The attacks on September 11, 2001 forced a change in the national security policy of the United States. Eight years later, debate still surrounds the issue on how best to defend against terrorism. The question of how large of a national security threat do current border policies pose to the United States in terms of facilitating an increase in terrorism has both is supporters and opponents. The two sides to this argumentborder control is important in protecting the US on one hand and terrorism is not too reliant on entry through borders, hence the borders are not a threat to national security and funds should be diverted to other areas on the other create great debate. After comparing the two sides to this argument over the extent of the threat to national security that border control policies pose, I argue that the borders do in fact pose a threat to national security as terrorists have acknowledged the ease in entering the United States illegally, but more importantly, it is the seaports that have the greatly potential to be exploited by terrorism. Fortunately there have been no attacks in the United States since 9/11; however, border control strategies need to be redefined in order to keep America safe.
[...] Many advocate for a border control policy that extends beyond the United States borders, as international cooperation is a key to providing security. If the United States diverted some funds in the direction of improving international ports that ship cargo to the United States, there is a better chance of an inspector discovering a WMD or biological threat before it was sent to U.S. ports. Others point to the need to improve the relationship, image, and trust that the rest of the world views the United States. [...]
[...] “Migrant ‘Illegality' and the Metaphysics of Antiterrorism: ‘Immigrants' Rights' in the Aftermath of the Homeland Security State." Border Battles: The U.S. Immigration Debate July 2006. SSRC Mar < http://borderbattles.ssrc.org/De_Genova/>. DeYoung, Karen, and Walter Pincus, “Al-Qaeda's Gains Keep U.S. at Risk, Report The Washington Post, July p. A1. "Fact Sheet: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Actions Taken Since 9/11." CBP Executive Summary Sept Department of Homeland Security Apr.2009 http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/fact_sheets/cbp_overview/09172004.xml Flynn, Stephen E. "America the Vulnerable." Foreign Affairs 81 (Jan-Feb 2002). Katel, Peter. [...]
[...] While there have been no attacks in the first few months of the Obama administration, one cannot become apathetic to the potential for some sort of attack to be in the planning stages. Qaeda has reestablished its central organization, training infrastructure, and lines of global communication over the past two years, putting the United States in a ‘heightened threat environment' despite expanded worldwide counterterrorism efforts according to a new intelligence estimate.” The report echoes the sentiments of CIA director Hayden, in that Al Qaeda is slowly becoming stronger and more organized due to their ability to secretly organize in Pakistan. [...]
[...] National interest in the state of border controls, namely the southern border, has increased dramatically following the September 11th attacks, as there is a general consensus that the border is an area of concern for national security. The Bush administration rationalized the new and improved border control policies put in place following the attacks by saying that the policies would make the nation safer by keeping out potential terrorists. However, the Report of the 9/11 Commission found that “there were no domestic conspiracies of any significance around the time of the attacks and there have been none revealed since.” Tirman cites two accounts of government action which proved to be unsuccessful in identifying any potential terrorists: the more than 400 U.S. [...]
[...] “Ultimately, getting homeland security right is not about constructing barricades to find different terrorists, it is or should be about identifying and taking steps necessary to allow the United States to remain open, prosperous, free, and a globally engaged society.” Flynn also agrees with Benjamin in that the United States has to extend the system of border control into the international realm, not just domestically. Flynn believes there are far too many ports of entry into the United States that realistically monitoring all of them is impossible. [...]
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