Criminal Justice Essay Paper on Homeland Security Concern

Homeland Security Concern

            Security is a major bone of contention of all ages that every government has to address critically at all costs. The war against terror is not a new issue but has been on the air for many decades now, which has seen not only the United States’ involvement but also global involvement. The U.S. engagement in the war against terror commenced after the September 11 attacks on American soil, which claimed dozens of innocents’ lives and destroyed property worth millions of dollars (Cole et al., 2012). As the war against terror outside America builds up, the homeland security concern escalates in effort to prepare against a repeat of what happened on September 11. As such, this has pricked the conscience of many government stakeholders, which has indeed seen the initiation of various departments to oversee the fight against terror attacks in the American soil. In the attempt to protect the homeland, the United States has put in place all the necessary measures as far as law enforcement, disaster awareness and recuperation, perimeter guard, and national security is concerned. These are in essence the primary roles assumed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On the other hand, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) coordinates all the federal agencies to make sure that the security of American citizen all the time. This does not only include the external attacks but also internal yet serious crime that threatens the security of American citizens (Chertoff, 2011). Indeed, a lot has been put in place in the fight against terrorism, which has seen the intensive use of science and technological advancements to step up homeland security. This essay explicates the homeland security concerns in relation to federal initiatives to address this issue and safeguard American citizens.

            The United States of America draws near a decade of extended involvement in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as the war against terror intensifies across the globe. The incursion on most vicious and notorious criminal gangs and terror groups in the previously mentioned countries has seen so many American soldiers deployed each year to fight these militias and combat their arbitrary involvement in numerous attacks and violations of human and civil rights (Bullock et al, 2012). Even as the war on terror increases significantly with thousands of American soldiers sent outside, it must be noted that homeland security is at the heart of these operations. This simply means that, the government through its numerous security agencies is on toes trying to put all the appropriate measures to avoid a repeat of the September 11 terror attack. Protecting the American citizens against terrorism has always been a priority of the many governments that have ruled in America for many periods. The number one agenda in many of government dialogues that also tops the list of manifestos belonging to presidential aspirants is the issue of government security in terms of their aptitude to address homeland security issues.

            Notably, the role played by several government agencies such as FEMA and DHS to address the problem of intentional hazards is very critical. These organizations have persistently taken a forefront position in safeguarding American citizens through various security initiatives. Other than matters of disaster preparedness, management, and recuperation, homeland security concern is at the heart of FEMA with much of its security concern addressed in the numerous security and disaster preparedness and management programs (Chertoff, 2011). For instance, FEMA assumes a critical role in deal with homeland security by offering free training sessions to as many people as possible whereby citizens are familiarized with security matters. This also includes a thorough educational program that seeks to inform and urge citizens to be vigilant and report any malicious or suspicious conduct of neighbors and strangers as well as the procedures to identify criminals in effort to minimize or eliminate threats to homeland security. Besides the disaster preparedness training, FEMA has its own dedicated soldiers, who receive intense training to provide vital support in terms of disaster management and recovery in the case of a disaster strike such as a terror attack or a natural calamity.

            In collaboration with FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works within the scope of the civil sphere to protect the United States’ citizens whereby its primary goal is defined through its mission of staying ready to mitigate and provide rapid reaction in response to any sort of domestic crises such as terrorism. Notably, after the September 11 terror attack, DHS has expanded its duties and responsibilities as far as beefing up homeland security is concerned. This includes the development of the intelligent gathering unit where intelligent personnel are deployed in various states across the nation to gather intelligent information that is very critical in decision making as regards to ensuring homeland security (Purpura, 2011). In addition, the DHS’s absorption of the Immigration and Naturalization Service saw it assume and step up the role of law enforcement along the United States’ borders including border patrols to fish out and deal with security infringements accordingly to eliminate traces of security threats inside the United States (Cole et al., 2012).

            The department runs several other divisions that are directed towards improving homeland security such as the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD), which is in charge of cyber-security through various risk management programs that include funding of cyber-security researches and reports that are vital in decision-making to protect American citizens against cyber attacks. The department commits a lot of funds towards security initiatives inside the country through the government budgetary allocation to oversee various security inventiveness. Currently, the DHS is more than prepared to counter any form of internal security threats because of the fact that the department has an assortment of its agencies working around the clock in collaboration with other security agencies to identify any criminal intentions and deal with them immediately through intelligence gathering (Chertoff, 2011). This means that, in collaboration and support of other government agencies, DHS has been able to monitor criminal activities from all angles that pose serious threats to homeland security by collecting critical information both within and outside the U.S. to ensure a higher level of security alert. As such, this has allowed the department to carry out its security roles by staying alert on internal security matter as well as taking immediate action in response to any security hitch. Indeed, the commitment of the DHS and FEMA continue to play a significant role as far as the need to address national security through fighting intentional hazards is concerned.

            Homeland security is more than intentional hazards that are perpetrated by criminals. It also deals with the preparedness, management, and recovery from natural disasters through several internal security programs. FEMA’s involvement and the role that it plays in this area is integral because of the fact that its primary role in ensuring domestic security and safety is defined through its participation. In other words, FEMA is committed to this course through both direct and indirect involvement including funding and training to ensure proper management and recovery from disaster (Bullock et al., 2012). The organization’s role in disaster management is defined through its response capabilities. For instance, its National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) that is located at its headquarters is responsible for coordinating largely the federal sustenance of major national catastrophes and emergencies at local levels in a bid to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their role in serving the citizens as far as homeland security is concerned.

            Majorly, this involves the identification of potential hazards and the susceptible populace and then assessing the potential of the hazard to cause multiple casualties. This then prompts FEMA to mobilize its resources, which include human and non-human as well as providing of policy assistance in preparation for an identified imminent hazard. For instance, the NRCC’s incident support operations were very significant in the coordination and emergency management activities that transpired in response to the Colorado floods that took place in 2013 (Bullock et al., 2012). The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), which operates under the umbrella of FEMA, is committed in disaster response such that they are ready to respond to medical and other allied care rapidly to disaster victims. It is made up of a team of doctors, paramedics, nurses, and pharmacists, who receive invaluable support from the government as well as magnanimous individuals and organization to oversee their activities. In addition, FEMA’s own Mobile Emergency Response support (MERS) provides communications support to local public safety, which also includes transport systems to ensure rapid response to any emergency (Block & Cooper, 2007). For instance, FEMA owns a fleet of buses and helicopters to offer both communication and transportation support in case of an impending major calamity such as hurricane.

            As regards to donations management, FEMA takes a central role in encourages private and public partnerships in a bid to create and mobilize a large pool of financial assistance to provide support in recovery from major natural disasters. After the Hurricane Andrew that struck both in Louisiana and in Florida coasts, FEMA received a lot of criticisms, which on the other hand served as a wake-up call to prepare adequately and ensure rapid response in case of a disaster in terms of providing food, shelter and clothes to the victims. The most challenging experience that threatened the existence and response capabilities of FEMA is the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, which claimed hundreds of lives. FEMA together with DHS again received severe criticism, which claimed that their response to help in the management and recovery of the disaster was poorly executed by their staff member (Bullock., 2012). The criticism underlined that their staff lacked proper knowledge and expertise to help the victims during their response. In response to this criticism, FEMA has taken up an education and free training spree where anybody interested is taken through training classes to educate individuals on disaster preparation and management as a measure to improve its disaster management strategies.

            Homeland security is indeed a major concern in America and the government is committed to providing security to its citizens. National security initiatives are sought at and executed through high reliance on science and technology. Indeed, science and technology in homeland security initiatives are very critical components. That is, the role of science and technology in ensuring local security is very critical. This is because of the fact the security threats are taking a new shift and dealing with security issues in the contemporary world is becoming sophisticated. Significant developments such as the modified use of nuclear explosive power, miniaturization and wide scale computing capacities by means of microelectronics, fuel, and laser technology have significantly transformed homeland security approach (Chertoff, 2011). Notably, science and technology has played an integral role in equipping security agencies with the necessary intelligence and equipment to deal with security threats in the American soil. More importantly is the growing use of biotechnology to step up security initiatives where security agencies have received intensive training and education to become acquainted with various security enhancement devices. In fact, the future of scientific and technological advancement in security programs is promising, as it is projected that highly advanced weapons and machines will be utilized to protect the American citizens.

            In preparedness for natural disasters, relevant authorities and agencies have installed appropriate measures to help in safeguarding the citizens. This includes the meteorological department, which relies on highly advanced technology to monitor weather patterns and keep the public on notice in case of an impending major calamity. In addition, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) employs technological advancements to monitor land activities and alert relevant authorities in preparation to containing an imminent calamity (Purpura, 2011). This is the same case when it comes to the use of scientific approaches to curb the devastating effects of both natural and intentional hazards. High scientific equipment has been set up in various places to eliminate and manage the dire effects of both artificial and natural hazards. Information technology is very important in national security and in intelligence collection, which is crucial in matter of national security; the intelligence community relies on their skills and expertise related with information technology to gather intelligence (Chertoff, 2011). This helps the government through a vast array of its security watchdogs to monitor criminal activities across the country. Indeed, science and technology is increasingly becoming vital and this explains why it is widely and not narrowly utilized in addressing security issues.

            In conclusion, the paper has explicated the homeland security concerns in relation to federal initiatives to address this issue and safeguard American citizens. The discussion has extensively covered the role of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in ensuring the security of the citizens and safeguarding their property both from intentional calamities cased by humans and from natural calamities. The role of FEMA and DHS in disaster management is very critical and the government together with several other stakeholders has committed huge funds to oversee matters of national security including the use of science and technology to address the issue. Therefore, the paper critically analyzes how science and technology has helped in strengthening the war against terror as well as mitigation of the impact of natural disasters. All these initiatives are implemented in order to avoid a repeat of several security mistakes that lead to the loss of lives of many people such as the September 11 terror attack on U.S. soil.   

References

Block, R., & Cooper, C. (2007). Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Bullock, J. A., Haddow, G. D., & Coppola, D. P. (2012). Introduction to Homeland Security: Principles of All-Hazards Risk Management. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Chertoff, M. (2011). Homeland Security: Assessing the First Five Years. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Cole, G., Smith, C., & DeJong, C. (2012). The American System of Criminal Justice. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

Purpura, P. (2011). Terrorism and Homeland Security: An Introduction with Applications. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.