What the 9/11 Commission accomplished is a minor miracle in this era of partisan politics. Operating on the premise that it is better to fix the problem than to fix the blame, the bipartisan panel issued a unanimous report analyzing the failure of the U.S. to prevent the 9/11 attacks and recommending steps to forestall future acts of terrorism.
So far the debate over the commission’s recommendations has focused largely on the failures of pre-9/11 intelligence and the need to reorganize government agencies. But these are largely tactical matters. Strategically, the commission made it clear that to win the war against terrorism—if indeed “war” is even the correct term—the West in general and the U.S. in particular must engage in a larger effort. It must find ways to alter the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world.