With the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11 on the calendar this year, we should expect a number of different reflections in the coming months. Foreign Policy magazine seems to have beat everyone to the punch, and with a particularly appropriate title -- "The FP Survey: Terrorism" -- the resulting report is scary.
The survey itself is a bit cumbersome to read in one sitting as it synthesizes many voices and perspectives. If you need to know just one thing about the state of terrorism in 2011, it's this:
A strong majority also predicted that there will be another terror attack in the United States or Europe in the next year. Given that a botched terrorist attack took place in Stockholm, a plot was averted to mount a "Mumbai-style" attack in Copenhagen, and a dozen suspected terrorists were arrested in the United Kingdom -- all since the survey was completed -- the experts were, unfortunately, probably right about this.
Keep Calm And Carry On would be too easy a cliché to use, so I'll lean on the Atlantic's experts-complete-a-sentence exercise for the take-away. Prompted with:
If we could have done one thing differently since Sept. 11, we should have _______________.
NBC terrorism analyst Roger Cressey answered quite simply:
... we should have kept our focus on Afghanistan and finished the job there.