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Special Policy Forum



The staff and directors of Nautilus Institute were devastated by the attacks in New York and Washington DC on September 11, 2001. Like so many others, we have family, friends and colleagues who live and work in these cities.

We extend our condolences to the victims and their surviving families and pray for the rapid recovery of those injured and traumatized in the attacks.

Many Americans are asking who instigated and conducted these attacks, and why. Many answers will be forthcoming to these questions over the coming days.

We believe that these events are global in both origin and impact. People and nations everywhere on earth will be affected by the attacks and their aftermath.

Therefore, it is crucial that Americans join with others around the world to understand why these attacks happened and what they mean. In this spirit, we are conducting a Special Forum on the September 11 Attacks.

We offer the following questions to inspire debate and dialogue about how to mobilize an effective, collective response in ways that point towards closer global cooperation and increase prospects for global peace and personal security. We also welcome other comments not covered by these questions, especially of any important areas that are not being discussed widely in other fora.

We invite your response. Please note that the Nautilus Institute retains the right to choose among submissions and to edit submissions for length, grammar or style, and content. Responses will be considered for distribution only if they include the author's full name and affiliation, if any. Online versions of the articles will be available at: http://www.nautilus.org/fora/Special-Policy-Forum/index.html

Staff of Nautilus Institute


1. What may have been the role of previous U.S. foreign policy decisions in precipitating this event, and what new policies should be implemented to prevent a repeat?

2. How will this event affect U.S. relations both with its allies and with other countries? What, if any, are the implications for regions beyond the Middle East, such as North America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and the former Soviet Union?

3. What does this attack say about the effectiveness of traditional military measures in deterring and defeating non-state actors? Are the most appropriate responses by the U.S. and other countries unilateral, international, military, diplomatic, or a combination, and what role does international law play?

4. Considering that the attack was carried out without the use of weapons of mass destruction, do threat analyses that focus on preventing the proliferation and use of WMD need to be re-examined? Similarly, what does the low-tech nature of the attacks say about the nature of asymmetric warfare and attempts to counter it?

5. How will energy security in regions such as North America and Northeast Asia be affected by a crisis in the Middle East, and what combination of responses--military, political, economic, technological--might countries implement to secure their energy resources?

6. How will the attack impact international diplomacy on issues such as international trade and investment; regional integration, and climate change?

7. How will this attack and its aftermath affect the domestic and global movements for civil liberties, corporate social responsibility and a just and environmentally sustainable form of globalization?

8. How do we understand the role of ethnicity, race, religion, and culture in the both the precipitation of and reaction to these events?

9. In the case of a decline in investor confidence and financial stability, what are the implications for the global economy, particularly short and long-term capital flows to developing economies?

10. How will this attack affect transparency, regulation, and monitoring of the international financial services industry and its role and responsibilities in public policy?

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