Terrorism has increasingly become an issue of international concern. Many nations around the world have fallen victim to both acts of domestic and international terrorism. They have subsequently sought to fight terrorism both on the domestic front and on the international front. The United States has also fallen victim to terrorist acts of both domestic and international nature. Perhaps the most famous of these was the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. They were attacks which permanently altered the United States philosophy as far as dealing with terrorists and terrorism is concerned. This submission will discuss the historical components of the period between 2001 and 2011 in the United States and the relation of these historical components to either domestic or international terrorism. The submission will also discuss the United States philosophy during the ten year period from 2001 to 2011.
The major historical component of the 2001 to 2011 period in the United States is the terrorist attack that took place on the 11th of September 2001 at the World Trade Centre. It was an attack which permanently altered the organization of the United States security apparatus. As a result of the attack, the United States adopted a policy of confronting the terrorist at their bases. In other words, the United States went in pursuit of the terrorists in their respective countries. This would equally prove to be a definitive step in the history of the United States. This was because sending the military to such countries as Afghanistan immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks and to Iraq much later on split public opinion in the United States. Furthermore, it was costly to send troops to such countries but the arguments against costs were countered by the argument that the United States had to do everything in its power to prevent any future attacks from ever occurring on its soil. The aim of the government was to weaken or even completely eliminate the capacity of terrorists to strike. Another event of historical significance to the United States as far as terrorism as concerned took place at the tail end of the 2001 to 2011 period. This was the death of Osama bin Laden who was the leader of Al Qaeda, the infamous terrorist organization that was responsible for many terrorist attacks in the world as well as the September 11, 2001 attacks. Osama bin Laden was killed in an operation by the elite Navy SEALs unit of the United States military.
The U.S philosophy during the ten year period under review entailed increased surveillance of all persons in the United States. This entailed interference with some freedoms such as the rights to privacy and not to have communication infringed. However, the increased surveillance was done in the interest of national security. The policy of increased surveillance was meant to complement the United States efforts to fight terrorism outside its borders. While the external policy was to strike terrorists at the heart of their bases, the internal philosophy was to ensure that any planned cases of domestic terrorism were averted before they occurred. Arguably, the most effective way to do this was through increased surveillance. Increased surveillance has greatly influenced the policies that are formulated today. This is because policies that are formulated today usually seek to obtain as much information as possible about persons suspected of aiding or planning to commit terrorist activities. Increased surveillance has greatly helped in successfully implementing these policies.
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