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10 years later: Are we safer?

Since September 11, 2011, the United States has increased its security dramatically. But even with the extra security, the question remains: Are we actually safer than we were 10 years ago? The Chronicle's Caroline Fairchild asked professors, experts and former students this question.

"We are safer, but not yet safe. We have put into place a lot of measures from the annoying, the airports, but there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scene and has made it harder, but not impossible, for terrorist groups to perform further acts."

-Peter Feaver, co-director of the AGS program

"Yes and no. Yes, we are safer in that we invented a concept of homeland security that we didn't really have before and we institutionalized that. We are less safe because we played the hegemon and the invader, convincing the countless young men around the world that the propaganda of our enemies is correct."

-Alex Roland, former history professor at Duke

"There is no doubt in my mind that when it comes to our capacity to monitor airport security, Internet and a variety of different digital modes of communication, that we are in a much better place. But, from a larger macro point of view, the fact is that the group that attacked us is now spread worldwide in places like Somalia and Yemen, and they have means of communicating with each other, and to that extent, we are living in an independent world."

-Bruce Kuniholm, dean of Sanford School of Public Policy

"When 9/11 happened, al Qaeda had a free reign to operate in Afganistan, and they were well funded and well trained, and they had executed some devastating attacks—now it is just a shadow of its former self."

-David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security

"I definitely think the measures adopted in the aftermath of 9/11 made it much more difficult for al-Qaeda or similar groups to strike the U.S. homeland."

-Ionut Popescu, AGS program fellow

"We can never be totally safe, or fully aware of everything going on in the world, but I think that the U.S. has done a good job thus far in solving te problems that allowed 9/11 to occur in the first place. There is much more to do, but I feel very lucky to live in this country and have full faith in the U.S. government."

-Chelsea Goldstein, Trinity '10


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