Terrorism is the unlawful use of violence or intimidation against civilians, in pursuit of political aims. September 11th, 2001, marks one of the biggest terrorist attacks against the U.S. Four planes had crashed, two into the twin towers, one into the pentagon, and one crashing into a field when passengers fought back against the terrorist pilot.The results of this attack were devastating, thousands died, buildings were destroyed, and family and friends of the victims mourned for the tragic death of their loved ones. After such a horrific tragedy, it is hard to even imagine how such an event could ever be beneficial to the U.S. in any way. But after 9/11, the security of the United States greatly improved. The fact that September 11th was tragic is not up for debate, but what is commonly overlooked is the fact that it had positive effects on the United States; it increased airport safety, began several counterterrorism measures, and it united the U.S. and other countries against the common enemy of terrorism.One of the positive effects of 9/11 was the increase in airport security and better regulate immigration into and out of the United States. Immigration laws included the Control Act of 2005, which aimed at stopping terrorist from entering the country illegally through enhanced documentation verification (Ciment 688-90). The increased funding towards the Coast Guards in order to improve coordination with other port entities and provide increased protection for high-risk vessels and coastal facilities (Michael, George, and Ciment 294-301).
And the Homeland Security Act, which better organized immigration agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ciment). The Transportation Security Administration was also createdInstituted new security procedures and also managed screening at all commercial airports aroung the country (Green). The FAA set had enforced aviation security rules, their layered defense system was set up so if a criminal where to get through one of the security layers, it would not be fatal because of the additional layers he or she would have to go through. Although this system seems efficient, it was flawed prior to the terrorist attack of 9/11, because of this, the U.S. knew they would have to change and improve the system(9-11 Commission Report: Chapter 3.).Changes in airport safety included the Aviation Transportation Security Act, a provision to secure airports and airlines from criminal and terrorist activity (Mullins 18-21).
And the In-Plane Safety Act, which reinforced cockpit doors with steel; in order to stop gunfire from getting through, made rules that all cockpit doors must be locked and closed before the plane takes off, and must remain that way until the flight has ended; which prevents terrorists from getting the opportunity to take control of the plane like they did during 9/11, pilots and flight crews had to receive training to defend in order to protect against any terrorist threats (Mullins 18-21) Worst case scenario, pilots were also allowed to carry weapons on the plane in case of any terrorist attempts (Villemez). By installing new programs that encouraged the prevention of aerial terrorist attacks and the immigration of possible terrorist, these effect of 9/11 had positive impacts on U.S. citizens by preventing further attacks.The outcome of this event also created organizations in order to improve our counter terrorism prevention and responses. It gave more power to the FBI and created Domestic Surveillance Provisions which aimed to bring existing wiretap into the modern communications age by allowing for warrants that targeted individuals across multiple communications platforms, from landlines to cell phones to Internet connectivity(Ciment 688-90).
And the Sneak-A-Peek Warrant which allowed investigators to search private premises without knowledge or consent from the owner, in order to obtain informationthe warrants did not allow for the seizure of evidencebut this evidence would later be taken with the use of a warrant(Ciment 688-90). The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Act of 2004, included reorganization of the government, aimed at correcting the lack of coordination among the intelligence-gathering agencies, which some experts claim that this lack of communication was the reason 9/11 occured, the act created the new position of director of national intelligence, to oversee the various intelligence-gathering agencies, and the National Counterterrorism Center, to coordinate government activities in that area of security (Ciment 688-90). The defense against bioterrorism focused on three areas; strengthening infrastructure by improving the state and local health systems, enhancing the federal government’s capabilities to communicate with state, local, and private agencies in the event of an attack, developing new vaccines, medicines, and diagnostic tests through increased research and development (Michael, George, and Ciment 294-301). To meet the requirements for these new efforts, President Bush’s 2003 budget called for $5.9 million in funding for defending against bioterrorist attackswhich is a 319 percent increase from the 2002 level(Michael, George, and Ciment 294-301). By creating specific programs to combat terrorism, 9/11’s impact was positive because it created ways to detect terrorists in and out of the country, and does not only just connect to aerial attacks.This tragic date united the American and non American people against terrorism and forced them to help each other in their time of need.
During 9/11 there was no riots or panic, instead, this event brought people together by taking care of victims, and honoring those who have died.From around the country and the world, they sent rescue units from fire and police stations as a symbolic gesture in order to honor the sixty police and 343 firefighters who died to save over 25,000 people (Jensen), the American Red Cross received so many blood donations that they had to turn people away (Roleff 43), and an unprecedented outpouring of contributions to numerous charities occured (Roleff 44).Families who lost loved ones started nonprifit campaigns to improve the lives many people in many significant ways, such as the Feal Good Foundation,Peter C. Alderman Foundation, and the Todd Ouida Children’s Foundation (Davis). In addition to the civilian involvement after September 11th, many civilians had become involved in the further prevention of terrorist attacks. There are multiple examples of this statement, such as; the Medical Reserve Corps, which was comprised of health-care professionals to augment the efforts of local health officials in areas affected by a crisis, Operation TIPS (Terrorist Information and Prevention System), which allowed transportation workers, postal workers, and public utility employees to identify and report suspicious activities, Community Emergency Response Teams, which enabled individual Americans to participate in training in their local communities to prepare for and respond to crises, Neighborhood Watch programs, the Volunteers in Police Service Program, in which citizen volunteers were permitted to assist their local police in performing non sworn functions and, in doing so, free up police to perform vital frontline duty in the event of an emergency, and the Patriot Readiness Center, which helped retired federal workers return to active service(Michael, George, and Ciment 294-301).
In addition to american citizens, other countries also rallied to help the U.S. in it’s time of need. They provided everything from troops and bases to intelligence cooperation and overflight permission. This included help not only from NATO, but opponents such as Russia and China (Walsh and Ciment 891-96). Other countries also grew more aggressive with counterterrorism efforts of their own, resulting in several overseas terrorist arrests. Bush stated that Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime, by saying this, President Bush pushed strongly encouraged the support and involvement of other countries after September 11th (Johnson 887-91). It encouraged the involvement of civilians and drew aide from foreign countries, this is positive because it it unites not only the people of the United States, but other countries as well to fight back against terrorism.Overall, 9/11 was tragic but led to the improvement of the United States security against terrorists. The event was beneficial because it improved air security while making immigration more strict, it created programs to combat terrorism, and brought support from citizens and other countries. The argument that 9/11 is beneficial is extremely important because it helps others come to the realization that such a tragic event was not for nothing and makes us more appreciative of the safety precautions we have to protect us on a daily basis.
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