Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

What would a 9/11 staff ride look like?

Anyone can do a Gettysburg staff ride. I’ve done four there, and enjoyed them all.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.13.20 AM
Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.13.20 AM

Anyone can do a Gettysburg staff ride. I’ve done four there, and enjoyed them all.

But a real challenge would be a 9/11 staff ride. Where would it go, and what would it study?

I’d probably do a day in New York, then a day in D.C. Stay at the Marriotts where some of the hijackers stayed. Look at official reactions. What else?

Anyone can do a Gettysburg staff ride. I’ve done four there, and enjoyed them all.

But a real challenge would be a 9/11 staff ride. Where would it go, and what would it study?

I’d probably do a day in New York, then a day in D.C. Stay at the Marriotts where some of the hijackers stayed. Look at official reactions. What else?

Would it be legitimate to conclude with a war game in which an alternate course is pursued? Perhaps one in which the U.S. invades Afghanistan but leaves after chasing away al-Qaeda, and doesn’t invade Iraq.

What else?

Image credit: United States Federal Bureau of Investigation/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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