Department for Homeland Security
Immediately after the events of September 11, 2001, it was clear that The United States of America was susceptible to external terrorism strikes. This ultimately meant that the peace and security that the citizens enjoyed were no longer a guarantee, and it could be jeopardized at any moment. In response to threats from outside, the present President, George W. Bush, thought a new form of authority was required to protect the country. In June 2002, President Bush formally proposed the establishment of the now-famous Department of Homeland Security to Congress. Since the DHS’s founding, its main goal has been clear and it has been to safeguard the nation by working with foreign armed forces to prevent terrorist attacks and secure American borders (Harrald, 2019).
The Department of Homeland Security has transformed society and how the United States sees dangers, both natural and man-made, since its founding by raising awareness of the possibility of terrorist attacks and the necessity to be ready for them. Additionally, it has prompted the development of fresh security protocols that have made it harder for terrorists to enter the nation. Every single citizen has been affected by the Department of Homeland Security. Leading the national government’s reaction to emergencies and coordinating federal assistance for state and local response operations have fallen under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (McElreath et.al, 2021).
The performance of the agency is impacted by a number of issues that have emerged throughout time. A massive range of aspects is advantageous and helps DHS perform better in reaching the goals established. However, a few worrying difficulties are preventing DHS from doing its job of defending American civilians against terrorist attacks. There is no doubt that the Department of Homeland Security’s establishment has significantly impacted the decline in terrorism in the nation. The purpose of this research project is to give an extensive cross-examination of the Department of Homeland Security’s assets and liabilities in order to inform decision-makers and the governance structure and improve the department’s support systems. The study further aims to produce quantifiable results that show whether the establishment of the DHS was essential in combating terrorism or whether the threats still remain. Additionally, the study explores the element that hinders the department from carrying out its responsibilities.
The DHS is essential in protecting, strengthening, and building the country’s resilience against terrorism and other dangers that jeopardize the peace and stability of its population (Søby, 2020). The DHS has five key focuses, including preventing terrorism and bolstering security, securing and monitoring the nation’s borders, enforcing immigration laws, guarding cyberspace, and enhancing the nation’s disaster preparedness.
Protecting the country’s boundaries
Among the steps taken by the department of homeland security to secure the country’s borders are: – Establishing and upholding control over all land, air, and maritime borders – Making rules and procedures for the entry of foreign people into the United States and putting them into effect. – Screening and examining every person and piece of cargo entering the United States – Working with state and local law enforcement to identify and investigate criminal groups involved in people smuggling and trafficking in persons, and prosecuting those who break U.S. immigration laws (Chambers et.al, 2021).
Imposing immigration regulations
To enforce immigration rules, the Department of Homeland Security has put in place a variety of procedures. These include: -Border Patrol: The Border Patrol is responsible for patrolling the US-Mexico border and apprehending unauthorized immigrants who try to enter the country. -ICE: ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is responsible for enforcing immigration laws within the U.S. This includes apprehending and deporting unauthorized immigrants who are already living in the country. -DHS Investigations: The DHS Investigations unit is responsible for investigating crimes related to immigration, such as human trafficking and smuggling. -The Border Security Force: The Border Security Force is a team of agents who work to secure the US-Mexico border. They work to prevent unauthorized immigrants from entering the country, and they also help to apprehend and deport those who are already living in the U.S. illegally (Chambers et.al, 2021).
Investigating terrorist activities
The Department of Homeland Security plays a vital role in investigating terrorist activities. DHS is responsible for investigating and preventing terrorist attacks, protecting the American people from terrorist threats, and providing assistance to victims of terrorist attacks. DHS also plays a key role in working with state and local law enforcement to investigate and prevent terrorist attacks (Jones, 2018). There are several departments that investigate terrorist acts as part of homeland security measures. A few of these are:
1. Conduct inquiries into terrorism-related conduct. Surveillance, interviews, and other investigative techniques could be used in this.
2. Sharing information and resources with other law enforcement organizations and intelligence services.
3. Checking a person’s background if they are thought to be involved in terrorism.
4. Monitoring the sources of funding for terrorist groups.
5. Intelligence analysis to spot terrorist risks.
6. Providing protection for vulnerable populations and important infrastructure.
7. Planning the reaction to terrorism.
Responding to catastrophes
DHS’s role in responding to natural disasters is to lead and coordinate the federal government’s response and recovery efforts. DHS works closely with other federal, state, local, and tribal partners to ensure an effective and coordinated response to natural disasters. DHS also provides guidance and assistance to individuals and communities before, during, and after a disaster. To prepare for natural catastrophes, the agency has put in place a variety of strategies. These include the National Incident Management System, which offers a consistent approach to incident management, the National Recovery Framework (NRF), which outlines a comprehensive approach to recovery from a disaster; and the National Response Framework (NRF), which outlines the tasks of various national, state, and local agencies in the event of a natural disaster. Along with these personnel and resources, DHS also keeps the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Guard, and the Coast Guard on hand in case a natural catastrophe strike (Jones, 2018).
The Department of Homeland Security is in charge of protecting cyberspace from a range of dangers, such as computer viruses, hackers, and cyber terrorists. The department strives to safeguard the nation’s computer infrastructure and to keep information systems from being exploited to launch attacks on the U.S. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security offers assistance and information to private sector firms and people in order to assist them in protecting their own computer systems and networks (Xu, 2018).
In putting the five main tasks into practice, the DHS has encountered both possibilities and difficulties. Despite the establishment of DHS a few years ago, the United States still has to deal with hazards that endanger its stability and developing terrorism concerns. Many domestic terrorist incidents, such as mass shootings at work, events, and educational and religious institutions, have occurred over the years. The performance of DHS has gaps due to the rise in domestic terrorism and other foreign and internal concerns that endanger the nation. Despite numerous obstacles, the DHS has also made outstanding strides in securing the nation.
Factors Improving DHS Performance
Effective leadership is one of the important components that has been essential to DHS’s operation. To guarantee the successful attainment of the established aims, the DHS administration has been displaying perfect leadership abilities to subordinate personnel. An integrated management system has been developed by the DHS Secretary to enhance departmental operations. Chief Executive Officers are supposed to share their accomplishments in assisting DHS in fulfilling its goals during departmental meetings. According to research, the sort of leadership a given organization has a direct impact on its performance. The DHS conducts a number of high-risk activities that are critical to the nation’s stability. The effective directing of the prevention of foreign and some internal terrorist threats and other hazards has thus required a strong leadership commitment (Harrald, 2019).
The practical communication component has enhanced DHS’s effectiveness. Successful data transmission inside the company, as well as strong relations, smart policymaking, and interpretation of the information among the subordinates, are all necessary for an efficient communication plan. In order to build an effective company that the public can trust, an optimal communication strategy is essential in fostering the relationship between the agency’s top administration and the personnel. The law implementation team and policy personnel are two distinct divisions inside the DHS. To assist in the communication of information between the two entities, the department has developed a strategy known as “one community, one message, diverse techniques.
The communication strategy supports transferring classified information without disclosing it to the general public, which might endanger the department’s operations.
For the division to switch to a more effective communication plan in order to prevent data leakage to the third party, there have been a number of issues throughout the years. The National Emergency Communication Plan was developed in response to requests for an ideal communication plan to provide effective information transmission during crises, including terrorist attacks, natural calamities, and additional dangers.
The DHS’s projects have also gained a lot from capacity-building programs. The DHS workforce has received awareness and resilience training as a result of the deputy secretary’s involvement, who wants to make sure everyone performs their duties to the best of their abilities. A sizable number of DHS employees attend a symposium to gain expertise that will aid them in addressing the changing dynamics of human security. Numerous specialists from the health industry, human resources, and other pertinent organizations participate in capacity development workshops to increase the staff’s expertise and knowledge. An estimated fifty staff members participated in the talks about academic and professional growth at the first capacity-building symposium, while sixty-two people attended the second symposium. The capacity development symposium played a key role in assisting DHS officials in adopting cutting-edge philosophies and technology breakthroughs in dealing with catastrophes and terrorism that continue to devastate the nation.
Factors that make DHS less effective
The DHS’s operations are being impacted by the absence of political will to adopt early risk assessment and preparedness for potential catastrophic events. Political actors in Congress and the Quadrennial Homeland Security Evaluation have emphasized the necessity of political reorganizations in order to pass laws that back DHS actions during the previous few years (Harrald, 2019). However, a sizable portion of political figures is unwilling to spend money on earlier risk analysis and catastrophe planning. Political leaders aren’t willing to follow a rational decision-making procedure and provide DHS with additional money for early risk assessment and catastrophe preparation. The vast majority of the time, political leaders make financial and investment choices grounded on misinformation that the general public receives. The political structure’s refusal to assist the DHS, obstacles to its counterterrorism efforts, and insufficient planning to deal with additional dangers that endanger American citizens’ lives.
The DHS lacks an effective risk assessment approach. The country is facing new risks as a result of shifting global viewpoints, including technological developments and climate systems. DHS lacks a risk assessment process to identify potential dangers that might occur in the United States of America, whether they are caused by nature or by humans (Harrald, 2019). The present techniques for identifying possible dangers do not give sufficient information since they are founded on prior experience. To identify the terrorist organizations or people that pose a threat to the nation’s security, quality, and cutting-edge procedures must be used.
Different DHS organizational units employ various methods for risk assessment, which results in a wide range of possible outcomes. The wider risk assessment results indicate a difficult issue in determining which regions the DHS should prioritize.
The DHS’s ineffective financing over the years has also had an impact on how well the department operates. Despite the fact that Congress passed a financing statute in 2003, the funds intended for DHS have been transferred to other programs for development. Boston’s then-Mayor Thomas Menino brought attention to the fact that numerous nearby communities had failed to obtain funding to follow the DHS’s safety recommendations. At the same time, political figures like Wisconsin Senator David Obey contended that the Bush administration had implemented tax cuts but had neglected to pay the DHS as a result. Political disagreements between Republicans and Democrats have most influenced how funding is allocated to DHS throughout the years.
There was a significant political rift among political leaders in Congress in 2015 because of disagreements about how to finance the DHS. When politicians decide how much money to provide to DHS, national concerns like immigration laws heavily influence their choices. Thirty thousand DHS employees were reportedly on the verge of losing their employment as of 2015 as a result of delays in distributing sufficient funding. Several of the thirty thousand employees were from the maritime and aviation departments. The country’s initiative to combat terrorism and other potential threats would be seriously jeopardized by the departure of this personnel, leaving various places susceptible to terrorist attacks and other man-made concerns (Harrald, 2019).
The potential of cyberattacks is a further worry that has an impact on DHS’s operations. Numerous cyberattacks have been carried out throughout the years by paid hackers and terrorist organizations from various countries. The primary goal of these hacks is to obtain DHS’s private data, including state secrets, technology applications, and other sensitive information on American residents. Instead of spending money on developing efficient risk assessment techniques, security teams are spending more time and money on how to prevent hackers from obtaining sensitive data due to the rising amount of cyberattacks. In most situations, the DHS also lacks highly qualified staff capable of responding to heavy assaults, leaving security data vulnerable to hostile activity (Xu et.al, 2018). There is also the problem of a proper interpretation of the magnitude of the situation in as much as there have been developing courses undertaken by officials. The department’s capacity to disseminate sensitive intelligence findings is further hampered by a dearth of highly qualified staff.
Despite the fact that research has identified both elements that have positive and negative effects on DHS, they don’t show how those elements have changed over time. Moreover, the research doesn’t evaluate if the DHS has significantly improved the United States’ ability to maintain safety. State residents since the department’s creation. The administration of a country’s security is a topic of growing concern as terrorist organizations, as well as other man-made and natural threats, occur in novel strategies that are challenging to predict. Consequently, this research aims to present academic information on recent matters of concern that have an impact on the DHS and its historical tendencies. A thorough cross-examining of internal and external issues that affect DHS’s performance will be shown.
Research and Methods
The cross-sectional survey research design served as the study’s main direction. a transverse segment A survey research design enables a researcher to collect data from the study all at once and extrapolate it to bigger groups from the respondents. The study plan was essential because It gave the researcher a chance to combine qualitative and quantitative methods in order to collect and examine data. Primary and secondary data were used by the researcher to give sufficient responses to the research question. Using both closed-ended and open-ended questions, focus groups, key informant interview schedules, and questionnaires were essential in the gathering of primary information. sources from the internet, academic articles, newspapers, books, and Periodicals were major sources of secondary data.
Employees of DHS who were requested to contribute information about the department’s strengths and shortcomings made up the study’s target population. Purposive and systematic ransom sampling were both included in the research as sample techniques. The identification of important informants from the DHS senior leadership and political leaders was made possible through the use of purposive sampling. The nationwide DHS employees served as a designated target group for the systematic random sampling, which was used to collect data from them. The DHS employees were chosen at random after being identified in order to guarantee that the sample size would be adequate to draw conclusions about the wider population.
The researcher requested authorization from the DHS to interview DHS personnel with the understanding that the material would be used exclusively for academic purposes. Before beginning the main research study, the researcher carried out a pilot study to evaluate the data-gathering tools’ adequacy and spot any areas that need improvement. Insufficient financing was the study’s shortcoming. The study participants, some of whom were located at the headquarters and other branches dispersed throughout many states, were visited by the researcher on numerous occasions. The research study made the supposition that each responder would give truthful answers.
Analysis and Findings
In order to guarantee a clearly defined outcome, data analysis included the use of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Data from research participants were collected, edited, coded, and tabulated before being run through the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and Microsoft Excel for analysis. In order to analyze the data thoroughly, inferential and descriptive statistical methods were crucial. When assessing inferential statistics, the chi-square method was crucial, and when analyzing qualitative data using open-ended data collecting tools, thematic analysis was used.
To see if the founding of the Department of Homeland Security had a noteworthy effect on the nation’s drop in terrorism, the researcher used a five-point Likert scale. The data were converted into measurable form and put into a Chi-square equation to gauge the important contributions made by DHS to the national drop in terrorism.
The defense of the USA from both external and domestic danger is a serious matter, according to one of the study’s key conclusions. According to the majority of respondents, the Secretary’s office must effectively administer DHS in order to develop policies and implement procedures that will protect the nation from both foreign and internal assaults. To attain the best applicable practices, an organization’s leadership, whether it is the board of management or an individual, is essential. It has been essential for the staff to develop their knowledge and abilities in providing countermeasures to terrorism and other dangers because of DHS’s investment in leadership development programs.
The DHS staff are also ready to acquire new information and concepts regarding the dynamic, ever-changing nature of terrorism, from physical to biological warfare, according to the Leadership Development Programs. Numerous assaults on the counter have been stopped thanks to the DHS field employees’ timely and secure information dissemination without session hijacking. Rapid information sharing also aids in response to crises such as domestic mass shootings and natural catastrophes.
According to the study’s conclusions, the department’s operations are being slowed down by the lack of a fair financial resource allocation to DHS entities. In recent years, numerous governments have had a tendency to invest in the immigration sector while ignoring crucial sectors like federal emergency services and transportation security, which heightens the threat of domestic crime. The great majority of poll participants feel that national security concerns are still a highly politicized matter of concern. The primary danger to protecting American citizens’ lives is the political differences caused by divergent interests. Global technological development is leading to an increase in internet users.
Several internet users are hackers who target the DHS online database in an effort to steal or expose personal information that might have an impact on international security. The DHS invests a sizable portion of its financial resources and technological resources in providing its staff with the abilities and knowledge necessary to implement effective defenses against cyberattacks. The study found that the DHS’s involvement in many operations to prevent terrorist attacks had a major influence on the country’s ability to combat terrorism. The DHS has also assisted in the capture and prosecution of several terrorists (McElreath et.al, 2021).
Observations, conclusion and suggestions
In order to protect the nation from terrorism, natural disasters, and man-made risks, the DHS must demonstrate a unity of command. Only with sufficient funding and close collaboration with its many structures will the DHS be able to maintain its unity of power. To encourage the interoperability of its agencies, the DHS must develop an adequate risk valuation approach. The national government must establish a structure to guarantee that emergency problems of concern are prioritized in cases where numerous security agencies within the DHS have to adopt several risk valuation techniques.
Additionally, the communication mechanism used to move private information between different DHS agencies is crucial to the exchange of intelligence data. In order to prevent the public or terrorist organizations from learning about State secrets or other pertinent security information, DHS management must ensure well-defined collaboration and unambiguous accountability among the subordinates. The Secretary and Deputy Secretary of DHS is crucial in guiding the agency toward accomplishing the nation’s security goals and objectives. Cyberattacks, a lack of political goodwill, insufficient funding, and a lack of risk valuation setup, however, continue to jeopardize DHS’s effectiveness.
According to the research, in order to ensure that the level of security in the nation improves, the government should work to provide DHS with greater funding and political backing. A well-defined risk assessment methodology will be developed by DHS with the aid of sufficient funding to guarantee early catastrophe and terrorism preparedness. The DHS will be able to recruit highly qualified staff who are more dependable when exchanging and disseminating intelligence data to support emergency response thanks to the financial resources.
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Chambers, S. N., Boyce, G. A., Launius, S., & Dinsmore, A. (2021). Mortality, surveillance and the tertiary “funnel effect” on the US-Mexico border: a geospatial modeling of the geography of deterrence. Journal of Borderlands Studies, 36(3), 443-468.
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