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National Leader William Loiry On Lessons Learned On The 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Loiry organized the first homeland security briefings at the National Press Club after the 9/11 attacks and major Afghanistan & Iraq Reconstruction Conferences

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES, September 11, 2021 / -- As a national leader organizing the first homeland security briefings in Washington after 9/11, the organizer of the first Afghanistan Reconstruction Conference, and the organizer of the major Iraq Reconstruction Conferences, William Loiry would like to share his thoughts on lessons learned on the 20th anniversary of the terror attack on the United States:

• The 9/11 Commission Report strongly recommended that we root out physical sanctuaries for terrorists. This is not a lesson we have learned as we have done the exact opposite during the last 30 days. Terrorist organizations, especially ISIS, must not have any geography to call their own country. And they must be continuously hunted down and eliminated.

• Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense and a prime architect of the Iraq invasion, just stated that “we did sort of creep into nation-building as somehow part of our mission.” This was not the case. I know this because my team and I organized the main five Iraq Reconstruction Conferences which were supported by the Bush Administration and which focused on nation-building. The problem was our efforts were not given enough support. And if we want a country we have invaded to act differently towards us, we must give them an alternative blueprint to build upon.

• My team and I also organized the major Balkan Reconstruction Conferences (Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia as a whole) from 1996 to 2000 during the second term of the Clinton Administration. When the Bush Administration came to power, there was no automatic government-to-government passage of lessons learned from Balkan Reconstruction which could have helped in the design of Afghanistan and Iraq Reconstruction. There needs to be an automatic transfer of knowledge from one administration to the next.

• When the 9/11 attacks occurred, U.S. fighter jets were not in the air protecting Washington and New York. If they had been, they could have mitigated the damage from the aircraft overtaken by the terrorists. U.S. fighter jets must constantly guard – in the air – Washington and New York and perhaps other major U.S. cities as well. Air Force One should also be automatically escorted by U.S. fighter jets.

• We must return to a society in which civil discourse is the norm. When foreign terrorists see domestic terrorists attack the U.S. Capitol, when they see certain Members of Congress advocating violence, and when they see the volume of nut-case passengers attacking flight attendants on U.S. commercial flights, perhaps they’ll see a weakness in American society which they’ll use to their advantage during the next terrorist attack on the U.S.

William Loiry organized the first homeland security briefings at the National Press Club in Washington after the 9/11 attacks. At the 2014 Homeland & Global Security Summit in Washington organized by Loiry and his team, then-Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said during his Keynote Address: “Bill Loiry has provided this important opportunity to continue the critical dialogue on homeland security – thank you, Bill, for your vision and perseverance to bring us all together.” Loiry and his team also organized the first Afghanistan Reconstruction Conference in 2002 and the major Iraq Reconstruction Conferences beginning in 2003. See

William S Loiry
Defense Leadership Forum
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