The Washington Post

Live-blogging: It’s time to end the war on terror

Intelligence Squared kicks off its fall debate series over the question of whether or not its time to end the war on terror. I’ll be live-blogging the debate between Peter Bergen and Juliette Kayyem on the one side and Michael Hayden and Richard Falkenrath on the other.

8:44: Final numbers...Pre debate: 41% For, 28% Against, 31% Undecided. Post debate: 46% For, 43% Against, 11% Undecided

8:33: Hayden and Falkenrath win the debate. Exact numbers to be posted shortly.

8:29: Audience members voting.

8:20: Closing statements begin.

8:12: Falkenrath asks Kayyem: Should Obama declare the war on terror over? Kayyem: It would be political suicide.

8:10: Audience members still unclear how Bergen and Kayyem define and end to the “war on terror.”

8:02: Kayyem: “War is not the correct way to describe what we are doing.”

8:00: Slate asked readers to submit questions: “Could you explain specific conditions you WOULD have to see to end war?”

7:57: Bergen cites some of the budgetary numbers affiliated with the war on terror governmental apparatus.

7:55: Audience member asks: How will ending the war on terror help the economy?

7:49: Audience member asks Kayyem and Bergen: What are the advantages to ending the “war on terror” as you define it?

7:47: Bergen: We’ve defeated our enemy and “it’s time to move on.”

7:45: Donvan asks Kayyem: If the war on terror is already over, then why do we need to end it?

7:43: Debaters arguing over what “War on Terror” means.

7:37: The legal debate that Hayden and Falkenrath have framed includes Kayyem, who is an attorney, but largely leaves Bergen silent.

7:33: Kayyem: War on terror goes beyond just the authorization of war by Congress.

7:30: Round 2 begins. Debaters responds to Donvan and questions from the audience.

7:28: Falkenrath calls Obama “tougher, sharper” in the war on terror than Bush, although their approaches are fundamentally the same.

7:25: Falkenrath: The war on terror is a legal doctrine and allows the U.S. to act legally against terrorism.

7:23: Falkenrath: The war on terror “is a very open ended concept.”

7:20: Falkenrath takes the podium.

7:18: Kayyem: Do not forget about the “dark side” of the war on terror.

7:16: Kayyem: Dealing with the terrorist threat is an ongoing concern, but the war on terror was an ideology.

7:12: Kayyem takes the podium.

7:10: If we take the legal tools off the table, we will not be able to keep America safe.

7:09: Hayden: Killing bin Laden was a lawful action.

7:08: Hayden: We will make the legal case for the war on terror.

7:05: Michael Hayden takes the podium.

7:04: Bergen: if we don’t end the war on terror now, then when?

6:54: Moderator John Donvon of ABC News takes the podium as moderator.

6:52: Jacob Weisberg discussing Slate’s new role in Intelligence Squared.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


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