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Stephen M. Walt

I feel safer already

President Bush defended his presidency yesterday by noting that "America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil." Depending on your definition of "terrorism," this claim is about as accurate as his claims about Iraqi WMD. See here or here. And it’s worth remembering that the only major foreign terrorist ...

President Bush defended his presidency yesterday by noting that "America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil."

Depending on your definition of "terrorism," this claim is about as accurate as his claims about Iraqi WMD. See here or here. And it’s worth remembering that the only major foreign terrorist attack on American soil in our history occurred on Bush’s watch, and anti-American terrorist groups have conducted major attacks in Jordan, Indonesia, Spain, and a number of other countries since 9/11. I think the Bush administration did some smart things after 9/11 (such as ousting al Qaeda from its safe haven in Afghanistan) and I’m glad that we haven’t suffered another attack, but the fact there hasn’t been any large-scale foreign terrorist attack on American soil is an insufficient criterion for judging the "war on terror," not to mention an entire presidency.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

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