Security Aviation Security Pre and Post 911 Term Paper

Pages: 30 (10540 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Terrorism

Security

Aviation Security Pre and Post 911

The security in most airports did not used to be much of a problem for anyone. For many years before the events of September 11, 2001, travelers did not think much about security at all, it was just something that was expected at the airport, and oftentimes it seemed as though it was not taken very seriously. People had to walk through a metal detector, and their bags had to go down the conveyor belt to be X-rayed, but it seemed more of a formality than it did something to do with their safety and security. It was just one more thing they had to do when they went to the airport.

After September 11th, all of that changed. There was a renewed sense of concern when someone's bags were searched because the x-ray machine showed an odd shape in their carry-on luggage. People who were required to travel on planes that had a lot of Arabic or Middle Eastern looking individuals on them became nervous, and some of them chose to take a later flight rather than subject themselves to terrorists. The fear of individuals who were not from America grew and loomed large in many of America's airports since many people blamed the airports, at least in part, for the lack of security that led to the terrorist attacks. It was a difficult time for air travel and for America as a whole.

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People who traveled on airlines began to realize that there was a reason for the x-ray machine and the metal detectors. They were not there just so passengers standing in line to board a plane would have something to do after all. They were there to stop people from getting on planes with knives and guns and bombs. And sometimes they failed in their task.

Term Paper on Security Aviation Security Pre and Post 911 Assignment

While airport security is not totally to blame for the events of September 11th, it did play a role in allowing the hijackers to board the plane that crashed into the twin towers, as well as the other planes that hijackers attempted to use to destroy other landmarks and important American buildings that day. If airport security had been different, the hijackers might never have gotten on those planes that day and things as they are now, including the war with Iraq, might be drastically different.

Background

On September 11, 2001, at 8:46 A.M., an airliner traveling at hundreds of miles per hour and carrying hundreds of passengers and thousands of gallons of jet fuel plowed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. At 9:03 A.M. A second airliner hit the South Tower. Fire and smoke billowed upward. Steel, glass, ash, and bodies fell below. The Twin Towers both collapsed in less than 90 minutes. At 9:37 A.M. that same morning, a third airliner slammed into the western face of the Pentagon. At 10:03, a.m. A fourth airliner crashed in a field in southern Pennsylvania. It had been aimed at the United States Capitol or the White House, and was forced down by heroic passengers armed with the knowledge that America was under attack.

Up to 50,000 people worked each day at the places that were affected by the terrorism strike. Out of these 50,000 more than 2,600 people died at the World Trade Center; 125 died at the Pentagon, and 256 died on the four planes. The death toll surpassed that at Pearl Harbor in December 1941. To many, at least where the magnitude of the death toll was considered, the tragic event of September 11 was another Pearl Harbor. In practical reality, when it comes to the task that lies ahead, it is quite possible that it will turn out to be another Gulf of Tonkin.

Some believe that the Bush Presidency began on September 11, 2001 when the terrorist attacks marked a quantum leap in the audacity and deadliness of terror (Fredrickson & LaPorte, 2002). In the most eloquent speech he has delivered, Bush stated that he was giving the Taliban a second chance to hand over Osama bin Laden. Since then, there has been sparked a fundamental debate about the tension among privacy, freedom, civil liberty, and security, in particular about how governments can prevent terrorism without infringing on privacy where airline security is concerned. The real intricacy stems from the fact that physical world attacks do not propagate beyond physical limits. Our privacy rights were stolen away as well, as the nation debated how to protect our liberties while waging war on terrorism.

Statement of the Problem

Before September 11th, the digital revolution in many ways expanded the capability of both the government and private companies to track, monitor and profile us by putting unprecedented power of communication technologies under the control of individuals. The threats to our privacy came largely from the government's usual thirst for information about our private lives, combined with the rapid development of new technologies that made interception of communications faster and collection of data cheaper.

The security of our nation has always been important, but never more so than after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. When the terrorist strike occurred, lawmakers and other concerned individuals began to realize the need for more security at various vulnerable points. Specifically, they concerned themselves with borders, airport security, infrastructure, law enforcement and intelligence, and cyberterrorism, because these were the areas that they felt were most vulnerable to terrorism.

These areas were also some of the most difficult areas to protect, because so many people used many of them every day. It was almost impossible to track who was coming in and out of every airport, or check the truthfulness of the document the border patrolman was just handed. If everything seemed legitimate then it was assumed to be legitimate, and that was that. All of those feelings changed when the attacks occurred and the United States saw just how easily it had been conned into thinking that everything was perfectly alright. That false sense of security was what got the U.S. into trouble, and now that they realized why it happened, they were out to make sure that it did not happen again.

All of the specific areas mentioned above are very vulnerable to terrorists, but for different reasons. The airports, naturally, were a big focus shortly after the terrorist attacks, but it was soon realized that they are not the only potential problem areas for terrorists to infiltrate our country. Terrorists getting into the country is a big concern, but so is what they are doing while they are here.

If one does manage to get in, or is already in the country, he must be watched closely to make sure he does not try anything. The likelihood is that he will, if he thinks he can get away with it. The object of homeland security and the new technology is to make it clear to the terrorists out there that America is on to them, and that they cannot just get away with it. There will be technology in place that is designed to make sure that they do not cause the kind of destruction and devastation that they previously handed to us.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to not only show the seriousness of the problem in question, but to come up with ideas that will help to show how this problem can be reduced in size. The best way to do this is to first analyze the problem in question to determine just how serious it actually is, and then use that seriousness as a wake-up call for those that have been looking the other way and avoiding dealing with the issue. There are many of these individuals, and it is time that this is changed. Even though advancements have been made, there are still many people who do not take the terrorist threat at the nation's airports seriously enough, and this is true of other areas for terrorism, as well. The only way to ensure safety is to better control all of the possible terrorist entries to this country, which is something that has not yet been accomplished.

Importance of the Study

It is necessary and pertinent to discuss the importance of a study, and this particular study is important to many people across the country. Not only does it have importance for veterans of past terrorist attacks and their families, but it also has importance for those who are considering an aviation career and those that are currently working in the aviation field as well. The reason behind this is that terrorism is something that is not going to go away, and something that is not simply going to be 'cured.' It is possible that, in the future, new and better ideas for how to address it and stop it from affecting this country will come about, however.

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