U.S. government response to the September 11 attacks

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The response of the U.S. government to the September 11 attacks sparked investigations into the motivations and execution of the attacks, as well as the ongoing War on Terrorism in Afghanistan.

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Rescue, recovery, and compensation

Within hours of the attack, a massive search and rescue (SAR) operation was launched, which included over 350 search and rescue dogs.[1] Initially, only a handful of wounded people were found at the site, and in the weeks that followed it became evident that there were no survivors to be found.

Rescue and recovery efforts took months to complete. It took several weeks to simply put out the fires burning in the rubble of the buildings, and the clean-up was not completed until May, 2002. Temporary wooden "viewing platforms" were set up for tourists to view construction crews clearing out the gaping holes where the towers once stood. All of these platforms were closed on May 30, 2002.

Many relief funds were immediately set up to assist victims of the attacks, with the task of providing financial assistance to the survivors and the families of victims. By the deadline for victim's compensation, September 11, 2003, 2,833 applications had been received from the families of those killed.[2]

War on Terrorism

In the aftermath of the attacks, many U.S. citizens held the view that the attacks had "changed the world forever." The Bush administration announced a war on terrorism, with the stated goals of bringing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks. These goals would be accomplished by means including economic and military sanctions against states perceived as harboring terrorists and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing. Immediately after the September 11 attacks U.S. officials[3] speculated on possible involvement by Saddam Hussein; although unfounded, the association contributed to public acceptance for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The second-biggest operation of the U.S. Global War on Terrorism outside of the United States, and the largest directly connected to terrorism, was the overthrow of the Taliban rule from Afghanistan, by a U.S.-led coalition. The U.S. was not the only nation to increase its military readiness, with other notable examples being the Philippines and Indonesia, countries that have their own internal conflicts with Islamist terrorism.[citation needed]

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