The September 11 attacks shook the US and dramatically changed its position in the world. Within a few years of the attacks, the US government had reorganized its executive branch, passed (and bypassed) legislation to affect the relationship between the government and its citizens, reinterpreted long-standing international conventions to justify harsh treatment of foreign detainees, adopted a decidedly unilateralist approach to foreign policy, fought wars in two countries, and then moved to rebuild them through violent, expensive, and painstakingly slow efforts. At the end of the day, the nagging question is whether the US is more secure for its farflung and costly policies. Current strategies beg for a change in course.