Establishment of the Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security was established after the 9/11 attacks to combat terrorism. The day 11 September 2001 is a day that will be engrained in American history forever. On this day, 19 militants extensively trained by al-Qaeda, executed a coordinated attack against the United States, killing 2,977 people. Before the attacks, the federal government had not taken sufficient precaution to deter terrorism, and these attacks caused an immense amount of backlash from Americans. Why was the government not prepared for an attack like this? Why did the government grant the possibility for an invasion of this stature? There was an exceptionally negative response from the American people targeted at the government’s counter-terrorism policies, which propelled the government to reshape their counter-terrorism strategies drastically.
Researchers and government officials exceedingly increased their interest and funding for anti-terrorism policies and studies. Terrorism was now regarded as a significant problem in contemporary society, and the government enacted various policies to assist in preventing future attacks. Major corporations such DHS were founded solely because of the 9/11 attacks and which continue to prosper and provide security to the American people today. Counter-terrorism post 9/11 significantly improved compared to counter-terrorism pre 9/11 by increasing the national security and deterring terrorism. DHS was created under the Bush administration in 2003 as a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The agency’s primary goal is increasing the security of the United States by preventing terrorist organizations and proactively deterring other various types of hazards.
Structure of the Department of Homeland Security
The DHS is comprised of 22 differing agencies that serve different purposes in their mission to protect American citizens from terrorist attacks (Oliver, Marion and Hill, 2019). The DHS recognizes that most terrorist attacks have no clear political or ideological motive; therefore, their mission is to uncover possible reasons and to discover ways to future deter terrorism. The department is administered under the supervision and directives of the Secretary of Homeland Security who is appointed by a sitting president. The secretary works in conjunction with a deputy secretary. The next on the chain of command in a top-down management style is the chief of staff, executive secretary, military advisor and department’s secretaries. The primary agencies in DHS include; Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), United States Secret Service (USSS), United States Coast Guard (USCG), United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) was designed to better secure the borders against the illegal entry of immigrants (Oliver, Marion and Hill, 2019). Though ICE was not enacted solely for terrorism, it drastically assists in preventing international terrorism by capturing terrorists at the border. Transport Security Administration (TSA) fixates on developing tactics to protect passengers by minimizing terrorist threats. The TSA made screening baggage and travellers a necessity. Before 9/11, only five per cent of checked bags were screened, whereas all are screened today. The USSS is charged with investigating financial crimes related to finance of terrorist acts. USSS also protects senior government officials. The USCG role is to provide marine protection against potential threats to America’s coast, inland waterways and ports. CPB generates actionable information to potentially prevent criminal acts and coordinates counter-terrorism activities at 328 points of entry into the US. FEMA is responsible for coordinating rescue operations to natural and human-made disasters such as the 9/11 attacks. USCIS role is to handle immigration and granting citizenship to foreign citizens through naturalization, reducing the chances of a terrorist getting into the US.