Back in November 1983, Herbert Meyer, the deputy director of the CIA, wrote an extraordinary memo to CIA director William Casey on the subject “Why Is the World So Dangerous?” Meyer’s answer was breathtaking: “Present U.S. policies have fundamentally changed the course of history in a direction favorable to the interests and security of ourselves and our allies. . . [I]f present trends continue, we’re going to win the Cold War." Meyer thought this prospect made the world a more dangerous place in the short run, as surely some perceptive Soviet leaders, “more likely at the third or fourth echelons,” recognized that their future was bleak, and as such, some actions, including possibly launching a war, “may no longer be too risky to contemplate.” “From now on the Cold War will become more and more of a bare-knuckles street fight.” The next few years would be “the most dangerous years we have ever faced.”
His most audacious speculation was astounding for its prescience:
It has long been fashionable to view the Cold War as a permanent feature of global politics, one that will endure through the next several generations at least. But it seems to me more likely that President Reagan was absolutely correct when he observed in his Notre Dame speech that the Soviet Union—“one of history’s saddest and most bizarre chapters”—is entering its final pages. We really should take up the President’s suggestion to begin planning for a post-Soviet world.
This is preface for establishing why we should pay attention to Meyer’s analysis of where we are today in the terror war. Synopsis: The doves are gaining the upper hand right now, but should another attack occur, "you won’t want to walk down the street wearing an ’I gave to the ACLU’ pin in your lapel. . . And if we’ve closed GITMO by this time - we’ll reopen it and even double its size because we’re going to pack it. All of this will take longer to organize, and cost more, than if we’d done it right in the aftermath of 9-11. That’s unfortunate, but that’s the way we Americans tend to do things. And when we do finally start fighting for real -- we’ll win."