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Former US Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff discusses counterterrorism

For Michael Chertoff, former US secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, the fact that America has not experienced a single attack by foreign terrorists since 9/11 proves that the US was "successful" in its strategy to prevent terrorism. That "was not [an] accident and there was a deterrent effect to be honest — had we been lax, more would have tried." Although he admits the US government wasn't transparent enough about the intelligence it was collecting, Chertoff credits US intelligence agencies with helping to foil the plot to blow up airplanes mid-air from Heathrow to the US in 2006. The US mission in Iraq, or what came after was not clearly thought out, according to Michael Chertoff, who served as the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. The Iraq war made it difficult to focus on the US mission in Afghanistan and absorbed resources that could have been used more effectively elsewhere, he said.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Is America safer since 9/11?

With US out, will Afghanistan become a greater terrorist threat?

While the US has gotten a lot better at counter-terrorism since 9/11, many bad guys are still out there — and the Taliban victory in Afghanistan has given them a huge morale boost. "They will see this as they did, indeed, the ISIS victories in Syria and Iraq, as a sign that they're on their way back," says former UK diplomat Rory Stewart. "Whatever we think about Afghanistan, nobody should be concluding that there are no terrorist threats." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on this episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: Is America Safer Since 9/11?

Podcast: A safer America 20 years after 9/11? Michael Chertoff and Rory Stewart discuss

Listen: 20 years have passed since 9/11, but is the US any safer? As the Taliban regains control in Afghanistan, was the War on Terror a failure or has it kept America safe from harm? And how did US allies feel as the last American planes left Kabul? On the GZERO World podcast, Ian Bremmer speaks to two people who have had a hand in crafting global policy since the towers fell: Michael Chertoff, who served as Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security under President George Bush; and Rory Stewart, who worked extensively in Afghanistan in his role as UK Secretary of State for International Development and beyond.

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20 years since 9/11 attacks

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. It's the 20th anniversary of 9/11 coming up real soon, and I thought I'd give you a few thoughts about it. I was here in New York, like so many of us, when the planes flew into the towers. It was shocking. I was in our offices in Midtown at the time. At first, of course, everyone thought it was an accident. And then suddenly it became quite apparent it was not. And it was a gut punch. It was a feeling that the world had changed inextricably even if you didn't know exactly how.

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Political transformation 20 years after 9/11

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

Two decades later, in what ways has 9/11 shaped US politics?

Well, I think if you can go back in time from today to late 2001 and early 2002, people then would be surprised to learn three things. The first is that the Taliban were back in charge of Afghanistan. The second is that Iraq can transition to a relatively stable democracy. And the third is that after 9/11, there were no future foreign-planned major terrorist attacks against the United States. This last piece of information will particularly surprise people, and they'd also be surprised to learn that the major threats facing the US were largely domestic political instability and a rising geopolitical conflict with China, which had just become an open trading partner of the US just before the 9/11 attacks happened.

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Is the US safer from terrorism 20 years after 9/11?

For Michael Chertoff, former US secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, the fact that America has not experienced a single attack by foreign terrorists since 9/11 proves that the US was "successful" in its strategy to prevent terrorism. That "was not an accident and there was a deterrent effect to be honest — had we been lax, more would have tried." Chertoff pushes back against the notion that the US government wasn't transparent enough about the intelligence it was collecting, and credits those efforts with foiling the plot to blow up airplanes mid-air from Heathrow to the US in 2006. Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on this episode of GZERO World.

Affordable Care Act upheld by Supreme Court, and Republicans move on

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares updates on recent policy developments:

With the Supreme Court's recent decision, is the Affordable Care Act here to stay?

Yes, this was the Court's third ruling on the Affordable Care Act upholding its constitutionality. This challenge was brought by Republican attorneys general who argued that the repeal of the individual mandate tax undermined the court's previous justification for allowing the law to stand. They were unsuccessful, yet again. And the political salience of the Affordable Care Act has really diminished in the last several years, with Republicans moving on to fight other issues and the Court signaling very strongly they don't want to get involved in overturning this piece of legislation. The Affordable Care Act will be here at least until Congress wants to legislate on it again.

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