How have our lives changed since the Sept. 11 attacks?

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It’s been almost 20 years since the devastating 9-11 attacks. This week we’re looking back on that day and how the attacks changed the U.S and the world. Tonight, a conversation with Daniel Rothenberg, co-director of the Center on the Future of War.

Twenty years later, how has American life changed since 9/11?

“That’s a big question. Twenty years is not a long time in some respect but in other respects it has been a long journey,” Rothenberg said.

Rothenberg said Americans sometimes take for granted the extraordinary accomplishment that there has not been a successful attack on American soil since 9/11.

With regards to how our foreign policy has changed, Rothenberg said it has led to a drastic change in how American power is perceived worldwide.

“We now have students who were born after 9/11 in our classes. I tend to ask almost all of our students whether they see themselves as part of a war generation and they’re evenly divided. Many have barely thought about the war even though they’ve grown up their entire lives with a country formally at war,” Rothenberg said.

In general, Rothenberg believes the war itself has minimally affected American citizens.

Many aspects of American power across the globe have been revealed in the interventions following 9/11, as well as changes to the political landscape.\

With the changes to American foreign policy and politics, did 9/11 make us more divided and angry as a society?

“Increasing fear and increasing insecurity often tends to produce forms of anger and discord, and we’re in a time of great discord. Our country certainly needs a national narrative that will unify the country, and 9/11 presented that very tenuous short period of time,” Rothenberg.


Daniel Rothenberg, Co-director, Center on the Future of War.

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