Matthew Duss, writing for Foreign Affairs on October 22, lays out his case for establishing a commission to investigate the sins of America over the course of the Global War on Terror and recommend remedial actions so that America never does anything like GWOT ever again. (U.S. Foreign Policy Never Recovered From the War on Terror: "Only a Reckoning With the Disastrous Legacy of 9/11 Can Heal the United States.")
The catch is that to follow what he wants of a GWOT commission is like following a description of Russiagate, which maybe five Americans can understand (I'm not one of the five), or the Tale of Benghazi, which is so confusing that the public (those 5 or 10 still game for solving the mystery) is still trying to figure out what happened that fateful night, and why.
So many tangled tales have arisen since 9/11 that it's the tangles, not any specific situations, which hallmark not only the long war but also all the major incidents of the early part of this century. Indeed the best description for this era is Red Herring.
A commission of the kind Matthew Duss envisions would only add to the tangle, with the entire enterprise collapsing in a tangle of counter-accusations.
A simpler way to approach the problem would be to look at the genesis of U.S. military actions that eventually got lumped in with GWOT but at the start had virtually nothing to do with it. Libya and Syria fill the bill. Straighten out the story of those 'wars,' then use that as a lens to study U.S. actions across the spectrum of GWOT.
To get the ball rolling across the mounds of red herring, I recommend Libya, the Obama Administration, and the Muslim Brotherhood (Part 1) and Libya, the Obama Administration, and the Muslim Brotherhood (Part 2) by Vincent Amoroso for The Best of Africa.
Note the date of publication -- January 2020. Yes, this year. The basic story has been known for a long time to interested members of public but it took an awful lot of work and patience to fit the pieces together in a way that wasn't hopelessly confusing to a general reader. Often it would be years before an intelligence agency would cough up a bit of the story, to be fit with other bits.
Yet when it's all said and done, when all the pieces finally drop, we will be staring not at the United States of America but at a logo.
That, dear reader, will never happen.