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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 the full episode: Is America safer since 9/11?

Former top US official regrets Iraq becoming 'magnet' for terrorism

If Michael Chertoff has one regret from his tenure as US secretary of Homeland Security (2005-2009), it's Iraq. He says the US-led war there not only distracted from Afghanistan, but the unclear mission and lack of post-war planning ultimately turned Iraq into "a magnet for all kinds of attacks on Americans, that absorbed more resources, more attention, and more patients." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on this episode of GZERO World.

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

Is America safer since 9/11?

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 GZERO World, 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.

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.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

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.

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