The United Sates Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Strategic Plan outlines the Department's vision for homeland security as outlined in the Department's Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR). The plan is a unified, strategic framework for homeland security missions and goals. The Bottom-Up Review (BUR) compliments efforts to align DHS's programmatic activities and organizational structure to better serve the department's goals and missions. The plan enables the Department to prioritize frontline operations while maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of the tax payer's money allocated to the Department. The department has five key missions namely: securing the United States from terrorist threats and enhancing security; securing the country's borders; enforcing immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and building resilience to disasters (DHS, 2013). The Department has also made an undertaking to provide essential support to national and economic security, as outlined in the FY 2012-2016, as it matures. This paper gives an overview of the DHS's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2012-2016. It also highlights major relevant points related to economic social, and/or legal implications, or the impacts due to lack of attention paid to economic, social, and/or legal implications. Finally, the paper discusses how the issue of DHS Strategic Plan relates Saint Leo core values of excellence and integrity.
Overview of the DHS Strategic Plan mission and performance measures
The DHS first mission is to prevent terrorism and increase the national security. Protecting United States from terrorism is their core commitment. As such, their counterterrorism responsibilities focus on preventing terrorists' attacks; preventing unauthorized acquisition, importation, movement, or use of chemical, biological, and nuclear materials and capabilities within the United States borders; and reducing threats to and vulnerability of main infrastructure, resources, high profile leaders as well as significant events with many people from terrorist attacks (DHS, 2012). Because threats facing United States have continued to change over time, DHS has come up with various strategies to defend the country against dynamic threats (Office of the Homeland Security, 2002). To achieve this, the Department has realized that it is imperative to understand the threat. In this regard the Department collects, gathers, analyze, and appropriately share intelligence on current and emerging threats. It also undertakes to deter, detect, and disrupt operations by terrorists and other malicious acts they would want to achieve (DHS, 2012). The department has also strived hard to ensure would be targets of the terrorists are well protected. Finally, the Department in a bid to prevent terrorism and enhance security seeks to prevent and deter domestic violent extremism and the radicalization process that contributes to it (DHS, 2012). All these are done through community engagement.
In a bid to curtail illegal possession and/or use of chemical, radiological, nuclear or biological materials, DHS strives to find out emerging threats, control access to CBRN, control movement of CBRN as well as their hostile use. The Department seeks to manage risks to critical infrastructure, key leaders, and events by understanding and prioritizing risks to critical infrastructure, protecting critical infrastructure, making critical infrastructure resilient, and protecting governmental leaders, facilities, and special events. The first mission has got its performance measures that are associated with gauging results for preventing terrorism and enhancing security (DHS, 2012). The performance measures have planned targets for FY 2012, 2013, and 2016.
The DHS second mission is to secure and manage America's borders. The borders here imply land, air, and sea. The borders are to be secured from illegal entry of people, weapons, drugs, and other contraband. Border security and management focuses on effectively securing U.S. air, land, and sea borders; safeguarding and streamlining lawful trade and travel; and disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal and terrorist organizations (DHS, 2012). Regarding making air, land, and sea secure, the Department has made an undertaking to prevent illegal entry of people, weapons, drugs, contraband, and dangerous goods and prevent illegal export and exit. The department secures key nodes and conveyances and manages the risk of people and goods in transit to safeguard lawful trade and travel. The DHS disrupts illicit pathways as well as identifying, disrupting, and dismantling transnational criminal and terrorist organizations (DHS, 2012).
Mission two also has performance measures like percent of noticed regular aircraft attacks ably handled along the U.S. borders, amount of currency seized on exit from United States, percent of maritime facilities in compliance with security regulations, and percent of imports compliant with applicable U.S. laws, to mention but a few. These performance measures have planned targets (DHS, 2012).
The DHS third mission is enforcing and administering immigration laws. Immigration laws are thought to play integral role in homeland security. The Department intends to enforce and administer such laws by strengthening and effectively administering the immigration system (DHS, 2012). This it does by promoting lawful immigration, expediting administration of immigration services, and promoting the integration of lawful immigrants into American society. To prevent unlawful immigration, the Department cuts down the environments that make it possible for people from outside the U.S. To illegally migrate and reside in the United States (DHS, 2012). Some of the performance measures under mission 3 include average of processing cycle times for naturalization applications; overall customer service rating of the immigration process; and number of convicted criminal aliens removed per fiscal year.
The DHS Strategic Plan Fourth mission is safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace. Policing of cyberspace requires the output of government's law enforcement agencies, private sector, and members of the public. The DHS protects federal executive branch agencies and the nation's critical infrastructure. These include networks that support financial services industry, the energy industry, and defense industry (DHS, 2012). Some of the areas that have been prioritized by the DHS for protection are the cyber space that are used within the security system with an aim of creating a resilient, safe and secure cyber environment that deters effectively the malicious hackers who may want to exploit or even impairing it with the aim of disabling or even attacking the nation's information infrastructure and using the illegally obtained information for the detriment of the nation and the security of the citizens. It undertakes to achieve this by understanding and prioritizing cyber threats, managing risks to cyberspace, preventing cybercrime and malicious use of cyberspace as well as developing a robust public-private cyber incident response capability (DHS, 2012). The department's second goal is to promote cyber security knowledge and innovation. This it strives to reach by ensuring that the U.S. is prepared for the cyber threats and challenges that may come up in the near future, educating with the aim of enhancing public awareness, focusing on encouraging dynamic workforce as well as investing in innovative technologies, procedures and techniques (DHS, 2012). Some of the highlighted performance measures include percent of external traffic monitored for illegal cyber access at Civilian Federal Executive Branch agencies, financial crimes loss handled by the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Forces and various of unique security weaknesses detected during cyber incidents and the means of correction provided by DHS (DHS, 2012).
The DHS final mission is ensuring resilience to disasters (DHS, 2012). This it does by mitigating hazards, enhancing national preparedness through whole community approach to emergency management, ensuring effective emergency response, and rapid recovery from catastrophic events (DHS, 2012). Some of the measures of performance include the reduced cost of natural disasters among the citizens and the community at large especially those in earthquake prone areas, the places prone to flooding according to the topography and those likely to be affected by winds (DHS, 2012).
Impacts due to lack of attention paid to economic, social and legal implications of DHS Strategies
Failure to safeguard and secure cyberspace would compromise the government's ability to maintain essential functions that provide services to the citizenry and privately owned critical infrastructure like the systems and networks that support financial services industry, energy industry, and defense industry. The inability of the government to effectively enforce the immigration laws ends up encouraging illegal immigration into the U.S., this also applies to the airspace, land, sea borders that would open up flood gates of illegal immigration and entry of goods. This will encourage unlawful travel and commerce. Finally, this agency's failure to prevent terrorism and enhance security would enable malicious characters to conduct terrorist attacks within the United States borders (Rudolph K., 2007). The home security acts as the base foundation upon which the economy of the country is run, the social life goes on undisturbed, the political arena finds conducive to operate in and even the legal agenda of the U.S. As a whole can be further propelled. This would not be possible without the much effort that the DHS has always strived to direct toward security of the homeland.
Homeland Security Strategies and how they relate to Saint Leo Core Values of Excellence and Integrity
The DHS secretariat has emphasized over time their commitment to excellence by indicating that the department is keen on ensuring that the frontline operations are put at the top of priorities while maximizing effectiveness and efficiency of the tax payer's…