Why Did the Top Army Officer in the U.S. Do So Little in Response to the 9/11 Attacks?

General Jack Keane

General John M. “Jack” Keane was the most senior Army officer in the United States on September 11, 2001. Working at the Pentagon, he was ideally placed to respond promptly and effectively to the terrorist attacks that day. And yet he appears to have done alarmingly little while the attacks were underway.

The only action he has recalled taking after learning about the crashes at the World Trade Center was ordering that the Army Operations Center (AOC) at the Pentagon be brought up to full manning. He apparently did not order the activation of the Army’s Crisis Action Team (CAT), even though this was designed for dealing with emergencies like the one taking place at the time.

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