How the American Government in Minimizing Terrorist Activities after 9/11 Attack


Howthe American Government in Minimizing Terrorist Activities after 9/11Attack

How the American Government in Minimizing Terrorist Activities after9/11 Attack

The September 11th, 2001 attack in the US was a huge blowto the nation since it led to the death of thousands of people andthe destruction of property too. In this case, the US government hadto initiate an immediate response to control the situation andprevent any terrorist attacks in the future. In fact, the governmentresponded by implementing a number of legislations that gave the armyand other law enforcement officers to identify the terroristactivities. The response was classified into three sections that arepolitical, military and social since the government wanted to provethat the situation is under control and win the Americans’ trust.This essay will evaluate the political, military and the socialresponse that the US government made to reduce the terroristactivities and protect the Americans.


The political response of the US government to the Sep 11thattack led to the legislations of various Acts and the establishmentof institutions that helped in preventing any terrorist activities inthe future. In this case, the creation of the USA Patriot Act wascritical in administering the security measures and reducing anylikelihood of the random attacks again1.In particular, the act ensured that the law officers had anopportunity to conduct house inspections even without a searchwarrant. Besides that, they could even track the financialtransactions and still deport anyone that was engaging in somesuspicious activities2. Even if various organizations criticized the legislations thegovernment had to undertake such measures to safeguard the societythat was at risk of being attacked by the terrorist again. Apart fromthat, the domestic spying helped the government in creating thewiretaps that monitored the conversations of most civilians toidentity any terrorist activities.

The US also launched the Bush Doctrine that wanted to protect theentire nation from any external threat. In this case, the doctrinehad three aims that wanted to ensure that their enemies could notattack the nation again. First, it decided to attack the enemiesbefore they attacked them. The first objective also aimed atdestroying some of the terrorist factions and any other dangerousregimes around the world3.The doctrine wanted to achieve its goals even if it meant actingalone without the help and support of other nations. For instance,they created some military bases at various around the world thatthey used in gathering intelligence to help in their fight againstthe Islamic militants4.However, they prioritized diplomacy and used the internationalagencies to get the most important support they wanted to control theterrorists. Lastly, the doctrine also insisted why they wanted toextend freedom around the globe and save people from the poor andexploitative leadership. The Americans wanted to reduce dictatorshipand increase democracy, as well as the respect for the people and thelaw too.

The creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) helped ingathering enough data and the information that reveal threats to thelocal agencies. In this case, they also shared the data on terroristswith a number of global partners so that they can monitor theiractivities and devise ways to capture them5.They also trained some law enforcement officers on the perfect way towhich they can determine how the terrorists behave. For instance,they might look at their behaviors such as living alone and if theylack friends instead. The initiative was critical in helping themunderstand terrorism and crime, in general, to ensure they willsafeguard the interests of the entire society. More importantly, theDHS also initiated the public awareness where they wanted thecivilians to report any suspicious activities6.The cooperation was a way in which they urged the community to be apart of the mission to stop terrorism. DHS also knew that most of theterrorists were able to move in and out of the nation through theairport. Hence, they opted to intensify the screening requirementsthat prevented the passengers from being suspicious people7.For instance, some of the passengers are often placed on the watchlists, and the airport securities have to confirm their identity andensure that they are not the terrorists as well8.The analysis of the visa applications was also another way of makingsure that the US does not allow any suspicious people from enteringthe nation. They also focused on improving the cyber networks tofacilitate the infrastructure and make sure that they focus on theinternet. For instance, the initiative helped in enhancing the cybersecurity to prevent the likelihood of the terrorist using theapproach to attack their systems.

How effective wasthe Political Response

The political response to the attacks ended up being morecontroversial, and that undermined the government’s role in thescenario. For instance, the USA Patriot Act generated a negativeresponse from the society that saw the changes as a violation of theAmerican values. In particular, around 1200 people were detainedyet, they did not have a chance to get a lawyer that will help them,and the public could not access their names too9.In the end, the Court of Appeals ruled that the entire procedure wasunconstitutional, and that showed how inefficient the approach was.The critics also objected to the decision to allow mass surveillance.More importantly, the society believed that it violated the civilliberty, and it was unconstitutional as well10.However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was a huge successsince it has been effective in setting the appropriate safetymeasures to prevent the terrorist activities. In fact, they havemonitored the movement of the foreigners and ensured that they do notundermine the safety of the Americans. The department has also foundenough support that facilitates its activities in the society too.

Military Response

The US government did not focus on the political changes only sincethe military implications were also experienced. First, thegovernment created the military tribunals and the Guantanamo thatwere the two places with any terrorist suspects. More importantly,President Bush decided that a foreigner that was accused of aidingthe terrorists had to be charged by the military tribunals11.Apart from that, the person was seen as an illegal enemy combatant.The scenario meant that the military was allowed to use some extremecoercion to get any evidence that the terrorists might try towithhold. In fact, they even allowed the admission of hearsay,rejected the due process, and other requirements that violate theAmerican principles and the values. Bush even considered thedetainees captured during the war as part of the enemy combatants. Inthis case, the Geneva Conventions did not allow them to use anyinterrogation mechanisms since such scenarios required aggressiveways of handling the prisoners12.Hence, force and unwarranted techniques were seen as normal practicesinstead. Clearly, the government decided to respond with most extremeforce in order to control the terrorists that had waged war on theAmericans. The 9/11 attack was the turning point, and the Americanshad decided that they could not take any other intimidations or eventhe threats. They made prompt changes that helped them to control theterrorists even if it meant going against their American values thatguided the nation. They judged the scenarios as special cases wherethey had to attack the Islamic militants and weaken them before theyplanned another threat. In particular, the torture was just a way ofscaring them, destroying their strategies and identifying theirhideouts too13.Their response was also a way of preventing other young Muslims fromjoining the militant forces.

The Bush doctrine led to the Americans attacking Afghanistan and Iraqas a way of destroying the Islamic militants. The attacks were one ofthe approaches that the government used in countering the terroristthreats. In particular, the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban found inAfghanistan had claimed that they had participated in the 9/11 attackin the US14.Hence, they had to attack Afghanistan that was their hideout instead.In this case, the Taliban were in power, and they had created a havenfor multiple terrorist groups that operated without any difficulties.For instance, the Al-Qaeda had created hideouts where they launchedtheir operations and terrorized the Americans15.More importantly, the Bush Doctrine had suggested the need to extendfreedom in the world and remove any government that wasdiscriminating its people. Hence, the Taliban regime had implementedlaws that exploited its people, and they treated them unfairly. As aresult, the war was a way of destroying the Islamic militants andsaving the nation from the harassment too. The US government alsodecided to attack Iraq since they believed that Saddam Hussein was athreat to the Americans, and he had cooperated with the Islamicmilitants in attacking the US16.They knew that attacking Iraq was also another way of sending awarning and threatening the terrorists. The Americans got supportfrom the British, Canadian, and NATO forces that helped them inlaunching the attacks. The scenario showed how the nations hated theIslamic militants and they wanted to end the terrorist attacks. Theentire world was at the risk of being attacked by the Islamicmilitants hence, they had to remain united and counter any attacksby the wars they had waged on the terrorists. The scenario was themajor move that the military forces made in dealing with militias.

How effectivewas the Military Response

The military tribunals and the Guantanamo Bay turned out to be placeswhere the prisoners were tortured. In this case, the scenario allowedthe law enforcement officers to use extreme measures since thesuspects were seen as the enemies of the nation. The prison abuseended up tainting the image of the America’s image in the worldsince they preached against the equality yet, they were doing theopposite17.At times, they even ended up torturing the wrong people that did nothave any crucial information that they required at that specifictime. In the process, the controversy associated with the questioningand the interrogation revealed how it was somehow inefficient inreducing the likelihood of attacks in the future. The wars in Iraqand Afghanistan turned out to be a place where innocent people werekilled even if they destroyed the Taliban militants. However, themilitants used the wars to illustrate how the US had waged war on theMuslim world18.The scenario made the Islamic terrorists gain more popularity andincreased its members since they used the Quran to justify theirattacks something that appealed to the religious group. TheAfghanistan War was more successful while the Iraq attack was somehowineffective.

Social Response

The US government also responded socially to the attacks by ensuringthat the foreigners were treated strictly. For instance, thedeportation and the immigration measures were heightened to ensurethat America did not become a place for the terrorists to survive andplan their activities. In this case, any slight criminal offenseinvolving the foreigners resulted in the deportation. The governmentdecided to deport any foreigner that even had committed a pettytraffic offense19.The process was a way of capturing any Islamic militants that were inAmerica. Besides that, the government ensured that the immigrationprocess was strict and it kept out any person that had a questionablebackground. The government wanted to prevent any terrorist fromentering the nation. In fact, it was the most suitable approach toundertake that will protect the entire nation from any threats in thefuture again.

The DHS also created awareness where they sensitized the society onthe appropriate way in which they will identify any terroristactivities. In this case, they made sure that the citizens knewspecific ways of identifying any suspicious activities and callingthe police officers. The community security measures were theappropriate way in which they could control or prevent anyterrorism20.For instance, the society knew their neighbors, and they could easilyidentify the type of occupation one does or even the extracurricularactivities that they undertook. They had to notify the policeofficers if they saw something that was extraordinary and wasportrayed as a terrorist activity.

How effective wasthe Social Response

The social response was somehow effective since it helped insensitizing the society in being ready for any attack. For instance,it showed that the terrorists might be living in the neighborhoodsand it was their responsibility to identify them and know who theyare. After they had identified the questionable characters in theircommunity, they had to notify the law enforcement officers that willhelp in curbing any threat to the society21.In this case, the people were able to embrace the information, andthey knew that they had to play a huge role in controlling theterrorism in the nation. In fact, they had to understand theintegrated incident management instructions and identify how they aresupposed to respond if they are in the middle of an attack. Theentire scenario was quite effective in helping the society understandhow they will handle themselves in such situations.


In conclusion, the military, social and political response helped inrestoring peace in the nation and reduces the activities of theIslamic terrorists. More importantly, the political response made thegovernment initiate a number of legislations that were responsiblefor giving the law enforcers a chance to implement security measureswithout any obstacles. However, some of the legislations were againstthe American values, and that undermined the process since they wereon the wrong side. The military tribunals are another approach thatthey used in coercing the suspects to give enough information thatwill help the government in initiating appropriate security measures.Unfortunately, the coercive investigative measures were against theAmerican values, and that painted a negative image for thegovernment. Lastly, the social response focused on raising awarenessand showing the Americans that they need to work with the securityenforcers to stop the terrorists. Most of the civilians were able toreport any questionable activities since they wanted to protect theirsafety as well.


Chishti, Muzaffar and Bergeron, Claire. “Post 9/11 Policiesdramatically alter the U.S. Immigration Landscape,”, Sep 8, 2011,

Chomsky, Noam. 9-11:Was There an Alternative?. Seven Stories Press, 2011.

Chossudovsky, Michel. 9/11 and America’s “War on Terrorism,”Global Research, May 26, 2011,

Fitzpatrick, Kathy R. US public diplomacy in a post-9/11 world:From messaging to mutuality. Los Angeles, CA: Figueroa Press,2011.

LaFree, Gary, Laura Dugan, and Erin Miller. Putting terrorism incontext: lessons from the global terrorism database. Routledge,2014.

Liptak, Adam, “Civil Liberties Today,” The New York Times, Sep 7,2011,

Pillar, Paul R. Intelligence and US foreign policy: Iraq, 9/11,and misguided reform. Columbia University Press, 2011.

Stiglitz, Joseph. “The U.S Response to 9/11 Cost US far more thanthe Attacks themselves,” Al Jazeera English, Sep 6, 2011,

Tashev, Blagovest, and Tom Lansford, eds. Old Europe, new Europeand the US: renegotiating transatlantic security in the post 9/11era. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2013.

Villemez, Jason. “9/11 to now: ways we have changed,”,Sep 11, 2011,

1 Chomsky, Noam. 9-11: Was There an Alternative? Seven Stories Press, 2011.

2 Ibid, 1.

3 Fitzpatrick, Kathy R. US public diplomacy in a post-9/11 world: From messaging to mutuality. Los Angeles, CA: Figueroa Press, 2011.

4 Ibid, 3.

5 Liptak, Adam, “Civil Liberties Today,” The New York Times, Sep 7, 2011,

6 Pillar, Paul R. Intelligence and US foreign policy: Iraq, 9/11, and misguided reform. Columbia University Press, 2011.

7 Chossudovsky, Michel. 9/11 and America’s “War on Terrorism,” Global Research, May 26, 2011,

8 Ibid, 7.

9 Ibid, 7.

10 Ibid, 7.

11 Stiglitz, Joseph. “The U.S Response to 9/11 Cost US far more than the Attacks themselves,” Al Jazeera English, Sep 6, 2011,

12 Villemez, Jason. “9/11 to now: ways we have changed,”, Sep 11, 2011,

13 Tashev, Blagovest, and Tom Lansford, eds. Old Europe, new Europe and the US: renegotiating transatlantic security in the post 9/11 era. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2013.

14 Chishti, Muzaffar and Bergeron, Claire. “Post 9/11 Policies dramatically alter the U.S. Immigration Landscape,”, Sep 8, 2011,

15 Ibid, 14.

16 Ibid, 14.

17 Ibid, 14.

18 Ibid, 14.

19 LaFree, Gary, Laura Dugan, and Erin Miller. Putting terrorism in context: lessons from the global terrorism database. Routledge, 2014.

20 Ibid, 14.

21 Tashev, Blagovest, and Tom Lansford, eds. Old Europe, new Europe and the US: renegotiating transatlantic security in the post 9/11 era. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2013.