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America’s Greatest Challenge in the 21st Century Essay

Throughout the 21st century, United States of America has been plagued by so many crisis and challenges that put the integrity and strength of its government on test. But perhaps the most harrowing ordeal the country has ever experienced was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 which claimed more than two thousand lives, mostly innocent civilians. United States has considered terrorism, coupled with nuclear threats, its greatest challenge ever. Organized terrorists from hostile nations target America.

Since the nation is very superior in conventional warfare compared to its adversaries, terrorists deviate from non-conventional warfare and resort to nuclear terrorism. Technology is helping these criminals to undertake their evil scheme. In nuclear terrorism, the terrorist use nuclear weapons, including radiological weapons, to cause massive destructions to humanity to attain their political or religious ideals. Terrorists pose great threats by utilizing or exploiting nuclear in a number of ways:

1) They can attack nuclear facilities for the purpose of melting down the nuclear reactor and releasing the toxic substance inside. The power plant will cause radioactive contamination and will result into great casualties. Such incident my equal or exceed the catastrophe brought by the Chernobyl in 1986. 2) They can create dirty bomb which is loaded with radioactive materials and a conventional explosive. Upon detonation, it releases radioactive and highly poisonous particles in the air. Terrorists find this appealing since it is very successful in instilling fear and panic. Further, its contaminating effect is long-lasting. 3) They can create improvised nuclear device (IND). This bomb uses low-grade nuclear substance but the effect is still devastating. ) They can buy ready-made nuclear weapons in the black market. This way, all they have to do is read the manual, set the weapon and detonate it. Presto! Hundreds of civilians lie lifeless on the street. 5) They can create a full-blown nuclear bomb. This may not be highly probable, but it is still possible. Organized terrorists, including those who are supported by the hostile nations, have the technology, money and capability to design and fabricate a nuclear bomb. The danger is very clear: the spectre of nuclear attack on the American soil looms and it is getting clearer each day.

Wrong hands are holding nuclear weapons; the wrong hands who desire nothing but to kill Americans and destroy American power. America is a powerful and rich country. It can easily build a nuclear weapon and bomb those nations who cuddle terrorists. ” Fight fire with fire. ” However, that is easier said than done. There are several and less violent, yet effective, ways for America to fight nuclear terrorism. First, all nuclear weapons, materials and facilities must be secured and well-protected. This way, it prevents any plan of the terrorists to attack, sabotage or steal these things.

This includes the intensive drive of the government to eliminate or confiscate all nuclear weapons and materials held by unauthorized individuals and arrest anybody who is caught selling these deadly things. Second, stiff sanction must be imposed to any nation or country that sponsor any act of terrorism. America should be firm with this one. Without any sponsor and a base, terrorism and terrorist will surely cease to prosper. Third, investigating and counter-terrorism tools must be upgraded to match the sophistication of terrorists. Aside from that, the agencies must not keep the reports to themselves.

They must share information not to the public but with the other agencies. They must have transparency to compare notes and information. Lastly, the American citizens must be educated about all kinds of terrorism. Information drive should be conducted. If possible, civilians should be given authority to make an arrest if necessary. This way, ordinary citizen can help distinguish any terrorism even before the act is committed. With knowledgeable civilians around, detection of terrorism will not be limited to the authority alone; thus the long arm of the law is made even longer and prevention rate of terrorism will be much higher.


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