On September 11, 2001, hours after planes crashed into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, Yale professor Charles Hill stood in front of a lecture hall and put the events in context for his students, recounting the history of modern terrorism since the 1970s. As a former diplomat who worked behind the scenes for both Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, it was a subject with which he was intimately familiar.
"This was an act of war, and that requires you to go to war," he said, former student Molly Worthen wrote in her biography The Man on Whom Nothing Was Lost: The Grand Strategy of Charles Hill. "Some generations of Americans --thank God not every one -- have a war. My war was the Vietnam War. This is your war. I believe it can be fought honorably, and it can be fought for good reasons, and it can be fought with minimal civilian casualties. You have to decide to fight it, and decide that you can win."