Homeland Security and the War on Terror Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Homeland Security and U.S. Intelligence

Formation of Department of Homeland Security & U.S. Intelligence on Terrorism

Definition of Intelligence

Rationale for Formation of DHS

Effectiveness of DHS

Importance of Intelligence & Analysts

Research Philosophy

Research Methods & Its Limitations

Data Collection & Analysis

National security has been a major concern for United States in past few decades. However, since 2001, this concern has turn into a serious threat for national security. The given research is performed with the intent of evaluating the effectiveness of Department of Homeland Security in terms of intelligence sharing on terrorism. For this purpose, the study is performed following a predictive form of research. This research methodology is best suited for the researches where the source of data is secondary. For the purpose of this research, the articles from peer reviewed journals and intelligence reports on Department of Homeland Security will be used.

For the purpose of this research, the effectiveness of United States' security policies and measures will be observed before and after 2001. The lacking causing the incident of 9/11 and elements resulting in successful operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will be observed. This comparative analysis will help in understanding if the Department of Homeland Security has played its role in acting as a single source of intelligence in the war against terrorism.

The given research consists of literature review followed by a comparative analysis of global landscape before and after 9/11 from security perspective. On the basis of this analysis, conclusion has been drawn which illustrate that United States has shown a tremendous transformation when it comes to policies entailing national security. It is only after the formation of DHS that extensive operations like Iraq and Afghanistan have become possible, and U.S. has become enable to keep surveillance on the factors causing threats to U.S. national security from inside and outside the country.


1. Introduction

The United States of American, since its birth has faced and dealt with many external threats whether it is from communism or terrorists one thing is for sure that after the disasters of 9/11 more effective security measures are required. Where U.S. government has taken many measures for ensuring the mitigation of these security threats, the risks are even higher due to changing global landscape with reference to international relations. It was intelligence sharing and mutual cooperation that made United States deal with the threat from Al Qaeda, Taliban and other actors such as Saddam Hussain. But as the hostility is increasing at international level between nations and also considering the current features of United States foreign policies, threats from Asian terrorist and other nuclear powers including North Korea, are enhancing the need for having flawless intelligence structure which would enable the United States security agencies to have a ready shield of protection to combat any attacks. Where the role of agencies is already established, it is important to identify if the Homeland Security of United States can act as a sound source of intelligence information for the purpose of mitigating major security threats from the terrorists.

The phenomenon of intelligence sharing among different agencies and countries enables to adopt proactive approach and unfold the plans of terrorists before them committing their heinous acts. The objective of the thesis is to identify the role of homeland security in United States safety with reference to its responsibility as a source of intelligence information to security agencies. The purpose of this research paper is to establish if the formation of the Department of Homeland Security improve U.S. intelligence sharing on terrorism. The research methodology used is of predictive nature in which the improvement of U.S. intelligence sharing on terrorism (dependent variable) will be analyzed with reference to formation of homeland security department (independent variable). The sources used will be from secondary therefore the inherent limitations of incomplete information exist.

Department of Homeland security was established as a result of 9/11 attacks by assimilating 16 different government agencies. It was one of the major restructuring in government departments since National Defense Bill 1947. The range of functions and authorities of this department varies to a greater extent as compared to other interior departments of other countries. Where U.S. Defense ministry is entitled with the responsibility of protecting U.S. interest and its citizens through military actions across the border, DHS is responsible for acting in-land and outside American border. The vast range of its operations demand impeccable intelligence information since Homeland Security is a guarantee of U.S. sovereignty and survival.

The given research comprises of an extensive literature review which involves assessment of data available related to United States agencies performance before and after 9/11, in terms of effectiveness of security measures. Furthermore, the analysis is followed by discussion and analysis. During this analysis, comparison will be performed between the performance of United Stated security agencies and military after formation of Department of Homeland Security. This comparative analysis would allow the derivation of a conclusion indicating if formation of Department of Homeland Security has lead to improvement of Intelligence sharing on terrorism.

2. Literature Review

Definition of Intelligence

Intelligence can comprise of any form of information from which conclusions are drawn after analysis and this information is provided whenever required in response to a specific need provided that the original information without analysis was concealed from the acquirer earlier. The intelligence cycle is a requirements driven process that involves issuance of requirements by decision makers, collection, processing, analysis, and publication of finished intelligence products. Key among the development of "Intelligence" is analysis

. Where intelligence information is essential for the survival against security threats, it relates to information derived from multiple domains such as military, politics, in-land operations, economic and social factors as well as technical knowledge. It is important to understand that without analysis, information is a mere piece of refined data which cannot serve any purpose on its own. Therefore, an analysis by the professionals with a clear intent and specialize knowledge transforms an information into intelligence. For discrete purposes, this intelligence can be used by national and international organizations and agencies that can further use it for identifying patterns, and establishing relationships between dependent and independent variables in order to develop a hypothesis which can be supported by conclusive evidences.

Intelligence is useful only when it is objective, timely, and independent of political influences, based on all sources of information, relevant, logical, consistent, and accurate

Rationale for Formation of DHS

The department of homeland security was a resultant of a decade spent under a threat of terrorist attacks by Islamic extremist. The era of 1990s was specifically a period in which the threats rose to its heights. In fact, several attempts were made by international Islamic extremists with the intent of causing mortal damage to property and human lives in United States. The pace was accelerated when the young Muslims began pouring into Afghanistan against Soviet Union. Once they were dealt with former SU, the centre of focus was then United States. Several clearly expressed threats became known to the government and security agencies of U.S..

However, other than several previous attacks inside U.S. and, on U.S. officials and citizens present outside United States which caused loss of few precious lives, the incident of 9/11 took place which not only shook Americans but also raised question marks on the efficiency of United States Security Agencies. The event itself resulted in over 2000 casualties with a non-reversal economic loss and social uncertainty. The question arose that when the intent of Islamic extremists was clear and well-communicated to U.S. government over time, why this threat could not be combated. The intelligence community struggled throughout the 1990s and up to 9/11 to collect intelligence on and analyze the phenomenon of transnational terrorism. The combination of an overwhelming number of priorities, flat budgets, an outmoded structure, and bureaucratic rivalries resulted in an insufficient response to this new challenge

. Also FBI made its attempts to introduce reforms which can strengthen its capability of preventing terrorist attacks which have been planned inside and outside UNITED States, but these reform efforts failed to implement organization-wide institutional change. Furthermore, absence of coherence between the military departments, air defense and civilian authorities along with already established intelligence agencies caused an irreversible damage to United States in 2001.

With reference to operations of several security agencies operating in United States prior to2001, there was a massive data of redundant nature which was being useless and a mere burden to the national security budget. Although these security agencies were following similar information processing guidelines provided to them by Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit, assimilation of this data for further efficiency and effectiveness was required

It was identified that the United States security was in the hand of over 22 agencies which had different roles and responsibilities but no unified direction and internal communication. In addition to that, it became evident that where United States in-land security has been undertaken by various organizations, the inflow of threats and formulation of…

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