Term Paper: Attacks on Pearl Harbor

Pages: 27 (8509 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Indications leading to the Attacks

Even though the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center have been portrayed as completely unexpected and unforeseen actions, both these events had been directed by apparent signs and signals that the United States had been confronting a looming danger (36). Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the relationship between the Americans and the Japanese had arrived at its lowest point (7). Not later than the summer of 1941, the government of the then American President, Franklin Roosevelt, had set economic sanctions on the Japanese government to compel them to stop their conflict with China. Historians have given reference to these sanctions as the contiguous reason of the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor. The Japanese government refused to get bowed down by these sanctions (22). While, the Japanese believed that the American impediment against them would eventually damage their prosperous economy, they viewed the demolition of the U.S. navy as part of their strategic planning which would give them some room to maneuver. The intentions of the Japanese was to promptly grab hold of the natural resources of the Far East, strengthen their recently subjugated lands, and subsequently arrive at some kind of negotiated agreement with America (17).

Initially there had been internal disagreements between the administration of President Roosevelt and the senior bureaucrats in the Capitol Hill (9). The administration of President Roosevelt acknowledged the treat that had emerged from Japan, even though the senior officials in the Capital Hill did not comprehend that Oahu was at risk until time had gone out. These people did not believe that the Japanese would dare wage a war with America since they lacked both the financial resources, as well as, the warfare capability to fight a long war with the Americans (18). However, as things turned out in the end, the analysis made by the administration of President Roosevelt had been far more accurate than the analysis made by senior officials at Washington. The attack by Japan on the American soil of Pearl Harbor removed the likelihood of U.S. compliance to the formation of a Japanese kingdom in the Pacific, as well as, the ultimate peace agreement Japan expected to accomplish (19).

However, the threats emerging prior to the assault on Pearl Harbor can be considered as quite vague when compared to the attacks on 9/11 (36). The circumstances that confronted America had been even more precise and definite, if not relatively as critical, before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11. Numerous investigations, as well as, commission reports explained the constant fight back aligned with terrorism. All these investigations and commission reports forecasted that a noteworthy terrorist attack on the American soil had become a practical sureness (5). It is believed that The American Administration, all through the 1990's, had been essentially occupied in a conflict with Al Qaeda, an international terrorist group. It is also believed that Al Qaeda might have been somehow connected to the terrorists that waged war against the American Ranger corps in Somalia in the year of 1993. It was also believed that Al Qaeda had also been occupied in the attack on the workplace of the project director for the "Saudi Arabian National Guard" situated in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in the November of 1995, as well as, in the bombing of the Khobar Towers complex in Dahran in the July of 1996 (16).

The American troops abroad had been constantly under threat of terror attack and some of these attacks actually materialized into terror campaigns, as illustrated above. These terrorist campaigns against the interest of America in the year 1995 and 1996 transformed the mannerism in which the American troops had been deployed and also changed the operating tactics of the U.S. forces within the Arabian Neck of land (27).

Modern "force safeguard" set of laws had been propagated to defend personnel in the American military, compelling American Military commanding officers to monitor and analyze tough and inflexible obligations to guarantee the protection of all American troops deployed in the Arab States. In the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, American military corps had been strengthened at the Air Base of Prince Sultan and advice-giving and counseling constituents had been transferred to the Eskan Village. Eskan Village is a housing compound situated south of the Saudi capital, Riyadh (27).

In order to avoid any further terrorists attacks, all intelligence gathering and compiling endeavors also started directing its resources and focusing on this new intimidation, giving American Military forces, deployed all through the Arab World, with augmented strategic and procedural forewarnings. As a result, whenever the American forces felt an immediate terror threat, they used to relocate their forces at the "Threatcon Delta" so as to avert the probability of an instantaneous terror attack. These stringent measures adopted by the American Military in the Persian Gulf made it extremely difficult for Al Qaeda to attack American interests in the Gulf States; as a result, Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks started looking for vulnerable American targets in other places (27).

Furthermore, after the stringent measures had been adopted to protect the American forces in the Gulf States, several high officials, both in the military and the civilian sector, started believing that Al Qaeda, as well as, other terrorist networks did not have the capabilities to get past the security measures and strike a lethal blow to the American interests in the Gulf States (15). In August 1998, however, all these persistent reservations relating to the ever-increasing terrorization threats by Al Qaeda had been dismissed when Al Qaeda's bombed the American embassies in Kenya, as well as, Tanzania; and then in October 2000, attacked the U.S.S. Cole. In order to avert any further losses to its interest and put an end to this terror campaign, America, under President Clinton, subsequent to the 1998 embassy attacks, returned fire by initiating cruise missile attacks against alleged terrorist training base camps in Afghanistan, as well as, a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that was alleged to have associations to Al Qaeda (28).

The American government agencies, both military and civilian, had a patent concept that Osama bin Laden, along with the entire network of Al Qaeda, had dedicated themselves to attack and hurt American interests' worldwide. The fatwa (a religious decree) given by Osama Bin Laden, in the year 1998, symbolized a proclamation of combat against the Americans and urged all its followers to execute American soldiers, officials, even civilians the world over (28).

This consideration of the intentions of Osama bin Laden had been mirrored in different publicly accessible resources. On September 10, 2001, one day before the September 11 attacks, the American Congressional Research Service issued a persuasive caution about Osama bin Laden's operation of terrorism. The report had been titled as, "Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors." Furthermore, a persuasive account of Osama bin Laden's coalition with the Taliban, as well as, his political ambitions had even been published in Foreign Affairs report in the year 1999 (28).

In light of the evidence given above, it is quite apparent that the element of "surprise" was not there, since, apparent signs and signals were present to gauge the ambitions of the enemy. Therefore, the attack on Pearl Harbor in the Second World War, as well as, the terrorist attacks on September 11 had not been events, which took place out of the blue (36).

However, since both these events had been commonly observed to have taken place devoid of any apparent warning, they both have been responsible for transforming postures and creating policies that have abridged the probability and results of surprise terror attacks (31). The attack on Pearl Harbor in the Second World War compelled the strategists to focus their undivided attention on the fundamental requirement to prevent the outcomes of unexpected attacks on the American soil, particularly when it came to the American nuclear deterrent coercions. The fright of an unexpected attack made the nuclear equilibrium of horror seem fragile. Consequently, massive endeavors had been assumed to assure that American strategic forces could endure a Soviet nuclear assault and still be competent to guarantee annihilation of the Soviet Union (8).

At present, the American President George Bush's administration has been attempting to reduce and diminish the realization of any possible terrorist event by augmenting homeland security and consequently the administration has been using more than U.S.$35 billion on homeland security plans annually, since the September 11 attacks. In addition, the American paramilitary forces have been preventing terrorist attacks by waging the war against the terrorists, as well as, by training foreign militaries to take care of the threat that has been ever emerging (8).

Institutional Weakness

Several incorrect perceptions prevail about the attack on Pearl Harbor. One such prevailing and widespread incorrect perception is that it was the American Navy that had been… [END OF PREVIEW]

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