article for the  September issue of COMMENTARY on the ways in which the United States has successfully prosecuted the war on terror. We have just released it online. I hope you enjoy it:

1. Closure

On May 1, 2011, U.S. Navy SEALs put one bullet through the chest and one through the head of Osama bin Laden—nine years, seven months, and 20 days after al-Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people in the name of Islam. Historical eras are rarely framed as neatly as this. Though not precisely a decade after 9/11, the secret mission in Pakistan on May 1 was close enough to impose some poetic shape on the period in which the United States first fought back against Islamist terrorism.

Within minutes, discussion of Bin Laden’s death was dominated by a term not common to war-making or foreign policy, but one crucial to wellness and pop-psychology spheres: closure. “New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.” New York Senator Chuck Schumer sounded a similar note: “This at least brings some measure of closure and consolation to the victims and their families.” Across the Hudson, in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie commented on the “extraordinary sense of closure” brought about by the killing.

Read the rest of this COMMENTARY Special Preview here.



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