The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established by this act of parliament: Homeland security Act of 2002. It was created to consolidate the US executive branch agencies linked to the security of the homeland, into a one cabinet department. It resulted into partnership of 22 agencies into one new and autonomous department. After the investigations of 9/11, the republican government under the presidency of George W. Bush came up with measures to solve the shortcomings of national security. Within a fort night after the terrorist attacks, George W. Bush announced the formation of the office of Homeland security developed to protect US territories from terrorist attacks and offer efficient and effective emergency and intelligence response to potential future natural disasters.
The President signed Executive Order 13228 on October 8, 2001 setting up this office with the mission of developing and coordinating the implementation of a detailed national security strategy to prevent the United States from suffering another terrorist attacks The U.S. PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) is the most important law passed after the 9/11 attack. It is so essential because of the fact that it improves inter-agency cooperation for the collection of intelligence andit’s sharing. This barrier being broken down has contributed to a very large extent the protection of the US. Additionally, it appreciates the fact that the advent of technologyensures that our laws are updated and has encouraged better prosecution of suspected terrorists. Lastly, it has strengthened the existing terrorism legislations, reflecting some specific situations that did not exactly exist previously.
These are the things that make the PATRIOT Act a great addition to law enforcement. The Homeland Security Act is the other important piece of legislation. The most vital element was the fact that the multi-crisis management agencies were clustered under one command structure and then given the mandate to work with law enforcement agencies with a nation-wide outlook, as specified in section 101 of the Homeland Security Act (2002). The Homeland Security presidential directives are powers exercised by the president to form a de facto order. While the general vision for homeland security is firmly etched with the Executive branch, the more the details that will fall to the legislative branch. In the period after 9/11, several key legislations were passed. The most important being the U.S. PATRIOT Act, and the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Executive Orders have for a long time been a technique for a President to de facto come up with a law & further give the details on powers of the Executive branch.
The 1st Presidential proclamation issued because of an internal issue was the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus by President Lincoln in 1861. This influential order would pave the way for subsequent Presidential actions with regard to terrorists, enemy combatants and saboteurs. The DHS was put under the leadership of Mr. Tom Ridge. Boarder-line security, antiterrorism, disaster preparedness, Immigration, response and recovery are some of the key areas DHS influences. The Department of Homeland Security brought in 22 law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies under one command. Immigration issues are core to the US internal security.
In 2003, therefore the department took up the Immigration and Naturalization Service automatically assuming its duties. This action led to the separation of the service and information functions into 2 distinct agencies: Citizenship and Immigration and Immigration and Custom Enforcement services. United States. Homeland security strategy and policy from 2004 until now is marked by the establishment of strategiesformulated correct deficiencies on the general security position of the country. In total 5 new strategies were developed, they are:
1.The Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support, June 2005
2.The National Strategy for Maritime Security, September 2005
3.The National Intelligence Strategy, October 2005
4.The National Counterintelligence Strategy, March 2007
5.The National Strategy for Aviation Security, March 2007 (2010) Each strategy lists objectives that can weigh the effectiveness of the purpose of existing weaknesses in each distinctivearea. As these are strategies, they have to beimplemented with success over the scope of the past 3 years. Two other bills were passed into law in this time period: The Intelligence Community and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) and The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act. The IRPTA matured into a law on December 17, 2004. Most of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission were included into this law, dropping the head of the Intelligence Community (IC) from the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) to the Director of National Intelligence. The National Counter Terrorism Center was founded. As a foundation for a counter terrorism activities, it brings together all intelligence gathered on terrorist activities & serves as a cleaning house for these matters. As one entity, it has made significant contributions to the successful defense of the nation.
Theoretical and Conceptual Knowledge of the Department of Homeland Security
Security threats that the world faces today are varied. They range from cyber crimes to terrorist attacks. We are also constantly faced with catastrophic man made and natural disasters. It is in the light of these occurrences that the department of homeland security was formed. The department was formed in 2002 as one of the measures to counter terrorism. Since its formation, several issues have arisen regarding its leadership and policy. This essay analyses the functions of homeland security and the policies governing its formation and operations.
The major purpose of the department of homeland security is to improve and safeguard United States’ security. To do this, it works has been vested with the power to monitor border movement, customs and immigration. It is also involved in emergency response to man made and natural calamities. Finally, it also monitors cyber security and possibilities of terror activities.
The department has a unique leadership structure. It is headed by homeland security secretary appointed president of the United States of America. The deputy falls under the department secretary and on top of the different agencies that form the Department of Homeland Security. Divisions of the Homeland Security come next. This department is highly funded by the federal government. The department has faced several criticisms regarding its operations and policies.
Its leadership has been blamed for transparency issues relating to the department. It has also been a subject of criticism because of its ineffectiveness that comes from the bureaucratic nature of operations. Many people view it as a waste of public resources. Audits of the department have revealed a lot of wastage and flaws that are within the department. Fragmented oversight by the congress has made management of the department a challenge. According to Annenberg Public Policy Center the number of committees rose from 86 committees in 2004 to 104 in 2010. All these committees claim their jurisdiction to oversee the activities of homeland security. This oversight should be compressed to a few oversight bodies to reduce the effectiveness of the department from bureaucratic constraints.
The department has also been blamed for intrusion into personal space. Their operations require snooping into people and business. “Government Accountability Office” abbreviate GAO cited that the data mining tool ADVISE used by Homeland Security could lead to erroneous implication of individuals with such practices as terrorism or fraud with severe consequences. The fusion centers have been blamed for gathering and sharing private information with authorities without consent from the victims.
As a conclusion, urgent measures are needed to streamline and address the issues facing the department of homeland security. However, in the face of modern security threats, we cannot downplay the importance of the Department of Homeland Security’s activities. It is through their intelligence initiatives that different threats to national security have been averted.