Osama bin Laden was the most wanted man in American history—an enemy who brought the United States what President George W. Bush called “a day of fire,” and ushered in a new era of terrorism. It took a decade of blood and sacrifice, of determination and frustration, but finally, in a nighttime raid at the end of a dirt road in Pakistan, the hunt for Bin Laden ended with a gunshot. It was a dramatic climax to a long and painful chapter.
But now what? The terrorist threat that has defined American policy since the attacks of 9/11 did not die with Bin Laden in his walled compound near Islamabad. Radicals still wish us harm, and we must fight on.
In this provocative collection of essays edited and introduced by Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham, a group of penetrating analysts and leaders look ahead to the world after Bin Laden—to the future of Al Qaeda, of Afghanistan, of Pakistan. We explore the political, military, and cultural implications of the post–Bin Laden war on terror. From Richard N. Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations to former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, from historian and journalist Evan Thomas to former U.S. Army officer Andrew Exum, Beyond Bin Laden gives readers intelligent, deeply informed, and urgent glimpses of what comes next.
• Jon Meacham, executive editor, Random House
• James A. Baker III, former Secretary of State
• Karen Hughes, former counselor to President George W. Bush and former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy
• Richard N. Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations
• Bing West, author, The Wrong War, and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
• Andrew Exum, fellow, Center for a New American Security
• Daniel Markey, senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations
• Evan Thomas, award-winning historian and former editor-at-large, Newsweek
About Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham is the author, most recently, of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, a #1 New York Times bestseller that has been named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, The Seattle Times, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for American Lion, his bestselling 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Franklin and Winston and American Gospel. Executive editor and executive vice president of Random House, Meacham is a contributing editor to Time magazine, a former editor of Newsweek, and has written for The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. He is a regular contributor on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, and Charlie Rose. A Fellow of the Society of American Historians, Meacham serves on the boards of the New-York Historical Society, the Churchill Centre, and The McCallie School. He is a former trustee and regent of Sewanee: The University of the South, and has served on the vestries of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Trinity Wall Street church in New York City. Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham was educated at The McCallie School and at Sewanee: The University of the South, where he was salutatorian and Phi Beta Kappa. He began his career as a reporter at The Chattanooga Times. He and his wife live with their three children in Nashville and in Sewanee.
About James A. Baker III
James A. Baker, III has served in senior government positions under three United States presidents. He served as the nation’s 61st Secretary of State from January 1989 through August 1992 under President George H. W. Bush. During his tenure at the State Department, Mr. Baker traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the post–Cold War era. Mr. Baker’s reflections on those years of revolution, war, and peace—The Politics of Diplomacy—was published in 1995.
Mr. Baker served as the 67th Secretary of the Treasury from 1985 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. As Treasury Secretary, he was also Chairman of the President's Economic Policy Council. From 1981 to 1985, he served as White House Chief of Staff to President Reagan. Mr. Baker’s record of public service began in 1975 as Under Secretary of Commerce to President Gerald Ford. It concluded with his service as White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993.
Long active in American presidential politics, Mr. Baker led presidential campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush over the course of five consecutive presidential elections from 1976 to 1992.
A native Houstonian, Mr. Baker graduated from Princeton University in 1952. After two years of active duty as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, he entered the University of Texas School of Law at Austin. He received his J.D. with honors in 1957 and practiced law with the Houston firm of Andrews and Kurth from 1957 to 1975.
Mr. Baker’s memoir—Work Hard, Study . . . and Keep Out of Politics! Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life—was published in October 2006.
Mr. Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has been the recipient of many other awards for distinguished public service, including Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award, the American Institute for Public Service’s Jefferson Award, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Award, the Hans J. Morgenthau Award, the George F. Kennan Award, the Department of the Treasury’s Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and numerous honorary academic degrees.
Mr. Baker is presently a senior partner in the law firm of Baker Botts. He is Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and serves on the board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Baker served as the Personal Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seek a political solution to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, Mr. Baker was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for President George W. Bush on the issue of Iraqi debt. In 2005, he was co-chair, with former President Jimmy Carter, of the Commission on Federal Election Reform. Since March 2006, Mr. Baker and former U.S. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton have served as the co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel on Iraq.
Mr. Baker was born in Houston, Texas, in 1930. He and his wife, the former Susan Garrett, currently reside in Houston, and have eight children and seventeen grandchildren.
About Karen Hughes
Karen Hughes has been described as ‘the most powerful woman ever to serve in the White House” (Dallas Morning News
) and President George W. Bush’s “most essential advisor” (ABC News
). ‘The rule of thumb in any White House is that nobody is indispensable except the president,” said The New York Times
, But Karen Hughes has come as close to that description as any recent presidential aide.”
As Counselor to The President for his first eighteen months in the White House and as his communications director since he first ran for Governor of Texas in 1994, Mrs. Hughes has been a crucial influence in President Bush’s inner circle. When he first moved to Washington, President Bush told members of the White House staff that he wanted Karen Hughes in the room whenever any major decisions were made.
During her tenure in the Bush White House, Mrs. Hughes advised the president on a wide range of issues, crafted the communications and message strategy for the administration and was responsible for overseeing the Offices of Press Secretary, Media Affairs, Speechwriting and Communications. She helped develop and lead the international communications effort during the early months of the war against terror and was instrumental in creating the new White House Office of Global Communications.
Although she left the White House in the summer of 2002 to move her family home to Texas, Mrs. Hughes continues to advise President Bush on communications strategy through a retainer arrangement with the Republican National Committee.
Ms. Hughes served as Director of Communications for both of President’s Bush’s gubernatorial campaigns in 1994 and 1998 and was one of the “Iron Triangle” of Texans who led his successful campaign for president. She also served as Director of Communications in Governor’s Bush’s state office throughout his tenure as Governor.
Mrs. Hughes is a former Executive Director of the Republican Party of Texas and a former television news reporter for KXAS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth. She is an elder and long time Sunday school teacher in the Presbyterian church. She is married with a grown stepdaughter and a teenage son, and tried to bring a “Mom’s perspective” to our nation’s public policy debate.
About Bing West
Bing West’s bestselling books have won many awards. West, a Marine combat infantryman, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former assistant secretary of defense.