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The date 11th September 2001 was the day of tragic occurrences that triggered a series of activities aimed at combating terrorism in the history of the United States. The episode led to the establishment of Northern Command of the United States in 2002 followed by the establishment of the Homeland Security Department, DHS in 2003. Later, the nation experienced hurricane Katrina in 2005 with unprecedented damages in local and state government, thus prompting emergency preparedness together with the efforts of the civilians and the military to respond to natural disasters. The two episodes can be regarded as response incidents of great interest that form the basis of the national response enterprise in the United States federal government. The strategy applicable in Homeland Security together with Homeland Defense is rooted in the national-level objectives geared towards the promotion and communication of collaboration in the government. The role of the National Security Strategy, NSS entails identification of potential threats such as natural disasters, terrorism, pandemics as well as cyber-attacks. The ultimate objective is security enhancement as well as effective management of emergencies within the government and the private sector.
The concept of homeland security entails an umbrella term in the national security of the United States reflecting the national efforts of ascertaining security, safety as well as resilience against hazards and terrorism to facilitate the effective thriving of American interests, ways of life as well as aspirations. The government also aspires to prevent acts of terrorism attack, limit the vulnerability of Americans to terrorist activities as well as minimization of potential damage in case an attack occurs (Sernovitz, 2019). The mission of homeland security in the US can be attributed to the resolve as well as the commitment of American people to act in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The episode involved the darkest hours to the nation with acts of heroism, unified resolve as well as self-sacrifice exhibited in response to the evil activities as people joined hands in common defense against terrorism. So the mission of homeland security is to join hands and show commitment for relentless resilience and aim at preventing any future attacks against Americans and their allies, while at the same time responding decisively to the man-made as well as natural calamities and advancing the prosperity of the American people together with economic security in to the future.
Homeland security has many tasks, responsibilities, and operations apart from addressing the incidences of terrorism which is among the myriad threats endangering the life of the society in America. The actions of homeland security employ the all-hazard approach in security endeavors, thus encompassing the man-made as well as the natural episodes. In that case, therefore, homeland security is a domain that engrosses a plethora of scenarios as well as situations that encompass natural disasters such as hurricanes as well as man-made catastrophes such as terrorism.
The concept of homeland defense implies the protection of the sovereignty, the territory, populations as well as critical infrastructure in the United States against external aggression as well as threats. The Department of Defense in the United States has the responsibility of addressing the mission of homeland defense achievable through leading HD responses and supporting the efforts of DOD. The army plays a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of the American people both locally and internationally (Ambinder, 2017).
The tasks, responsibilities, and operations of Homeland Defense entail protection of the territory, sovereignty, critical infrastructure and the population of the United States against any form of outside attack, aggression as well as threats through the directions of the President. Homeland Defense falls under the Department of Defense, DOD. The most essential purpose, as well as priority in DOD, is safeguarding the US homeland against threats and aggression from outside forces. Thus, the core mission of Homeland Defense is the deterrence of attacks against the territories and possessions of the US.
Homeland Security and Homeland Defense share a common mission of civil defense in both the natural as well as manmade disasters. There is a need for both factions to take responsibility in Joint Interagency Coordination through the JIACG, Joint Interagency Coordination Group.
The National Security Strategy of 2017 is an executive statement by the current President of the U.S, Donald Trump, stating the various components that are important for a safe America. Since its ratification into the official documents of the country, the National Security Strategy has been instrumental in the development of an America that is safe by protecting the interests of the citizens from malicious attacks from both domestic and foreign threats. Although the executive order had and is still integral in the maintenance of American interests with regards to security, there are a few upgrades that it could use to make for an even stronger and safer America.
The overarching themes of the National Security Strategy unveiled in 2017 are four, and they all reiterate the importance of an America that is safe for all the inhabitants of the country. The themes are as follows; protect the homeland, American Peoples and their way of life, advance American prosperity, preserve peace through strength and enhance American influence (Homeland Secuirty, 2017). These themes, though may come across as diverse and isolationist, are not so as they reinforce the need for a robust system to protect against terrorism from all fronts.
With regard to protecting America from domestic terrorism, the strategy does not do justice to the systems in place. According to the principle of strategic hierarchy, the Nationals Security Strategy should put the American people first at all costs through a myriad of ways. One of these ways is by using all the available resources to protect the American people from domestic terrorists and other malicious individuals who are American but are aggressors to the peace prevailing in the nation. Secondly, the various security agencies that are in the country are not running efficiently through the sharing of information that is pertinent to domestic security and hence, the overarching theme of protecting the homeland is not practical.
From the information reiterated in the preceding paragraph, it is clear that the National Security Strategy needs a variety of procedures to protect America from domestic terrorism effectively. One of the ways of ensuring a safe America is by creating a multi-agency platform to allow for the sharing of information concerning domestic offenders who may have intentions of creating terror at the domestic front. The sharing of information will make the work of homeland security and other pertinent security organizations useful as they will be able to act upon credible information from all the security agencies in the country (Nacos, 2019). Secondly, the relevant authorities and state departments tasked with protecting America against domestic terrorists should have a civilian portal where concerned citizens can report on suspicious activities and individuals who may be planning to spread acts of terror in America. From these two recommendations, the focus areas will be on sharing of information between agencies and having a portal where civilians can report high-risk incidences which may point towards acts of terrorism. Using the Ends, Ways and Means strategy framework; the ends will be on protecting America from domestic terrorism, the ways will be implementing a civilian reporting service and having a multiagency sharing platform whereas the means will be monetary and human resources needed to have a robust National Security Strategy (Townshend, 2018)
The National Security Strategy of 2017 has been instrumental in keeping America safe from within its borders, and without, however, the few recommendations captured in this paper can strengthen the strategy and consequently protect American people from acts of terrorism. One of the ways of achieving a good plan is by using the Ends, Ways and Means strategy framework implementing a robust National Security Strategy will ensure that the recommendations captured in this paper find a place in the future security strategies. Homeland Security must work through all integral organs such as the [DHS] Departmental leaders and components [the 7 field agencies including USCG, CBP, ICE, USSS, etc. The state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners must also be integrated into efforts to secure the American people and their properties. It is also critical to engage the federal agencies that contribute significantly towards the success of HLS, including the DOJ and FBI as a lead agency in countering terrorism in the US.
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