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Terrorism Assignment - Essay Example

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The terrorist threat to the United States and the rest of the world is as real as it was before the September 11th attacks and this is because of the constantly evolving nature of the al Qaeda organization. This paper strives to analyze the security posture of the United States now and before. …
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Download file to see previous pages Al Qaeda has, despite its being weakened through the efforts of the United States and its allies, still has the ability to target a diverse number of locations all over the world, and these mainly tend to be American interests. One of the reasons why al Qaeda has continued to survive and remain a threat to America is because of the sectarian divisions in the Middle East (Poole, 2010), which has made it easier for it to gain some political support from some prominent members of government who sympathize with them. This has ensured that members of the organization have safe places where they can operate without any interference from their respective government. It can be suggested that the presence of external forces in the Middle East, such as NATO’s military presence, have helped strengthen the organization because the former is seen as an invading force targeting Muslims instead of terrorists. Furthermore, the power vacuum left from the ousting of Saddam Hussein in Iraq ensured that the presence of Al Qaeda was expanded to this country. The fact that al Qaeda is still a threat to the United States has called to question its ability to protect its civilians from any potential attacks from this organization especially after the catastrophe in 2001.
The security posture of the United States before the September 11 attacks is very different from the one which came after these attacks. Before these attacks, the federal government played an extremely restricted role in the internal security of the nation and most of the security matters were left in the hands of the state and local governments. Since the responsibility for internal security was left to the latter, one would surmise that they concentrated more on the domestic threat than on any potential one from outside the United States (Borch, 2003). In addition to this, most of the security agencies at the federal level were not on a high alert for any foreign attacks on the United States because such threats were considered to be non-existent. All these changed after the attacks as the United States moved to swiftly secure itself from the new external threat, al Qaeda (Chau, 2008). The activation of the American security apparatus has worked well towards ensuring that no further attacks on the United States on the same scale as September 2001 have yet to occur again. The intelligence services, which once jealously guarded their jurisdictions from each other have seen an unprecedented level of cooperation between them, and these has been facilitated by the development of fusion centers as points through which they have come to share intelligence. The fact that these agencies are now sharing information, has ensured that they have become more effective in their fight against al Qaeda both at a local and international level and many potential strikes by this organization have been pre-empted (Sales, 2010). The American military has bases all over the world in allied countries and these have been put in place to protect American interests in these respective regions. Among the most prominent military bases can be found in the Middle East where they have been continuously used to fight terrorism in this region (Crook, 2006). The military has been an effective tool in dealing with the threat to the United States from al Qaeda. One of the most notable acts of the military was when Navy Seals attacked and killed the former al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, dealing a massive blow to the terrorist organization (Soherwordi et al, 2011). Furthermore, the military has used drones to strike at specific targets within al Qaeda who have been found to be a threat to the national security of the United States. Because of this drone strikes (Hudson, et al, 2012), many prominent al Qaeda leaders have been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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