The September 11 or 911 attack involved airline hijackings and suicide bombings characterized by a series of heinous and despicable acts. The attack was carried out in 2001, pioneered by 19 perpetrators affiliated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda wading combats against targets in the United States; it was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on American land in the country’s history in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people (Odolczyk, 2020). The attack on New York City and Washington, D.C. resulted in many deaths and considerable property damage. They prompted massive United States reforms in an attempt to counter terrorism. Therefore, they formed fundamental security elements at the national and international cooperation levels. In addition, the U.S. has adopted trending technological measures that assist in combating terrorism.
National Cooperation (The Transportation Security Administration /TNS)
The Security Theatre Element
Security Theater is the technique employed by TNS of the U.S. after the September 11, attack. The cooperation underscores spending on remedies meant to create a sense of better security while doing little or nothing to accomplish it. Since terrorism remains to cause fear and suffering at airport terminals, in this regard, it may occur anyplace, at any moment. As a result, Individuals should think about Security Theater to feel safer without much effort. For instance, guards deployed by the state must examine identity cards even if there is no logical need. Importantly, after 9/11, the same path was pursued; thus, the National Guard militarized U.S. airports with troops wildering empty firearms.
Nevertheless, the reports indicated that the guardsmen wore filled magazines on their belts. After the 9/11 attacks, several businesses, shopping malls, and hotels installed metal detectors to facilitate security measures. The metal detectors operated as deterrence in other regions with no response strategy (Wensveen, 2018). In these cases, Security Theater provides discouragement but not genuine safety. Furthermore, TNS randomly inspects baggage via various methods is likewise an example of a Security Theater. Programs like Secure Flight, CAPPS (Computerized Assisted Passenger Pre-screening System), TSA Pre-check, and Clear are used to screen travelers at airports; a random search is just a deterrent.
Pros of Security Theatre
Due to the possibility that it might be advantageous, at least in a limited context, it may seem that Security Theater must always result in a loss. Therefore, it can be deduced that the impression of security is often more significant than the actual security. In this way, it is possible that prospective perpetrators of an assault would engage in activities that they would have otherwise shunned (Wensveen, 2018). This would happen if people felt more secure and protected due to the steps implemented.
Additionally, security theater is effective at averting threats, particularly for airport waiting zones where manifested by a crowd of travelers requires actual security measures. Thus, it includes the use of fictitious surveillance cameras and empty camera housings, the connection of gadgets with bleeping indicator lamps to vulnerable areas in airport terminals, and the broadcasting of security-related news releases on the store’s public address system periodically.
Cons of Security Theatre
Temporary and Illusionary
Criticisms from organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have remarked that the advantages of Security Theater are only momentary and illogical because when such security measures undoubtedly fail (Wensveen, 2018). Henceforth, not only momentarily in the sense of insecurity accelerated, but there is also a loss of confidence in the intellectual ability of those in charge of security.
Increased Death Toll
Extensive research examined the precise consequences of the TSA’s late 2002 adjustment to security tactics. They determined that this adjustment decreased air travel by 6%, resulting in an estimated 129 more deaths in traffic crashes in the fourth quarter of 2002.
The Risk of Targeted Assaults Increased
Direct expenditures associated with Security Theater may be less than those associated with more extensive security procedures. It may, however, divert funds for efficient security measures without resulting in a sufficient, quantifiable increase in security. Since security theater initiatives are frequently narrow in scope, for example, focusing on potential explosives hidden in body parts, they enable possible threats to divert their attention to other forms of attack. Hence, it is true not only for extremely specialized initiatives but also for plausible strategies such as swapping from heavily surveilled airline passengers to attackers hired as airline or airport staff. Another alternative strategy would be to avoid attacking aircraft entirely in favor of attacking other areas where sufficient damage could be done, such as check-in, or simply targeting large gatherings of people, such as movie theaters.
The airline sector lost $1.1 billion due to rigorous airport security measures in the fourth quarter of 2002. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), between October 2008 and June 2010, over 6,500 persons had their electronic devices inspected at the boundary (Brown et al., 2020). The Organization of Corporate Travel Executives said in February 2008 that 7% of its customers had a laptop or other electronic device seized. E-mail theft has serious economic and behavioral consequences. Entrepreneurs that use their laptops as mobile offices risk losing their whole company. A laptop confiscation might harm a traveler’s professional position, according to 50% of ACTE poll respondents (Bier, 2021). Moreover, it has pushed and will require firms to develop new and costly internal travel regulations, according to the Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ executive director during a 2008 Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing.
International Cooperation (Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty)
The Arms Race Element
Following the September 11 attacks, the United States not only declared its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which the U.S. and the Soviet Union signed in 1972 but also pushed for a Nuclear Strategy Assessment. According to the report, the U.S. could explore using nuclear weapons, including speeding up the development of small-scale ones to meet unforeseen obstacles (Woolf, 2017). Although it is challenging to foresee what will happen when the U.S. nuclear policy is adjusted, it will likely have serious consequences.
The arms race factor ensured the determent factor in that countries stayed within their limits of war in the event of aggravation; for instance, in the case of attempted war, they would be reluctant to respond. In this regard, the deterrent factor points out that nuclear weapons ensured that both nations avoided unnecessary war against one another (Etzioni & Etzioni, 2017). As a result, it reduced the chances of another attack occurring. Moreover, the Arm movement enabled Superpowers to work together to keep the nuclear threat under control.
As a result of nuclear power’s ability to boost superpowers, the international climate became increasingly volatile. The new strategy placed a high value on nuclear energy in purposely left ambiguous circumstances to disadvantage those who opposed it. Notwithstanding the dangerous power of nuclear weapons, the arms race did not slow down or halt. Instead, it expanded more, making it risky.
Technologies that Will Fundamentally Change Airport Security over the Next Decade
The Use of Drones
Remotely operated aircraft or aircraft with onboard computers are referred to as drones. They have unquestionably entered the conversation and are being debated in greater detail than in history. According to Konert et al. (2019), drones equipped with the appropriate A.I. solutions can identify dangerous objects and even non-compliance with social distancing standards. Additionally, it can be designed to take particular behavior in real-time in response to detecting hazardous objects or behavior. Definite parties such as NATS are already providing consumer guidance on safely and responsibly operating drones. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that drones have the potential to jeopardize the safety of airport operations worldwide.
Use of A.I. and Robotics
Artificial intelligence is a genuine phenomenon that has significant socioeconomic effects on nations all over the globe, including the United States. Airports and the aircraft industry are no exception, and robots are beginning to join the mix similarly. One example is SITA’s ingenious robotic check-in kiosk, which identifies busy areas of the airport and moves to them to help ease check-in overcrowding (Kovynyov & Mikut, 2019). Another is Schiphol’s concierge robots, which welcome travelers with a repaired smile upon entry. These are just a few of the diversified robotic disrupters finding their way into some of the world’s most crowded airport terminals. As Lehto (2020) underscores, the private industry develops artificial intelligence and machine learning, this tendency will only increase. No matter how much this worries or thrills you, it is possible that it will become a reality for everyone in the next several decades.
Ultimately, the September 11 attacks altered the United States state of counter-terrorism strategy and tactics. The United States took steps at both the national and international levels, which involved the Security Theatre and the Arms Race, to name two examples. The strategies’ implementations brought with them certain advantages and disadvantages, which have subsequently impacted American society, both domestically and globally. Furthermore, technological trends such as, the use of Drones and AI robots are being incorporated into the Arline Systems of the U.S., to ensure maximum security is enhanced and maintained within the Aviation sector to combat the terrorism menace.
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Woolf, A. F. (2017). Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional research service Washington United States. Web.