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On the Record

U.S. National Security Policy Post-9/11: Perils and Prospects

Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you, Director Romero, for welcoming me back to Tufts. It’s been several years since I last had the privilege to speak here. This time, I come not as a government official, but as a private citizen, scholar and policy analyst. The latter role, I can assure you, has its benefits, especially when the subject is as important and timely as this one. And when one’s perspective is not easy to sugar-coat.

I have been asked to address U.S. national security policy in the wake of September 11. Two years later, what perils do we face, what prospects? In short, are we on the right track; and where do we go from here? Let me begin by acknowledging the impossibility of doing this topic justice in one brief speech. So rather than be comprehensive, I will focus on the most salient issues.

Nor will I pretend to be perfectly objective. While I do not view myself as a partisan when it comes to national security affairs, I did serve in the previous Administration. And, as you will see, I do have major policy differences with the current one. However, I think the critique I will present today is anything but partisan. In fact, it reflects what I believe are concerns now shared broadly by a bipartisan cross-section of national security experts as well as by much of the American public.

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