This essay sample on 911 Terrorist Attacks provides all necessary basic information on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
An Analysis of the 9/11 Terrorist Attack On September 11, 2001, 19 Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four United States commercial airliners travelling from the east coast to California. The hijackers forcibly took control of four planes. Two planes were purposefully crashed into the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City. The third aircraft was flown into the Pentagon building in Washington DC.
The fourth plane landed in a Pennsylvania field. All of the people on board the aircrafts were killed. There were 2996 people killed including the hijackers and the airline passengers and the victims on the ground in New York and Washington DC.
A total of 836 first responders also died as the result of their efforts to rescue people in the WTC before it collapsed (The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, 2004).
According to the US government, 9/11 was an act of war. The United States government, state and local agencies mobilized during the disaster. Victims in New York and Washington DC were taken to area hospitals for medical treatment. As the result of the terrorist attack, the government instituted a series of measures that changed the United States policy towards terrorism and homeland security.
The aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks left the country in a state of shock. The report on 9/11 details the steps taken by the government during the attack on the WTC and the Pentagon.
The attacks caused wide-spread confusion among air traffic controllers and news organizations. During 9/11, the government used radio and television to communicate with people and inform them of the situation. Grisly scenes of the wreckage were replayed in the media. Government and state agencies communicated with each other via radio and walkie talkie.
Cell phone and telephone services were impossible; because, the volume of calls disabled communications networks. Because of the possibility of more 9/11 style attacks, the government immediately invoked SCATANA, Security Control of Air Traffic and Navigation Aids. United States (US) airspace was closed to all aircraft except for military aircraft, and the US border was closed to international travel. Planes that were in flight were ordered to land immediately. International planes that were travelling to the United States were forced to land in Mexico or Canada.
Because the 9/11 terrorists targeted the White House and the Pentagon, the federal government created a contingency plan for the continuity of government in cases of emergency. In addition, a plan for the evacuation of the top American political leaders was developed and implemented in case of future terrorist attacks (The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, 2004). On September 11, 2011, the government declared a state of emergency. The United States military and the National Guard were mobilized. The states of CT, NJ, NY, and VA also mobilized resources.
The government passed the USA Patriot Act which allowed law enforcement officials to invade the privacy of citizens suspected of terrorism. The National Security Agency also employed listening devices to eavesdrop on the telephone and email communications of people in the USA and other countries without a warrant. In addition, The Homeland Security Act was passed in 2002 to protect the United States from terrorism and natural disasters. Because of the Patriot Act, several of the masterminds of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were captured, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, 2004).
After the first attack in New York, the New York Police Department (NYPD), Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) were mobilized to care for the wounded, conduct search and rescue operations. In New York City, the subway was closed and main roadways were cleared for emergency use. In Washington DC, similar actions were taken to secure the city and the surrounding area. In New York, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) also began search and rescue and firefighting efforts. After the 2nd plane crashed, 2000 NYPD officers rushed to the World Trade Center.
In addition, there were numerous port authority officers coordinating efforts with the NYPD and FDNY. In New York City, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was located at the WTC. Difficulties occurred in New York because the OEM office was destroyed after the second airplane crash and had to relocate. In addition, many people were trapped in the WTC because rooftop rescues were not possible, and airspace was closed. The authorities and people trapped in the WTC were unprepared for the mass evacuation which occurred. Inadequate communications also created problems in the aftermath of 9/11.
Government and local agencies communicated with one another by radio or walkie talkie, as cell phone communications were impossible. Problems occurred with the state and local response in New York because the number of 911 calls disabled the emergency channels. In addition, messages to first responders were given inaccurately which caused problems with search and rescue operations. First responders in New York failed to get relevant radio messages which resulted in the deaths of firefighters and civilians (The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, 2004).
A triage station was established, at the WTC, to treat victims with injuries and transport them to area hospitals. Problems occurred because of lack of communication among the EMS staff and area hospitals. In addition, there was no helicopter transport for the most critically injured patients. Some reports suggested that many of the physicians who became first responders were not adequately trained in emergency medical procedures (Simon & Teperman, 2001). In Washington DC, local, regional, state, federal, police, fire, and military agencies responded to the Pentagon attack.
In addition, FEMA, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Red Cross, Department of Defense, Ronald Reagan National Airport Fire Department, and the VA Department of Emergency Management assisted. Prior to the Pentagon attack, the government received advanced warning of the hijacking and began evacuating all personnel. Because of the swift evacuation of the Pentagon and skillful mobilization of the state government and local agencies, there were fewer casualties than in New York. Communication in Washington DC was conducted by pagers and walkie talkies, as radio and cell phones did not operate.
In the aftermath of the attack, Operation Solace and the Dilorenzo Clinic were established to provide families and victims of the attack with mental health care and therapy. Pentagon workers were desensitized and returned to work as quickly as possible. Operation Solace and the Dilorenzo Clinic were highly successful. People were able to return to work within several days of the attack, and there were no long-term mental health consequences. The Pentagon Family Assistance Center was created to assist people who lost a family member and were homeless because of the attack.
Homeless families were housed in the Sheraton hotel for a month and provided with housing assistance. The government also assisted families with financial assistance and memorial services (Ritchie, n. d. ). The 9/11 terrorist attacks were the first large scale attacks in America since Pearl Harbor. The government should be given credit for mobilizing quickly, and speedily establishing services to care for the wounded. Because the government took immediate action, closed airspace and warned the pentagon of the impending attack, lives were saved.
Problems with the 9/11 response occurred in the areas of communication and lack of training in some first responders. In future disasters, communication should be conducted by walkie talkie or text message instead of radio and cell phone. Studies have also suggested that first responders need better training to handle large scale emergency events. In the 9/11 disaster, over 3000 people lost their lives. However, because of the courageous actions of the American people and government and local agencies, many people survived the tragedy.
The lesson of 9/11 continues to affect American policy on terrorism and disaster planning, at the state and federal level (The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, 2004).