A Stronger Defense Does NOT Mean We're Safer
George W. Bush likes to say we are safer today than before 9/11 and the 9/11 Commission Report seems to say the same thing but I think some definitions are getting confused.
We do, in fact, have stronger defenses against terrorism now. Improving the airport screening process gave us a stronger defense against terrorism. Whether the airport screening is good enough is debatable but it is clearly stronger than before 9/11.
But, is a stronger defense the same thing as safer? Only if the risk remained constant!
But the risk has NOT remained constant! Preemptively attacking Iraq has inflamed the passions of would-be terrorists around the world and now there are a lot more people who want to do us harm.
Before 9/11, we were in a little wood cabin with the door locked and a single hungry bear in the woods. Now, we're in a little wood cabin with the door locked and we have loaded gun on our lap but there are 100 hungry bears banging on the door trying to get in. We have a stronger defense but are we safer?