Before And After 9 11 Attacks Assessment Of Security Posture Of The United States Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Type: Essay Paper: #24108007 Related Topics: Homeland Security, Attack, National Security, Terror Attack Published November 11, 2022
Excerpt from Essay :


Security Posture of the United States Before and After 9/11 Attacks


From the onset, it would be prudent to note that if there was one thing that the 9/11 terror attacks made clear, it was that the national security of this great nation was inadequate. The fact that terrorists could plan and execute an attack of this nature and scale was a clear indication that the countrys national security apparatus needed to be revamped. The terror attach, as well as an evaluation of the events leading up to the terror attack resulted in the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. This text concerns itself with the security posture of the country before and after 9/11.


Lawson, Bersin and Kayyem (2020) correctly point out that prior to the 9/11 terror attacks, the countrys experience with terror attacks on its own soil could only be described as intermittent. As the authors further indicate, most terror attacks prior to this wretched event took place overseas albeit being targeted at the U.S., i.e. via the attack on its personnel or destruction of its installations, structures, etc. (Lawson, Bersin and Kayyem, 2020). Terrorist attacks within the countrys boarders had not been hugely successful in as far as loss of human life or damage to structures/installations is concerned. As a matter of fact, there had been no other attack of the scale of the 9/11 terror attacks prior to this particular event. This is not, however, to say that there were no flaws as well as loopholes in as far as our countrys national security is concerned. This is the conclusion that one is bound to arrive at following a review or assessment of various reports and findings released after the 9/11 attack, i.e. the 9/11 Commission Report.

a) Before 9/11

Harvey (2012) points out that prior to 9/11, domestic intelligence collection was largely governed by various regulations as well as statutes and more specifically by Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This effectively means that the criminal justice system in place was largely involved in efforts to address terror attempts and attacks. The author further indicates that various well-defined rules sought to determine the approach used by domestic and foreign agencies to exchange collected or gathered information. To a large extent, these strict rules often got in the way of information sharing among the relevant agencies. More specifically, in the words of the author, the strict set of rules were interpreted as forbidding pure intelligence information from…under section 314(b) of the said Act.

Lastly, as has been indicated elsewhere in this text, following a review of various reports and findings released after the 9/11 attack, it was also established that there was need for the refashioning of the counterterrorism architecture and remodeling it along the incapacitation of terror suspects. This was fraught with controversy from the onset because of the need to secure or uphold the rights of all detainees/suspects. However, it is important to note that progress has been made over the last few years in efforts to ensure that the civil liberties of terror suspects are secured, without necessarily jeopardizing efforts to protect our homeland. For instance, in the past, the Supreme Court has upheld the authority of the executive branch to hold terror suspects.


In the final analysis, it would be prudent to note that on the basis of the discussion above, the country is definitely safer than it was prior to the 9/11 attacks. However, more still needs to be done to ensure that the citizens of this great nation are kept safe and secure and that an attack of this nature or scale never happens again. More importantly, in addition to the further enhancement of the intelligence gathering capabilities of the relevant government agencies via proper…

Sources Used in Documents:


Abbas, A.E., Tambe, M. & Winterfeldt, D. (2017). Improving Homeland Security Decisions. Cambridge University Press.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network – FINCEN (2020). Section 314(b) Fact Sheet.

Harvey, F.P. (2012). The Homeland Security Dilemma: Fear, Failure and the Future of American Insecurity. Routledge.

Cite this Document:

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