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    Fifteen Years After 9/11 Americans Less Free, Less Safe – Former US Diplomat

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    US leaders failed to reassess disastrous policies after the September 11, 2001, or 9/11 terror attacks so a decade and a half later, Americans face greater dangers than they did then, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Jatras, a former adviser on foreign policy to the Republican leadership in the US Senate, said conditions might finally change for the better if Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is elected to succeed current US President Barack Obama in November.

    "Fifteen years after 9/11 Americans are even less free and less safe," Jatras said on Friday. "The folly that led to 9/11 still reigns and has intensified."

    "Perhaps if Donald Trump is elected that will change, but that’s not certain. But if Hillary Clinton wins we can be sure things will become much, much worse," he warned.

    The disaster of 9/11, when 3,000 Americans were killed in the almost simultaneous attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and on the Pentagon building outside Washington, DC, should have prompted US leaders to reassess their global policies but the chance was ignored, Jatras stated.

    "9/11 should have been the occasion of a major reassessment of the global policy the United States had followed since the [1979-87] Afghan war… of using Saudi-linked Islamic terrorists professing a Wahhabist ideology as a geopolitical weapon against secular regimes in Muslim countries," he said.

    Jatras recalled that al-Qaeda first emerged in the Hindu Kush region as a direct result of the US 1980s-era support for the jihadists fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

    However, later "it became a globalized network capable of hitting the American homeland in the course of US support for jihadists in Bosnia and Kosovo (Serbia) in the 1990s," he pointed out.

    Depsite the lessons of the 9/11 attacks, since then the successive US administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama had committed even more deeply to the same disastrous policies, Jatras noted.

    "They just doubled down on the policy that had brought us 9/11 in the first place. More advocacy of Muslim empowerment including the push for Kosovo independence in 2008, destroying secular regimes in Iraq, Libya [and] Egypt and trying to do so in Syria," he explained.

    Obama, like George W. Bush before him continued to focus on supposed "rogue states" like Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Iran and North Korea rather than the global jihadist movement, Jatras noted.

    Both administrations "de-emphasized domestic security issues such as targeting the actual threat and neither of them had seriously sought to find those accountable for the security lapses of 9/11, Jatras remarked.

    "Who let in the 9/11 hijackers [to the United States] in the first place? Why was intelligence ignored? Why was no one prosecuted or even fired?" he asked.

    Russia and China, instead of being welcomed as allies against jihadism were kept on the geostrategic target list by both US presidents since the 9/11 attacks, Jatras added.

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