Sample Public Administration Research Paper on The Impact of Homeland Security Threats on Law Enforcement in the United States

Introduction

            The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States (US) soil signified acts of war against the nation as well as the ideologies of freedom that give meaning to the American way of life. The ruthlessness and scale of the terror attacks were exceptional. The events of the dark day turned into a defining moment for the Nation’s strategy to protect and defending the lives and livelihoods of the American citizens. Notwithstanding the preceding acts of terror that took place on the American soil, most remarkably the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, homeland security afore the September, 9/11 was present as a collaged of strategies put in place by different departments and organizations in the US’s all levels of government. Although the divisions of the law enforcement and intelligence organization being present, together with the armed forces, there was no clear arrangements among the law enforcing agencies organized to counteract against terrorism and other substantial threats to the United States. There was no clear uniting vision, a solid planned approach and the indispensable establishments in the government to secure the homeland against terrorism and other security threats.

            The events of 9/11 changed the American thinking about security with the Congress focusing on intelligence and other measures in the homeland security strategy (Randol 1). Immediately after the reverberation of American historical lethal universal terrorist attack, the nation established a homeland security policy. This was based on a resolute national strategy to inhibit terrorist attacks within the US, lessen America’s susceptibility to terrorism, and abate the destruction and convalesce from attacks that takes place. In order to implement the homeland policy, the US improved its homeland security and counterterrorism design both at the Federal, State, local, Tribal, and community levels. The understanding of homeland security went to develop to after September 9/11 attack, which became accustomed to new certainties and threats.

As the nation waged the War on Terror both internally and externally, the US also suffered the famous Hurricane Katrina, which was the most disparaging natural disaster in U.S. history. The human misery and shocking physical obliteration as a result of the natural disaster was a reminder to the nation that threats not only come from terrorism, but also from forces of nature. Certainly, several non-terrorist occurrences that are catastrophic in nature can have severe impacts for the US homeland security. Therefore, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States triggered a major reorganization in the nation’s federal government to have ever taken place since the World War II. This is because the nation’s vulnerabilities within the national security apparatus was exposed. In 2003, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which combined 22 different agencies and bureaus into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These agencies were mandated to prevent and respond to natural and man-made disasters.

As a rejoinder to these restructurings, the US Senate reshuffled the Governmental Affairs Committee to incorporate further authority over homeland security concerns and established the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Among the Committee’s key ranges of jurisdiction include the fortification of the United States homeland and, explicitly, oversight of the Department of Homeland Security to give security a more focus (Nia 1). The Committee performed its roles and responsibilities in a bilateral manner for a long time to certify that DHS establishes effective strategies to readiness for, deterrence of, and recovery from natural adversities and terrorist attacks. Examples of agencies that have worked hand in hand to fulfill Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decree in the protection of the US homeland for threats include, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) among others.

Threats Facing Homeland Security Law Enforcing Agencies

            The United States faces several intricate and dynamic threats from terrorism. Furthermore, other threats that comes from disastrous events, for instance, natural disasters, accidents, and other perils occur and need to be addressed. As the nation develops further its homeland security systems, several threats emerge that takes time to be understood in the process of safeguarding the American citizens.

Terrorism

            Terrorism is one of the main threat that is still eating the American society. In spite of the strenuous global initiatives as a result of the 9/11 that have interrupted terrorist plans and inhibited al-Qaida’s ability to strike the homeland, the United States continues to encounter a determined and changing terrorist threat. This mainly comes from the violent extremist’s Islamic terrorist groups and cells. In the past few years, the strongest and dangerous display of this threat was the al-Qaida, which was guided by an unrelenting tactical determination to attack the US homeland. The main al-Qaida terror group was however destroyed but the problem has further expanded hence changing the threat of terrorism in several ways (Cronin and Nancy 4). In the first place, the main al Qaeda cancer has been abridged, nonetheless, the tumor has spread. The posterity of al Qaeda that has become the greatest challenge include AQAP and mainly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL that has now become the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have become our focus. The tactic of the terrorists and motivations have also changed from the past motives, which were known (Smith and William 4)

Additionally, the second main threat is the explosion of terrorist propaganda and training on the Internet. This implies that enemy is invisible and it is no longer essential to physically get the terrorist operative into the United States to recruit. The radicals, in ungoverned online platforms are able to spread lethal propaganda and training materials that appeal to distressed youth and other personalities across the globe to their cause. The terrorists reassure these persons to travel and get further training. In case they are not able to leave their home nations, the radicalized people are motivated to act within their home nations. This is one significant transformation among terror groups from the way they acted a decade ago.

The conflicts Syria and Iraq remain to be the most eye-catching global destinations for Western-based extremists interested in acts of violence. There are several American citizens that already crossed over to Syria to take part in the ongoing conflict. The terror extreme Islamic group has shown persistence in its violent crusade to rule and has destructively promoted its detestable message, which has attracted like-minded fanatics including Westerners.

To a higher level as compared to the Al-Qaida, the Islamic State terror group has made good use of the Internet to pass its message. According to the homeland viewpoint, it is the group’s extensiveness via the Internet and social media that has made the terror group to antagonistically made use of the technology for its evil plans (Mayer and Scott 1). The group combines the traditional media platforms, silky photos, detailed articles, and social media campaigns, which can be viral within seconds. In spite of the format they employ, they make sure that message of radicalization spreads within a short time.

Additionally, the terror groups have also come up with a description that attracts all aspects of life, for instance, occupation opportunities, family life and a sense of community among others. In most cases, the message is not targeting exclusively to those who are openly in support of radicalization. However, it is seen by the many people who connect to the Internet daily, get social media push notifications and those who take part in social media networks. In the long run, a good number of the viewers represent a large population who are seeking a sense of belonging. Despite the fact that we live in a technologically obsessed society, which is healthy in the same manner as other significant industries that have adapted the modern forms of communication, so, too, have terrorists. Nonetheless, the greatest threat to the law enforcing agencies in homeland security agencies is the changing forms of Internet communication as well as the application of encryption.

Cyber security Threat

            Another element that affects the United States homeland security is the threat and crime that is cyber-based or facilitated. This involves erudite cyber threats from state-sponsored hackers, hired hackers, structured cyber syndicates and terrorists. Each day, the United States homeland security is attacked by the cyber-based actors who seek for the state secrets, trade confidences, technology and the nations ideals, which entail important elements of value the nation that steers the conduct the government business as well as the national security. The maim intention of the cyber hackers is to seek to strike the homeland critical infrastructure and to harm the US economy. The Unites States homeland security continues to witness an increase in the scale and scope of instances of malevolent cyber activity, which can be equated to by the amount of corporate data stolen or deleted. Other impacts include compromise of personally identifiable information or remediation expenses sustained by U.S. victims. For instance, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at one point learnt that several of its systems were conceded. These systems compromised included those that have significant data relating to background investigations of present, previous and likely federal government workforces, besides other personalities for whom a federal background enquiry had been undertaken.

Catastrophic Natural Disasters Threats

            The US homeland security also acknowledges that the lives and livelihoods of the American population are at risk from natural calamities. As a result of the diverse and big nation, with its wide-ranging people, topography and landscape, the U.S. continues to bear with several natural threats and catastrophes. There are naturally arising contagious diseases, which pose a substantial and constant hazard among the homeland population. Furthermore, the increased human contact with other living organisms in the nation is also another cause for human diseases. Additionally, as a result of globalization and commerce the infection of killer diseases like Ebola poses a great threat to the nation’s homeland population. For instance, in 2003, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) proved the likely for a global impression of a unique infectious disease. The disease originated from China and occasioned more 8,000 infections and 800 deaths globally. This was accompanied by substantial economic and social interruptions. The Influenza contagions have also befallen sporadically over the nations. For instance, the last three plagues in 1918, 1957 and 1968 resulted in more than forty million, two million, and one million people worldwide, respectively. Even though the timing of any disease cannot be predicted, it is apparent that historically the homeland security faces the threat of one or more pandemics in this century.

Natural disasters encompass several climatological and environmental threats. Hurricanes, for instance, Katrina was one of the US’s most disparaging natural disaster. Despite the different expert’s predictions on the intensity and frequency of forthcoming storms, the main concern is when will an overwhelming hurricane or catastrophe hit our nation again. Furthermore, earthquakes remain and will continue to threats to the homeland security agencies in the United States. Despite several major advances that have been attained in understanding and alleviating earthquake threats, most of the Americans in 39 States are at risk being affected by earthquakes. Moreover, even though each occurrence is considered less significant as compared to the hurricanes and earthquakes, the US population is mostly hit by floods that are leading natural disaster destroying damage and causing death in the Homeland over the past century. Averagely, there are more than 800 storms experienced in the nation annually, causing deaths, injuries and property destruction.  Another natural catastrophe threat that faces the US homeland security is wildfires that occur in several regions of the nation.

Appalling Accidents and Other Hazards Threats

            The American homeland is also remains susceptible to calamitous domestic accidents comprising industrial threats and infrastructure catastrophes. For instance, numerous of chemical spills that take place every year, which poses a substantial threat to public health and the environment. Furthermore, events that pose impending threats to the nation’s significant infrastructure can result into significant surging impacts across various systems. For instance, an approximated 50 million people in the entire eight States and the Canadian province of Ontario in 20003 suffered a major power blackout that lasted for several days as a result of problems experienced by a utility in Ohio. This is one incident in the homeland that came to known as “Northeast Blackout of 2003,” that resulted into an approximated $6 billion cost and also resulting into 265 power plants shutting down.

Impact of Homeland Security Threats on Law Enforcing

            There are several impacts that have resulted from the homeland security threats on law enforcing. In the first place, the Law Enforcing Agencies (LEAs’) counter terrorism efforts have continued to advance towards a fusion center classical (Davis et al 43). This entails a strategy in which large urban areas are beginning to utilize information technology to organize effectively and to share all security information. This strategy is significant since it allows the LEAs to take part in the security information-sharing network hence assisting in the reduction of resource commitments needed to take part in a fusion center

Additionally, the LEAs, for instance, the FBI agents, analysts, and computer scientists have improvised ways of applying technical capabilities and customary investigative techniques, for instance, sources, court-approved electronic surveillance, physical surveillance, and forensics as a way of fighting cyber threats. The law enforcing agencies are working hand in hand with the federal, state, and local partners on Cyber Task Forces and the field offices and through the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF). These agencies provide a basis for coordination, incorporation and information sharing center for all the law enforcing agencies in the nation and several other significant international allies in cyber threat investigations. Additionally, through the CyWatch, which is the nation’s 24-hour cyber command center, the security agencies have been able to pool together resources of the various security organs like the FBI hence allowing for a connectivity to federal cyber centers, government agencies, FBI field centers and other legal organs. This is also extended to the private sector aimed at curbing the threat of cyber intrusion. The homeland security law enforcing agencies have also expose all the potential threats to public and private sector systems with a serious consideration that are aimed at investigating and hold responsible every person or groups of people who pose a threat in cyberspace and the homeland security.

Furthermore, the homeland security threats have triggered the LEAs to renew their focus on counterterrorism and homeland security in adopting more use of technology, for instance, IT systems, software, camera systems. This is significant in allowing for improved access to information, connection of network participants and application of technology to enable detecting the link between diverse types of criminal activity and likely terrorist-related goings-on. Despite facing the challenge of the need to also integrate sustainability strategies to address maintenance and replacement expense in the funding the system has been effective in countering the sophisticated high level technological threats from criminal individual.

The LEAs have also incorporated the prevailing infrastructure and networks as a way of fortifying the local intelligence functions. For instance, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) network is a sample model that LEAs used to develop its counter-terrorism data-sharing network. Additionally, law enforcing agencies have also selected officers within specific departments who serve as links between field officers and the counterterrorism units. The law enforcing agencies has also expanded their community networks across the United States, which is effective in expanding prevailing networks to get intelligence information across the nation on any security threat (Hickman and Reaves 26).

In dealing with the threat of changing nature of terrorism, the LEAs, for instance the FBI have devised ways of exploiting all legitimate undercover strategies and approaches to combat the threat that the extremist groups pose to the United States.  Working together with other domestic and foreign partners, the LEAs intelligence are thoroughly gathering and investigating intelligence information regarding the unending threat posed by foreign terrorist organizations and homegrown violent extremists (Friedmann and William 2). The LAEs have continued to enhance vigorous information sharing in collaboration with several federal, state, and local agencies allotted to Joint Terrorism Task Forces across the nation. The LEAs have continued to be on alert to guarantee the security of the American population. Furthermore, the LAEs continues to lingers to track better competences and data sharing processes and apply technological and other strategies to ensure that they are ahead of the threats to the homeland security.

The LAEs have also enhanced their strategies that deny terrorists, their weapons and other terror associated materials entry in the homeland. Through this approach, the terrorists are denied access into the homeland and their ability to travel globally, particularly, across and within the homeland, which strictly constrains their effectiveness. Through the strategies by the LEAs in preventing terrorists and their acts of destruction from entering the homeland, they are also hindered to recognize and surveil likely targets, planning and launching attacks.

Furthermore, the LAE s have also reinforced the both local and international travel and document security, enhanced information sharing with our domestic and international associates and heightened the screening of all visitors and cargo to the United States. This is because the main terror enemies are resolute to penetrate their operatives and attack the US citizens. The LEAs has also endeavored to avert terrorist manipulation of authentic pathways into the United States. Therefore, the LEAs have continued to fortify the US’s incrusted system of protections that is global and along the nation’s borders, ports, on our roadways and railways and in the skies that is significant in averting terrorist’s activities, their armaments and related materials from penetrating into the homeland through the use of legitimate pathways.

Despite the fact that terrorist who are a threat to the homeland security continue to infiltrate the valid entries in moving its personnel and weapons into the United States, others group exploit the nations land, maritime, and air borders illegally. As a rejoinder to these schemes, the LEAs has established and implemented a unified system of persons, expertise and strategic infrastructure, for instance, through the Secure Border Initiative to identify, detect, retort to and counter prohibited entry within the homeland borders. These strategies deter terror suspects from having a productive environment to carry out their illegal acts (Scheider and Robert 4). The LEAs have also enhanced and improved the organization of surveillance of watercraft and general aeronautics in dealing with illegal terrorist who strive to gain entry in the nation.

The homeland security threat has also led to LEAs in the United States to establish mechanisms that can avert the Islamic Extremist Radicalization in the nation. There have been several arrests and trial within the United States of violent Islamic extremists, which shows that the threat is real. The common likely catalysts for radicalization among the Muslim American communities comprises of feelings or acuities of social discernment, which create a sense of isolation from society as well as suspicion of the government (222). These feelings are then followed by perceptions of political and economic disparities and the displeasure with both foreign and domestic national strategies regarded as antagonistic to the Muslim community. The incorporation of the local community is significant in ensuring g the success of the LEAs in homeland security (Kemp 34). The LEAs has striven to prevent the radicalization through an intensive, focused action in averting homegrown violent Islamic extremism and other terrorists and violent extremists that can spring from many other faiths, communities, or persuasions. Some of the strategies that the LEAs have incorporated include, engaging the key communities as stakeholder in the war against terrorism, counter sources of radicalization and addressing ways in which radicalization is spread, particularly, through social media.

In responding to the growing number of other natural and manmade threats, the LEAs have undertaken to protect the American people through ensuring effective organizational and operational flexibility of our crucial infrastructure and enhancement of key resources. This is because despite the fact that the devastation as a result of disaster would have an incapacitating impact on the national security and perchance harm the self-esteem and confidence of the American people, crucial infrastructure and enhancement of the key resources is significant for the lives of the American parties.

In dealing with the threat of natural catastrophes in the United States, it is apparent to note that it is the responsibility of homeland security (Reese 2).  The LEAs also ensure that there is a national approach to addressing disasters that entails the input of State, local, and Tribal governments cooperation to ensure a rapid recommence functioning of people and institutions after disastrous occurrences.

Generally, the United States has gone through several historic moments from the most lethal attack of international terrorism to the most disparaging natural catastrophe to hit the American soil. In the face of these challenging moments, the nation has retorted bravely. Nonetheless, some of both manmade and natural disasters are still causing several threats to the United States. This has resulted into several impacts on the homeland security law enforcing to that are ever transforming as way of dealing with the threats. Currently, as a result of a strengthened and keen homeland security strategy and the implications of the threats to homeland law enforcing, the nation is enjoying a safer, stronger, and better preparedness in countering the disasters. These impacts on law enforcing has remained resolute in preventing terrorist attacks in the US and protecting the homeland from naturals disasters and prepare the nation in dealing with the aftermaths.

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