In 2004 our nation's leaders were admitting that the war on terror would probably last a generation or more, even as they continued to argue among themselves about thether it could ever truly be won. What is you opinion on this? If they had acted diferently - sooner, smarter - would we have been able to contain what were at on time just a few radical jihadis, and raise our defenses more effectively?
The answer depends on several different issues, buried both in the background and in the perceptions of terrorists. First, what constitutes a few radical jihadis? It only took one to plan and put into effect the first World Trade Center bombing. While there were others who joined and participated, it was the vision and planning of minimal people. This was ten years before the second bombing. Additionally, there were many terrorist acts around the world during the years after the first bombing in the United States. It actually seemed an isolated work. And the government did target the mastermind of the second bombing attack, well before the attack.
In the years of Clinton, there was an obvious pursuit of ideology in Africa. Many trips, aid, support all were targeting a region that we now know were hosting training and terror groups. This was not an accident on the administration's list of priorities. The intelligence and foresight meant that there were issues and problems to be addressed in areas where poverty and religious freedoms are often apparent in the culture.
Perception is a good reason to question the soon, smarter idea. Perception seemed to be that the terrorists ...
A discussion on the threat of terrorists and if it could have been avoided by acting sooner.