From The Washington Post:
“We are losing,” warn Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon on the opening page of The Next Attack . In this chilling new book, they argue that the United States has, in the years since 9/11, frittered away more time than it took to win World War II: The Bush administration has plunged into a war of choice in Iraq that played into Osama bin Laden’s hands and produced “an extraordinary amount of wheel-spinning” instead of shoring up America’s domestic defenses. Meanwhile, the public’s attention has wandered, and the jihadist movement has weathered the loss of its Afghan haven and recast itself into new, more supple forms. “Even in his most feverish reveries,” the authors write, bin Laden could not “have imagined that America would stumble so badly.”This book’s Iraq chapters come as a glum reminder that, all too often, the debate over whether to invade Iraq was hermetically sealed off from the wider question of how best to destroy al Qaeda — as an organization, a network, a brand and an ideology. Even the administration’s critics (and human-rights-minded liberal hawks like George Packer) rarely talked about a potential war’s opportunity cost — about the range of urgent, attainable counterterrorism tasks that would be left undone because Washington had chosen to make the Iraq gamble its top post-9/11 priority.
And there is plenty to do.