Terrorism is becoming more complicated than before with the use of mass destruction weapons. Ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, policy makers continue to define the homeland security. Prior to 11.09, the United States addressed crises through the separate, law enforcement, prisms of national defence and emergency management.
This demands a new strategy for the security enforcers in order to prevent from the threats. Preemption is a measure that ensures terrorists do not plan and attack different places as they chose. Defensive deterrence is no longer an option to prevent attacks, but offensive preemption is needed to counter the attacks. A state of can invokes self measure that according UN charter article 51 is allowed. Preemption is not the first option to counter terrorism because it is a complex measure. Preemption of military deterrent preventive measure against terrorism is a principle of war of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. It is a strategy that is legitimate for preventing of the attacks, stopping and deterring terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security is directed by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the President of the USA appoints him when getting the consent of the United States Senate. The Secretary is responsible for the management of the Department and is assisted by the Deputy Secretary, certain Under Secretaries, and certain Assistant Secretaries. The Department is divided into certain component agencies and internal divisions. The scope of homeland security includes:
- International and domestic intelligence operations
- Emergency preparedness and response
- Perimeter protection and critical infrastructure
- Transportation security, including aviation and maritime transportation
- Biо defence
- Detection of radiological and radioactive materials
The US in their counterterrorist policies emphasizes on not making any concessions to terrorists, it is legitimate that agents in charge can negotiate with the terrorists. Israel and U.S have clearly pointed out that they do not negotiate with terrorists. In some cases, negotiation takes place for the intelligence to gather information, but not to reach an agreement. Colombia has illegalized any contact with hostage takers. These decisions in informed by the fact that terrorists can be encouraged to advance their activities knowing that their goals will be achieved. Homeland’s security was structured in 2003 as a result of the September 11 attacks on United States of America. The agency had different missions. A group of internal organization is tasked to respond to human and natural disasters. This function is reinforced by group agencies charged with policy and health. The organization charged with monitoring technology and science. This includes the identification of nuclear activities is closely related to the human and natural disaster organization. Other divisions are tasked with supervising internal functions and managing the department of homeland security relations. There are numerous internal agencies whose security purposes are directly connected to terrorism deterrence.
The America coast Guard was the first agency to be assigned to the homeland security department though it was initially under the transportation department. The mandate of this agency is stipulated to protect the environment, inland and coastal waterways, maritime law enforcement and contradiction of contraband. In relation to counterterrorism, the agency is tasked to intercept weapons and terrorist from the marine.
Other departments inside the homeland security have responsibilities towards counterterrorism. Intelligence is the core function of most of these agencies. Its office of analysis and intelligence coordinate astuteness with other agencies. Airport’s security is under the transport security administration. The United States border protection and customs department includes border patrol and customs agents. Their work is amplified by an analytical agency, customs and immigration enforcement. This is the largest homeland security department investigative arm. The secret service also serves the homeland security. Apart from protecting America’s president, the service still retains its former role of in countering financial crime (Bullock and Haddow, 2013). It also engaged in investigating cyber attacks, identity theft and banking practices.
Most of the employees in the Homeland security have arrest powers and are engaged in law enforcement responsibilities. In the new homeland security structure, federal police officials and special agents are trained specially. This takes place at the training centre for federal law enforcement in Georgia. Their instructors teach advance and basic classes on terrorism. Prior to 2003, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centre was responsible for training all officers in the federal law enforcement expect special agents from DEA and FBI. These agencies are trained separately at the Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia (Maniscalco and Christen, 2011).
The killing of Osama Bin Laden was an effort of the homeland security. Critics stipulate that this killing of the al-Qaida leader is not a guarantee of an end to security threat by terrorist activities in America and the whole world. The homeland security must be more vigilant to avert security threats. Intelligence is the main aspect of security enforcement and operation. This will be more emphasized and implemented by the homeland security in protecting the nation against terrorist attacks. The universe is directed by intelligence and homeland security forces and agencies can be more efficient and effective. This can be achieved through boosting their ability to gain information and process it into meaningful guide to flash out any threats (White, 2012).
Since the attack on America, there is the need to critically evaluate a measure of the effectiveness of the homeland security. The role they play in disaster assistance and management functions should be revaluated. The critical element of the homeland security should be rebuilding the countries emergency management system. A community based homeland security system should be encouraged. Most of the citizens in America are willing to offer information and other supportive measures that will avert security threats in their nation.
The general public must be incorporated in the implementation and development of community based homeland security plans. The agency should be more open and partner with local and state government to invest more in resources in assisting them to gather more information.
There is the need to conduct a cost and benefit analysis before investing in any program, in the homeland security system. This will ensure that the agency is secure and supported by the general public in the future. The cost and benefit analysis will avert a situation where tax payers money is lost in projects that do not yield positive outcomes. The homeland security should be run like a corporate where the mission and objectives of the agency are the driving forces in the implementation of strategies.
A risk based approach should be the basic guide of federal investment in homeland security. This would ensure that vulnerability, critical values and threats are considered, and also managing the expected value of the investment in developing capabilities to prevent terrorist attacks and to prevent vital infrastructure balance with unforeseen costs of maintaining and developing capabilities for recovering and responding to any emergency events. This approach requires the formulation of a realistic resource plans and budget at the national point.
All the nations in the world should support information sharing with all the terrorism agencies. This is driven by terrorism being an international problem rather than a national problem. America citizens are all over the world, and it is crucial for the homeland security to provide information to them that will protect their lives in whatever part of the world.
Use of force is another method that can be used to counter terrorism attack. This measure is taken when the terrorist attack is damaging or visible.
Countries that works with terrorists who sponsor them or are located in their jurisdiction are forced to change how they behave. Organized crime groups can also be defeated by disabling their capabilities of attacking or their operations.
When there are potential terrorist threats against state preemptive measures are used. Some countries see pre-emptive attacks as a legitimate strategy. This includes killing, capturing or disabling terrorists who are suspected before they can mount an attack. Negotiation has been outlawed by Colombia and many other nations. If a country or political party is sponsoring terrorist activities, their territory can be hit to send a strong message of their activities.
We remain strong-willed in our commitment to disrupt and prevent any of the terrorist attacks in the Homeland, protect the Nation’s critical infrastructure and the American people, and recover from these incidents that do occur and effectively respond. Working together, we will secure our Homeland in order to sustain our way of life –for future generations to come.
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Bullock, J. A., & Haddow, G. D. (2013). Homeland security the essentials. Waltham, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Christоpher Bellavita, “A new perspective оn hоmeland security?” Hоmeland Security Watch, http://www.hlswatch.cоm/2011/12/20/a-new-perspective-оn-hоmeland-security/
Maniscalco, P. M., & Christen, H. T. (2011). Homeland security: principles and practice of terrorism response. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
White, J. R. (2012). Terrorism and homeland security (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.