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The United States of America learnt on September 11, 2001, that the American soil is not invulnerable to vicious enemies capable of instigating mass massacres and horrors. This was again evident when it came to be known on October 4, 2001 that a life menacing organic agent called anthrax was being circulated all over the United States through the mail. It is for these reasons that the nation must rise up in defense against the waves of terror campaigns linking some of the world’s most disparaging weapons.
Consequently, far reaching strategies have been proposed to assemble and sort out the Nation and protect the United States homeland from terrorists. The proposals are massive and require synchronized and focused efforts from the society as a whole. This includes the federal, state and local governments, the private sector and all the Americans in general. A lot of emphasis has been laid on hindrance, fortification against, and preparation for any disastrous actions. These include the risks of mass fatalities, enormous loss of possessions, strategic information combat, attacks on significant transportation, and assaults on administrative leadership.
Preparing for a Protected Homeland
Some of the strategies of present day terrorism are unrestrained by the conventional systems of warfare. Daily life objects are transformed into weapons capable of visiting bereavement and annihilation on the gullible civilians. To be in a position of conquering this adversary, the government needs to respond in an organized and focused manner. This led to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. This is able to provide the United States with the opportunity of successfully securing the homeland.
With proper reorganization of the federal government, this solution is capable of coalescing immense nationwide association of organizations and all the homeland security institutions. The use of intergovernmental coordination has been vital as it brings together federal, state and local governments on a level never seen before. Furthermore, the use of the Department of Defense has drastically abridged terrorist threats against the United States.
Meeting the threats of terrorism involves a great deal of cooperation and synchronization. This is to be applicable in law enforcement and prevention, and crisis response and resurgence. There is also the aspect of strategy advancement and realization. This is all geared to aligning homeland security. Because of the possibility of terrorists taking advantage of the freedom of the American society as a way of life, it is the responsibility of the Americans to take part in protecting the homeland.
To involve the American citizens in this worthy cause, the Citizen’s Corp was initiated by the President in 2002 assist in channeling this volunteerism. A guide book to inform the population about debacle vigilance skills was produced. Again, the volunteers are trained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to instantly assist fatalities at tragedy spots. Furthermore, volunteers in the Police Service are encouraged to utilize civilian volunteers even in the sustenance of constrained law enforcement units. In as much as this requires massive human resources, the advantage is that the society becomes alert in case of any emergency .
Pros and Cons of Preparing for a Protected Homeland Solution
The advantage of this kind of proposal towards securing the homeland is the proficiency and dedication of the local bureaus and institutions in charge of securing the homeland. This is due to the fact that this solution has integrated other governmental departments and agencies in support of homeland security as part of their general duty. However, the challenge involved in this solution is basically the development of complementary systems to circumvent duplication and leadership battles.
Generally, the synchronization of multiple government agencies towards one cause is likely to create a situation in which there is a duplication of roles. As a result, colossal amounts of money could end up being channeled towards the same cause in different agencies thus increasing wastage. Assumptions may also be made thus a situation of vagueness develops in the specific roles of particular agencies.
Intelligence and Caution
The nature of terrorism is that it is highly dependent on surprise. This means that terrorists are in a position of bringing about immense harm to an unsuspecting and incautious target. Otherwise, they stand chance of being frustrated by the system. Thus it is of great importance for the United States to take stern action in order to avoid being flabbergasted by the terrorist attacks. This calls for an intelligent and cautious system capable of spotting any sinister actions before they manifest. This then allows for appropriate preventative, precautionary and defensive mechanisms to be implemented.
In the use of intelligence and warning to secure the homeland, proposals have been made to augment the systematic competence of the FBI. The Attorney General and the Director of the FBI have been very instrumental in ascertaining FBI’s main concern as thwarting terrorist attacks. This initiative has helped in establishing an analytical capability within the FBI. As a result, this has made possible timely analysis of potential terrorist actions within the homeland.
Pros and Cons
In this day and age, where nuclear weapons have been developed, it is vital to establish effective early warning systems for the sake of national survival. During the Cold War, the United States developed sensors that could detect any indications of nuclear attacks. They were very effective in providing the President with enough lead-time in order to make castigatory decisions. The disadvantage involved in this kind of proposal is that it is a very difficult and complex mission. This is coupled with the fact that the authorities may not be in a position of knowing the precise identity and locality of the terrorists.
Additionally, in a free state like the United States, terrorists are able to easily penetrate and unreservedly move in the country thus becoming very invincible. This implies that collecting intelligence on probable terrorist threats can be very difficult. Again, it may end up affecting the civil rights and freedom of the citizens of the nation. It may also be difficult to achieve anything with the early warnings .
Transportation and Frontier Security
The United States shares thousands of miles border with both Canada and Mexico. The maritime border is actually in tens of thousands of miles. All the goods imported or exported out of the United States must go through air, maritime or land port of entrance. In fact several worldwide airports are dispersed through the United States. Studies indicate that well over half a billion people illegally enter the United States. A big number of people living in the United States are not citizens. Great dimensions of business operations traverse the borders on a daily basis.
As a matter of fact, America has traditionally relied profoundly on the huge oceans that surround her. Again, the friendly neighbors in the names of Canada and Mexico have been supportive when it comes to border security. Most forms of homeland transportation security have been maintained by the private sector. However, the escalating mobility and disparaging nature of present day terrorism has forced the United States to essentially reorganize its structure when it comes to boundary and transport safety.
Due to the fact that the border and transportation security is very essential, it is vital to rearrange the system. This is basically because America’s domestic transportation systems are inextricably entwined with the worldwide transport and communications. Practically every area in America is linked to the worldwide transportation system by way of airports, seaports, freeways, pipelines, watercourses and railroads. These are essential in the movement of goods and people in and out of the Nation. This calls for the promotion of competence and dependability in the flow of people, goods and services. It is therefore vital to prevent terrorists from using the transport systems to carry out trappings of obliteration.
Pros and Cons
It is upon this backdrop that a proposal to establish a particular unit in the Department of Homeland Security was implemented. This department is charged with the responsibility of managing who enters the homeland. This is very effective in the supervision of the entry of terrorists and the implements of terror. At the same time, there can be an easy facilitation of the legal flow people, goods, and services. Furthermore, the department and its cohorts are to carry out border security in other countries to the scope permissible by global conformity.
The main hurdle in the use of this solution is the fact that it requires a lot of cooperation with other autonomous countries. This is coupled with the fact that it may not be a simple task in monitoring whatever happens on their part of the borders. In many cases, global transportation is very involving as it requires serious cooperation and collaboration with other countries. All these may necessitate international agreements which may be flouted by other partners.
The cataclysmic loss of life and property during the September 11 attacks in a great way redefined the responsibility of the local, state, and federal law enforcement systems. In as much as they will continue being responsible for the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity, more priority should now be on deterrence and prohibition of terrorist activities in the Nation. This gives the implication that the law enforcement agencies should center on counterterrorism purposes.
To effectively augment domestic counterterrorism, the law enforcement agencies put a lot of emphasis on information sharing and coordination amongst themselves. Additionally, they are enhancing coordination in the counterterrorism efforts in order to ensure that the coordination efforts are in a position of complementing one another. While a lot of progress has been done towards the harmonization of the law enforcement organizations in coordinating together, the setback behind these efforts is that there are inadequate resources to support this noble cause.
Additionally, the United States government has done very little to effectively identify the key supplies that fund terrorist activities. Again, there has been unsatisfactory progress of proper systems necessary for analyzing information for the sake of predicting the scope of the threat of terrorism in the United States. There is urgent need for the federal government to come up with proper mechanisms of making use of discrete competence of state and local law enforcement agencies in the prevention of terrorism. This should be done by giving these systems access to the information present in the databases.
Consequently, using the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces is efficient since it includes participants from both local and state law enforcement and federal agencies. The fact that they draw on the state and local competence augments intergovernmental coordination.
Pros and Cons of Domestic Counterterrorism Solution
A lot has been achieved by the establishment of domestic counterterrorism. These efforts have helped in enhancing intergovernmental law enforcement synchronization. The Joint Terrorism Task Forces have been extended to include all the FBI offices. Furthermore, domestic counterterrorism efforts have helped implement the apprehension of suspected terrorists before getting the opportunity to execute their plans. The efforts have also seen the completion of FBI streamlining towards the emphasis of the preclusion of terrorist attacks.
In spite of the positive results that the efforts have realized, the efforts have seen a great deal of hatred towards such mechanisms in the international community. The prosecution and bringing of immigration or other civil charges against individuals has faced a lot of criticism worldwide thus giving a lot of arsenal to the terrorists even as they gain sympathy from the international community. A good example is the use of Guantanamo Bay to further domestic counterterrorism efforts.
Protection of Vital Infrastructure and Key Chattels
Terrorists are serious opportunists who make the most of vulnerabilities that are left open to the elements. They decide the moments, position and scheme of attack according to the weak spots they detect or identify. This means that incase the security of particular types of target are increased, they will most likely use other targets. Additionally, if countermeasures are augmented regarding particular terrorist tactics, they will favor different ones.
However, in as much as it may be difficult to thwart all terrorist attacks, it is still possible to significantly lessen the Nation’s susceptibility, especially on the most detrimental attacks. Protection of America’s critical infrastructure including the key assets requires an exceptional level of teamwork all through the entire levels of the government. This is inclusive of the private industry and the American people. It is therefore the responsibility of the Federal government to cultivate a mutual atmosphere that facilitates all the units to operate as a team.
According to The USA PATRIOT Act, critical infrastructures are systems and assets that are crucial to the United States such that their obliteration or incapacitation would have a negative impact on the national security, economy and health.
Pros and Cons of Protecting Vital Infrastructure and Assets
Protection of vital infrastructure as a way of enhancing homeland security is very instrumental in the provision of essential goods and services required by Americans. The agriculture, food and water sectors including the public health and emergency services are of great importance for the survival of many. Additionally, American institutions of governance assure security and liberty as well as the running of civic functions. The power, transport, monetary and the postal sectors are essential in the sustenance of the financial system. It is against this backdrop that the federal government applies reliable methodology in centering its efforts on utmost precedence.
Protection of America’s vital infrastructure is by far a redoubtable challenge. This is due to the open and scientifically multifaceted nature of the American society. This is coupled with the inestimable assortment of possible targets. The dynamic nature of the American infrastructure even worsens the situation Furthermore, it is virtually impracticable to absolutely guard all the targets at that same time. Because of the complex nature of America’s infrastructure, the effects of any terrorist attack are likely to reverberate long after its occurrence.
Protection against Disastrous Intimidation
Over the past few years, there has been a proliferation of skill, expertise, the materials required for the building of fatal weapons. These include radiological, biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons Ball, 2005). This makes America vulnerable since enemies can easily make use of them. As a result, if they are used, the consequences of such attacks can be very disastrous. This is because chemical, biological, radiological or even nuclear attacks on the homeland could overpower the local health capacity.
In the past, the government’s joint arrangements have been satisfactory in managing natural disasters. However, the threat of terrorists using nuclear, chemical, biological, or radiological weapons could result in catastrophic consequences. This calls for a focused, tactical, and innovative organization. In this regard, the country has stretched capacities and enhanced organization between federal agencies. Consequently, the country is capable of detecting these weapons and even prevents their entry.
In case of an attack, the Nation is able to merge and harmonize distinct efforts of many federal agencies scattered across the United States for the sake of managing any such catastrophe. Furthermore, efforts have been put in place to build up hi-tech and scientific countermeasures against diseases that could be used by terrorists. The development of vaccines, diagnostics, antidotes, and therapies against biological and nuclear terrorism is underway. This is in addition to recognition and identification of any forms of attacks.
Pros and Cons of Protection against Disastrous Threats
These initiatives have helped in stopping terrorists from using nuclear weapons. This has been achieved through making use of improved sensors and measures. Furthermore, such measures have made it possible to detect chemical and biological materials and attacks. With the help of the Environmental Protection Agency, the government evaluated and upgraded the air monitoring stations. This allows for the detection of certain chemicals.
However, such measures are very costly to the taxpayer as they involve the use of billions of dollars. As a result, funds which would have been used to expand the economy are channeled towards this cause. Furthermore, in most cases, the medical countermeasures may not be in a position of addressing all possible biological agents. This is due to the fact that the biological agents may not be suitable for use by the general populace.
Any nation cannot compromise on security on its soil. It is therefore the responsibility of the government and the people of the United States to work hand in hand to ensure the homeland is secure. Since it is a multifaceted task, it requires a lot of hard work both at home and overseas. It also stresses on a series of government and private sector competence. It therefore calls for coordination and focused efforts from all the stakeholders. This is irrespective of whether security is their primary mission or not. All and sundry must join hands to protect the homeland, lest the Nation falls prey to merciless terrorists.