Countering the New Terrorism Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3129 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Terrorism

¶ … counter the new terrorism threat (post 9/11) and whether these strategies have been successful. It will also look at many possible long-term strategies to counter the new terrorism. Terrorism is a growing threat to world safety and security. Countering this new terrorism menace is something all nations must work on together and in harmony, otherwise the threat of terrorism will only grow more menacing and unpredictable. Many measures have already been enacted, and more need to be developed to keep the country and the world safer and more secure.

Even before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on New York and Washington, experts were calling world terrorist threats the "new terrorism."

Authors and experts have found attacks such as the chemical attack in the Tokyo subway, suicide bombings, and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade center to be a new trend in terrorism that makes it ever more lethal and threatening. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have become the major threat in terrorism campaigns, and it seems only a matter of time before at least one terrorist organization unleashes WMDs on unsuspecting nations.

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In the not so distant past, most terrorists had clear ties to well-organized terrorist organizations around the globe, such as Al Qaeda. These organizations were strictly structured with a known chain of command. Al Qaeda, which has been in existence since the 1980s, still adheres to this basic structure, but many new terrorists and their organizations do not. Some terrorists act independently, and others are only loosely connected with any organization. In addition, modern terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, are increasingly connected around the globe. Earlier structured groups were easier to infiltrate, while global organizations with no one central headquarters are much more difficult to find and infiltrate. Thus, the new model of terrorism requires new countermeasures and control.

Protections Already in Place

Term Paper on Countering the New Terrorism How Do Assignment

There are many measures the administration has taken to ensure the safety and security of the American people. The Office of Homeland Security was created after the 9/11 attacks, and its mission was broadened in 2003. The office monitors security threats to the nation, among other safeguards, but critics feel it has not done enough to protect Americans from terrorism, and that, like most government agencies, it is "top-heavy" with administrators and micro-managers who truly accomplish very little.

Instead of relying on one mega-government agency, giving power to state and local governments could be a way to ensure safety at a more management level. Many local governments receive important intelligence that could be important, even vital, to national security, and with local jurisdiction, they would be free to act on this intelligence, rather than passing it on to national agencies. The Department of Homeland Security is a step in the right direction, but there are other ways to help ensure the safety of Americans on a national and local level.

Another countermeasure has been the increased security at airports. Long lines, x-ray machines, bomb-sniffing dogs, and banned liquids are all a part of the airport experience for Americans since the 9/11 attacks. For the most part, Americans have become used to the increased scrutiny as a price for their safety. While the airport security measures have caught some potential terrorists, for the most part, the increased security has gone unrewarded. In fact, tests of the system have shown that people carrying guns, knives, explosives, and other weapons have slipped through security from time to time. There is a human factor in any of these measures, and humans are not perfect, they make mistakes. Thus, there are bound to be some exceptions that slip through security and make it onto an airplane. This does not mean the security measures do not work or should be abandoned; it is simply one fact to consider in the ongoing battle against terrorism. Mistakes will be made and people will slip through the cracks in any security system.

One of the most controversial measures against terrorism in this country has been the use of unauthorized wire and phone taps in order to identify and locate terrorist. So far, this threat to freedom and liberty does not seem to actually have provided any terrorists, but the practice still continues. Many opponents to this type of scrutiny feel it gives the President too much power, tips the balance of power that was created to separate the judiciary, legislative, and executive branches of government, and threatens the civil liberties of all Americans. Authors Mockaitis and Rich state, "Since 9/11 American has witnessed the most serious erosion of civil liberties since the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II."

Supporters feel it is necessary to ensure the safety of Americans, especially by terrorists who might have already infiltrated American soil.

Another measure that has created controversy and discussion is the strengthening of the nation's borders. Many believe the border fence and other security measures on the Southern border will help keep illegal aliens out of the country, but will keep at least some terrorists out as well. In the past, it has been relatively simply to travel between countries both on the Northern and Southern borders, but increased security has made it more difficult, and there have been some suspected terrorists caught trying to come into the country though these channels. The security at the borders needs to be strengthened even more, especially in Canada, where in many areas it is a simple matter to walk from one country to the other outside of boarder security. To keep the country truly safe, all the borders need to be secured and strengthened, and that includes the ports and waterways as well.

Protecting Internal Hubs

One of the problems facing those who hope to foil terror strikes in the U.S. And abroad is the growing reliance on technology and transportation hubs that control vast arrays of travel and communication networks. Author Thomas R. Mockaitis notes, "To take a single example, the entire East-West rail network depends on a single turnstile located in Cincinnati, Ohio to reroute trains. The reliance of vast areas of the public and private sector on computer technology and the Internet has been a source of endless anxiety among those assessing threats to the U.S."

These targets, if destroyed, could cause thousands of casualties, and could tie up transportation and communication for months or even years, rather than the days and weeks it took to initially recover from the 9/11 attacks.

Imagine the chaos if terrorists successfully hit banking or computer communications hubs in the country. The implications for business and personal life are tremendous - in fact, they are unimaginable. Many in U.S. security have already imagined the chaos an attack could bring, and feel it is one of the biggest impending threats to the country. Another expert author notes, "The CIA, meanwhile, has warned that it treats Information Warfare (IW) (a potential 'weapon of mass disruption') as one of the two main threats to American national security, the other being nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (all 'weapons of mass destruction')."

Clearly, protecting these hubs is an integral part of countering terrorist attacks in the country, but how can this be accomplished?

Many experts feel the best way to deal with these threats is to monitor terrorist organizations as closely as possible through intelligence and infiltration, and to track them via the use of satellites and other electronic means. Experts also feel that the world needs to reduce its reliance on technologies and information systems, or at least spread them out throughout the globe so they are less vulnerable to attack and subterfuge.

Target Hardening and Displacement

Target hardening, which is sometimes called target displacement, is another way for the country to ensure critical targets in and out of the country are well guarded and secure. Placing high security monitoring and staff on nuclear power generators to ensure their safety after the 9/11 attacks is an example of target hardening, and so is the increased security at the nation's airports. In effect, target hardening is the deepening of protection around a target that is vulnerable, and making is less vulnerable. This makes it more difficult for the terrorist groups to overcome the security and attack the target, and they normally turn to a "softer" or less critical target.

While some target hardening has taken place throughout the country, there are still numerous vulnerable targets that must be addressed. In addition, many of our foreign embassies and business ventures are also very vulnerable, and the security around these locations should be hardened as well.

Chemical and biological WMDs

Many experts believe the two biggest terrorist threats currently facing the United States are chemical and/or biological weapons of mass destruction. The subway attack in Japan is an excellent example of this kind of attack. In 1995, a Japanese religious group placed a bag of the nerve gas sarin on a subway platform. Twelve people were killed and over 5,000 were injured in the biological attack, and most experts feel… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Countering the New Terrorism" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Countering the New Terrorism.  (2007, January 19).  Retrieved June 6, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Countering the New Terrorism."  19 January 2007.  Web.  6 June 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Countering the New Terrorism."  January 19, 2007.  Accessed June 6, 2020.