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The characteristics of terrorism are difficult to effectively qualify. The Department of Homeland Security has the requisite of formulating policies that have the capacity of providing protection to the general public and communities. In the production of policies that are at the level of the general public, the practiced evacuation plans would be implemented in order to avoid a substantial amount of panic should a terrorist event take place in a government or commercial building. An essential factor is risk. Risk has a substantial participation in the policy making roles of enhancing security subsequent to the September 11th, 2001 attacks. The federal government’s role was to respond after the attacks. This is the rationale behind the creation of the Department of Homeland Security
The research question that will be explored is: Are the people of the United States safer since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security? The hypotheses that will be applied are the following: The Department of Homeland Security has a substantial participation in the security of the United States. The second hypothesis is: It is impossible to secure all of the commercial buildings and public establishments in the United States. The works of Amoore (2009), Brians et al. (2011), Eller and Gerbrer (2010), Hoefer et al. (2011), King III (2009), Mautino (2009), Mueller (201), Penn et al. (2009) and Smith (2003) were accessed in the formation of this research paper.
The protection of the United States and the people who reside in it is a very important concern to everyone. Research has demonstrated that it is impossible to provide security for every government building, bridge, airport, bypass and commercial building in the United States. One of the components of security is that the organizations that are intent on terrorism will not have the capacity of attacking all of the locations in the United States. Notwithstanding, due to the attribute of all locations being potential targets and the desire of the terrorist inflicting as much damage as possible, the Department of Homeland Security has the responsibility of protecting the people and places in the United States (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
The protection of the people and the places of the United States is an extremely complicated task. The task is complicated as a result of the quantity of information that must be reviewed and shared on a daily basis. The terrorists have the capacity of conducting an attack at any time or place. The terrorists may modify their plans to randomly assault a target. The responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security is to gather information and conduct decision making processes with regards to the highest likelihood of the potential targets in the United States. The more elevated the probability that a place may be assaulted has the requisite of the greater amount of security resources being applied. The locations that have a higher probability of being targets for terrorist have the requirement of screening systems and visible security personnel (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
The United States is composed of more than five million commercial and government buildings. There are over three hundred and twenty million residents in the U.S.A. There are two hundred and forty thousand employees in the Department of Homeland Security. There are uncounted numbers of terrorists in the United States. The decision making processes of the administration of the Department of Homeland Security is to be considered as a variable. These are the variables that will be explored in this research (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
It is possible that each of the government and commercial buildings may be a potential target for terrorists; the Department of Homeland Security does not presently have sufficient resources to apply protection to all of the government and commercial buildings at the same time. Each of the government and commercial buildings in the United States is a potential target for terrorist and it is not feasible to modify the basics that are applied in the protection of the homeland. Consequently, the Department of Homeland Security has the requisite of working within the limits of the available resources. The quantity of terrorists has the appearance of being minimal and the destructive capacity of the few terrorists that operate is comparatively limited. Notwithstanding, the challenge is that one terrorist can accomplish an attack that can be potentially harmful to a large number of individuals (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
Considering that the small quantity of terrorists does not mitigate the peril, the policies with regards to security must be examined due to the perception that the number of terrorist cells in the United States was perceived to be larger than the actual figures. In addition, the perception that the terrorists are being administrated by a larger entity must be explored. Intelligence that that was gathered reported that in 2002, it had been perceived that the United States contained 2,000 to 5,000 terrorist sleeper cells. Notwithstanding, a comprehensive review demonstrated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not have success in locating any of the sleeper cells in the nation. In addition, terrorism must be reviewed from the perspective that a small collection of people have the capacity of inflicting chaos and that many of the terrorist groups may have the attribute of being domestic (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
Research has demonstrated that the majority of the homegrown terrorists who have the desire of inflicting harm upon others have become elements that are isolated from the rest of society. Research has also demonstrated that many of the homegrown terrorist elements are responding with vengeance. It is highly improbable that the present generation will witness another attack that possesses the intensity of the September 11, 2001 attacks. A number of modifications with regards to security have been implemented with regards to providing protection from a similar attack. There have been a number of changes that have been implemented in order to deter a similar attack from occurring. The present focus has demonstrated that the peril has shifted toward smaller assaults that will be performed by individuals (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the airlines, airports and borders have been subjected to higher levels of security. Nonetheless, the threat from homegrown terrorism is a concern that must be anticipated. The perils of terrorist acts are more likely to take place in malls and events where a large number of people are in attendance. The nation of Israel has been successful at deterring terrorism in events. Nevertheless, many of the terrorist would detonate the incendiary devices in the streets outside of the malls or events. The Department of Homeland Security has compiled a list of the locations that have the highest likelihood of being attacked by terrorists. The information is accessible and the Department of Homeland Security could apply the information in order to classify the different potential targets. Notwithstanding, all of the locations that are on the list that has been compiled would not be targets that would be attractive for terrorists to attack (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
The Department of Homeland Security has formulated a list of two hundred of the critical highways, bypasses and bridges that should be prioritized with regards to security. However, the terrorists may conduct the attack on the targets that are excluded from the list. There are more than 590,000 bypasses that have the potential of causing a substantial amount of devastation and additional traffic challenges if these places were assaulted. The Department of Homeland Security comprehends that it is not feasible to forecast an attack on a particular target. This realization causes a paradox in the decision making processes of the Department of Homeland Security. All people cannot be protected and all of the attacks cannot be prevented. Consequently, research has shown that the resources should not be applied for the security of less important potential targets and should be applied to the potential targets that have a higher probability of being attacked by terrorists. Furthermore, the resources could be applied for the compensation of the victims that have incurred harm (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
In the circumstances where the attacks have occurred, the expenses incurred in compensation have outweighed the amount of property damage that has been inflicted. The United States Postal Service was assaulted with an anthrax attack in 2001. Since then the expense incurred for each of the fatality has caused the United States Postal Service to incur expenses of approximately $1 billion for each of the fatalities. In the cases where the security is enhanced, there are delays that develop in other areas. Considering that there are increased delays at the airport terminals, a number of travelers have selected to travel to their destinations by automobile (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
Research has demonstrated that there have been more than four hundred additional fatalities that have been incurred as a result of the increased security at the airport terminals that has been applied since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Increasing security involves incurring opportunity costs. The opportunity cost is approximately $7.5 million per avoided fatality. As a result of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, there are more than 4,000 lives that are saved from incurring harm from terrorist acts on an annual basis. There are many who suggest that the expenses could be saved and that the resources could be applied for other programs (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
Considering that an investment of $20 annually on smoke detectors has the potential of saving one life, the assessed millions of dollars could be applied in a more effective manner in order to prevent greater loss of life. One of the most difficult endeavors of the Department of Homeland Security is providing security for the United States from the weapons of mass destruction. In the event of the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction, the structures and the bridges would not be the greatest casualties; it would be the members of the general public. The most effective policy for the Department of Homeland Security is to implement sensors that would have the capacity of detecting radiation, biological and chemical indexes (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
The method that will be applied for the data collection will be a survey. The survey will be distributed by means of Survey monkey.com and Facebook.com to one thousand college students. The questionnaire will be composed of ten questions that will have Likert components. The respondents will be chosen at random from the setting of an institution of higher education. The information that is collected from the respondents will be coded numerically and represented on a Bell curve in order to demonstrate mean, median frequency and standard deviation (Brians et al, 2011).
Evaluation of the Research Question and Hypotheses
There is a budget of approximately $50 billion that is allocated to the Department of Homeland Security annually. In the department there are over two dozen agencies that are responsible for concluding a variety of endeavors. The agencies rely on the National Science Foundation in order to provide information with regards to terrorism. The information resources that are gathered from a number of agencies are applied in order to develop policies and make decisions. The policies and decisions are frequently conducted with an overemphasis on what is not known. The focus of the attention of the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security should be directed towards what is known (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
Decision making with regards to securing the people and places of the United States inherently has a specific amount of uncertainty. The priority should be to effective make decisions within a limited amount of time. The effective and quick decision making process is the best manner of compensating for the unknown factors. A distinction between Mueller (2010) and Geller (2010) is that Mueller’s perception of the decision making process is founded upon the unknown. Geller (2010) perceives that the security decisions of the department of Homeland security should be based on what is archived in the information databases. The information that has been collected demonstrates that there is sufficient information for decision making that can be made with regards to LPHC (low probability high consequence potential targets. In addition, there has not been sufficient consideration placed on the premise of the public being disposed to the provision of increased security at the low probability high consequence potential targets. Policies can be swayed by public decision. The Department of Homeland Security has two important challenges. The first priority is the effective application of resources and the second priority is prevention of the potential terrorist events.
The decision making process should be based on the effective application of information resources. In the consideration of applying fewer resources, the decisions that are made may not sufficiently protect the general public. Hoefer et al. (2011) categorizes those primary deficiencies in the process of individual decision making with regards to public security. Mueller (2010) details that the individual decision making process is endowed with a limited quantity of success. Notwithstanding, there must be conventions that occur at the local levels. The security decisions should also be made by the members of the communities that are being protected. The suggestion should subsequently be introduced to the government. King (2009) has the perception that the community residents have an important participation in the decision making processes that influence their communities. Consequently, the residents of the community will take responsibility for the fulfillment of some of the projects (Amoore, 2009; Eller & Gerber, 2010; Hoefer et al., 2011; King III, 2009; Mautino, 2009; Mueller, 2010; Penn et al., 2009; Smith, 2003).
The enforcement of the present immigration policies may provide some assistance. However, the modification of immigration policy will not provide assistance with regards to the twenty million illegal aliens. There is a need for a policy where those who are in the United States illegally can provide some benefit to the community in the absence of incarceration for their migratory statuses. A number of the immigrants who are in the United States illegally have provided substantial contributions to the economy of the United States (Hoefer et al, 2010; Stockton, 2009).
The Department of Homeland Security is currently reviewing the challenges that are present with cyberspace Security. The area of cyberspace security is an area of substantial concern. There exist three basic challenges with cyberspace security. These challenges are that the technology progresses at a faster index than the government. The second challenge is that effective interagency is a requisite for decision making with regards to partial solutions. The third challenge with regards to securing cyberspace. Is that the private sector has an inherent lack of confidence in the government (Lynn, 2010; Stockton, 2009).
The role that would be required by the Department of Homeland Security in the role of securing cyberspace would be to serve as a mediator in order to provide enhancement on the important issues of infrastructure with regards to administration and data acquisition. The Department of Homeland Security could serve as an administrative agency for the government. There are a number of enhancements that could be made to the cyberspace systems that would increase the public’s confidence and the Department of Homeland Security could facilitate the increased confidence of the private sector in the federal government with regards to cyberspace security (Lynn, 2010; Stockton, 2009).
The provision of security for the United States is essential for the survival of the nation and its people. The responsibility of securing the people and places of the United States has the requisite of the sharing of information between the diverse government agencies in addition to the assistance of the security forces of other nations. The Department of Homeland Security is a relatively new agency and there are many ways that it could become more streamlined. Since its inception, The Department of Homeland Security has performed effectively with regards to the protection of the people of the United States. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security has effectively provided protection of the public facilities. The U.S. border control is an issue that must be addressed in order for the Department of Homeland Security to perform more effectively. If the Department of Homeland Security does not know who is in the country, it becomes very difficult for the agency to effectively perform their duties.
Amoore, L. (2009). Lines of sight: on the visualization of unknown futures. Citizenship Studies, 13(1), 17-30.
Brians, C.L., Willnat, L., Manheim, J., & Rich, R. (2011). Empirical political analysis: Quantitative and qualitative research methods (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Eller, W.S., & Gerber, B. (2010). Contemplating the role of precision and range in homeland security policy analysis: A response to Mueller. Policy Studies Journal, 38(1), 23-39.
Hoefer, M., Rytina, N., & Baker, B. C. (2011). Estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population residing in the United States: January 2010. Population Estimates, Office of Immigration Statistics, Department of Homeland Security, 4.
King III, C. (2009). The Department of Homeland Security: An organization in transition. JFQ: Joint Force Quarterly, (55), 152-159.
Lynn, W. J. (2010). Defending a new domain: The Pentagon's cyberstrategy. Foreign Affairs, 97-108.
Mautino, K. (2012). Department of Homeland Security. In Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health (pp. 535-536). Springer New York.
Mueller, J. (2010). Assessing measures designed to protect the homeland. Policy Studies Journal, 38(1), 1-21.
Penn, E., Higgins, G., Gabbidon, S., & Jordan, K. (2009). Governmental Efforts on Homeland Security and Crime: Public Views and Opinions. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 34(1/2), 28-40.
Smith, C. F. (2003). Department of Homeland Security. The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Stockton, P. (2009). Reform, Don't Merge, the Homeland Security Council. Washington Quarterly, 32(1), 107-114.
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