Ten years after 9/11: Indiana University experts comment
EDITOR'S NOTE: As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks approaches, Indiana University experts discuss the impact the attacks had on American society and the economy. Reporters can contact the experts directly. Producers: On-camera interviews can be arranged with university experts on location or in a studio. Live transmission is possible but requires making arrangements in advance. In most cases, there is no cost to media outlets for signal transmission from Bloomington to Indianapolis. For additional assistance, contact Tracy James at 812-855-0084 and firstname.lastname@example.org, George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 and email@example.com, Steve Hinnefeld at 812-856-3488 and firstname.lastname@example.org, or Steve Chaplin at 812-856-1896 and email@example.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 25, 2011
Expansionist ends and 'spend now, pay whenever' means are not feasible
No evidence of a lasting impact on the U.S. economy
No simple 'closure' from death of bin Laden
U.S. strategic position weaker than before the wars
Efforts to deter post-9/11 attacks have succeeded
Tolerance: We're a lot smarter now
Location, perspective affect significance of anniversary
Anti-Islamic sentiment has grown -- so has understanding of Muslims
Lee Hamilton's 9/11 papers
Muslim Voices: based at IU, heard around the world
Relics and remembrance: From Pearl Harbor to the World Trade Center
Recalibrating ends and means for national security. Ten years after 9/11, American national security policy confronts crises of ends and means that require changes in how the U.S. secures its homeland and overseas interests -- and it's not clear that government is up to the task, says David P. Fidler, the James Louis Calamaras Professor of Law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a fellow at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research. "After 9/11 and the anthrax emergency that followed, the U.S. deepened and broadened its national security objectives at home and abroad and increased the 'blood and treasure' allocated to achieve these objectives," Fidler said. "The U.S. launched multiple wars, reorganized homeland security and intelligence capabilities, moved to protect against WMD (weapons of mass destruction), revolutionized nation-building strategies through counterinsurgency doctrine and transformed relationships between civilian, military and intelligence roles in securing the country and its foreign interests. "These expanded ends and means of U.S. national security are increasingly controversial and unsustainable," he said. "The effectiveness of policies that have been pursued since 9/11 remains hotly debated, suggesting discontent with the objectives, their implementation, or both. With the U.S. moving into fiscal contraction, expansionist ends and 'spend now, pay whenever' means are not feasible."
The U.S. faces large-scale, unfinished business created by post-9/11 national security responses and new challenges not related to that tragedy, Fidler said, but without resources adequate to sustain ongoing and emerging tasks at desired levels. Patterns are already developing:
- Scaling back international ambitions and commitments, as in Afghanistan
- Tightly linking military and intelligence assets to create more efficient covert operational capabilities -- for example, CIA chief Leon Panetta goes to the Pentagon; General David Petraeus takes over at CIA
- Putting emphasis on new but cheaper high-technology weapons, such as drones and cyberweapons
"Transitioning to more limited, targeted and affordable national security ends and means depends on strategic priority-setting that maximizes constrained fiscal resources," Fidler said. "But divided, dysfunctional government -- as evidenced by the debt ceiling crisis -- damages prospects for strategic policy realignment. Continuing this political dynamic will force expediency to trump strategy in national security policy, eroding post-9/11 gains and exposing the nation to more security threats in the next decade."
Fidler specializes in international law and is an internationally recognized expert on biological weapons and bioterrorism, the international legal and policy implications of "non-lethal" weapons, cybersecurity and counterinsurgency and rule of law operations. He can be reached at 812-855-6403, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Top
No evidence that 9/11 had lasting impact on U.S. economy. Despite the symbolic nature of the attack on the World Trade Center, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, had no sustaining negative impact on the U.S. economy and its standing among other financial systems worldwide, according to Andreas Hauskrecht, clinical associate professor of business economics and public policy at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. "The direct impact was almost zero," said Hauskrecht, an expert on international economics and finance. "If I would show you the money market data and cut off the dates, you wouldn't identify Sept. 11." He credits swift and effective actions by the Fed to avert lasting direct impact on an economy that was already in a recession.
- While Hauskrecht acknowledges that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have presented "fiscal burdens," he doesn't believe they profoundly affect the national economy and its current status. "The problems are much more structural," he said. "While I do not deny that having two wars at the same time is expensive, this is discretionary spending and discretionary is not our problem . . . It also is disappearing (with the wars' end) . . . Although no one wants to hear it, it's the entitlement programs that are the main beef and are much bigger than any war payments."
- He also doesn't believe that the 9/11 attacks and the United States' response had any permanent adverse effect. "I don't see the United States as being in a weaker condition relative to other main economies . . . The United States did lose a lot of sympathy in Europe under (President George) Bush, but economically I don't see it. When you look at the numbers, the importance of the dollar as reserve currency didn't change," he said. "When you look at the level of financial integration, it increased; when you look at the openness of the U.S. economy, trade as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) increased, as did exports."
- He noted that over the past 10 years, among the three "old," traditional financial centers -- the U.S., Europe and Japan -- the U.S. has clearly continued to perform strongly in many economic measures. "Game changers," China, India and Brazil are emerging markets, but this has nothing to do with 9/11.
A video of Hauskrecht speaking about the economic impact of 9/11 can be viewed at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/12162.html. He can be reached at 812-855-2784 or email@example.com. Top
No simple 'closure' from death of bin Laden. Commentators said the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2 finally brought "closure" to America nearly 10 years after 9/11. But for victims of the attacks, there's likely no such clear-cut resolution, says Jody Lyneé Madeira, associate professor of law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.
- Research: Madeira came to appreciate the complexity of closure through interviewing survivors and family members of victims in the Oklahoma City bombing, asking whether and how they experienced closure through the trial, conviction and execution of Timothy McVeigh. For victims of such horrific acts, she said, closure "bears no resemblance to the rudimentary concept bandied about in popular culture." The deaths of perpetrators such as McVeigh and bin Laden don't close the door on tragedy, but turn a page in a narrative of suffering, acceptance and reconstruction. She is working on a manuscript on the application of collective memory to criminal prosecution and sentencing, exploring the ways in which victims' families and survivors came to comprehend and cope with the Oklahoma City bombing. The book -- the first case study of closure, particularly with respect to capital trials and executions -- will be published in the spring of 2012 by New York University Press.
"Closure is not some exotic destination to which one eventually travels," Madeira said. "If closure exists at all, it must be as a process, a continual series of emotional, psychological, social and cultural adjustments that a victim makes in response to external, often institutional, developments."
Madeira's scholarly interests primarily involve the intersection of law and emotion in criminal and family law. To read an op-ed by Madeira on the concept of closure, see http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/19345.html. She can be reached at 812-856-1082 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Top
U.S. strategic position weaker than before the wars. Since 9/11, American presidents from two different political parties have over-relied on the use of military power to fight the rise of Islamic extremism in the Middle East and Central Asia, said Shawn Marie Boyne, associate professor at the IU School of Law-Indianapolis. "The surge in Iraq did not produce lasting change and our continued presence in that country has accomplished very little," Boyne said. "The pivotal state in the region is Pakistan and our leverage over that country has decreased, rather than increased." Although Sadam Hussein and Osama bin Laden have been removed from the scene and American troops have fought admirably, "we have not achieved our objectives in the region. In fact, our country stands in a weaker strategic position than we did at the start of these two wars." Boyne said the monetary costs of military involvement will continue to affect the U.S. for at least a decade. "Congress has raised taxes during each of the previous wars that America has been involved in. Our failure to do so during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is part of the reason that today's baby boomers face the real prospect of cutbacks in their Social Security and Medicare benefits."
Boyne is an expert in anti-terrorism legislation. She also teaches evidence, criminal law, criminal procedure and comparative national security law for the IU School of Law-Indianapolis, which is part of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. To speak with Boyne, contact Diane Brown at 317-274-2195 (office), 317-371-0437 (cell), or email@example.com. Top
Efforts to deter post-9/11 attacks have succeeded. The real story about U.S. homeland security since 9/11 is that it has been remarkably successful, says William Foley Jr., lecturer in public safety in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
"Across two administrations from both political parties, since 9/11 the United States has been quite effective in pre-empting attacks on American soil through a series of ways, means and agencies," he said. Foley said the U.S. has made use of a strategy of safeguarding three zones:
- Zone 3, Forward Regions. The FBI, CIA and other agencies have reduced overseas threats through such tactics as enforcing nuclear nonproliferation in unstable regions.
- Zone 2, Approaches to the United States. The Transportation Security Agency, Coast Guard, Department of Defense and others have used combined intelligence and screening to protect shipping lines and air freight. For example, in October 2010, al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula was unable to get explosives-crammed air cargo into America.
- Zone 1, The Homeland. The FBI, local law enforcement agencies and alert citizens have foiled one terrorist plot after another, including the "shoe bomber," the plot to attack the New York subway system, the Times Square bomber and the Portland, Ore., Pioneer Square bomber. "Only 'self-radicalized lone wolf terrorists' have succeeded, in Killeen, Texas, and Little Rock, Ark., and they were quickly shot and apprehended," Foley said.
Most importantly, he said, three key leaders of al Qaeda -- including Osama bin Laden -- have been killed, leaving the remaining leadership in a constant state of strategic rebalancing.
Foley came to Indiana University in 2008 from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. He previously was director of strategic leadership at the United States Army War College and chief of operations for homeland security United States Forces Command. He can be reached at 317-274-1655 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Top
Tolerance: We're a lot smarter now. The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks could reignite resentments and anti-Muslim prejudices that were inflamed after the terrorist attacks and also the hard feelings and the fear felt by Americans and visitors who were targeted with animosity and suspicion because of their ethnic or religious background. Lynn Jamieson, an expert on violence and sport at Indiana University, said Americans need to be sensitive to both of these possibilities. "It will be important for the 'powers that be' -- law enforcement, government officials -- to comment about the need for tolerance, that these acts were the work of individuals, terrorists, not a religion, that we're a lot smarter than we were then concerning terrorist activities," Jamieson said. "It's a lot safer now than before."
Jamieson is professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. She said sports fans need to be keep in mind that large sports venues have historically been and potentially are places where terrorist acts or acts of oppression have been carried out. Security measures at American sports venues, however, have advanced significantly in the past 10 years and have become much more sophisticated. "The impact has been more on the management of these facilities," Jamieson said. "There are TVs focused on every inch of these facilities, thorough screenings at entrances. It's not like the airlines, but there is security in place that can recognize unusual people or activity that might cause problems."
Location, perspective affect significance of anniversary. The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be just another day in several respects, says Kathleen Gilbert, a grief expert at Indiana University. For much of the country, it will not have an immediate impact because it is seen as something that happened on the East Coast, not in one's own community. For residents of New York City, direct survivors of the attack, and even first-responders such as firefighters and police officers, the tragedy already has become a part of their daily lives. "People who are first responders, in their social networks there was so much loss, it's more in the forefront of their minds than people who typically don't have to deal with this," Gilbert said. "For people in New York, it has become so much of the culture; they recognize themselves as a primary target because they have such a symbolic meaning to people outside the U.S." There might be some apprehension created by the artificial significance of "10th (compared to the 9th anniversary or 11th anniversary)." The passage of time, however, and death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden will leave many Americans ready to move on once the anniversary has been commemorated.
While anti-Islamic sentiment has grown since Sept. 11, so has understanding of Muslims. While news reports about terrorist activities and hate-filled rhetoric since Sept. 11 are contributing to anti-Islamic sentiment across the United States, efforts also are succeeding at the grass-roots level to improve public understanding of the Muslim faith and how it differs from what is practiced by religiously inspired militants, said Asma Afsaruddin, chair and professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures."An apt way to describe the past decade is that it has been challenging, frustrating and inspirational -- all at the same time," said Afsaruddin, who also is an adjunct professor of religious studies. "It is a decade that brought many of our raw emotions and prejudices to the fore, forcing us to deal with them in the public sphere where they could not be ignored. For every act that has threatened to bring us back to the precipice of polarization and hatred, there has been another that showed us a much more humane and enlightened way forward." She said that inter-faith programs, public lectures and other educational outreach -- which aren't normally covered by the media -- are important and are having transformative results. "These activities are critical for shaping public perceptions," she said. "Most people outside of academia don't have alternative sources of information, yet they are very hungry for what they often describe as accurate and unbiased information about Islam." Afsaruddin has done consulting on this topic for the U.S. State Department, non-governmental organizations and think tanks. She has been involved with "Building Bridges," an inter-faith effort organized by the Archbishop of Canterbury that brings Muslim and Christian scholars together every year. "In the past decade or so, I have seen genuine changes taking root slowly but surely. I think people are beginning to have a more nuanced understanding of Islam and Muslims," Afsaruddin said. "There's a sense that Muslims are just as diverse as Christians and Jews and any other religious group and that no one group can claim to speak on behalf of the whole community. If a minority of self-identified Muslims carries out terrorist acts, they're not representing all of Islam . . . I think there is a growing awareness of that now." But Afsaruddin understands the challenges American Muslims face. "Almost every major survey that has been published in the last few years has pointed out that anti-Islamic sentiment is growing in the U.S. That's a concern to many people, obviously. We're going against the tide here, but we genuinely feel -- me, my colleagues and other people who are involved in such activities -- that we have the information, the resources and the tools to challenge this kind of misinformation and misunderstanding that is being fed by certain media outlets."
Afsaruddin is author of the 2008 book, The First Muslims: History and Memory (Oneworld) and editor of the upcoming book Islam, the State, and Political Authority: Medieval Issues and Modern Concerns (Palgrave Macmillan). She can be reached at 812-856-7347 or email@example.com. Top
Hamilton's 9/11 papers reveal a day-to-day chronicle of the commission's inner workings. An inside look at the 9/11 Commission through the eyes of longtime Indiana Ninth District U.S. Congressman Lee Hamilton, vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, will be offered in an overview of Hamilton's personal commission papers that are housed here at IU Bloomington. How did Hamilton find himself appointed to the commission? What do his personal papers on the commission reflect? These and other questions related to Hamilton's papers now archived at IU Libraries will be addressed during a presentation and discussion at 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12, by Kate Cruikshank, political papers specialist at IU Libraries. Cruikshank, a graduate of the IU Bloomington School of Library and Information Sciences, will also discuss how Hamilton's papers were cleared for public use, how they went through national security clearances and how the papers document the work of the commission.
IU Libraries has more than 2,000 linear feet of political papers collections, including the papers of congressmen Hamilton, Frank McCloskey, J. Edward Roush and Steve Buyer, in addition to those of former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh. Cruikshank has completed oral history interviews of former staff for Hamilton to complement the papers. "We'll also talk about why a collection like this matters," said Cruikshank, the political papers specialist at IU Libraries since 2004. "Hamilton's papers are really a daily chronicle of the inner workings of the commission: staff memos, emails and working documents." The presentation, part of a series of events planned at IU to observe the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the United States, is open to the public and will be held in Room 033, Wells Library.
A video of Cruikshank discussing Hamilton's personal papers from the 9/11 Commission and additional information about the collection and preservation of the papers is available here: http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/12146.html. Cruikshank can be reached at 812-856-4601 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Top
An award-winning project encourages dialogue about Islam. Since 2008, an award-winning project dedicated to promoting understanding and dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims has been based in America's heartland, at Indiana University Bloomington. "It became very apparent after 9/11 that many non-Muslims didn't know much about Islam," said Rosemary Pennington, the site's managing editor. "We created Muslim Voices to help fill those gaps, to provide some general education about Islam and Muslim life and also to create a space where a conversation could take place and where people could ask questions and Muslims could answer."
- Heard around the world: Today, Muslim Voices has nearly 11,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 4,000 friends on Facebook. More than 25,000 visitors come to MuslimVoices.org each month, from more than 165 countries. While most visitors come from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, considerable Web traffic also comes from nations with large Muslim populations, including Malaysia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. In 2009, Muslim Voices received the international Brass Crescent Award for best Twitter account and was honored by the Bloomington's Human Rights Commission.
Another purpose for the site has been to provide a place where Muslims can talk to each other. "It became pretty apparent that Muslims from a variety of backgrounds were learning about other ways that people were practicing the faith in other places," Pennington said. Pennington said it has been hard to measure the site's impact, but conversations among people online there, as well as in its Twitter traffic, make her hopeful. The project tries to stay away from political dialogue in any particular direction. "There's a lot of research that shows that media can't change behavior, but it can change knowledge and it can sometimes change attitudes," she said. "We're hopeful that it's changing negative perceptions . . . or that they'll be exposed to ideas about Islam that they weren't exposed to before."
Muslim Voices was established in 2008 by the IU Center for the Study of Global Change as part of the project, "Voices and Visions: Islam and Muslims from a Global Perspective." Pennington and Hilary E. Kahn, director of the IU Center for the Study of Global Change, are available to discuss Muslim Voices and can be reached at 812-855-6271. Pennington can be reached at email@example.com and Kahn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Top
Relics and remembrance: From Pearl Harbor to the World Trade Center. Steel beams from the World Trade Center form the basis of a 9/11 memorial being erected in downtown Indianapolis. A tattered flag that once flew at the WTC's south tower is touring the country as volunteers repair it, stitch by stitch. Even everyday objects -- a battered fire helmet, a dusty good-luck charm -- took on special meaning when salvaged from the rubble of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is an apt time to reflect on the relationship between objects, memory and meaning, says Edward T. Linenthal, professor in the Department of History at Indiana University Bloomington and editor of the Journal of American History.
"Acts of remembrance at sites of violence are often intertwined with objects that become 'charged' objects, 'sacred' to many," Linenthal said. "The USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, items that display the material reality of the Holocaust in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., rubble from the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, remnants of the World Trade Center towers in New York, for example, illustrate the power of such objects."
Linenthal is a member of the federal advisory commission for the memorial to the passengers and crew of United Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, Pa., on Sept 11, 2001. He worked for the National Park Service during the 50th anniversary ceremonies at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, and delivered the commemorative address at the memorial in 1994. He is the author of The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory, Preserving Memory: The Struggle to Create America's Holocaust Museum, and Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields, along with other books.