U.S. Homeland Security Policy

After September 11 attacks, many of the security loopholes came to the fore ground. It is being felt that lot of initiatives needs to be taken, to have a secure homeland. This is where national strategy for U. S. Homeland Security Policy comes to the forefront. The purpose of the U. S. homeland security is to secure U. S. homeland from terrorist attacks. It is a complex operation where coordination is required from the entire U. S. society namely the federal governments, states, local governments, the private sector and the American People. In the making of U. S.Homeland Security Policy, first it needs to secure its objectives. Its strategic objectives are to prevent attacks from within the United States, reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur and prevent attacks from outside. It sets a foundation upon which strategy will be formulated for actions needed to secure the homeland. (Lamb, 2004) The next part is to find the threats and vulnerabilities that the nation might have. Preventive measure needs to be taken, with world’s most powerful weapons falling into the hands of the terrorist.There is determination and adequate resources to thwart such attacks. Most important of all, it should be remembered that terrorists are strategic actors who find targets based on its vulnerabilities of the strategic location and also importance. Enemies are in the process of procuring chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear bombs. This acquired by terrorists will cause unimaginable damage to U. S. There are unconventional types of warfare like cyber attacks, which terrorists show considerable interest. Congress is presently considering the most extensive reorganizing the federal government.This Security policy will serve as a starting guidance for future endeavors. A strategy needs to be in place to find ways to deal with terrorist attacks. (Whitehouse, 2007) On October 9, 2007, the President of U. S. issued an updated National Strategy for Homeland Security. This document acts as a guideline to organize and combine United States homeland security efforts. This Strategy is perceived as a national strategy, not a Federal strategy or a state wise or district wise policy. It defines U. S. government’s modus operandi and path for next few years.It is view as an increment on National Strategy for Homeland Security, issued in July 2002. It often adds to both the National Security Strategy issued in March 2006 and the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism issued in September 2006. (Fletcher, 2007) This ‘National Strategy for Homeland Security’ issues four objectives for National-Federal, State, Local and Tribal governments. It outlines for prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks – Secure environment to stop terrorist attacks and restrict weapons and materials into U. S.which might get in the hands of terrorists and create problem. It also outlines to protect the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources. Identify various infrastructures of national and security importance like White House and pentagon. Also to save live of people and provide infrastructures for providing aids. Enable effective and coordinated response in situations when disasters do occur and minimize loss of lives and property. This should include describe and segregate roles and responsibilities of all government and the private and non-profit sectors.Also planning for short term to long term procedures for disaster recovery should be in place. (Whitehouse, 2007) It also outlines that long term planning should be in place to ensure future successes. This includes making a wide-range of approaches to risk management based on strategic structure across the entire process and range of security policies. It also calls for building a Culture of Security Preparedness among not only various parts of society but also from individual citizens, businesses, and non-profit organizations to Federal, State, local, and Tribal government officials and authorities. (Kar, 2006)October 9, 2007 declaration also asks for developing a comprehensive Homeland Security Management System which will involve a continuous, mutual reinforcing cycle of activity across four phases – guidance; planning; execution; and assessment and evaluation. This process includes improving incident management. And build on the existing National Incident Management System (NIMS). (Whitehouse, 2007) This policy making of U. S. homeland security takes into considerations like international public opinion, the media, interest groups, think tanks, influential citizens, foreign governments, international organizations, U.S. Congress, executive branch agencies, intelligence community, military, close presidential advisors, and the president. International public opinion needs to be taken into view in wake of human rights violation in the hands of U. S. army. Like that of excesses in Guatemala Bay or Abu Garib prison in Iraq. Amnesty international’s report of human right violations by U. S. , effects U. S. security Policy since it has to coexist with other countries and face them in United Nations. Another important factor is the media and its effects of reporting. U. S.has often used media in many different ways be it be single side reporting in second Iraq war or giving inappropriate information regarding weapons of mass destruction. With independent world and independent media, often its alliances with different interest groups being an anti, pro or neutral U. S. Government. Think tanks or influential citizens have different effects in the policy. Like people known as Mensa (whose IQ is in the top 2% of the population), whose services are often used in strategy formulations or warfare tactics or hostile crisis management.Influential people also play an important role in the decision process, as business community can be affected by situations where their country of interest might get sanctions or certain policy changes can affect profitability. U. S. Congress is responsible for passing the bills, as it represents different portion of the American Society at large, it is perhaps the most important factor in devising U. S. homeland security policy. U. S. Congress owing legion to different parts of society can have reservations with certain provisions like that of regarding visa policy or minority policies.(King, 2006) Intelligence community which gathers the information of activities inside U. S. or other nations is equally useful in formulating policy matters. And military, which has to take actions on recommendations of the U. S. government, has to inform the policy makers of their opinion of certain strategic issues or military positions like proximity of off-shore military bases in hostile territories. And obviously The President, whose consent is very important in passing of the bill, is equally important.The President usually takes advices from his close associate and ranges of advisors his security advisor. So the presidential advisors play an important role in formulating policy. The structure of overlapping federal, state and local organizations of more than 87000 different jurisdictions needs proper efforts and coordination. With so many jurisdictions, the challenge is to develop interconnected and complementary systems that are reinforcing rather than duplicative. The problem comes from ‘Ambiguity of Responsibility’.Since disasters don’t happen state wise, county wise nor federal district wise, the span crosses jurisdictional and functional boundaries involving city, county, state, federal, district as well as private spheres of responsibility. These results in a situation no single agency or department is held responsible for disaster relieve. We can call that “Robinson Crusoe syndrome,” or “we’re the only ones on this island” approach. There is another problem that it is often perceived the federal government is more like to see or supervise disaster control rather than state governments.Problem can happen where the other state government has more proximity both on distance and equipment available than the state the terrorist has taken place. (Orgmail, 2007) Intelligence integration among various intelligence agencies is serious issue. Intelligence analysis, planning and resource allocation for counterterrorism remains inadequate and coordinated approach among intelligence agencies remain a farce. So it requires a new strategy for the long global war against violent extremism. Development of interagency concept of operations for counterterrorism is required.Today, the division of labor between various agencies of the U. S. government remains murky in critical areas of counterterrorism. So clear directions regarding labor regarding is needed. It also has been found that various other avenues like foreign assistance, trade and public diplomacy has not been harnessed to its full potential. Each agency should asses its own ability and find other agencies usefulness in those gaps. Review of each need of the intelligence agencies in view of the total scenario along with the related agencies is needed. It must be ensured that National Counter-terrorism Center gets all supports it needs.With past experience as in case of Goldwater-Nichols legislation, it is found integration was possible through incentives. (Globalsecurity; 2007)References:Fletcher, R; (2007); Principals: Beliefs and Knowledge; Believing and Knowing; Dunedin: Howard & Price Globalsecurity; (2007); Congress; globalsecurity. org; retrieved on 16. 02. 2008 from http://www. globalsecurity. org/military/library/congress/2006_hr/060629-vickers. pdf Kar, P; (2006); History of Political Justifications; Kolkata: Dasgupta & Chatterjee King, H; (2006); Security Principals Today; Auckland: HBT & Brooks LtdLamb, D; (2004); Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization on the Strategic Strata; Wellington: National Book Trust Orgmail; (2007); Disaster Response; orgmail2. coedmha; retrieved on 16. 02. 2008 from http://orgmail2. coedmha. org/dr/DisasterResponse. nsf/section/938985AD7D688DD90A25691A0064F5E4? opendocument&home=flash Whitehouse; (2007); Homeland Security; whitehouse. gov; retrieved on 16. 02. 2008 from http://www. whitehouse. gov/homeland/book/sect1. pdf Whitehouse; (2007); In focus: Homeland; whitehouse. gov; retrieved on 16. 02. 2008 from http://www. whitehouse. gov/infocus/homeland/