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Terrorism in the United States

The world faces varied security treats today. These threats range from a terrorist attack to cybercrimes. The world is regularly faced with numerous catastrophic natural as well as humanmade. In 2001, September 11 nineteen terrorists attacked the United States. These terrorists hijacked airplanes hitting them against Pentagon and World Trade Center. This attack killed around there thousand people and resulted in enormous financial as well as property damage.

After this experience, many individuals were worried that the United States would be faced with the same attacks again on a massive scale that would be more than 9/11. In reaction to this devastating fear sentiment as well as inspiration by responsibility sense, the administration of Bush enacted numerous sweeping new regulations and laws that granted the federal agents a greater authority to inhibit future attacks from terrorists. In particular, the administration of Bush founded the Homeland security Department which has the duty of coordinating the various anti-terrorism events of total law enforcement organizations and agencies from the central hub (Beckman, 2016). Whereas the action of the administration of Bush was a move that was based on the legitimate grounds, the Homeland Security business since that time included: a costly initiative that inflates terrorism threats as well as channeling the budgetary finances towards policies which do not have anything to do with fighting terrorism.

For the Homeland security as well as terrorism discussion, it is critical to understand the meaning of these terms and their definitions by the government. The administration of bush defined Homeland Security as a concerted countrywide effort within the U.S presenting terrorist attacks, decreasing the vulnerability of America to terrorism as well as minimizing the damage that was caused by this attack. Also, the original document included bringing together various state actors and the Congress, various private sectors, as well as the people of America together in the determined effort to prevent terrorism (Sauter & Carafano, 2012). At the same time, the United State Code title 22 defines terrorism as the politically inspired, premeditated violence that is perpetrated by the sub-national clandestine agents or groups against the noncombatant targets which is mainly intended to sway an audience. Similarly, this definition affirms the definition that state that the main objective of the terrorist act is not mainly damage infliction but also the effect it has on the broad audience.

The terrorist costs are many. It results in property damage as well as taking of people’ lives. However in the United States case, according to the words of Niskanen, there are various terrorist costs dimensions that are the function of a terrorism response rather than the action of terrorism. The real terrorist threat is massively overblown, whereas the amount of resources generated to fight against terrorism is excessively high. For instance, between the year 1996 and the year 2006, less than four hundred Americans per year died as a result of foreign and domestic terrorism whereas the number of individuals who died as a result of road accidents was a hundred times higher than those of terrorism. However, the government neither inform the public nor alert them over these traffic accidents that cause massive deaths as well as it does not assign a large amount of money to thwart this death in the same way it allocates money and alerts about terrorist attacks (Mueller & Stewart, 2011).

There are other expenditures related to Homeland Security that Americans have paid through sacrificing their numerous civil liberties. These include stricter immigration rules and regulations, airport restrictions that at times unnecessarily harass legal non-citizens, greater client-attorney dialogues eavesdropping, eavesdropping the people’s conversations using the state’s telephones companies as well as ethnic minorities racial profiling. The new measures of the homeland security as well approved the FBI to take charge of the secret entries into the business offices and the homes without the consent of the owner of these properties gaining access to any person’s medical, financial, library records as well as employment without the judge’s approval.

Not only do American citizens’ sacrifice their civil liberties but also the finances that are used in covering the various new measures of Homeland security (Hobijn, 2002). For example, the various new examine procedures that Transport Security Administration (TSA) implemented costs the American taxpayers approximately 5 billion dollars in every year. Also, air travelers spend additional hour or more at the airport before traveling or accessing the country. Therefore, these are other expenditure that are related to Homeland Security costs that the Americans pay as a way of preventing terrorist attacks.

As part of the Homeland Security Program to thwart terrorism, the United States government started the system of color-coded alerts, which other than causing fear, anxiety, as well as confusion, do not have any other purpose. It is not very clear on the ways these color-code alerts prevent terrorism in the country. Although the system of color-coded alerts purpose is to prevent the possible terrorist attacks, there are other costs related to homeland security that has nothing to do with preventing or fighting terrorism. There is increased defense budget, for example, the various systems of New High Tech Weapons that have no contribution to defense against terrorism. This system of weapons includes the new submarine nuclear that costs approximately 3 billion dollars each, a system of the Ballistic Missile defense, the fifth generation fighter jets among other systems that are capable of fighting conventional wars though they are highly ineffective in preventing terrorist attacks. Other homeland security procedures like passing the agricultural legislature referred as a Farm Security Act does not have any anti-terrorism semblance (White, 2016).

Benjamin Friedman from the Institute of CATO, Foreign Policy Writing, gives more illustrations of such expenditures of the various non-anti-terrorism measures. For instance, in 2003, 725 000 dollars were set for Tulsa, Oklahoma, for securing port funds. In 2005, the island of northern Mariana received over 4 million dollars as part of the anti-terrorism budget. In 2003, the Grand Forks County, in North Dakota received approximately 1.5 million from the federal funds for purchasing the trailer equipment so that it can respond the nuclear attacks that were increasing yearly. Furthermore, this costs slowly increase each year. For example, if in 2001 the federal spending on responding to terror attacks costs 616 dollars then in 2004 it increased to the whopping 3.4 billion dollars. Therefore, the yearly budget of the Department of Homeland Security is approximately the same as that of the yearly defense budget of Russia.

The problem is not all about mismanagement the resources but also the Department of Homeland and Security appears to be an enormous bureaucracy plagued by incompetence, failure as well as ineffectiveness. The staff of Homeland Security and Congressional assessments agrees on this as well. Thomas Kean also, the commission chairman of 9/11 stated in 2005: “while the terrorist are learning and adapting, our government is still moving at a crawl.” This statement reveals the reality about Department of Homeland and Security where even the personnel’s consider it as the worst working place because of how they treat their personnel’s. Out of the yearly budget of this department, only 65 percent is used in programs which correctly relate to homeland security (Mueller & Stewart, 2011). The rest of this pieces of bureaucratic do not fit the various organizations that thwart the nation against terrorism.

The terrorism inflating dangers redirect various resources from probable as well as real dangers and thus may make the citizens of America less safe. There are numerous stalk holders interested in keeping the high alertness state: individuals who are bankrolled by the Department of Homeland and Security. To explain the dysfunction or rather the functions of homeland security, Friedman applies the precautionary principle concept which is the concept used by the environmental and health rules and regulation in determining favorable risks in health as well as the environment. Thus Friedman states “the government takes prevention actions and it is intervention is warranted even if the evidence that the activity is harmful is uncertain and the cost of preventive action is high.” The administration of bush that has the preemptive doctrine as well as the allocation of massive amounts of money for the Department of Homeland security that is not dealing with terrorism affairs is an excellent trait of the precautionary principle (Hobijn, 2002).

However, a precautionary principle is not a good mode to be followed in national policies because it may render the prevention attempts or incoherent as irreverent and useless. The attempt to regulate the advantageous risks is problematic since the government cannot handle one risk because of the risks multiplicity existing that involve the health as well as the environmental problems or terrorism danger in that matter. Attempts to handle one risk may result in overusing of resources that are needed in various government programs that can lead to many other risks. Therefore, precautionary principles may result in additional dangers as a result of unintended risk prevention consequences.

To sum the homeland security that was developed after the American attack by nineteen terrorists (White, 2016). This department has led to a costly initiative that inflates terrorism threats as well as channeling the budgetary finances towards policies which do not have anything to do with fighting terrorism. Therefore it is a department that costs the American citizens.


Beckman, J. (2016). Comparative legal approaches to homeland security and anti-terrorism. Routledge.

Hobijn, B. (2002). What will homeland security cost?

Mueller, J., & Stewart, M. G. (2011). Terror, security, and money: Balancing the risks, benefits, and costs of homeland security. Oxford University Press.

Sauter, M., & Carafano, J. (2012). Homeland Security: A Complete Guide 2/E. McGraw Hill Professional.

White, J. R. (2016). Terrorism and homeland security. Cengage Learning.



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