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After 9/11, We Thought It Would Be a Generation-Long Struggle; We Were Wrong

After 9/11, We Thought It Would Be a Generation-Long Struggle; We Were WrongIn the halls of the White House, President George W. Bush was asking us similar questions, and the administration, which was itself just beginning to understand the phenomenon that al-Qaeda represented, gave some frank answers. In a speech to Congress nine days after the attacks, Bush predicted “a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen,” without a decisive victory when the enemy surrenders. We have now fought al-Qaeda and its progeny for most of a generation, and there is no reason to believe that the threat they represent will disappear in five years or a decade.

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