Homeland Security poses a number of difficulties, as there are numerous agencies responsible
for preventing terrorism. Apart from Federal agencies, these include state, local and tribal law
enforcement agencies. There is conflict of interest and purpose amongst these agencies and this
necessitates rethinking, to resolve the issues involved. Homeland Security was created after
911, with the intention of countering terrorism and making America safe. With no clearly
defined role, the organization is not fully able to do the task it was set up for. Weighing it down
are agencies unconnected to terrorism prevention like private businesses, non-profit
organizations, and healthcare agencies, all working separately and making it an unwieldy set up.

Incapable of reform in intelligence gathering as it has no expertise, it does not even keep a
terrorist watch list. It tends to compete with the CIA which has the lead role in national counter
terrorism. Agencies like the secret service are primarily concerned with presidential security,
 banking and cyber crimes. The FBI has post 911 enhanced its counter terrorism department and
coordinates  local law enforcement efforts in joint terrorism task forces. The Department of
Defense is not connected with internal matters except in times of martial law. Even otherwise the
CIA and the FBI are two agencies which have direct access to the President and who brief him
directly. These two organizations now have a mandate to work jointly on intelligence gathering
and sharing information both within and  outside America, which is not happening.                                                                                                            
To overcome this complex situation, the office of Director of National Intelligence, was set up in
2007 uniting all US security intelligence agencies under one umbrella and includes the NSA and
Military intelligence, CIA, National geo-space intelligence, National reconnaissance agency and
Intelligence from the state.

Bruce Hoffman (2006, p43-60) states that America has experienced anti colonialism, ideological
and religious terrorism, and that in future it will have to face small to major military attacks.
If we understand that the threat from terrorist networks, in the nature of modern conflict, works
to disrupt, using technology, social support, and tactical doctrine. Technology is crucial to it as it
is  a force multiplier. Terrorisms objectives are unchanged, but the methods are different, in that
they now target civilian, symbolic and technological infrastructures. Terrorists are fanatics who
fight outside the rule of law and seem to want to convey the impression that even powerful
governments cannot protect people.                                                                                                          
The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP) came into existence and has
connectivity with fifty states, five territories and 50 major urban areas. It has formed a computer
 based counter intelligence communication system and set up Fusion centers so that all data
is analyzed at a single centre. To counter terrorism, the need is to have effective pre-emptive
offensive policing. With good planning, the police can look for threats in the local community.
There are problems with local government and entrenched bureaucracies who do not want to
change to a centralized executive authority, as they have own agendas. Preventing terrorism
requires Bureaucratic change, which does not come easily (Max Weber 1864-1920).
However changes can come about if Federal agencies enter into cooperative relationships with
their local counterparts, as the officers in local communities know their jurisdiction the best
when it comes to terrorism. Border vulnerability is also a disputed area of terrorism threat. With
300 seaports, airports, and a porous border in the south, there are always illegal immigrants
slipping in.

Bureaucratic changes present challenges, but they also present opportunities. If state and local
agencies establish informal networks with organizations in their jurisdiction and extend
 cooperation to the federal system, by expanding their role, law enforcement officers will be
forced to rethink the way they do business. Local officers who normally think only of their
jurisdiction, will think of national security. Bureaucratic hurdles can be overcome largely if
all organizations agree to act together and pool their resource. (Swanton, Territo, Taylor 2001,
P643-644, Best. 2001, Bordero 2002, Mitchell and Hulse 2002). There is also the question of
WMD, as no one is really fully in charge, and there is serious lack of coordination between the
agencies. The Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council need to both be
looked at by Congress and recognized that national security and Homeland Security is the same.

Homeland Security should cover all aspects of intelligence gathering both local and worldwide
and taking necessary steps to protect all life and structures through preventive action. It must use
all the resources of the different agencies and pool it to achieve this. This includes inputs from
the NCISP. The Director of National Intelligence presently appears best suited to be the Apex
controlling body, as it already has all Federal and state agencies reporting to it. This way the two
most effective agencies CIA and FBI, will be working under one head with the same mission.
Homeland and National Security Council after merging could look after WMD, and also come
under the DNI. Countering terrorism and making the country safe can only be achieved through
pooling all resources and working jointly towards the same goal, through good coordination.          


Post a Comment