The Road To 9/11
What you’re about to read is one old veteran’s opinion of what happened when America was attacked on 9/11/2001. Some of you weren’t old enough on that day to remember and maybe you weren’t even born yet. I had a front row seat so here’s what I think about events leading up to and including The Road To 9/11.
The short version begins with Vietnam. We tip toed into Vietnam under 2 U.S. Presidents and got run out in shame with the next U.S. President. We were so intimidated by possible China and Russian engagement that we never did what could’ve been done to win. We lost approximately 50,000 troops and our enemies loved it.
Over the years following the Vietnam shame, our military became stronger. Thanks to our naval and space program dominance, successful attacks in America from the sea couldn’t be imagined. Our Canadian allies protected our northern border and a southern attack through Mexico was very unlikely. Our Air Force was unmatched so we were pretty comfortable. I admit to being asleep at the switch too. I didn’t think we were in any real danger either.
Our government received dozens of threats daily. We get various pieces of intelligence about many threats. Most threats don’t come with the who, what, when, where or how’s that help us prevent it in most cases. Unlike our enemies at that time in Russia, Syria, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and China, we don’t imprison people just because we hear about a threat.
In a free and open society like the United States of America, there’s also no way to put surveillance on everyone we might consider to be a threat. That said, our enemies discovered a way to attack us. Veterans can see how they exploited our vulnerability from within. A terrorist group called Al-Qaeda found or recruited the kind of people willing to kill themselves conducting suicide missions to kill Americans.
So what should we have learned from the attack on 9/11? We should’ve learned to check and double check (everyone) who enters the United States. After they’re inside, there’s no way to prevent all attacks. All of our borders need to be secured with all available resources. These resources currently include a border fence positioned where applicable, lights, sensors, cameras, live agents, dogs, aircraft, watercraft and drones. We should also not let anyone talk us out of using every available resource possible to protect Americans. We should also suspect the underlined motives of those who try.