Ex-Army Ranger Rep. Warren Davidson: 20 years after 9/11 we must wage war differently

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Twenty years ago, America changed. On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was at work at my manufacturing business in Ohio when an unprovoked terrorist attack shocked the nation and galvanized Americans of all stripes. The response was, thankfully, visceral. 

Few people recall that al Qaeda was already a known threat on 9/11. They bombed America’s embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 – while I was serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment. We were convinced we would be departing swiftly to deal a decisively fatal blow to al Qaeda in response. Unfortunately, President Bill Clinton chose not to attack them directly – one of several factors that influenced my decision to leave the Army.

In 2000, President George W. Bush campaigned for the presidency primarily on domestic issues—particularly education. That day, President Bush, was reading to school children in Florida when he was called away to reckon with a nation that suddenly recognized we were at war. Within a week, Congress authorized the use of military force in Afghanistan, the nation harboring Usama Bin Laden. 

A year later, the United States invaded Iraq – officially to locate weapons of mass destruction and

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