Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 May 2004
Clearly the attacks of 11 September 2001 served as a defining moment in the contemporary American political, social, or cultural imagination, and led directly to the invasion of Afghanistan and the far more controversial invasion of Iraq. Both wars were brief, the modest forces of these countries quickly capitulating to the overwhelming military superiority of Western forces, headed by the United States. On 1 May 2003, President George Bush announced victory and the end of the war in Iraq. Although the much more difficult and complex problems of occupation and pacification clearly will continue for some time, 1 May may be taken to have marked an end of a major phase in the crisis that was initiated on 9/11.