(Editor’s note: This essay is section of a Symposium posted for the twentieth anniversary of September 11th co-structured by Just Stability and the Reiss Centre on Legislation and Protection.)
There was almost nothing important or unavoidable about the U.S. government’s determination to respond to 9/11 by means of the lens of war. As an alternative, it could have treated the terrorist assaults as crimes and responded with criminal law. The lots of profitable prosecutions of international terrorists in U.S. federal courts right before and after 9/11 exhibit the plausibility of these kinds of a counterfactual.
Experienced the United States used