Ten years ago George Shultz discussed terrorism and the US response to 9/11 on Uncommon Knowledge

Monday, September 12, 2011
George Shultz
George Shultz

The ten-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks recently passed. Shortly after September 11, 2001, Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson interviewed George P. Shultz on the war on terrorism in “Enemy at the Gates: The War on Terrorism.” “We should change the inflection in our voices when we say, that's history. It's a phrase we hear all the time, and people use it to denote the fact that they think something is over and it's now irrelevant. And we should really mean by that, that it’s really important to understand history and to understand what's happened in the past and learn from it. So what we can learn is that we haven't responded to terrorist attacks effectively and in any sustained way. And so now I hope we have managed to get that lesson into ourselves by looking at past history and unfortunately by this gigantic, horrible wake-up call that we have. Maybe now we will say to ourselves, we're going to go about this all out, we're going to go about this relentlessly, we're going to have the kind of cool patience that the president is exhibiting and when we strike, we're going to be effective but we're going to keep going and going and going and going and we're never going to stop until we have completely finished this task. It's a different kind of warfare. And it depends heavily on vastly improving our intelligence capability, on working closely with the intelligence agencies of other countries around the world, and of having a capacity to act in an almost surgical way in faraway places and to do it quickly. We have a big life to lead here in the United States, and young people need to do what they're doing, namely, get themselves educated,” Shultz stated.

Even after the terrible attacks on 9/11, George Shultz states that “here at Stanford I see the return—the freshmen coming—and I look at those kids and I say to myself, oh boy do I wish I was a freshman entering college right now because with all due regard to the problems that we're facing—we'll deal with that—and the world out there for young people is a very promising world.”