U S Government the United States Term Paper
- Length: 10 pages
- Subject: Government
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #36660284
Excerpt from Term Paper :
This as an important moment in the history of the Cold War because it marked the start of a new series of talks between the Palestinians and the Israeli side. This moment also proved the importance of the State Secretary in relation to the issues of foreign policy and the international community.
At this moment, some of the most important cabinets in the executive concern issues such as internal affairs and job security. These are essential portfolios from the perspective of internal and external factors. The homeland security refers in particular to aspects which take place inside the borders of the U.S. And tackle the threats that are visible on the U.S. territory. There are several departments inside the Homeland Security portfolio. These concern issues of counterterrorism, border security, immigration, or cybersecurity
. Counterterrorism measures are crucial at this moment, especially given the national security advisory which changed to orange (elevated). These measures include a better preparedness for preventing terrorist attacks on the U.S. soil. Better said, the aim of counterterrorism measures implies "protecting the American people from terrorist threats is the founding purpose of the Department and our highest priority. The Department's efforts to battle terrorism, include detecting explosives in public spaces and transportation networks, helping protect critical infrastructure and cyber networks from attack, detecting agents of biological warfare, and building information-sharing partnerships with state and local law enforcement that can enable law enforcement to mitigate threats"
Another major aspect of the U.S. executive is related to the issues that take place internally; this is largely seen from the perspective of the still going on economic crisis which has left thousands of people unemployed. In this sense, there are several acts which have been promoted by the Department of Labor in order to ensure a proper reconsideration of the labor market. One of these acts refers to the relaunch of the economy through an act similar to that of the Great Depression economic crisis. More precisely, "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (...) is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need"
Another major department inside the executive branch of the U.S. government is the Department of Defense. As its name goes, it is in charge of the defense and security of the country. However, perhaps the most important role played by the Department of Defense is represented by the role as adviser to the President. More precisely, "the Secretary of Defense is the principal defense policy adviser to the President and is responsible for the formulation of general defense policy and policy related to all matters of direct concern to the Department of Defense, and for the execution of approved policy"
Within the entire structure related to homeland security, defense, foreign policy, trade, and international affairs, one of the most important, if not the most important role is played by the agencies inside the executive branch. After the events of 9/11 2001 and at the recommendation of the Commission for analysis of the 9/11 events, it was considered that the agencies in the executive branch need to have a more coordinated action in order to defend the territory of the U.S. both inside and outside its borders. This came to be known as the Intelligence Community which, according to official sources is "a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations within the executive branch that work both independently and collaboratively to gather the intelligence necessary to conduct foreign relations and national security activities. Our primary mission is to collect and convey the essential information the President and members of the policymaking, law enforcement, and military communities require to execute their appointed duties
. Among these 17 agencies, there is the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA. They are important because, for the first time, there is a concerted structure of intelligence gathering and information which work to ensure the proper security level for the U.S. citizens worldwide.
The Central Intelligence Agency represents the main organism for data collection especially human intelligence and is therefore the main actor and promotor or covert operations. The NSA represents the forum for collection, coordination and performance of operations in order to protect the United States intelligence system. Finally, the FBI represents one of the most well know agencies of the American executive. It addresses issues of federal crimes, which implies all domestic crime. However, these are not accountable to the same head. In this sense, while the CIA and the DNI are part of the Office of the Director for National Intelligence, the NSA is under the umbrella of the Department of the Defense, and the FBI under the auspice of the Department of Justice and "the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) manages all FBI intelligence activities"
Despite the initiative, there have been numerous allegations that the financial aspects of such an intelligence community are not transparent enough to provide accountability. In this sense, in a Washington Post investigations is was found out that "Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States" and "An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances"
These mentioning are important because they point out the extent of trust the American population as well as the public opinion offers to these structures.
The benefits of this community lie firstly on the connection the IC has with the presidency and the Secretary of State. More precisely, the results of the intelligence analysis reach the office of the President and that of the State Department daily for briefs and reports. In this sense, for instance, the President's Daily Brief represents a deliverable by the Director of National Intelligence which "emphasizes strategic analysis."
. Also, another product of the IC is the Worldwide Intelligence Review, "a CIA product that several hundred senior Executive and legislative branch policymakers receive daily"
. From the point-of-view of the deliverable, the IC represents an asset to the state and its security structure.
There have been wide debates on the issue of the intelligence community largely due to the fact that it represents a constant threat on the way in which intelligence gathering has been conducted. The American democracy is largely based on the belief that the rights and liberties of the individual cannot be breached. However, especially during the Cold war period when the threat of communist interference in the internal affairs of the state were present and considered valid, the abuses were viewed as inevitable. These abuses were eventually confirmed through the Watergate scandal which determined a reconsideration of the control the Congress, as the Legislative body of the government can exercise over the intelligence community at the time. In this sense, there are Senate and House resolutions which point out the necessity to undergo important changes in this regard. Thus, Senate resolution 400 of 1976 provided for a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence which implied a comprehensive control on the activities of the intelligence agencies
. Also, a similar resolution, amended in the next years, was passed by the House of Representatives as well.
Overall, the American democracy is indeed a model of organization and state administration. It has certain important mechanisms of control, accountability, and assessment which determines a better action plan at the level of the state and the federal construction. The role of the president, as presented above, is crucial. However, his actions are subject to control from the Congress and the electors. Also, the Congress holds elections every two years, and is therefore constantly accountable in the front of the voters. The Supreme Court, despite the fact that the judges are named for a life position, must be persons and professionals of remarkable posture and presence. Finally, the Cabinet members are on full scrutiny by all the branches of the executive as well as the public opinion. This entire management mechanism is crucial for the well being of the american democracy.
Department of Homeland Security. 2010. Accessed from http://www.dhs.gov/index.shtm
Department of Homeland Security. Counterterrorism. 2010. Accessed from http://www.dhs.gov/files/counterterrorism.shtm
Department of Labor. On the Recovery Act. 2009. Accessed from http://www.dol.gov/recovery/
Department of Defense. Travels with Gates. 2010. Accessed from http://www.defense.gov/
Eric Rosenbach and Aki J. Peritz. "Confrontation or Collaboration? Congress and the Intelligence Community." 2009. Belfer Center and Harvard Kennedy School of Governance. Accessed at http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/IC-book-finalasof12JUNE.pdf
Intelligence.gov. About the Intelligence community. 2010. Accessed at http://www.intelligence.gov/about-the-intelligence-community/
Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy. Simon & Schuster, London, 1994.
Oracle Education Foundation. The role of the State Department.…