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What is the biggest challenges facing homeland security and homeland defense in the next year? What about in the next five years? In the next 10 years? Explain your reasoning for your responses.Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided to you in order to support your response. Your initial post should be at least 500 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


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Lessons  WEEK 8: Future Issues in Homeland Security/Homeland Defense  Lesson
WEEK 8: Future Issues in Homeland Security/Homeland Defense
In addition to your readings this week, I hope that you reflect on all that you have read over this course and
develop a holistic view of homeland security and defense. As may be said in the educational parlance, the intent
this week is to take all the information and knowledge you have gained in this class, add that to your personal
experiences and knowledge from other sources to synthesize a new model.
Hopefully at this point in the course you have come to realize that homeland security is a complex issue. Often,
when one thinks of the term homeland security they focus to the issue of terrorism as that is the nexus that led
to the development of the Department of Homeland Security and which served as the primary focus of the
Department for its early years. However, Hurricane Katrina served to show that the nation could suffer
devastation from natural disasters and that the ability to respond to those events was an essential element of
homeland security.
With further reflection, one may look beyond the issue of terrorism and see border control as an element of
homeland security. However, what is border control? Many quickly recognize the interdiction of illegal
immigrants and drugs as border control issues, but border control is a much larger issue. There is a need to
prevent the exportation of smuggled goods just as there is for the importing of those goods. These goods could
be counterfeit consumer goods or people.
Just as the issue of homeland security is a complex one with many stakeholders, so too is the homeland security
enterprise that seeks to create a secure homeland. The enterprise includes both public and private sectors that,
at times, may have competing objectives. An example of such a conflict can be seen in the movement of goods
in the global transportation system. The private sector seeks to have maximum productivity with the goods
moving through the system with minimal to no delay. On the security side, there is a need to ensure that the
goods are legitimate and pose no danger to the nation, which requires controls and inspections within the supply
As a final comment, it is important to remember that the creation of the Department of Homeland Security
happened in a very short time frame within the bureaucratic world of the U. S. government. With the creation of
most any entity, there are bound to be areas that did not come together quite right at its creation. If one were
to look at the Department of Defense, it is still evolving and developing connections that allow it to work more
effectively as a team. In some cases, it has taken an act of Congress to get that change implemented, such as
with the Goldwater-Nichols Act. In last week’s readings, you had the opportunity to areas that the Department
of Homeland Security could improve on. Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff (2008) observed that “To
protect our nation and infrastructure from dangerous people and cargo and respond effectively to disaster whey
they occur, ensuring a truly cohesive and unified department operating at full potential remains absolutely
critical. It is our final priority and none is more important” (para. 28). Reflect on all that you have seen and read
in this course as you continue to progress on your journey toward your degree in homeland security. One day
you may find that it is you who has the ability to make the policies that define how homeland security is
Chertoff, M. (2008). Incomplete security complacency and bureaucracy threaten DHS’ progress. Armed Forces
Journal, 32(32). Retrieved from
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October 1, 2008
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Complacency and bureaucracy threaten DHS’ progress
Since its creation almost six years ago, the Department of Homeland Security has
accomplished much in its efforts to protect the nation, but serious challenges lie ahead.
Several of those challenges will command the department’s attention for the foreseeable
future. They include the continued need for immigration enforcement and reform, border
security, secure identification, cybersecurity, a more integrated department, and an
increasingly vigilant and resolute country and society.
How can these and other challenges best be met? DHS must continue to pursue a unified
strategy of preventing or reducing America’s vulnerability to terrorism and natural disasters,
one that protects the homeland and its infrastructure from dangerous people and items,
while mitigating the consequences of disasters by strengthening the country’s emergency
preparedness and response systems.
Screening out danger
To keep dangerous people out of the U.S., several key things must be done well. We must
have advance information about who is coming here, confirm people’s identity with speed
and accuracy and check them against watch lists, prevent the use of fraudulent travel
documents, and locate unknown terrorists, meaning those whose names have yet to be
Given the fact that last year alone, 414 million people came through U.S. ports of entry, this
constituted a particularly daunting challenge. We have literally seconds to determine the
level of risk posed by each of these individuals. Moreover, it must be done in a way that
allows the vast majority of innocent travelers to pass without hindrance.
Definitive strides have been made to improve our ability to screen these incoming travelers.
Last year, a landmark agreement was reached with our European counterparts to continue
sharing advance information — Passenger Name Record (PNR) data — on visitors arriving in
and departing from America, while strengthening privacy protections. As part of this effort,
DHS implemented a new rule that lets it obtain PNR information from the airlines earlier
than previously. This enables us to conduct security checks before flights take off and
minimizes the risk of finding a person already on board who is dangerous and having to turn
the flight around.
Another way of identifying people who pose a threat to the homeland is through the use of
biometrics, including fingerprints. Through the US-VISIT program, we have for some time
taken fingerprints of two index fingers from individuals. But to improve our ability to
confirm identity and check visitors against watch lists, we’ve begun taking 10 fingerprints at
our consulates and airports. Consulates overseas now require 10 fingerprints electronically
as a precondition to providing a visa.
Not only is it more accurate to have 10 fingerprints than two fingerprints, it also enables
travelers to be matched against the latent fingerprints collected across the globe at crime
scenes, in safe houses where terrorists plan and even on battlefields.
As a result, we are acquiring an enhanced capability to identify unknown terrorists, those
whose names are not on watch lists and whose biographical information may not tip us off to
the threat, but who have left markings of themselves in times and places that suggest they
receive a second look.
Working with US-VISIT, the Coast Guard is also leveraging biometrics at sea to capture
fingerprints from individuals who attempt to enter our country between Puerto Rico and the
Dominican Republic.
A third way in which dangerous individuals are being identified is through efforts to create
secure documents that confirm people’s identity. We must be able to ascertain that people
are who they say they are by creating secure travel documentation as the commission
recommended and as Congress has mandated. That is being pursued through the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).
The good news is that during the initial portions of WHTI, compliance has been approaching
100 percent.
However, it makes little sense to secure ports of entry if measures to secure the long
stretches of border that lie between them are neglected. That is why a three-pronged border
protection strategy is being pursued: installing tactical infrastructure, including pedestrian
and vehicle fencing; hiring and training new Border Patrol agents; and deploying technology
at the border, including cameras, sensors, unmanned aerial systems and ground-based
Layers of security
It is also essential to prevent dangerous items, especially weapons of mass destruction, from
entry. This priority is best served not by relying on a single, specific layer of protection, but
on several.
This overall strategy begins with our outermost layer abroad. Last year DHS launched the
Secure Freight Initiative at six foreign ports. Through this effort, inbound cargo is scanned
for radiation before being loaded on U.S.-bound ships. The effect is to push America’s
defenses and security outward.
As part of this initiative, DHS continues to require more information about the contents of
cargo shipments and to collect more trade data from the private sector. This intelligencebased screening provides a clearer glimpse into the supply chain and a greater ability to
identify those kinds of shipments that raise potential security questions. It constitutes
another layer besides overseas scanning to help keep our homeland safe.
We also expanded our Container Security Initiative (CSI) to 58 foreign ports. Once again,
through scanning and collecting intelligence-derived information, inspectors now work with
their foreign counterparts to screen cargo before loading it onto ships. More than 85 percent
of the containers shipped to the U.S. now pass through CSI ports and benefit from our
overseas inspection. This year we are scanning nearly 100 percent of inbound cargo at our
seaports for radiation.
Another priority is to strengthen the protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure against
threats. Tough new security regulations are helping protect chemical facilities from attack
and to prevent the theft of chemicals that could be deployed as weapons. As part of this
effort, DHS worked closely with the chemical industry to devise performance-based
standards, which, instead of micromanaging these industries, allows them to choose ways in
which they can best meet these requirements.
We also accelerated our IED awareness campaign, boosted science-and-technology research
into explosives and expanded participation in our information-sharing portal to raise
awareness of the threat posed by improvised explosive devices.
At seaports, we began enrolling port workers in our Transportation Worker Identification
Credential program. We also published a final rule that will allow our Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) to take control of domestic passenger watch lists from the
airline industry under our Secure Flight program. This will make the watch list system more
accurate and secure.
Besides operating watch lists and performing a traditional screening function, TSA has
deployed officers to more than 40 U.S. airports to identify potentially threatening passengers
based on their behavior. We’ve learned lessons, for example, from the Israelis and the
Europeans in how to train our screeners to spot certain kinds of conduct that suggest a
possible threat or an uneasiness that warrants closer inspection. Such programs reflect our
determination to move beyond the static, inflexible model of checkpoint screening, to a more
dynamic and multilayered security environment that includes, apart from behavioral
detection, such tools as whole-body imaging and a focus on IEDs.
In protecting our infrastructure, we must be concerned not just with the threat posed by
IEDs but by biological agents as well. The Office of Health Affairs was established, along with
its National Biosurveillance Integration Center, to provide common awareness and early
detection capability with respect to biological events and trends. This includes BioWatch, our
deployment of biological detection sensors in dozens of cities.
Strengthening partnerships
Since most of America’s key infrastructure is privately owned, protecting it necessarily
involves partnering with the business community. The department has completed the sectorspecific plans of our National Infrastructure Protection Program that defines roles and
responsibilities and sets security priorities across 17 sectors of our economy.
We have also continued to strengthen our partnerships with grass-roots government by
increasing our participation in state and local intelligence fusion centers and deploying more
analysts and further distributing our Homeland Security Data Network, our secure
information-sharing portal.
Promoting information-sharing between Washington and local law enforcement across the
nation is a particularly effective way of protecting against threats to infrastructure. States
and localities are in many ways our eyes and ears on what is happening in communities
throughout the U.S. They are in an especially advantageous position to detect threats posed
by homegrown terrorists. Concerning homegrown threats, the Office of Intelligence and
Analysis works closely with the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to study the risk of
radicalization in the U.S.
While the U.S. government remains committed to guarding our nation and infrastructure
against threats posed by dangerous people and things, complete protection from all threats is
not possible. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes cannot be
prevented. Moreover, while the risk of man-made disasters can be reduced substantially, it
cannot be removed entirely. That is why we seek to build an emergency response system that
is fit for the 21st century.
Last year, as part of an effort since Hurricane Katrina to retool and transform the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), some new policies and procedures were tested
regarding FEMA that we had put into place in response to that hurricane. These included
better tracking of commodities, prearranged mission assignments with the Defense
Department that lets us deploy resources faster, and improved disaster registration.
To protect our nation and infrastructure from dangerous people and cargo and respond
effectively to disasters when they occur, ensuring a truly cohesive and unified department
operating at full potential remains absolutely critical. It is our final priority, and none is
more important.
To that end, we have been unifying our information technology services; creating a robust
and multidisciplinary training and education template for our employees; proceeding with
our plans to move the department’s headquarters to the St. Elizabeths Hospital compound in
Washington, D.C., so we can bring together employees in the same physical space; unifying
information technology budgets under our chief information officer; and attempting to foster
career development and a congenial workplace for the nearly 216,000 men and women of
the department.
As the nation looks to the future, one of our challenges continues to be immigration, and the
most efficient and humane response is a comprehensive one. The defeat of comprehensive
reform in Congress last summer underscored the fact that the American people want
evidence of Washington’s total commitment to enforce current law before embracing
fundamental change. Clearly, Washington has to make a down payment on credibility with
the American people by proving it is prepared to use every tool at its disposal to get the job
done. Congress has given us a mandate to do precisely that.
One example of how this is being implemented is the progress in building a fence along our
southwestern border. The goal is to have a total of 670 miles of such fencing by the end of
this year. The construction of fencing can only help our Border Patrol do its job. Border
Patrol staffing was increased by 35 percent, from 12,349 agents in fiscal 2006 to more than
16,700 agents and is well on the way to more than 18,000 agents, doubling in size since
January 2001.
These men and women need effective tools in addition to the border fence that is being built.
That is why we have added new technology at the border in the form of ground-based radar
and UAVs. Four UAVs have been deployed, while two more are on the way.
These combined efforts are having a remarkable impact on illegal border crossings.
Apprehensions at the border were down more than 20 percent for fiscal 2007. This is one of
several indicators that fewer people are attempting illegal entry and that the strategy is
Part of the strategy also includes stepped-up interior enforcement. Last year was a record
one for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in this arena. Its agents made 863 criminal
arrests in worksite enforcement cases last year, exceeding the prior year’s record total. And
this year, ICE has already exceeded that total, making 875 criminal arrests as of July. And we
expanded training programs for state and local law enforcement officials in 30 agencies to
help in these efforts.
We also expanded tools to help employers determine whether employees are authorized to
work in this country, and participation in our electronic E-Verify system more than doubled
last year.
This year, however, we have been attracting particularly intense opposition. I am sometimes
asked why, for more than a generation, the U.S. government has had difficulty enforcing its
own rules against illegal immigration. Based on my own experience, I believe the answer is
evident. When the TV cameras turn off and the spotlight moves on, a host of interest and
advocacy groups moves in and challenges the government at nearly every turn, making its
job of enforcing the law a much more difficult task than it would ordinarily be.
To cite one example, DHS supports a regulation to help employers clear up instances where a
worker’s name and Social Security number don’t match. A number of business groups
objected by explaining quite candidly that many if not most of their workers are illegal aliens
and that to the extent that this regulation would uncover such workers, it would hurt their
businesses. While that could undoubtedly be the case, the right answer to this dilemma is to
lobby for changes in the law in order to address the alleged labor need. The wrong answer is
to ask those who are sworn to uphold the law to turn a blind eye to those who break it,
creating what amounts to a silent amnesty.
Such businesses, along with other opponents, succeeded in tying up this “no-match”
regulation in court. There have been other instances in which DHS has had to go to court in
order to remove other impediments to enforcing immigration law.
Again, the long-run solution to our immigration challenges remains a comprehensive one.
That is why, even as we continue to enforce the law, we will continue to ask Congress to
consider enacting an immigration policy that treats the matter in all of its aspects, and in a
way that genuinely serves this nation and its people.
Besides pursuing an immigration policy that strengthens the rule of law, national sovereignty
and homeland security, DHS must continue to press ahead with one of the best defenses
against terrorism: secure identification. In the words of the 9/11 Commission: “Sources of
identification are the last opportunity to ensure people are who they say they are and to
check whether they are terrorists.”
Simply stated, identity document standards must be brought into the 21st century to prevent
terrorists and criminals from using fraudulent identification, and to protect the public from
identity theft. That is why the department is moving this year on three fronts to create a
robust set of security standards.
As previously noted, one such front concerns secure travel documentation. Through WHT …
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