September 11 Attack Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2073 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism

¶ … September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (9/11) that destroyed the World Trade Center and caused thousands of deaths. What have we learned from the attack? What has been done since 9/11 to prevent future attacks? The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were a surprise, leaving Americans filled with sorrow, anger, bitterness, and regret. We have learned much from the terrorist attacks, and America is working hard to prevent such attacks in the future. Most of all, we learned that America is vulnerable, and that we all must work together to help stop terrorism and its deadly attacks on the nation.

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Few Americans will dispute that the nation, and even the world, has changed since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Two researchers into terrorism wrote, "Since September 11, America has been on a war footing, with armed soldiers standing guard at our nation's airports, enhanced security at nuclear power plants and other vulnerable locations, and military jets flying combat air patrols in order to intercept and shoot down hijacked commercial aircraft" (Klinger & Grossman, 2002). Before the terrorist attacks many Americans felt that something as devastating as the 9/11 attacks could never occur here. They were wrong, and the attacks proved the country is indeed vulnerable and open to attack from afar. The country learned the hard way that there is much more that can be done to prevent terrorist attacks, and that sometimes personal freedom has to come second to national security. As the aftermath of the attacks overtook the country, American learned that many industries, such as the airline industry, were also vulnerable to lost business because of the attacks, and thousands of people lost their jobs as industries cut back to cut costs. The country learned that nothing would ever truly be the same after the 9/11 attacks, and that the government had to create new regulations and ways of protecting Americans from the terror of attacks like 9/11.

Term Paper on September 11 Attack Assignment

Directly after the 9/11 attacks, all air traffic was grounded. It was clear that new security measures had to be developed to deal with terrorist attacks coming from hijacking airliners. As another terrorism expert notes about continuing threats to the U.S., "There are many potentially hostile foreign and domestic sources of such threats, and some key threats like biological weapons involve rapidly changing technologies that will pose a steadily growing threat to the U.S. homeland" (Cordesman, 2002, p. 415). Thus, America has to develop new ways of combating terrorism and locating terrorists before they can cause harm. President Bush developed the Department of Homeland Security to help combat terrorism in the country. The Department devised a series of color codes to indicate the terrorism threat level to the country, with green being the lowest level and red being the highest. As of this writing, the threat level is yellow or "elevated" (DHS, 2005). In addition, the Department monitors immigration and the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, and assesses "the vulnerabilities of the nation's critical infrastructure and cyber security threats and takes the lead in evaluating these vulnerabilities and coordinating with other federal, state, local, and private entities to ensure the most effective response" (DHS, 2005). Clearly, the Department has many functions and responsibilities, and it is nearly impossible to monitor all of them constantly, so the threat of additional attacks remains. However, the Department of Homeland Security has merged several functions into one more cohesive function that exists solely to keep America safe. This Department helps keep future attacks from happening by trying to keep terrorists out of the country, monitoring suspected terrorists and their activities inside the country, and monitoring the borders for terrorists trying to enter the country. They also monitor maritime (shipping) traffic and cargo, attempting to keep Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and other terrorist materials out of the country. They are also in charge of customs and inspections of all passengers and cargo coming into the country from foreign countries. It is a big job to keep American safe from terrorism, and the DHS has many responsibilities. However, the Department has so far succeeded in keeping terrorism at bay since the 9/11 attacks, and as time goes by, they learn more about stopping terrorism and monitoring the country.

Another way America has reacted to the terrorist attacks to attempt to keep them from happening again is tightening airline security. Most Americans have experienced the long lines and increased security at airline check-ins across the country. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for airport security, and since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, security at airports has become much stricter. Sharp objects are not allowed on flights, and all baggage is x-rayed and/or searched before travelers enter their planes. These security measures have slowed down airport departures, and changed the way people fly, but they have made the airlines safer, and they have stopped many dangerous items from being carried on planes. In addition, after 9/11 airport security increased outside the airports, too. Most airports no longer allow passengers to park and wait for incoming passengers, and parking garages are secure, too. Thus, flying became safer after the terrorist attacks, and Americans who feared flying could be assured that the airlines and airports were safe again.

In addition to the DHS and the TSA, the U.S. Congress passed the Patriot Act after 9/11, which gives police agencies additional "authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to terrorism," and "authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to computer fraud and abuse offenses" (Patriot Act, 2001). It also has many other provisions regarding national security including trade sanctions against countries that help fund and harbor terrorism, communications monitoring, information from foreign intelligence, money laundering monitoring, and immigration and passport monitoring (Patriot Act, 2001). This Act helps monitor suspicious activity, and allows law enforcement agencies to work together to hunt down threats to the nation. Many critics find the Act gives too much power to government agencies and feel the Act has taken away many important rights that Americans have come to know and depend on. However, when it comes to national security, it is difficult to decide when safety comes first, and when rights come first. The rights of all Americans should be protected, but so should the lives of all Americans. This debate over the Patriot Act continues, but the Act was created to make America safer, and so far, it seems that it is at least helping to keep terrorism at bay.

Soon after the terrorist attacks, President Bush launched a full scale invasion of Afghanistan to remove the terrorist Taliban from power, and hunt down terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, who was determined to have masterminded and bankrolled the terrorist attacks. One terrorism expert said of the bin Laden threat, "The bin Laden network itself falls into a different category, and in fact its actions for 20 years have caused great harm to the poor and oppressed people of the region, who are not the concern of the terrorist networks" (Chomsky, 2001, p. 27). Afghanistan was liberated from the Taliban, but bin Laden still has not been caught, although many of his associates have been.

To help combat terror here at home and around the world, thousands of other suspected terrorists were incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in a camp where they are being held and questioned as a threat to the United States. Many critics have criticized the administration for keeping these suspected terrorists incarcerated for so long, but the detainees pose a threat to the U.S., and it seems safer to keep them behind bars rather than allow them to go free and perhaps plan and execute other terrorist attacks on the country.

Of course, one of the most notable ways the U.S. is fighting further attacks on the country is with the war in Iraq. Iraq posed a threat to the United States and the world, and sending U.S. forces to Iraq not only liberated the people from a brutal dictator, it helped ensure that further terrorist activities would eventually end in Iraq, and hopefully throughout the Middle East. The war in Iraq has been costly in dollars and lives, but hopefully, the war will help keep terrorism at bay, and allow Iraq to join the ranks of democratic nations so it can go about the business of healing and rebuilding. Many critics feel the war with Iraq was not justified because no WMD were found, but it is clear that Saddam Hussein did help fund terrorism against the United States, and removing him from power helped protect the world from terrorism and abuse. The war with Iraq is controversial, but it is another attempt to protect the country from further attacks. There are many ways to protect the country, and many ways terrorists will try to threaten the country and thwart the efforts to keep them from attacking again. Anything that the country can do to prevent more death and destruction seems justified in the war… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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September 11 Attack.  (2005, January 26).  Retrieved February 21, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/september-11-attack/76173

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"September 11 Attack."  Essaytown.com.  January 26, 2005.  Accessed February 21, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/september-11-attack/76173.