Scoring the War on Terrorism

The United States has made considerable--even surprising--progress in defeating a skilled and vast enemy. Nevertheless, the job is far from complete.

Issue: Summer 2003

Judging from recent headlines, things are going pretty well in the
war on terrorism. In his State of the Union address, President Bush
declared, "We have the terrorists on the run. We're keeping them on
the run. One by one, the terrorists are learning the meaning of
American justice." Several months later, Attorney General John
Ashcroft unabashedly claimed, "We are winning the war on terrorism."
Praise is also flowing from outside the government. Writing in the
Washington Post, David Ignatius portrays an Al-Qaeda that is
intimidated, divided, demoralized and reduced in both capacity and
morale. Apparently, even the long-term looks bright. Max Boot
contends that "the prospect of spending the rest of their lives in
Guantanamo Bay may even dissuade some of the more faint-hearted
Islamists from taking up arms." Highlighting this progress was the
March arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohamed--the latest, and perhaps most

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