Since the 9/11 attacks in the US homeland, the government has been tasked with increased efforts to ensure that the same is not repeated in future. It has become a priority, and the government has engaged in many efforts to fight against terrorism even outside the US borders. The government has intensified its activities both domestically and internationally to ensure that there are no future terrorist attacks on the Americans. This has however not always been successful and there is more that is needed to be done to ensure that all Americans are safe in their homeland and even abroad. Constitutional and other legislative aspects that would impact the fight against terrorism have been put in place, and this has had its effects on the state of terrorism. Extremist groups have also emerged in regions where terrorism was not a big threat. The future of terrorism remains in the hands of the governments who are fighting against the vice. Their increased efforts to fight off terrorists, as well as the strategies that they will employ will determine whether terrorists will regroup after the death of one of their key leaders, Osama bin Laden, or their ways will continue to diminish. With the United States and Europe being among the most targeted outside Islamic countries, the efforts that they will put in place will determine the future of terrorist activities. At the same time, the antagonists against terrorism should come up with new strategies that will help arrest terrorist groups before they become operational and dangerous to start mounting attacks on innocent people.
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Extent of Threats Caused by International or Domestic Terrorism to the US
Terrorism is undoubtedly among the main challenges that the US government faces. A lot of efforts and resources have been put in place to stop terrorists and while some have been successful, some have not. After the 9/11 attacks on the US homeland new departments such as the Homeland Security were created. The FBI was also strengthened and new units to share information increased. Since then, there have not been major attacks in the US, other than the Boston bombing. However, international terrorism has increased, with many regions that did not have adverse terrorism starting to experience unprecedented terrorism activities. It also explains the increased efforts of the US government in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya among other regions. It shows that international terrorism has become a priority. Since most terrorists are bred outside the United States, it has become important to ensure that they are not able to execute their activities within the US homeland. With the considerable success in reducing terrorist activities within the US, international terrorism has become the priority. Since other governments do not put as much emphasis on fighting against terrorism as the US government, they put the American citizens living in these states in jeopardy. The government issues advisories any time there are intelligence reports regarding terrorist activities outside the US.
Strategies that the US Can Use to Reduce the Chances of Future Attacks
The US government should increase the levels of intelligence and its accuracy. This would help in creating preparedness and ability to deal with terrorists. The plans as well as methods used by terrorists should be visited and discussed regularly to ensure that they are evolved at the same rate terrorism keeps revolving at. Further, the regions that had little US activities of collecting intelligence should be increased to ensure that the geographical scope of terrorism does not beat the manpower and resources.
The US should ensure that international policies are very strict on states that support terrorism. Those that are sympathetic to extremists lead to their empowerment, as well as providing them with grounds and environment to plan and execute their plans. Such states should be discouraged and strict alienation strategies put in place to reduce the levels of interaction. All the available private sources that support terrorism should be dealt with without any chances of mercy. They should be followed and subjected to penalties to reduce their effectiveness in fuelling terrorism. The government should increase its preparedness in dealing with chemical or biological attacks. The military preparedness is increased every year, but the government should also get prepared to deal with other forms of attacks. These could be more deadly and widespread. In trying to get prepared for such eventualities, the government would be able to increase its scope in dealing with terrorism. The government agencies that are required to fight against terrorism should be reviewed and made more accountable. The departments and agencies should have an increased and more effective budget. In the past, it has not been very effective in its use of resources. Centers under the agencies where information is passed through have not been effective and no one has been held full accountable for the inefficiency and large sums of money that are still spent. At the same time, there needs to be a better coordination where the agencies are allowed to share only the authenticated information. This will lead to the acting of only the correct information and eventual save of resources. Further, the coordination of the Federal Bureau of investigation should be improved so that the FBI has a clear guideline that other agencies can follow. Federal Bureau of Investigation is mandated to collect all the necessary information from all over the world.
Socio Economic and Military Approach to Terrorism
Over the years, the United States government as well as different European counterparts has increased their military budgetary allocation as they fight against terrorism. The most obvious and talked about war is the Afghani war which has lasted over a decade now. While the US president Barrack Obama had promised to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, he has not managed to fully withdraw them yet. Terrorist activities are violent in nature and require interventions that could tackle even the best trained militant groups. This automatically calls for military intervention.
Despite the need to have all these interventions that are military in nature, it is vital that the evolving society adopts socio-economic approaches. In 2007, a group of 25,000 resurgent and trained young people was arrested. Among these, 78% were either underemployed or unemployed. This had led them to get involved such activities. It is the reason for experts to believe that there is a direct co-relation between terrorism and poor economic status. Islamic extremists often target these unemployed young people and try to show them that other people are responsible for their misfortunes; in most cases, these people have their personal agenda and use their charisma and influence to execute their political and personal agenda. They train and fill the young people with beliefs that there was no way that they could achieve justice without fighting. These fundamentalists change words from Quran and use their changed meanings to fuel hatred and beliefs. For example, while the Quran emphasizes on peace and only fight for self defense, they use the term jihad to show the need for military struggle. The word initially meant struggle, not necessarily military struggle. With this, the fundamentalists are able to promise the young people religious goodies after life. This ensures that they are made to extremely believe that their course is correct. With their poor living conditions and desperation, the young people engage in terrorism, believing that they will have a better life after the current life.
In order to fight against terrorism effectively, the US and European governments must intensify their efforts in fighting against terrorism before it gets to violent stages. This means that they must put in efforts to improve the lives of these people before they indulge in extremism. They must ensure that they live in better conditions, making them comfortable for them to live, rather than just die trying to get better lives in heaven. The governments should also put in place measures that deal with the extremists as well as the states that support them. Certain mosques that have been in the past used as breeding grounds for Islamic extremism should be dealt with and such activities should be ended. The Western governments should also come up with strategies to help other countries improve their economic situation.
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The US Constitution Amendments and Terrorism
The US constitution is the main law that governs the government and its policy making process. It guides the government and is usually amended to tackle issues that emerge in the contemporary society. With the fast revolution of terrorism, a few amendments to the constitution to create more strict laws towards policy approaches and terrorism would lead to reduced terrorist activities. After the 2001 attacks, the senate proposed laws that would help the counter-terrorism agencies in their work. The proposed laws looked to give more access to personal information to determine their connections to terrorism. This would have led to the infringement of personal liberties and that would have been against the constitution. These changes were opposed from many quarters. At some point, the federal government labeled those who fought for the constitution as terrorists, and insisted that they were trying to keep the terrorism fight against terrorism to give them room to carry out attacks as they wished.
Despite this setback, terrorism can be tackled through constitutional amendments. The US government should ensure that the international laws that provide guidelines to America and its interaction with other countries are more elaborate and strict. There should be enough emphasis towards groups, individuals, countries and religions that support terrorism. Further, the constitution should have more strict immigration rules and the determination of involvement with terrorism. At the same time, domestic terrorism which is fuelled by the handling of weapons among the citizens should be dealt with. Though American citizens should have rights to own firearms, the constitution should have more strict possession procedures. Further, the personal liberties in public places should be less strict. This means that people in public places such as airports must be screened and the security of everyone must be guaranteed.
Federal Government Empowerment and Terrorism
The federal government is the main body that fights against terrorism. It ensures that there are enough resources both within and outside the US borders. Led by the president, it is the most powerful body which makes decisions on when to make attacks and other important measures against terrorists. The government is however restricted by the constitution to ensure that not everything they wish is executed. The civil society has always cited the constitution while opposing some of the decisions made by the federal government. While the civil society is an important body that protects the constitution, it is important to empower the federal government more in dealing with terrorism menace. However, this process should be well guided by well informed and strict laws and regulations. The empowered government should use its power within the constitution. While fighting against international terrorism, the government should be able to get the correct intelligence and create well oiled systems to deal with terrorism.
Powers of the Federal Government and Personal Liberties
Increase of the powers of the US federal government would result in the changes of its jurisdiction and how far its agencies can go into the privacy of its people. This would subsequently lead to the infringement of personal liberties, especially of the innocent Americans. After the September 11 attacks, the government amended the constitution where a new PATRIOT Act was passed. Under the Act, the government agencies went into the lives of people, tapping mails, phone conversations and other personal liberties, in a bid to arrest terrorist activities before they occur. When these amendments were made, the people and civil groups protested the move because it reduced the privacy of people, and eventual personal rights. Some critics argued that it completely disregarded the constitutional privacy that is accorded to the US citizens. This was as a result of many people whose business documents, bank accounts, telephone and voicemail messages among other conversations were tapped by the Homeland Security. Though everyone appreciates the need to intensify the fight against terrorism, they also ensure that there is a need to protect millions of Americans from infringement of personal liberties. With an increased power to the federal government, there is a high likelihood that more personal liberties will be broken and disregarded.
The Future of Terrorism
The war against terrorism has intensified over the last fifteen years. The killing of the Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden is among the biggest milestones during this era. To a large extent, this spells the beginning of an end for terrorists. It shows that the forces fighting against terrorists have managed to reach the most wanted terrorist leaders. However, there have been new trends that could derail these positive trends. The social milieu is more habitable with situations that could encourage terrorism. In Africa, for instance, there have been increased terrorist activities that were unprecedented. The emergence of the Al Shabaab in Somalia is among the main emerging terrorist threats. Further, the increased Islamic extremism has led to more young people join terrorism. Though Islam is not solely to blame for terrorism, it has been lauded as among the main aspects, as some fundamentalists have made mosques to become their breeding grounds for extremist young people. The increased deterioration of economic status of people in Asia and Africa has led to more young people being pushed to terrorism. All these are factors that may by far fuel the spread of terrorism. Despite this, the mitigation measures that the US and Europe has put in place to reduce terrorism activities may reduce the rate of spread. Constitutional and legislative measures have increased and may lead to reduced terrorism. The intensified international relations with the governments have helped the West keep up with the trends and stop terrorism over time. However, this remains a challenge in religious states and those which support terrorism.
Overall, the state of global terrorism will keep on diminishing. The killing of leaders and intensified collaboration with governments which do not support terrorism will lead to an increased success. This success will however not be achieved unless there is increased intervention of socio-economic efforts, rather than just the military efforts. In many countries where terrorists breed, the societies are poor and unable to create employment for their population. The new intervention methods should ensure that the young people are protected from Islamic extremism and fundamentalism. This will lead to their increased respect for other people and religions, which will promote coexistence and tolerance. This is a better way of reducing terrorism.
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