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War on Terrorism: Budget and Policy Discussion Essay

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Updated: May 18th, 2022


September 11, 2001 was a critical point in the life of the United States of America. Considering themselves secured with top quality protection system, the USA failed. Hundreds of lives and unfulfilled desire were the result of 9/11 attacks. Believing in personal strength and firmness, 9/11 has ruined the understanding of the government in the relation to the security and encouraged for creation specific policies aimed at creating an new security system which was necessary for the USA. Apart from implementation of the new policies, which are going to be discussed below, a number of steps were taken. Thus, if before 9/11 attacks few local enforcement agencies were involved in terrorism combat, so the mentioned day encouraged for creation special agencies on local, state and federal levels aimed at incorporating preventive actions and fighting terrorists all over the country. The USA understood that cyberspace is the area which must be protected. The discussion of the specific Acts and Policies directed at USA security is going to be considered with the purpose to follow the changes which occurred in the USA after 9/11 attacks.

War on Terrorism Policies

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT Act) Act of 2001 is a document which established the main regulations for war on terrorism the government is to follow. The USA PATRIOT Act regulates many specific spheres of life and interacts in many of them by means of implementing rules to follow. The main issues discussed in the USA PATRIOT Act (2001) are as follows, protection of domestic against terrorism, surveillance procedures, financial situation devoted terrorist combating (international money, banks’ security, currency protection), government border protection, removing terrorism investigation obstacles, protection of the victims of the terrorism, information sharing, strengthening the terrorism criminal legislation, intelligence improving, and other terrorism related problems.

It should be mentioned that this Act (2001) allows specific legal organizations to follow US citizens more precisely. In other words, FBI and other enforcement structures were allowed to check citizens’ mail, follow their phone conversations, and do other intrusion into human life for security measures. USA PATRIOT Act (2001) regulates the actions of the government, states the goals the criminal justice system should achieve and governs the actions which should be implemented in different specific situations. Reading USA PATRIOT Act (2001), it may be considered that the act states the actions which are to be implemented by different agencies and at which spheres each of the laws should be used. This document helps us consider the changes which have occurred in the life of citizens and the governmental regulations.

The adoption of the act entrusts criminal justice agencies to enhance the monitoring of the cyberspace. The original idea of the cyberspace policy was mentioned in USA PATRIOT Act (2001), however, each year the policy review devoted to cyberspace was released with the purpose to follow the changes which had already occurred and the ones which should be implemented. Cyberspace policy (2009) states that two of 24 recommendations were implemented into reality. Others need specific collaboration of all criminal justice agencies for achieving necessary results. Thus, the following two Near-term Recommendations were implemented, the adoption of the cybersecurity policy official and appointment of the liberties (private and civil) to National Security Council. Others recommendations are implemented only partially, however, they are the main goals for completing in the nearest future.

Government along with anti-terrorism agencies and criminal justice agencies are to implement the following actions, prepare an updated national strategy, nominate cybersecurity as the priority for the President, identify governmental role and develop a policy in this relation. Moreover, it is recommended to “initiate a national public awareness and education campaign to promote cybersecurity,… build a cybersecurity-based identity management vision and strategy that address privacy and civil liberties” (Cyberspace policy, 2009, p. 22), state the position of the federal government in the relation to the international policy framework, formulate the response plan to the incident response in the Internet security system. The importance of the plan creation aimed at regulating the resolution process of the disagreements which appear in law and policies between agencies. Cyberspace policy (2009) pays much attention training. Thus, the recommendations are devoted to supporting educational programs, research, and development, to developing workplace training programs, etc. Cyberspace policy (2009) is focused on the information sharing process as it is the key point of the actions success. Thus, “the most efficient mechanism to obtain strategic warning, maintain situational awareness, and inform incident response capabilities” (Cyberspace policy, 2009, p. 23) should be determined, threat scenarios should be set, “a process between the government and private sector for preventing, detecting, and responding to cyber incidents” (Cyberspace policy, 2009, p. 23) should be developed, and specific mechanisms for information sharing are to be implemented.

One more document was developed with the purpose to help the government to develop strict regulation acts for terrorism combat. Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (2002) was created as a short-term document which identified the agencies and the actions they were to perform for preventing terrorism in the country. This document was amended in 2007 and its power was extended up to 2014.

One of the main guarantees of the successful implementation of the recommendations is the sharing responsibilities between governmental and criminal justice agencies. Otherwise, country’s cyber infrastructure may appear at risk of instruction. Only strict distribution of the roles, creation of a plan and identification of the milestones can make sure that the Cyberspace policy (2009) operates successfully for the benefit of the USA citizens and in support of USA PATRIOT Act (2001).

Change in Criminal Justice System since 9/11

Having considered the main policies which were the result of 9/11 attacks, it is important to research the changes which occurred in the criminal justice system. There is no need to state that the changes have been implemented and they were significant as the whole security system of the USA was put under question of its efficacy and usefulness. The implementation of the policies and changes in the security system affected the criminal justice system greatly. Thus, the changes occurred in the federal law implementation, court system, in police activities after 9/11.

One of the main changes which occurred in the [post 9/11 USA is the privacy. Now, police have absolutely different guidelines for gathering personal information. Two types of surveillance may be used by the police, “human and technological gazing where officials watch the physical movements and activities of persons” and “the acquisition of personal data” (Bloss, 2007, p. 209). It should be stated that this evidence is considered as relevant and trustworthy by the court. Thus, it may be easily concluded that police was offered much more rights. Globalization and wide spread of crime and terrorism and advanced technologies were the starting points to implementing widening of the surveillance concept in the US police departments.

Nevertheless, being allowed to interact into private life of people, courts are regulated by “balancing of competing interests” measure which “allows the courts to interpret constitutional principles and statutes to decide whether police surveillance and search methods violate citizen privacy” (Bloss, 2007, p. 213). Therefore, courts are allowed to measure whether the police department was objective and consider their actions being either legal or not.

Relating to the courts, it should be stated that the events occurred on September 11 caused racial discrimination of some specific ethnic groups in the USA in the relation to sentencing. The research conducted by McConnell (2010) proves that after 9/11 attacks, the rate con Hispanics which experienced sentencing increased by 3.5% in comparison with white population. No significant changes in sentencing in the relation to other ethnic groups of the USA were noticed.

Thus, it should be concluded that the events which occurred on September 11, 2001 affected three areas in criminal justice, police, courts, and corrections. These agencies were subjected to changes due to the failure of the existed security system and the necessity for implementing an new one.

Budget Changes in the USA in Relation to War on Terrorism

The changes in the surrounding world, social, economic, and political, require the reconsideration of the policies which exist in the country. Steen, S., & Bandy (2007) are sure that the policies which were developed at the beginning of the 21st century are outrageously expensive and require much changes to be made. The authors of the article state that nowadays it is better to pay more attention to rehabilitation than to imprison a person.

According to the Cyberspace policy (2009), the Office of Management and Budget assessment framework should be used for performing budgeting aimed at war on terrorism on the territory of the USA. Financial Anti-Terrorism Act (2001) pays much attention to “the airports, border crossings, and other ports of entry where the currency can be smuggled out of the United States and placed in a foreign financial institution or sold on the black market” (p. 4). Thus, it should be stated that 9/11 attacks influenced the budget distribution greatly. Financial flows began to be followed more precisely to prevent illegal outflow of the US currency.


September 11, 2001 was a significant day in the history of the USA. Even though ten years has passed from the day of that tragedy, there are no specific rules aimed at regulating war on terrorism issues. Many policies and acts were created with the purpose to regulate the security issues of the country. However, there is much to be done in the future. Only two are fully completed within 24 recommended actions. War on terrorism should be started with the identification of the agencies which should deal with the problem and state their specific responsibilities and goal. According to the USA PATRIOT Acts (2001), no specific information about the provided above issues is not identified. Still, much is done in the airports and cyberspace security.

Reference List

Bloss, W. (2007). Escalating U.S. police surveillance after 9/11: an examination of causes and effects. Surveillance & Society, 4(3), 208-228.

Cyberspace policy: Executive Branch Is Making Progress Implementing 2009 Policy Review Recommendations, but Sustained Leadership Is Needed. GAO-11-24. Web.

Financial Anti-Terrorism Act. (2001). H. R. 3004. Web.

McConnel, B. (2010). Ethnicity, Sentencing and 9/11. Unpublished manuscript. Web.

Steen, S., & Bandy, R. (2007). When the policy becomes the problem. Punishment & Society, 9(1), 5-26.

Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. (2002). H. R. 3210—2. Web.

USA PATRIOT Act. (2001). Public Law 107–56.

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