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Terrorism and Domestic Preparedness Essay


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Terrorism and Domestic Preparedness

America has experience some of the most violent and fierce terrorist attacks in history. The attacks include the bombing of Oklahoma City, bombing of original world trade center in 1993 and the 1963 assassination of the then president Kennedy (Sauter & Carafano, 2005, p. 85). The bombing of the twin towers on 9/11/2001, the infamous 9/11, was the worst of all. The attacks and the continuing threat of attack causes significant changes in the lives of American citizens, mainly in political field, international relations, society, economy and in the tourism industry which has necessitated development of policies by the homeland department.

Impacts of terrorism on homeland policies

The United States department of Homeland Security was established to offer protection against terrorism to American citizens. The measures that been put in place by the department in collaboration with the public including raising of public awareness on terrorism, critical security on infrastructure, biological security and better communication systems (Nicholson, 2005, p. 59). A program was set up to raise the public knowledge on indicators of terrorism and ways to report terrorism related crime to the authorities and the information is shared among relevant government bodies, the public and transport terminals by NTAS program. Moreover, protection of critical infrastructures such as chemical weapons and early detection of bioterrorist attacks has become a priority. Nuclear bodies in the United States are currently heavily guarded to prevent their use by terrorists. The efforts are aimed at preventing international terrorism by the joint efforts of the government and its citizens (Sauter & Carafano, 2005, p. 45).

The economy of the United States has been pushed towards recession and there is usually a sharp increase in prices of high priced goods while the financial cost on incurred to fight terrorism is estimated to be 8 trillion dollars. The household risk averse is increased because of the clearly demonstrated vulnerability to terrorism and the investors’ participation in the stock market and housing market diminishes (James, 2006, p. 25). However, the effect on investment is a mixed one with retailers reevaluating their expansion plans while other companies aim to improve the management of their internal risk and recovery from disasters.

The insurance industry will set in to spur the economy and reinstate the collapsed ones while the tourism sector, hotels and airline sectors incurred huge losses due to reduction in number of visitors to the country attributable to the impending danger (Sauter & Carafano, 2005, p. 25). The countries spending on security were increased following the terrorist attacks aimed at tracking the perpetrators of the attacks and the nations supporting the crime. Therefore, terrorism negatively affects the economy of the United States pushing it towards recession while the offsetting stimulus from insurance companies ensures continued business growth and the value of the dollar would be reduced. The government continues to spend a lot of money on fighting terrorism in Middle East, Asia and Africa and to reconstruct affected foreign governments at the expense nation building at home (Viotti, Opheim, & Bowen, 2008, p. 37).

The psychological effects on the public are always devastating (Nicholson, 2005 p 59). Terrorism claims many lives and the occurrences are aired on national televisions, radios and the social media. Following the attacks, stress and anxiety reactions are reported to be very high, although the Americans recover fast because they are resilient compared to those from Israel and Northern Ireland as reflected by an increase in mental health problems, suicide rates and drug abuse during and after the attacks. On the other side, resilience can be caused by over exposure to attacks threats and images of dead people, pride to one’s country, race, religion or gender. There is increased sympathy support to the government and hatred towards the perpetrators of the crime. Research showed that American citizens were more willing to relinquish their civil rights in exchange for increased security (Viotti, Opheim, & Bowen, 2008, p. 71). There was increased fear following the attacks and public was therefore willing to allow the government agencies to scrutinize their daily activities, communications and permit breach of their privacy. However, a section of the population could not sacrifice their right to privacy because of insecurity.

International relations between the United States and Muslim countries have been greatly impaired following terrorist attacks. The Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attack on America’s Twins Tower but the united states did not have a definite enemy to retaliate unlike the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack where America was at war with Japan. Consequently, the United States attacked Afghanistan and Iraq, which did not directly participate in the attacks (James, 2006, p. 24). The wars were interpreted as an attack on Islamic countries threatening the relationship between the countries (Viotti, Opheim, & Bowen, 2008). In addition, in excess of 3,000 Al Qaeda, militants have been found and arrested in over 98 nations and the group has roots in more than half of countries in the world making it a major threat. Therefore, the security mechanism by the affected countries has to be boasted in order to fight terrorism including security check ups at airports and other transport terminals, evaluation of security threats in tourists’ destination and better communication gargets for security officers.

Role of the public and law enforcement bodies in strategy for protecting the homeland

The law enforcement agencies engage in a variety of measures to prevent terrorist attacks. The analytical program in the counterterrorism branch of the United States assesses the real terrorist threats to America and makes recommendations on how to mitigate the same (Conser, Paynich & Gingerich, 2013, p. 53). The analysts are effectively trained to deliver this duty. The counterterrorism unit is special division which was created to ensure a twenty four watch on threats to America, analyze communications and activities of suspected terrorist organs and to communicate terrorist plans to foreign embassies. The joint task force on terrorism is also effectively trained to curb terrorism in various states and liaise with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to disseminate crucial information through a bulletin delivered to more than 17000 agencies (Conser, Paynich & Gingerich, 2013, p. 57).

In conclusion, the exposure of the United States to international terrorism continues to grow each day and so does the evolution of the homeland security department. The department is entrusted with putting measures in place to curb terrorism in the countries and has developed several policies to help it achieve this goal. Top among the policies is the protection of key infrastructures such as chemical weapons, biological weapons and nuclear bodies, and also enlightening the public on the indicators of terrorist attack and ways of reporting it to the law enforcement bodies (Conser, Paynich & Gingerich, 2013, p 57). These bodies have in turn undergone tremendous development to increase their capability to prevent and respond to terrorism through improved technology and efficient communications.


Conser, J., Paynich, R., & Gingerich, T. (2013). Law enforcement in the United States. Burlington, Mass.: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

James, A. (2006). Science and technology policies for the anti-terrorism era. Amsterdam: IOS Press.

Nicholson, W. (2005). Homeland security law and policy. Springfield, Ill.: C.C Thomas.

Sauter, M., & Carafano, J. (2005). Homeland security. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Viotti, P., Opheim, M., & Bowen, N. (2008). Terrorism and homeland security. Boca Raton: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group.



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