Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Four civilian airplanes were hijacked with the intent of destroying major American landmarks. Three hit their target. Another crashed in a field. Thousands of people died. The World Trade Center's Twin Towers were knocked to the ground. American was slapped in the face, and given a black eye. That morning Americans woke up feeling secure. That night everybody went to bed afraid.
In the morning of September 11, 2001 America was powerful, at night America was weak.
Did America lose any of it's strength as a result? Actually, it did not. It was when the terrorists refused to be afraid or intimidated by American power, that American lost power. 9-11 was simply the moment when the American people realized this to be true. The War on Terror is simply America trying to regain it's sense of control, its power.
America's loss of power was more a realization that the rest of the world did not buy into the power of the US.