The toll, Boren said, has been in human life and the trillions of dollars to wage the wars that have now weakened the nation's economy.
“When history is written, we'll see our reaction to 9/11 and we'll get an A+ on reorganizing intelligence, coordination and sharing information. I think we'll get a failing grade on overextending ourselves and our military.”
In hindsight, history will show we should have kept our focus on al-Qaida and on building the internal strength of the country, Boren said.
“There are very important lessons to learn over the past 10 years,” Boren said. We've done things well but there are things that concern me greatly and have weakened the country.”
Boren said at times we've been tempted into compromising basic human rights, particularly when it comes to rules of war and the Geneva Convention.
And will the threat always be a group like al-Qaida, a country, or something tangible and easily defined?
The answer is “no,” Boren said. Likewise, there will never be total protection from a person or persons who want to harm the country.
David Cid, executive director of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, said law enforcement is becoming more focused on individuals with an ax to grind.
The so called “Lone Wolf” or “Lone Actor” is harder to track because they aren't necessarily leaving behind any evidence of their plot by talking or planning with others.
“A person who decides in a moment to kill people is very hard to find,” Cid said. “It's the ultimate act of narcissism.”