Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US

Type of paper: Critical Thinking

Topic: Risk, Infrastructure, Security, Success, Planning, Time Management, Factor, Homeland Security

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/17

With the vast array of Critical infrastructures located in the United States, it is important to look at the potential risks and threats they face. The paper will focus on the critical infrastructures dependencies and interdependencies. It will then address how to measure the dependencies factors. Lastly, it will look at how we factor interdependencies into the planning process. Infrastructures consist of many different usages for many various organizations. Understanding the how dependencies and interdependencies directly influence the success of the infrastructure. In many cases, the infrastructure, such as homeland security, is in place for the protection of the entire nation. Analyzing the various factors that are involved in the success of the organization is important for understanding the likelihood of its success when situations challenge its very structure.

Critical Infrastructure Dependencies/Interdependencies

There are issues with the critical infrastructure dependencies and interdependencies complicate the risk assessment process. First, it is vital to consider what infrastructures are defined as. “The working definition used by the U.S. Government defines critical infrastructures as “assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such assets, systems, or networks would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, public health or safety, or any combination of those matters” (Miller and Lachow, 2008). Take, for example, the lifeline systems, they are interdependent due to the operational interaction and physical proximity. If the damage occurs to one infrastructure component, is can rapidly expand to damage surrounding components that can result in system-wide consequences.
In the light of the events of 9/11, the United States has put substantial resources and energy into infrastructure protection. The focus is to improve risk communication, lack of strategic thinking about homeland security risks, and political obstacles for allocating resources based on risk. The attack showed how critical the infrastructure dependencies and interdependencies were, when an entire city was virtually shut down and in an emergent state. There are also strategic challenges and participant recommendations. The government has been striving to create a strategic plan for government and homeland security with risks of dependency and interdependency processes. There are private-public coordination issues with assessing risk and improving the overall process. Infrastructures are broad, and creating an assessment for risk under such broad participations proves to be challenging. Measuring Dependencies Factor
It’s hard to measure dependency factors because of the vast range of infrastructures. The state, local, and private sector are all dependent upon each other and the national homeland security enterprise. Recognizing the risk of dependencies with all the variables is important for being able to understand the situation. This framework divides risk management into five major phases: (1) setting strategic goals and objectives, and determining constraints; (2) assessing risks (3) evaluating alternatives for addressing these risks; (4) selecting the appropriate alternatives; and (5) implementing the alternatives and monitoring the progress made and results achieved. (Rabkin, 2008). Infrastructures have many different requirements for operations, a significant part of measuring the dependencies factor is knowing the risks associated with each variable.
In efforts to measure the dependencies factor take, for example, the normal operating conditions of an electric power infrastructure. It requires petroleum fuels for generators, natural gas, pipeline to supply fuel to generators, rail transportation, transmission lines, air transportations, emission control, banking, water for cooling, financial services, and telecommunications. If one of these dependencies factors is no longer available, it directly affects and potentially paralyzes the electric power infrastructure. The measure of dependencies factors is directly influenced by the ability to maintain regular operations in the absences of one of the infrastructures. Homeland security has many different dependencies factors they depend upon to be successful. Analyzing the extent that each variable has on the success of the infrastructure is vital for ensuring a successful operation.

Factoring Interdependencies into the Planning Process

It is vital to factor in interdependencies into the planning process. “The interdependencies between infrastructures and their reliance on the information infrastructure as a control mechanism make the consequences of failures in any given area unpredictable and hard to manage” (Miller and Lachow, 2008). Therefore planning for success void of the interdependencies it extremely difficult. Focusing on economic factors such as the capital cost of the infrastructure based on the scale to compete in a globalized marketplace and to the operation creates significant pressure towards having larger, fewer, and centrally located infrastructures. The trends of modern infrastructures push more towards consolidation and fewer interdependencies. It is important to consider this shift in the planning process. Another factor is the consequence of seeing a smaller number of larger facilities in many different economic areas, which in turn controls a large share of the market. These are all important factors of interdependencies that are factored into the planning process.
There are various factors that are involved in the success of the organization that are vital to understanding the likelihood of its success when situations challenge its very structure. Infrastructures are created governmentally, by the state, and by private parties. They are created with the intention of serving a specific purpose. When the ability to function is dependent on other factors, it creates a whole new set of potential issues. It is important for infrastructures to factor in interdependencies and dependencies factors into the planning process. Continual reviews and revisions are necessary to ensure that the operation can continue, especially in times of disaster.


Miller, Robert A. and Irving Lachow. (2008). Strategic Fragility: Infrastructure Protection and National Security in the Information Age. Deep Horizons.
Rabkin, Norman J. (2008). RISK MANAGEMENT Strengthening the Use of Risk Management Principles in Homeland Security. United States Government Accountability Office.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, December, 17) Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from
"Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US." WePapers, 17 Dec. 2020, Accessed 17 April 2024.
WePapers. 2020. Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US., viewed April 17 2024, <>
WePapers. Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US. [Internet]. December 2020. [Accessed April 17, 2024]. Available from:
"Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US." WePapers, Dec 17, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2024.
WePapers. 2020. "Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved April 17, 2024. (
"Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US," Free Essay Examples -, 17-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17-Apr-2024].
Good Critical Thinking About Critical Infrastructures In The US. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 17, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2024.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now