The attacks on the WTC in New York and on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. was an act of cowardice by terrorists and this united the whole world against terrorism. In this blog, we will discuss the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. We will discuss the effects it had on U.S., particularly its security and its military. It also changed the military presence of the U.S.A. all over the world.
The Global War on Terrorism
Thus began the “Global War on Terrorism,” as it was called by the then President Bush. He launched a global war on terrorists. At the time of the attack, the American people stood with him. Less than one month after the 9/11 attacks. U.S troops were sent to Afghanistan to dismantle Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was the group that took the responsibility for the attacks on America.
There was news from intelligence that Taliban government had been harbouring the Al-Qaeda group. This attack was under the policy of NATO invasion of Afghanistan. But American troops participated in it widely. The base stations at Afghanistan were constructed. Continuous air bombings were executed so as to take action against the Taliban.
In March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and deposed President Saddam Hussein. He was suspected of producing weapons of mass destruction. But there were no weapons found. The American government tried to link the attack on Iraq as the part of the War on Terrorism. But apparently, there was no link between attacks on 9/11 with Iraq’s invasion. This article on the U.S invasion of Iraq gives a clear explanation of the main reasons.
The military involvement in Afghanistan turned to be the longest running war in U.S history. This war has not been won yet. The army was officially called home in 2014. But around 8,000 troops are still present in Afghanistan to help the local forces against the Taliban insurgency.
Immigration and Deportation
Before the 9/11 attacks, American government cared less about the deportation of people. The interstate security was not so strict. After the attack, a new Department of Homeland Security was formed (in 2002). A new customs department was formed, named U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
After the attack of 9/11, the number of deportations doubled as compared to earlier years. Interstate security was improved greatly. Security checks at airports became much tighter. There were new rules implemented for new visas. The government tried to know more about their citizens. Now they had access to people’s driver’s licenses, utility bills, tax returns, medical records, credit card purchases, car rentals etc.
A new law called the U.S. PATRIOT Act was passed after the attacks. This website explains the idea behind the U.S Patriot law. This law gave security agencies power to perform surveillance over a US citizen without notice. This law also led to the creation of the Information Awareness Office in 2002. The Information Awareness Office was renamed as the TIA in 2003. The main aim behind the development of this technology was to know all the information about every person in the United States, and possibly trace the patterns of their activities. By the actions of US government, it was clear that they became very serious about security after the attacks of 9/11.
The attack on America in 9/11 gave the world sympathy for America. The attacks had manifold political effects on the world. Almost every ally and friendly country stood with them. Actions were taken around worldwide to cut the funds of terrorist organisations and the people who were helping them.
Many countries made memorials over the world for the people of United States, declaring a national day of mourning. Around 200,000 people in Berlin, Germany marched to show their support for America. A French leading newspaper had a headline that read, “We are all American”. In London, the national anthem of United States was played at the guards’ ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Prime Minister of Australia John Howard formed a military alliance with America to give Australian help to America during this hard time.
After the attacks of 9/11 on America, there was an increase in the incidence of harassment and hate crimes against the Muslim people, South Asians or “Middle Eastern-looking” people. Mostly Sikh people were affected by the incident because they used to wear turbans. There were also reports of damage to mosques and other Islamic institutions. A Sikh man named Balbir Singh Sodhi was the victim of this backlash, on September 15 he was shot at the gas station in Mesa, Arizona.
After the attacks of 9/11, the approval rating of George W Bush saw an increase of up to 86%. People stood behind him and the federal government for recovery and rescue efforts. The people raised the slogan “United We Stand”.