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America’s Failing War Effort (Part 12 of 12): Conclusion

Recent criticism of the Bush administration has focused on the limitations of American intelligence in failing to predict September 11th, and the shortcomings current plans for homeland defense. In truth, however, these problems are only superficial. If anything, the role of U.S. intelligence in preventing further terrorist attacks on American soil has been one of the only success stories in this war. As for homeland defense, while there are surely improvements that can be made, even the most concerted efforts can go only so far in protecting American targets directly.

A modern society cannot protect itself against terrorists without significantly restricting the individual rights of its citizens. And yet we have stressed throughout that it is these rights that a government is charged with protecting. How is the American government to defend against terrorists without eroding liberties at home? That erosion will likely continue if the United States continues to act as if the main front of this war is the home front. There is no way to plug the endless number of holes in the dike of homeland security, when it is holding back a sea of state-sponsored terrorism. The only solution is to drain the sea, by eliminating the state sponsors and their associates.

We argued that the fundamental threats facing the United States–the remaining members of the axis of evil–are yet to be targeted by American policy, but must be targeted. It is because of this fact, because the main targets in this war have not yet been pursued, that the Bush administration, despite having started a limited war, receives seriously unsatisfactory grades from Patriots for the Defense of America.

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