The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is an agency created to secure and protect the homeland. It is established primarily to protect the people and the country against attacks from terrorists. Since 2001, 22 separate agencies were merged into a one single cohesive unit which makes up the Department of Homeland Security. Although the primary purpose and very reason of DHS existent is securing the homeland, DHS is also in the forefront in providing assistance to people during natural calamities and disasters (Vieira, 2005). The agency also administers and monitors the country’s immigration status and system, thus protecting American people from migrating citizens entering the nation, which are bent on spreading fear and terror.As a result of monitoring the migrating patterns, entry of illegal drugs are prevented as they are stop before crossing American Borders. Thus, by merging the 22 various agencies into single more powerful and cohesive team, coordination and efficiency in performing tasks is achieved. It is no secret that in order to perform such huge missions, unity must be achieve across all government levels all over the nation.
With the huge effort and major help the agency has provided and will provide in the near future it is important to understand the plan and strategic actions DHS and the federal government has adapted in protecting our nation. It was a dream come true in creating DHS, since it is a single department built in the primary principle in protecting the people and the nation. The administration has allotted a bigger budget of 11 billion dollars to support state preparedness (Vieira, 2005).
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The increase in budget will further solidify and strengthen aviation security, border security activities, purchase of necessary medical equipments and would provide an effective mode of managing a new human resource system that will enable hiring of “cream of the crop” personnel. With larger budget at hand DHS can now secure advance equipments and devices manufactured by the advent of technology.
For instance, in order to secure the nation’s borders, ports and transportation systems from various criminal elements, an effective method that would screen goods and people is necessary. Use of advance information is also vital in managing the risk of guarding the nation’s borders that stretches across 7500 miles of land. Thus, a program that relies in the use of advance information to identify potential high risk shipments and cargo is being build on.
The idea is to prevent cargo and shipments from reaching U.S. territory. Pre-screening of cargo and shipments in 20 main foreign ports around the world provides DHS a major assistance in intercepting dangerous people and goods before reaching shores. The process which focuses on the pre-screening tests is known as the Container Security Initiative. On the other hand, ports are made safer by deploying large number of coast guards and strict implementations of maritime security standards for coastal activities and waterway system.
Together with the Transportation Security Administration, DHS provide aid to the field of aviation by making of air craft flight safer. Advance screening devices that keep dangerous weapon off the airplanes are provided by the joint efforts. Field air marshals are also called and deployed to protect passengers. Pilots are also trained as last line of defense.
DHS also provide assistance to people during disasters and natural calamities. Chaos is not only brought about by people, terrorist and biological warfare. Bigger destructions are brought by disasters and catastrophic accidents generated by the environment such as hurricane, forest fire, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In order to response to such incident and other terrorist attacks preparedness is important (Baldwin, 2005). Today, DHS is working on it’s readiness to response on those various emergencies. On top of its agenda is to better prepare and coordinate the Nation’s capabilities to improve speed and efficiency of delivering services to our people.
Another major assistance the organization provides to the people is information dissemination. With the creation of DHS, warning systems have become more effective and public warning has been enhanced (Baldwin, 2005). With the improved warning systems, cyber and terrorist threats are easily identified, as a result people are warned in advanced. With threats known, countermeasure and contingency plans can then be generated.
With a single agency dedicated in providing security to the American people, works are carried out more efficiently and at faster rate, as information is made centralized and securing of documents, which eat ample amount of time, in order to coordinate with other agency which has jurisdiction in certain case is not necessary. Time is conserved and as a result DHS functions more effectively. The agency then is able to generate necessary countermeasures.
Also, by merging the different agencies and forming one immense organization strength and skills are then concentrated and focused much better. Resources are also conserved and man power is utilized more efficiently. Furthermore, confusion into which jurisdiction the different cases will fall not arise, since operations are all sanctioned by the department. Leakage of information can also be controlled, since there is no need for the DHS to inform other agency, thus a more controlled surrounding which is manageable is attained.
However, creating a single agency which handles affairs that provides protection to the homeland poses several critical issues. The scope of DHS mission is broad which encompasses terrorist affairs, natural calamities and entry of illegal drugs. With the merging of different agencies to form the DHS, special agencies and units which are created for specific functions are also merged with the homeland department.
Although by merging, it has become a part of a new organization, it has also become a regular unit which receives general orders unlike before when they are called for special situations and specialize in performing specific functions. Also, the budget the department needs balloons every year as several agendas are needed to be tended. Since, DHS is the organization which functions and executes actions with all matters related and concerning about security and protection of our people and homeland, the organization requires large financial assistance and grants.
After the 2001 attack, the lives and the way our people live had change. For instance, the creation of DHS as a sole organization that would provide security and protection to the people and homeland are actions that are generated by the attacks. In an effort to strengthen intelligence reports and ability to combat and fight terrorists affairs, various agencies have joined hands and merged to prevent incidents that lead to the September 11 attacks.
The end result is an agency that promises to protect the people by controlling the borders, provide protection and support to aviation and port security, increase preparedness in emergency response and counter act the affairs of different elements that threatens the peace and security of the people. From the organization’s mission we can infer that they are logically tied together as they all sought for stoppage of criminal and terrorists acts that are detrimental to the nation and the people. They are measures and strategic actions that are carried out in order to safe guard the people and allow them to live their everyday lives free from fear uncertainties.
As various elements continue to threaten the nation and its people, DHS will continue to be at the forefront of the war against them. With the advent of new technology and new devices and equipments being invented, preventions and countermeasures to terrorist and criminal attacks are not impossible to achieve. Furthermore that administration had greatly supported the organization and had generously provided it with a “generous” amount for its budget.
There is no doubt about the importance of the organization and its value to our citizen. From anticipation and early forecast of warning of threats discovered that the public are about to encounter up to operations and countermeasures and emergency response after attacks and disaster, the department’s unwavering efforts would be evident and as long as there are elements that are trying to cross the American borders, spreading fear and terror to our people, DHS will live to its promise and expectations and provide our people with the much needed services.
Baldwin, Craig. (2000). Catastrophe Preparation and Prevention for Law Enforcement Professionals New York, NY: McGraw Hill
Vieira, Edwin Jr. (2005). "Homeland Security" -- For What and For Whom? News With Views.
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