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Friday, February 19, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security: It's Component Organizations and Local Support

The Department of Homeland Security: It's Component Organizations and Local Support
The formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was an organizational reaction to the terror attacks of 9/11. Pratt explains that “Before 11 September 2001, when American leaders prepared for war they envisioned enemies using bombs, tanks, guns, military force, and other traditional armaments. The attacks on that fateful day forever changed the way the United States and the world would view the nature of war” (2004, p. 44). The General Accounting Office “advised Congress that the United States needed a national strategy specifically to ensure homeland security” (Caudle, 2009, p.9). Thus DHS was born.
The 2007 National Strategy for Homeland Security specifies three primary goals, and a fourth goal of building a foundation to support the first three. The three primary goals are to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks; to protect the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources; and finally to respond to and recover from incidents that do occur (National Strategy for Homeland Security, 2007, p.1). The President has directed the Secretary of DHS to take responsibility for these goals; “The Secretary of Homeland Security is the principal Federal official for domestic incident management” (Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5, 2003, p.1)
As of 2014, DHS is comprised of seven agencies, three directorates, and a number of other divisions.. These components are organized in a flat model, with most reporting directly to the Secretary of DHS. The flat model may be a little confusing to some. “From the public’s perspective, partnerships if not clearly defined, risk blurring responsibility for the outcome of public programs” ( GAO-02-899T Homeland security, 2002, p. 8). The seven agencies are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)(Department Components, 2014). The three directorates are the DHS Management Directorate, the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate, and the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (Department Components, 2014). Penn examines the literature on homeland security and reiterates one point that the literature makes clear; “that homeland security is a local responsibility”(2007, p.86). We shall examine two of the directorates and their aid to local officials to support this local responsibility, the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPDD) and the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).
The NPDD defines it's vision as creating a “safe, secure, and resilient infrastructure where the American way of life can thrive. NPPD leads the national effort to protect and enhance the resilience of the nation’s physical and cyber infrastructure” (About the National Protection and Programs Directorate, 2014, para 1). NPDD is comprised of the following offices; the Federal Protective Service (FPS), the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), the Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA), the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), and the Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) (About the National Protection and Programs Directorate, 2014). One example of NPDD's support for local homeland security is in it's “Work with State and local officials to plan security for large public gatherings, such as Times Square New Year’s Eve, the Presidential Inauguration, and the Super Bowl” (NPPD at a glance, 2014, p.1).
S&T defines it's mission as “to deliver effective and innovative insight, methods and solutions for the critical needs of the Homeland Security Enterprise” (Our Work, n.d, para. 2). One example of the support that S&T provides for the local level has been the development of the Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) Apex program, which “envisions first responders who are protected, connected and fully aware, enabling faster, more efficient and safer response to threats and disasters “ (Apex Program: Next Generation First Responder , n.d., p.1); APEX was developed in conjuction with local agencies, including “over 250 federal, state and local first responders, responder associations” (Apex Program: Next Generation First Responder , n.d., p.1)

Caudle, S. L. (2009). National security strategies: Security from what, for whom, and by what means. Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, 6(1), 1–26. Retrieved February 24, 2015 from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=i3h&AN=38812015&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Department of Homeland Security. (2007). National strategy for homeland security: Homeland Security Council. Washington, D.C.

Homeland Security. (2014). About the National Protection and Programs Directorate, Retrieved April 20, 2015 from http://www.dhs.gov/about-national-protection-and-programs-directorate

Homeland Security. (n.d.). Apex Program: Next generation first responder. Retrieved April 20, 2015 from http://www.firstresponder.gov/TechnologyDocuments/Next%20Generation%20First%20Responder%20Apex%20Program%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

Homeland Security. (2014). Department components. Retrieved April 20, 2015 from http://www.dhs.gov/department-components

Homeland Security. (2014).NPPD at a glance. Retrieved April 20, 2015 from http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/nppd-at-a-glance-071614.pdf

Homeland Security. (n.d.). Our Work. Retrieved April 20, 2015 from http://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/our-work

Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5. (2003). Retrieved February 5, 2015 from http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Homeland%20Security%20Presidential%20Directive%205.pdf

Penn, E. B. (2007). Introduction: Homeland security and criminal justice - five years after 9/11. Criminal Justice Studies, 20(2), 81–89. http://doi.org/10.1080/14786010701396814

Pratt, R. J. (2004). Invasive threats to the American homeland. DTIC Document. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA486594

United States General Accounting Office. (2002). GAO-02-899T Homeland security: Intergovernmental coordination and partnership will be critical to success . Retrieved September 22, 2104 from http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02899t.pdf

My opinion is that the Coast Guard is the most sufficient to do it's assigned roles.  Admiral Loy states that "the Coast Guard--with its multiple missions, maritime expertise, military discipline, and civil law
enforcement authority--is a unique instrument of a broad strategy to ensure our nation's security. And
I believe that in its own way, it has become the harbinger of the future" (2001, para. 15).  I would add to that the Coast Guard has a long history of experience in just those roles.

The Border Patrol would have been my next choice, however, it has been hamstrung by an ideological agenda and prevented from doing it's role in the last few years.

The other agencies suffer from a confusion of roles and blurred responsibilities, as discussed in the GAO report in my original post.  I would assign them all a flat model of "last place" equally.

Loy, J. (2001, December). The Role of the Coast Guard in Homeland Security. Presented at the The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/the-role-of-the-coast-guard-in-homeland-security


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