This video is part of a special Council on Foreign Relations series that explores how 9/11 changed international relations and U.S. foreign policy. In this video, Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose argues that the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States "unleashed U.S. power on the world." Rose says this resulted "not just in the Afghanistan campaign, but in the Iraq campaign eventually, in the Global War on Terror, and in the massive deployment of American resources, in power projection, and in an activist world role that wouldn't have been conceivable without the immediate trigger of a threat in the previous decade." He says the end of this decade saw a "chastened, less hubristic" U.S. attitude and a country confronting a host of domestic challenges.
Listen to Edward Alden, the Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at CFR, discuss his book, The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11, with students as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call Series.
Lee H. Hamilton, the vice-chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (also known as the 9/11 Commission), says "I would agree with the general assessment that we are safer than we were prior to 9/11, but we are not safe." While he is concerned about better protecting the United States from weapons of mass destruction, he is greatly worried about bioterrorism and ordinary chemical weapons.
U.S. leaders mark the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with muted tributes and vows to keep pressure on Islamic militants. The American public is mixed on how effective U.S. counterterror efforts have been since 2001.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »