In this revelatory new account, national security historian Timothy Naftali relates the full back story of America's attempts to fight terrorism. On September 11, 2001, a long history of failures, missteps, and blind spots in our intelligence services came to a head, with tragic results.At the end of World War II, the OSS's "X-2" department had established a seamless system for countering the threats of die-hard Nazi terrorists. But those capabilities were soon forgotten, and it wasn't until 1968, when Palestinian groups began a series of highly publicized airplane hijackings, that the U.S. began to take counterterrorism seriously. Naftali narrates the game of "catch-up" that various administrations and the CIA played --with varying degrees of success--from the Munich Games hostage-taking to the raft of terrorist incidents in the mid-1980s through the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and up to 9/11.In riveting detail, Naftali shows why holes in U.S. homeland security discovered by Vice President George H. W. Bush in 1986 were still a problem when his son became President, and why George W. Bush did little to fix them until it was too late. Naftali concludes that open, liberal democracies like the U.S. are incapable of effectively stopping terrorism. For anyone concerned about the future of America's security, this masterful history will be necessary--and eye-opening--reading.