Wired's Danger Room calls the war on terror "The Zombie War".
In a rational world, as the emergency receded, so too would the institutional mechanisms of response. In the world we actually live in, the war on terrorism is more like a zombie, lurching forward thoughtlessly on instinct and stimulus-response.
Ackerman breaks it down: the huge federal budget costs that live on. Plus "[t]he 9/11 security state is very much alive. Or, if you prefer, undead." And the human casualties. He makes the metaphor work, sadly.
(thanks to Todd Bryant)