France's Homeland Security Challenges and Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

S., is used on events that require drastic recovery processes like floods (natural) or terrorist attacks (man-made). But the MOI would not be in control of the military in such cases (Lindstrom, 2004).

"Today, France has 'a pool of specialized judges and investigators adept at dismantling and prosecuting terrorist networks.'" (Perelman, 2006)

"France has a system, Vigipirate, used at moments of danger to the country. Instituted in 1978, Vigipirate has two levels, which can be activated by the president without legislative consent. The first level, 'simple,' is activated when a threat appears imminent. The government may call up reserve police and rescue personnel, and will deploy police to sensitive sites such as embassies, the subway, train stations and airports, and fuel infrastructure, including nuclear plants (approximately 50% of France's electricity is derived from nuclear power). The government activated this first level at the outset of the first Gulf War in 1991. It remained in effect until the day after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, when France activated the second level, 'reinforced.' At this level, President Chirac exercised his authority to direct the armed forces to deploy internally to ensure security. He put an additional 5400 police, gendarmes, and soldiers on the streets of Paris at strategic points; four thousand police were initially assigned to the Paris subway system alone." (Carl et al., 2006)

The diagram below is something that both the U.S. And France use to evaluate and categorize all threats and attacks that occur within their region (Boyer, 2006). The diagram itself is pretty self-explanatory with the severity of a potential terrorist threat being the highest and top priority and the lack of severity of a potential terrorist threat being the lowest priority. It is important to note here that both countries rate the overall nature of the threat differently in different circumstances hence there is no clear pattern as to which particular aspects are necessary to checklist to make the potential of a threat or attack a severe or low one (Council of Europe, 2004).

In the U.S.A., the overall structure and organization has been re-evaluated and redesigned in order to tackle the new and emerging threats like the ones that they encountered in the September 11 attacks. Even though this seems like a daunting and risky task to implement in the economic condition that exist today, the U.S. government and official strongly believe that this is the way to proceed further with a more efficient and stronger homeland security and birder security structure. Hence, the structure for the homeland security that exist within the U.S. today looks like the flow chart below, that displays the departments involved as well as their designated responsibilities (Transatlantic Homeland Security, 2006):

The process that the United States uses for an efficient setup of homeland security is based around the single-minded 'domestic incident management'. As the name suggests it is a measure to ensure that all internal threats and attacks, natural and man-made, are prevented and managed in a timely and efficient manner. The main aim of using such an approach is to make sure that all the sections of the government administrative bodies throughout the 51 states work cohesively and effectively towards a common goal. Furthermore, the areas of crisis management and consequence management will be dealt with as a single entity and both will be solved using thorough and efficient solution designs pertinent to the situation circumstances. The diagram below shows a very general design of how the U.S. government aims to keep all the governments sections connected and in association with each other towards a common goal (U.S. Department of State, 2002):

The diagram shows the general overview of the departments involved in the homeland security responsibilities within the U.S. And what particular responsibilities and tasks they each handle from a micro to a macro level. It is important to note here that all the departments are either connected directly to the president or the governor while in the French setup. The governor was never in the picture and the tasks of the governors were mainly fulfilled by perfect who was either a government or a public official.

The Secretary of Homeland Security controls the domestic incident management structure and he can use the government assets for responding to crises in one or more of the following conditions

(1) A Federal department has requested the intervention of the Secretary;

(2) The State and local authorities have requested the intervention of the Secretary due to the exhaustion of their assets;

(3) The responsive unit to the incident incorporates more then one Federal department; or (4) The Secretary personally assumes accountability for the incident from the President (U.S. Department of State, 2002).

US and France: Suspected Terrorist threats to Homeland Security

1. Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) also known as the Arab Revolutionary Council; Arab Revolutionary Brigades; Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims

2. Armed Islamic Group (GIA) also known as the Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah al-Musallah or Groupement Islamique Arme

3. Action Directe (AD) that is France and was originally formed as the anti-NATO organization in the region.

4. Armed Islamic Group originally formed to defeat the secular Algerian government and bring in power a proper Islamic government and state structure in the region.

5. Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) also known as the Askatasuna; Batasuna; Euskal Herri Batasuna.

6. First of October Antifascist Resistance Group (GRAPO) (Grupo de Resistencia Anti-Fascista Premero de Octubre). This was the section or group made up of the illegal Communist Party of Spain from the Franco Time that aimed to defeat and de-throne the Spanish government in order to bring in power a stringent Marxist-Leninist regime. The group of GRAPO is passionately anti-Us and still worked for the dismissal of all U.S. military with Spain.

7. Aum Shinrikyo also known as the A.I.C. Comprehensive Research Institute; Aleph; Aum Supreme Truth

8. Communist Party of Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA) also known as the Communist Party of the Philippines; New People's Army

9. Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) also known as the Continuity Army Council; Republican Sinn Fein

10. Organisation de l'Armee Secrete (OAS) (Secret Army Organization) the is a French right-wing terrorist association that was initially created in order to stand against the independence of the French colony of Algeria and was created by the French "stay behinds" who were basically ex-army men from the French Army and included members from the Foreign Legion formed in the Indochina War.

11. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) also known as the Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya; Izz al-Din al Qassam Battalions; Students of Ayyash.

12. Hizballah also known as the Party of God; Islamic Jihad; Islamic Jihad Organization; Revolutionary Justice Organization; Organization of the Oppressed on Earth; Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine; Organization of Right Against Wrong.

13. Kahane Chai (Kach) also known as the Committee for the Safety of the Roads; American Friends of the United Yeshiva; Dikuy Bogdim; DOV; Judea Police; Forefront of the Idea; Friends of the Jewish Idea Yeshiva; Jewish Legion; Judean Congress; Kach; Kahane; Kahane Lives; Kahanetzadak.com; American Friends of Yeshivat Rav Meir; Meir's Youth; New Kach Movement; Newkach.org; No'ar Meir; Repression of Traitors; State of Judea; Sword of David

14. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) also known as the Ellalan Force or Tamil Tigers

15. Al Qa'ida also known as the al Qaeda; International Front for Fighting Jews and Crusaders; Islamic Army for the Liberation of Holy Sites; Islamic Salvation Foundation; The Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites; The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places; The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders; Usama bin Ladin Network / Organization; the Jihad Group.

Conclusion

In comparing the two states and their approach to homeland security it is important to mention here that while the approach adopted by the U.S. To involve the government and the state in the entire process of homeland security is really practical, their overall implementation has been somewhat below average in implementation. A good example of the lack of a practically applicable procedure was during the hurricane Katrina incident when the warnings came late and the overall responsive units were slow and inefficient at the time of the crises. On the other hand, the overall approach of the French government to keep the heads of the state involved as committee members and not active members seems a weak approach but their overall communication strategy is so strong that it makes up for the loopholes in the administrative structure. Hence, practically speaking the overall approach of the French government has been practically more successful which is why the U.S. should adopt their communication models and maybe even some homeland security structures to be more effective in eth times of crises in the future.

Furthermore, the overall approach of the United States to start the overall homeland security from scratch was a bit unnecessary and more time-consuming then beneficial. The approach of the Europeans to make…

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