Giuliani: Don't let a 'politically expedient' schedule hurt security

The U.S. is safer from terrorist attacks 10 years after 9/11, but not as "safe as we should be," former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Saturday.

"Perhaps the most dangerous impulse we've developed since September 11 is impatience demonstrated by the calls to put our armed forces on timetables," Giuliani said in the weekly Republican address.

American troops should not be removed from the Middle East on a "politically expedient" schedule, but only when the terror threats there are neutralized, he said.

A committed military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped protect America from further terror attacks like the one experienced on Sept. 11 a decade ago, Giuliani said, and the nation should resist the urge to minimize the remaining threat to justify withdrawing from the Middle East.

"It's a re-emergence of a dangerous historical pattern that sometimes afflicts America -- a desire to demilitarize by minimizing the dangers we face and that’s led to catastrophes in the past," he said.

Rather, Giuliani argued that the nation's security is contingent upon U.S. forces in parts of the world that harbor terrorists.

"American security requires a long-term military presence in the part of the world where people and organizations are plotting to kill us," he said. "We must not allow impatience to prevent our military from achieving its objective in Iraq and Afghanistan and the objective is the elimination of the threat to our nation."

America has also become a safer place thanks to improvements in intelligence gathering and airport security, driven in large part as a response to those attacks, he said. However, lax security at the nation's ports and uneven preparedness at the state and local level remain points of weakness in the nation's security.

He also noted that broad breakdowns in security are still possible, made evident by the failed bombing attempt of a jet landing in Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. And poor decisions and the "irrational application of political correctness" enabled the shooting at Fort Hood.

Giuliani also used the address to remember the lives lost during the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

While the terrorists achieved one goal by killing thousands of Americans, they failed in the broader attempt to shatter the American spirit, he said.

“The country was not broken, but rather, it was more united in the days after September 11 than at any time in my lifetime," he said, calling on the American people to "rediscover our unity."