WASHINGTON—The U.S. effort against international terror has run off the rails a couple of times in the past decade, and it needs serious redirecting now, according to the influential RAND Corp.
Missteps include overconfidence in rebuilding Afghanistan, launching a war in Iraq that did little to weaken al Qaeda, and actions that helped militant groups recruit more followers, like the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, say authors of a RAND book released Tuesday.
“The Long Shadow of 9/11: America’s Response to Terrorism,” a compilation of essays, is being released as the Senate meets to confirm a new nominee for director of the National Counterterrorism Center, a post created in response to the report of a commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S. and the U.S. reaction. The center was envisioned as a way to share and streamline intelligence-gathering among the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies to head off another terror attack. The nominee is a career Justice Department lawyer, Matthew Olsen, currently the general counsel for the clandestine eavesdropping service, the National Security Agency.