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This week moved into the specific operation areas of border security and disaster response management. Both of these elements of homeland security have found themselves in the news on a regular basis, whether it be immigration, drugs or the smuggling of other items and the responses to events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon and Hurricane Sandy.Discussion Question: From your analysis of border security, identify what you see as the top three issues regarding border security, your rationale for that determination and your assessment of the agency that should have primary responsibility to address that issue and why that agency should be the lead. Define the concept of unified command as established in NIMS. What is your assessment of the effectiveness of this command structure when disaster response operations involve multiple states?Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided to you in order to support your response. Your initial post should be at least 600 words. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post, as well as an adjoining reference list. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.Grading: Forums are graded using the following rubric: SSGS Discussion Forum Grading Rubric////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////Reading Lesson- Border SecurityBoth border security and disaster response elicit strong feelings throughout the nation and understanding the breath and diversity of the issues is important to having a strong foundation of the broader area of homeland security.The most controversial and debated aspect of border security continues to be our border and coastal regions, which are rather extensive. The Mexican border is approximately 2,000 miles in length; the border with Canada is approximately 5,500 miles long; our navigable rivers and waterways comprise about 26,000 miles; and there are 12,383 miles of coastline. Add to that the hundreds of major airports that serve approximate 120 million passengers leaving and entering the United States (U.S.) each year, plus the 4000 marine ports and terminals, and one can get some idea of the sheer magnitude of America’s borders and what is a considerable task it is to secure them. As a side note, while most of the media focus is on the Mexican border with the United States, over 90% of all known terrorists inside the United States have gotten into this country by coming across the Canadian border.The U.S. has 77 ports of entry through which nearly two billion tons of freight move in and out annually. This amount of cargo represents approximately 99% of the nation’s international trade. This volume of cargo involves an extremely large number of personnel and machinery, who are primarily engaged in the loading and unloading of materials. As such, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that substantial levels of crime, trade fraud, alien smuggling, importation of drugs and other contraband, environmental crimes, and cargo theft exist within the supply chain.One might think the issue of border security should be a fairly straight forward event. How can a nation be secure if it cannot secure its own borders? The readings this week we will examine some of the complexities that impact the ability of a nation to implement border and coastal security programs. In addition to the physical complexity of trying to secure thousands of miles of land borders, not to mention the entire coastline of the United States, one should begin to recognize the issue is further complicated by the fact that boarder security is a very political topic.The issue of border and coastal security is a broad one. Most often when the issue of border security is raised, it is likely that the US-Mexico border is the first thing that comes to mind. However, the US has an extensive land and maritime border with Canada that has historically be very sparsely defended or monitored. There are also issues such as the Haitians and Cubans who try to enter the U.S. via boats in the Southeast states and the world of international airports with the challenges they face from all forms of activities that seek to breach the security of the country’s borders.One of the major issues in dealing with border security is that of smuggling. One of concerns with smuggling is that the routes and methods used could potentially be exploited by terrorists seeking to import weapons or persons. Looking at America’s success in the war on drugs, one must wonder how successful the nation will be in preventing terrorist use of smuggling routes. In a statement to the United States Senate Drug Caucus on May 15, 2001, the Commandant of the Coast Guard talked to drug smuggling interdiction rates. At that time the interdiction rate was at 8.7 percent and the goal was to reach a rate of 28.7 percent by 2007 (U.S. Senate, 2001). The GAO (2008) observed that the number of drugs interdicted on the US-Mexico border had been relatively small and identified the following trends.Cocaine – 290 MT shipped, 36 MT interdictedHeroin – 19 MT shipped, 1 MT interdictedMarijuana – 9,400 MT shipped, 2,900 MT interdicted.When talking to border security, the discussion often seems to migrate to the more visible or politicized areas of drug smuggling or immigration control. While these areas are important elements of border security, it could be argued that there is a much greater security exposure through the legitimate movement of goods and materials across the border. Smugglers use legitimate trade routes and legitimate shipments to transport illegitimate goods and materials, including counterfeit goods. The issue of supply chain security is an important one that is listed as one of strategic objectives of under Goal 2.2 of DHS’s strategic plan (DHS, 2012).The issue of supply chain security further amplifies the concept that border security is not simply control at ports of entry, but extends to locations throughout the supply chain. In the case of cargoes, most are now transported via containers. This means that there are opportunities to remove, replace or inject materials at multiple locations within the supply chain. These locations can include the initial packing of a box for shipment within the container, introduction of materials at freight consolidation locations, unauthorized entry of the container at various stops along the route and even the alteration of the shipping container itself. To understand the magnitude of this issue, in 2009 there were nearly 25 million containers that transited U. S. Port (DOT, 2011, p. 17). In implementing the 9/11 commission findings, Congress called for the scanning of 100 percent of the containers bound for the U.S. before they get to the U.S.; a standard which has not been met do a host of problems including resources, international relations, technology and impacts on trade.The movement of goods directly links to the issue of whether the nation should adopt borders which are more open or more closed. Informing this discussion is the observation by Stephen Flynn of the paradoxes presented by open and closed (US Congress, 2004). A paradox is an incongruity, a statement which seems to contradict itself. In the case of hardened borders, the paradox is that the more secure you make the border, the less secure it becomes. This security could be by physical or other means such as visa controls. The open border paradox is that the more open you make the border the more secure it is. How does one examine 24 million containers without impacting the flow of trade. This flow equates to nearly 66,000 containers per day. Think of the delays on travel with the scanning of passengers for planes. If there were no false positives and the time to scan a container, by some device similar to the body scanners for airport security, was only 3 minutes per container, the process would still add 3,300 hours of effort per day. As 85 percent of the containers arrive at the top 10 ports in the US, that would equate to an additional 280 hours of labor per port per day, a large economic impact.As the reading and your research will show, there is no magic bullet to solve the problem of border security. As such, the level of the nation’s security at the borders is relative. There will always be people and goods slipping into United States through unauthorized methods/channels. However, while America cannot achieve total security of its borders, it can implement programs that, to the extent possible, provide the nation with the maximum level of security.Disaster ManagementIn the early 1970’s, a series of wildfires impacted large areas of the state of California. The responses to these fires exposed a variety of issues for effectively responding to large scale events involving multiple jurisdictions and multiple agencies. In an attempt to address the issues identified during post incident analysis, the FIRESCOPE (Firefighting Resources of Southern California Organized for Potential Emergencies) was established. One of the key issues observed in the wildfires was the lack of an effective and consistent command and control structure. FIRESCOPE sought to address this issue and in so doing they developed an incident command and control system known as the Incident Command System (ICS).While FIRESCOPE had developed a standardized command and control system, the implementation of this system was left up to the individual organizations. This factor resulted in a variety of standard command and control systems being implemented. To address this issue of standardization, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) was established in 1974 with the mandate of coordinating the fire management programs of various federal and state agencies. In 1981, as a result of the work of the NWCG and other groups, the National Interagency Incident Management System – Incident Command System (NIIMS-ICS) was created. Over the years, additional command and control systems appeared with varying degrees of adoption, to include the Fireground Command System, developed by the Phoenix, Arizona Fire Department and the National Fire Service Incident Management System.The issue of what was a proper incident management system and the construct of a viable incident command systems continued to be an issue up to the time of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11). While there were requirements for the use of some form of incident command system for responding to hazardous materials incidents, there was no corresponding requirement for the response to crisis or disaster response operations. This fact led to a variety of incident command systems being developed and employed by various agencies. When the terrorist attacked on 9/11, the nation did not have a single national incident management system standard established.The events of 9/11 caused the U. S. Government to examine the federal, state, and local agency’s response operations and the effectiveness of those operations in mitigating the effects of the multiple terrorist attacks of that day. That review led to the recognition of the need for a standardized national incident management system. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5), issued by President Bush on February 28, 2003, established the requirement for the creation of a comprehensive national incident management. As a result of that directive, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) was developed. NIMS is designed to be an all-hazard incident management system composed of various components, including those of command and management, preparedness, resource management, and communications and information management. Implementation of NIMS is supported by the guidance set forth in the National Response Framework (DHS, 2008b).One might begin to think that the nation now has a standardized incident management system. In reality, the manner in which the systems is implemented at the state and local levels has led to a variety of incident management systems actually being established. Part of this has been the concern by some that NIMS is based off the fire service programs and, while it functions well to those types of events, has limitations in serving as a model for disaster response, including the integration of multiple states and multiple response organizations. One need not look much further than responses to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon to see potential shortfalls in the current system.The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (9/11 Commission, 2004) identified in their recommendations that “Emergency response agencies nationwide should adopt the Incident Command System (ICS). When multiple jurisdictions are involved, they should adopt a unified command” (p. 397). NIMS addresses the increased complexity of disaster response operations through its Incident Command System Unified Command (UC) model. The UC model serves to bring together the Incident Commanders (ICs) of the major responding organizations so that a coordinated response can be realized, while maintaining each organizations legal and jurisdictional mandates (DHS, 2008a). The UC links the organizations responding to the incident and provides a forum for these entities to make consensus decisions.In examining the concept of unified command, it will help to have an understanding of some of the key terms as they are defined by NIMS. These terms are:Command – “The act of directing, ordering, or controlling by virtue of explicit statutory, regulatory, or delegated authority” (DHS, 2008a, p. 137). Simply stated, command is the ability to direct an action, activity, or individual. In its fullest sense, command sets direction, allocates resources, establishes constraints and defines relationships between entities within and outside of the organization. Incident Commander – “The individual responsible for all incident activities, including the development of strategies and tactics and the ordering and release of resources. The IC has overall authority and responsibility for conducting incident operations and is responsible for the management of all incident operations at the incident site” (DHS, 2008a, p. 140). In this definition, one can see the element of command as a distinct component of this individual’s duties and responsibilities. Unified Command – “An Incident Command System application used when more than one agency has incident jurisdiction or when incidents cross political jurisdictions. Agencies work together through the designated members of the UC, often the senior persons from agencies and/or disciplines participating in the UC, to establish a common set of objectives and strategies and a single Incident Action Plan” (DHS, 2008, p. 149). This definition of command differs from the concept of command as identified above. Here one can see that the concept of command, as defined in NIMS is not a component of unified command. In fact, it could be argued that in a unified command setting that command of the incident is actually transferred to the Operations Section Chief, who is tasked with command of the event. As NIMS indicates, the unified command is really an incident management team and not a response command entity.Looking at the above definitions, one could reasonably ask the question: Who is in charge of a unified command organization? Smith (2011) found that there was a lack of uniform understanding within the community of major past Incident Commanders of what is considered a successful implementation of a unified command organization. However, this same community of individuals were of the belief that disaster response operations should be led by a single individual, even in the unified command configuration. Overall, the literature does not present a consensus on the ideal leadership model or organizational construct. Some of the research calls for a rigid hierarchical form of leadership (Anonymous, 2006; Martin, 2007) and others a more collaborative form (Thompson, 2006; Waugh & Streib, 2006; Getha-Taylor, 2007; Lester & Krejci, 2007).Devitt and Borodzicz (2008) identified the concept of interwoven leadership and the need for crisis leaders to have the ability to empathize with all stakeholders, including those who are being affected by the crisis. They identified the need for crisis leaders to have task skills, interpersonal skills, personal attributes and stakeholder awareness interwoven like the strands of a rope.The readings this week gave a lot of information on the foundation of emergency management and the issue of leadership in crisis/disaster events. Within those readings was the observation that the emergency management system within the U.S. has its foundations in response to events rather than having been developed as a considered system (Colle & Rubin, 2012). Disaster response operations have historically been locally led events and the current NIMS construct has continued to draw upon the concept that local government is the initial responder and decision-maker. While historically a local agency may have been the only resource, the current environment is one where multiple agencies are likely to be called upon to support response operations. These agencies may be from the same jurisdiction or multiple jurisdictions, including jurisdictions from multiple states. As you continue your studies, think of how this observation can be changed and of the contribution you can make to that change.ReferencesAnonymous. (2006). It’s not the crisis that counts, it’s the way the crisis is handled. Strategic Direction, 22(5), 20-22.Devitt, K. & Borodzicz, E. (2008). Interwoven leadership: the missing link in multi-agency major incident response. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 16(4), 208-216. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5973.2008.00551.x.Getha-Taylor, H. (2007). Collaborative governance: Lessons from Katrina. Public Manager 36(3), 7-11.Government Accountability Office. (2007). Statement of Jess T. Ford, Director International Affairs and Trade on Drug Control: U.S. Assistance Has Helped Mexican Counternarcotics Efforts, but the Flow of Illicit Drugs into the United States Remains High (GAO-08-251T). Lester, W., & Krejci, D. (2007). Business “not” as usual: The National Incident Management System, federalism, and leadership. Public Administration Review: Administrative Failure in the Wake of Katrina 67, 84-93.Martin, R. (2007). Battle-proven military principle for disaster leadership. Fire Engineering 160(8), 69-90.Smith, D. (2011). A study of command and control of multi-agency disaster response operations (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3467495).Thompson, F. (2006). “Netcentric” organization. Public Administration Review 66(4), 619-622.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks. (2004). The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.U.S. Congress. Senate. Caucus on International Narcotics Control. (2001). The transit zone: Strategy and balance. (testimony of Admiral James Loy, USCG). Retrieved from http://drugcaucus.senate.gov/transitloy.htmlU.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. (2004). U.S. and Mexico: Immigration Policy and the Bilateral Relationship: Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, 108th Cong. 2nd sess., March 23, 2004. Retrieved from http://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FlynnT…U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). (2012). Department of Homeland Security Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2012-2016. Washington, DC: DHS. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/dhs-strategic-p…U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2008). National Incident Management System. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/NIMS_core.p…U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2008). National Response Framework. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nrf/nrf-core.pdf.U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Bureau of Transportation Statistics. (2011). America’s Container Ports: Linking Markets at Home and Abroad, by Research and Innovative Technology Administration. Washington, DC: DOT. Retrieved from http://www.bts.gov/publications/americas_container…Waugh, W. L., Jr., & Streib, G. (2006). Collaboration and leadership for effective emergency management. Public Administration Review 66, 131-140. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2006.00673.x

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