Aug 16, 2011
WASHINGTON—Osama bin Laden is gone, but 10 years after the September 11 attacks the United States is still entangled both by his legacy and the impact of its own avenging actions after the 2001 terror strike.
The horror unleashed in New York and Washington traumatized the public and sparked a “war on terror” that would stretch the legal system, send American soldiers to die in Muslim lands and eventually drain US global power.
In anguished days of mourning after September 11, the phrase “everything has changed” seemed on everyone’s lips as the country united, then went to war, starting with bin Laden’s Afghan lair.
A decade on, nearly 100,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan and almost 7,500 US and allied soldiers have died there and in Iraq in wars financed by borrowing that sent America deep into the red.
So is there a case to be made that bin Laden, despite dying a diminished figure gunned down by Navy SEALs, won his showdown with the United States?