Free Literature Review On Key Political Lessons Learned After 9/11
9/11 is one of the most talked about terrorist acts of the 21st century. It not only pinpointed the flaw in the US security system, but also showed how even the world’s greatest power is so vulnerable to terrorism. Since the occurrence of 9/11, an array of changes has been introduced in political, defense and security area. For example, the overall technology used for scanning individuals has improved. Now, most of the big airports have full body scanner that can detect any metal and bombs attached to a person’s body easily (Wysong, 2007). The National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) has been created after the attack, and a new post called the Director of National Intelligence, whose primary responsibility is to make sure FBI, CIA, and other intelligence agencies share and work together to improve the security process, has been created (Stolorow, 2012). However, even after implementing these changes, it has come into the news recently about how a Nigerian terrorist was able to board a Detroit-bound plane from Rotterdam, Holland with a bomb attached to his body without detection (D’Appollonia, 2013). Luckily, the bomb failed to function properly. This shows that increasing security alone will not be able to stop the acts of terrorism. It is important to improve inter-country relations and understand the basic root cause of terrorism.
After 9/11, the political stance of the USA towards other countries has gone through a massive transformation. The USA beefed up its attack on unfriendly countries under the Bush administration like Iraq and Afghanistan known to be safe havens for terrorists (CFR, 2011). However, the US politicians failed to understand that these wars create an outrage against the USA as a whole, which, in the long run, begets more terrorists (NPR, 2011).
The US foreign policy for friendly countries is distinct from that of the unfriendly countries. For friendly countries, the USA has soft foreign policies and fewer regulations of immigration and other affairs. For unfriendly countries, it is the other way round. However, taking a look at the background work of the 9/11 attack, it appears that almost all the terrorists, including Laden, who masterminded and hatched the 9/11 plot, were from Saudi Arabia with whom the USA shares friendly terms (HRF, 2011). The US politicians should have worked in collaboration with the friendly as well as unfriendly countries to fight terrorism. The use of force in a foreign country not only tarnishes the image of the USA, but also increases terrorism.
9/11 clearly showed that making security tighter at the airports will not make sure that there will be no terrorist attacks. All the weapons used in the 9/11 attack were made and procured in the US only (Shuler, 2010). Therefore, the US policymakers should have focused more on the home front to increase vigilance on gun control and weapon movement. However, 14 years after the 9/11, it seems that politicians are still unable to do anything about the weapons inside the country.
Finally, the US foreign policy has always been aggressive. Many a times, the USA has taken the help of military means to resolve international problems, even when it was not required. Those billions of dollars spent in wars could have been better utilized in education and economy. Politicians after the 9/11 incident have actually increased the aggression in the foreign policy, thereby misrepresenting the overall nation as a country prone to war (D’Appollonia, 2013). Long term friends of the USA, including Italy, Poland, France, and Spain have seen a huge dip in terms of popularity of the US. From as high as 80%, the popularity of the US foreign policy dipped to below 50% in Poland in the last 10 years. In Spain, it is less than 14% (D’Appollonia, 2013).
9/11 gave the US politicians a lot to learn in terms of national and international policy making. The only thing the politicians may have done correctly after 9/11 is to improve and consolidate the intelligence agencies. However, apart from that, the overall US political process continues to disregard the fact that with every passing year and with its aggressive foreign policies, the USA is making more enemies than friends (Stolorow, 2012). This means that the chances of terrorist attacks to take place will be higher in the future if the discontent continues to rise against the USA. It is high time for our politicians to start doing something to change the image of the nation from a warring country to a responsible one.
Wysong, J. (2007). Eleven Lessons Learned from 9/11. NBC News. Retrieved on 24th February 2015 from <http://www.nbcnews.com/id/20722415/ns/travel-news/t/eleven-lessons-learned/#.VO0VLpV0zIU>
Human Rights First (HRF). (2011). Ten Years After 9/11. Retrieved on 24th February 2015 from <http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/10_Years_After_911-Lessons_Learned.pdf>
Stolorow, R. D. (2012). What Did We Learn From 9/11?. The Huffington Post. Retrieved on 24th February 2015 from <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-d-stolorow/what-did-we-learn-from-91_b_1875767.html>
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). (2011). Ten Lessons Since the 9/11 Attacks. Retrieved on 24th February 2015 from <http://www.cfr.org/911-impact/ten-lessons-since-911-attacks/p25687>
D’Appollonia, A. C. (2013). What Have We Learned Since the 9/11 Attacks, And Is It Keeping Us Safer?. The Rutgers University. Retrieved on 24th February 2015 from <http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/news/what-have-we-learned-911-attacks-and-it-keeping-us-safer>
National Public Radio (NPR). (2011). Drawing Lessons From 9/11, Ten Years Later. Retrieved on 24th February 2015 from <http://www.npr.org/series/140073955/reflecting-on-sept-11-2001>
Shuler, R. B. (2010). Lessons Learned From 9/11 Should Never Be Forgotten. The Fox News. Retrieved on 24th February 2015 from <http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/09/10/rev-shuler-hijackers-vulnerable-attack-isolated-america-community-church/>