"Massport (A): The Aftermath of 9/11" case study delves into how the Massachusetts Port Authority recovered after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It presents the actions of the CEO to make the public office function more like a business entity.
Michael A. Roberto; Erika M. Ferlins
Harvard Business Review (304081-HCB-ENG)
March 29, 2004
Case questions answered:
- Explain the turnaround at the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- Should the US take more advanced security measures to protect the country?
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Massport (A): The Aftermath of 9/11 Case Answers
Abstract – Massport (A): The Aftermath of 9/11
The issue of terrorism and security is considered as an international issue of concern. Terrorism has been established as a dangerous foreign and domestic security threat. The 9/11 attack on the United States is considered as the most devastating attack on American soil. The attack claimed the lives of a large number of people and the destruction of property.
The United States should take appropriate measures to avoid further attacks. If no effective measure is taken, the country may be in another looming danger of attack considering the growth of the terrorist groups. The argument in this paper is whether the US should take advanced security measures to curb further attacks and if so, determine the security measures that the country should take in the wake of the numerous terrorist attacks. Security plays a key function in the wellbeing of the people and the nation.
This paper tends to answer the questions of whether the US should increase its security level, particularly at the airport or whether the country safe from future attacks of the same caliber.
Terrorism has been a thorn in the smooth running of the United States. The 9/11 attack, as it is normally known, caught the US unaware. On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 radicals who are associated with Al Qaeda, an Islamic extremist unit, took control of four airlines and did suicidal strikes against various areas in the U.S. Two of the hijacked planes were taken to the World Trade Center tower in New York City. The third plane was used to blow the Pentagon, outer of Washington D.C. Another plane ran into the Pennsylvania field.
The 9/11 attack resulted in massive deaths and destruction, causing key US initiatives to fight terrorism. Around 3,000 people were feared to be dead due to the attack (Hampton, 2003).
The assailants were basically Islamic extremists from Saudi Arabia and various other Arab countries. It is reported that the terrorists were funded by the fugitive Al Qaeda terrorist organization under the leadership and command of Osama Bin Laden. They were supposedly doing revenge for the support that the Americans were giving to the Israelites, its connection to the Persian Gulf War, and its continuous military being in the Middle East.
A number of the assailants that undertook the attack were living in the U.S. for more than 12 months and had completed flight classes at the American commercial flight schools. Others managed to slip into the nation some months before September 11 and tended to act as a force in the process.
After the incidences of Sept. 11, 2001, entire America and people from across the globe started to realize the threat that terrorism posed to humanity. By definition, terrorism is basically the threatened or illicit use of violence or force by a structured group or an individual against a certain property or people with a goal of forcing or threatening governments or societies, mostly for political or ideological motives. Terrorism normally involves activities such as hijacking, assassinations, random killings, and even skyjacking (Berman, 2003, p. 17).
It is essential to note that terrorism is not used for military reasons but rather for religious or political reasons. Terrorist activities usually target religious groups, ethnic communities or groups, political parties, media enterprises, governments, and even companies.
The terrorist organizations that take part in terrorism activities are always small in size and have limited resources as compared to the institutions and populations that they oppose. “Due to the publicity as well as the fear that is generated by violent acts, they tend to increase their power and influence to facilitate political change on an international or local level. Despite the fact that counter-terrorism can alter change many of our daily operations, enforcement of strict rules, laws, and security assures the people of life that is less of constant terror threat” (Innes, 2008, p. 38).
Several nations have strengthened laws regarding anti-terrorism and also improved the extent of enforcement. Additionally, there have been in place intelligence agencies that help in preventing future terrorist attacks (Innes, 2003, p. 64). This is the path that the United States had to take to protect its citizens in the wake of the increasing terrorist attacks.
Even though Osama bin Laden at the beginning denied any connection, he later took charge of the attack. The Al-Qaeda, as well as Bin Laden, claimed issues like the U.S. backing of Israel, the existence of the U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia, and the injunctions put against Iraq as reasons for the attack (Langley, 2006).
The 9/11 attack resulted in the death of Americans and destroyed property worth billions. The demolition of the World Trade Center and the close infrastructure resulted in a grave impairment to the economy of the Lower Manhattan and huge effects on global markets leading to the closure of the wall Street and the resident Airspace in the US and Canada for a given period (Hampton, 2003).
As a result of the increasing terrorist attacks, the United States has heightened its security. The attack can be considered as a wakeup call. The question that arises now is whether the security measures that the US has taken to safeguard the country against future attacks are enough to protect the country. There are several measures that the US have taken and these includes:
The operations at the airport are basically the immediate and obvious changes that were made after the attack. Barely binary months after the attack…
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