The is a point in American history where we can point to as a change in America’s stance on international, national, and individual security. The basic definition of security is the state of being free from danger or threat. As a nation, this concept was put into question with the attack on American cities and citizens. Because of this attack, internationally we have the war on terror, and nationally the creation of Homeland Security. With these efforts to feel secure from dangers and threats, security needs to have backing from an economic source and work in harmony to achieve the goals set forth to solve the issue of security.
The war on terror is a global campaign started by the United States after 9/11 to draw attention to terrorism and combat the actors of terrorist attacks. The war on terror can be international cooperation between nations to solve terrorism or a campaign that promotes islamophobia and encourages violence against these groups.
With international cooperation, you see that the countries willing to work together were already allies or share similar ideologies. The theory of liberalism suggest that countries will work together because they have a common goal and that cooperation is more likely to deter violence and war. If countries that are working together already have an allies you are not deterring violence or war you are only gathering allies to fight your enemy. The theory of realism suggest that countries work in an anarchic system and that there will always be conflict between nations.
Western nations see the ideals of Islam as a threat to their cultural and beliefs. This issue of islamophobia intensifies the realist concept because the west has this exaggerate fear of Islamic states and Muslim people that is carried out in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict. Internationally the war on terror was an American campaign meant to not only protect security physically by engaging in military conflict overseas, but culturally by wanting to protect western cultural norms especially American culture.
Economically the war on terror would be an example of a soft and hard power. With the use of its large economy America was able to buy advanced military weaponry and fund military operations overseas to fight terrorism. Because, of the advantage of economic wealth compared to terrorist organizations lack of wealth, America was able to dismantle and decrease the size of terrorist organizations. The United States would also implement executive orders and economic sanctions, while also getting rid of some sanctions. to deter the funding of these organization the Bush administration issued an executive order that would freeze the assets of named terrorist, terrorist groups, and fundraising organization. By enforcing this executive order it cuts the terrorist group off from outside help and in turn weakens their ability to conduct terrorist attacks. With sanction the United States was willing to get rid of some or all of the economic sanctions that it put on countries to persuade them to join the war on terror.
By doing this the United States used sanction as a carrot and sticks method. Should a country accept the offer they would be opening themselves up to the opportunity to engage in trade and boost their own economy. The Department of Homeland Security a cabinet under the Executive Branch was created after 9/11 to protect the American boarder, prevent domestic terrorism (terrorism committed on American soil), cyber security, disaster prevention and management, and lastly immigration and customs. Each of these issues were seen as a threat to American security. In terms of security, securing one’s boarder should be one of the main focuses of a nation because free boarders allow anyone or nation to challenge not only your authority but your right as a sovereign nation. Should a nation challenge your sovereignty having a physical boarder allows front line protection. Securing the boarder is a priority of America because it boarders Canada in the north and Mexico in the south.
Should Mexico or Canada decide to attack the United States the first places to come under attack would be the bordering states like New Mexico, Texas, and California. Another problem that America face domestically is immigration. America is one of the countries that has a high demand for immigration status and permits citizenship here. Immigrants are a big security risk because you can never truly know what their intentions are in your country; they may be here to start a new life away from persecution by their government or they may wish to harm American citizens. When you allow immigrants to live in your country you are taking the risk of putting your own people in danger to save another person who is not a citizen. Domestic terrorism is also a threat to American security because terrorism endanger the lives of civilians and are most often done to make a political statement. If the lives of citizens are in danger than not only is it a security issue it is an issue of power.
On the side of economics Homeland Security would be seen as a hard power that enforces the soft sanctions and mandates that congress and the president passes. Homeland Security has many programs that are meant to disrupt the finances of terrorist like Cornerstone, National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center, Mass-Market Fraud, Project STAMP, and SEARCH Initiative. The purpose of Cornerstone is to detect and close weaknesses within the U.S. financial, trade, and transportation section. If the United States closes these weaknesses it makes it harder for terrorist groups to receive money that would fund their terrorist activities, and receive weapons that are smuggled across borders. By doing this Homeland Security also has the opportunity to target key player in criminal organizations that fund these groups and provide them with products like drugs, weapons, and humans.
If Homeland Security get rid of these criminal organizations it is basically killing the problem at it source because terrorist groups can’t function without an economical backing, just as the United States would not be able to function without its economic backing. To conclude the war on terror and the creation of Homeland Security is a result of terrorist Preserved threat to physical and cultural security. To combat the threat of terrorist America would create an overseas military campaign that targeted countries that had rich hotspots for terrorist activity. Through the use of asymmetric warfare America had the advantage of advanced technological weaponry, economical wealth, and backing from the international community. With advanced weapons like drones, fighter jets, and automatic guns America could target and eradicate terrorist groups and cells with efficiency and less time than combing the desserts by foot. With the economic advantage America doesn’t have to rely on funding from an outside source and doesn’t have the threat of their assets being frozen.
Having backing from the international community would give America allies in their war on terror and allow them to operate in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq without actually declaring war on these states. The creation of Homeland Security would provide America would domestic security. This agency is tasked with protecting the boarders of America, the flow of immigration, and the securing of economical transaction. By securing the boarders of land, air and sea America is protecting it right to sovereignty from anyone person or group. Managing the flow of immigration is also important because it allow you to control who comes into your county and protect your citizens from threats that may wish to harm them. Protecting economical transaction is also important because you are cutting off the hand that feed terrorist and leaving them to starve and eventually die. Overall the war on terror and Homeland security are example of security and economics working in harm to solve a problem which is terrorism.