On September 11, 2001, the turbulence that is characteristic of the post-Cold War international system came to bear fully on the Canadian-American relationship. Rumors that the highjackers entered the U.S. from Canada put Canadians immediately on the defensive. Though erroneous, these rumors reflected a willingness on the part of Americans to see the Canadian border as a source of vulnerability. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, American officials intensified their criticism of Canada for the laxness of the latter's immigration and refugee policies and for their failure to adequately police the country's borders.
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