The core missions and the more specific goals for each mission, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are discussed on pages 30–32 of the textbook. Select one of the goals, and consider how Homeland Security has been successful in protecting the United States from a hazard or risk. Why do you think they have been successful?
Your journal entry must be at least 200 words in length. No references or citations are necessary.
There are several goals that aid in achieving the core missions of the United States Department of Homeland Security. One of these is under a mission that aims to ensure resilience to disasters. It involves mitigation of hazards by strengthening the capacity of all societal to overcome and withstand hazards. For this to be achieved certain objectives are reached. These objectives include reduction of vulnerability and alleviation of risks to individuals within communities. A hazard to be focused on in this journal is terrorism.
Protection of the United States from terrorism has been successfully done by Homeland Security. Measures taken include minimizing the traveling of terrorists, improved screening of passengers, improving the security of surface transport, building the homeland security enterprise, early detection, and prevention of nuclear, biological, and radiological threats.
The Department of Homeland Security has a requirement for airlines that intend to fly into the United States to provide Passenger Name Record Data and Advance Passenger Information. These are provided before departure. This measure ensures ease of identifying high-risk travelers with links to terrorism groups.
Prior to travelers receiving their boarding passes, screening is done on passengers against the government’s watchlist. Vetting is also done before a passenger board an aircraft to quickly identify any high-risk travelers.
Baggage or cargo carried by passengers is also screened for explosives by use of advanced technology systems on explosive trace and detection, imaging technology, bottled liquid scanners, and x-ray systems.
All these are aimed at minimizing or preventing terrorist travel.
Surface Transport Security
Teams such as the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team actively observe the transport sector across the United States with an aim of preventing or disrupting any terrorist activities being planned. These teams mostly focus on road transport and intercept any suspect with malicious intentions specifically against the country.
Homeland Security Enterprise
These include grant funding, fusion centers, and reporting of suspicious activity.
Grants are awarded a goal of prevention, protection, mitigation, and recovery from acts of terrorism.
Fusion centers are centers owned by the state that operate in central points of major urban areas that deal with gathering, reception, and analysis of any information that is threat-related.
Law enforcement is trained to identify traits and demeanors related to terrorism. Documentation of such occurrences is standardized and analyzed and finally shared across the country.
Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Threats Detection and Prevention
Detection of such threats and their prevention have been managed by the use of radiation detection technologies that have been deployed to various facilities, bio-surveillance systems that have the capacity to detect intentional release of agents into the air or ecological system, and localization of nuclear detection training that aims at local officers and first responders. All these measures have been successful due to the collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies and civilians. A continuous and iterative process of information sharing via media streams have also greatly improved the efforts of Homeland Security in achieving its goals. The receipt, analysis, and breakdown of information whilst mapping it to relevant sources with the use of technology has in effect made it easier to track down terrorists. Click here