9/11 Anniversary Marks New Fight For Pentagon

We must do what we are supposed to do to take care of our military. We need to fix the economy so that when we end the wars, our veterans will have jobs to come back to. It is imperative that we get it right this time and not leave out veterans out there.

The Sept. 11 attacks transformed the Pentagon, ravaging the iconic building itself and setting the stage for two long and costly wars that reordered the way the American military fights.

Compared with a decade ago, the military is bigger, more closely connected to the CIA, more practiced at taking on terrorists and more respected by the American public. But its members also are growing weary from war, committing suicide at an alarming rate and training less for conventional warfare.

The partly gutted Pentagon was restored with remarkable speed after the hijacked American Airlines Boeing 757 slammed through its west side, setting the building ablaze and killing 184 people. But recovering from the strain of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will take far longer – possibly decades.

The Pentagon's leaders will have to adjust to a new era of austerity after a decade in which the defense budget doubled, to nearly $700 billion this year.

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