September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks in the USA
Terrorist attacks in the US, September 11th, 2001, caused many changes regarding security matters of the country. As Matson (2011) points out, security precautions and changes have been developed over the years with an aim to prevent threats to the US security. Prior to the 11th September 2001 terrorist attacks, there had been several deadly attacks orchestrated in the US. These have prompted to develop tighter security measures (Matson, 2011). During 1968-1972 people were concerned by an upsurge in airline hijackings. In this period, 137 flights from the US were hijacked. This fact has prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to introduce safety regulations such as screening of passengers with x-rays and metal detectors to avert the security threats (Matson, 2011).
In the 1980s, there was another terrorist attack. The US government, through the Food and Administration department, introduced rules requiring to package drugs. This was because the terrorists used drug-related attacks whereby they poisoned drugs, which were administered over the counter. Another attack was during the 1990s when terrorists attacked embassies belonging to the US government (Matson, 2011). More than 220 people were killed in the US embassies of Kenya and Tanzania. According to Matson (2011), the US Department of state introduced safety measures whereby its embassies were to be set 30 meters from roadways with fenced compounds. The most recent attack was in the 21st century which includes the infamous 11th September, 2001 terrorist attacks on the twin towers where more than 3000 people were killed.
As pointed out by the Cavoukian (2003), there have been various security precautions and measures taken by the US government after the 11th September 2011, which were aimed to deter further attacks. One of the precautions involves border protection through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 (Cavoukian, 2003). The department was mandated with the responsibility of securing the US borders with Mexico and Canada by tracking smuggling and shipment of weapons that could be used for terror attacks.
According to Cavoukian (2003), the second measure undertaken by the government was the creation of the Transport Security Administration, which oversees the US aviation security. Their duties include the screening of passengers and baggage in airports and overseeing the general safety of the US airports. Thirdly, the US government during the Bush administration created a Homeland Security Advisory System (Matson, 2011). The last measure is Emergency Preparedness by the Homeland Security SAFECOM program, which has improved communications between public safety organizations and provided equipment to address emergency situations in the US (Cavoukian, 2003). Security measures that have been made by the US government since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have affected people in various perspectives. Passengers travelling to the US on international flights are screened intensively by means of body scans. The disadvantages of screening are annoyance and stress of passengers, who waste a lot of time (Cavoukian, 2003).
Another effect of the security changes, as pointed out by Cavoukian (2003) is the loss of individual anonymity due to the widespread surveillance in the country. Personal information is stored in the databases that are used by government agencies. In addition, Antiterrorism measures have increased the government’s ability to invade public and private lives of an individual (Cavoukian, 2003). It is widely admissible that many security changes have taken place since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These changes have made the US safer from terrorists and other related attacks. As highlighted by the Cavoukian (2003), there have been various reforms in the justice department, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), all of which are focused on counterterrorism (Cavoukian, 2003).
Schools have also become safer for students through effective counter-terrorism measures. According to Matson (2011), school officials have also advanced their security measures. For example, students’ suspicious behavior is investigated by special assessment teams. The government provides safety training in schools among many others (Matson, 2011). All these security changes have served to ensure that the US is safe from terrorist attacks. Though the US government succeeds in combating terrorism, the main weakness that undermines the US security is the war in Iraq (Matson, 2011). The administration concentrates on the war away from home. It might be difficult for the security forces to control the situation on both fronts, in Iraq and at home. I would suggest a speedy return of the US forces operating in Iraq and other Middle East countries so that they can concentrate on safeguarding security at home. This will reduce any chances to cross the US borders by illegal people, who pose a great security threat.