The Post-9/11 Era

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday addressed long-term national security challenges in the post-9/11 era. “Not since the decade after World War II has mankind witnessed such a realignment of interests, influences, and challenges,” said Hagel during his keynote address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Global Security Forum in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 5. Hagel acknowledged “shifting geopolitical centers of gravity,” saying countries such as China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia are “helping reshape the global economy” while other countries such as Turkey are “maturing and asserting greater independence.” Cyber activists and non-state actors also are defining this new international system, said Hagel. “Technology and 21st century tools of communication are bringing people closer together than at any point in human history, helping to link their aspirations…and their grievances,” said Hagel. He added, “Nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East.” The challenge of terrorism also has evolved as it has metastisized since Sept. 11, Hagel said. “This has required and will continue to demand unprecedented collaboration with partners and allies on counterterrorism efforts,” he said.