Review of Homeland Security Issues and Policies
A review of the 2003-Rand report reveals that a key issue that faced Homeland Security was lack of adequate resources at all levels of the government. This issue mandated the proper allocation and prioritization of the resources allocated by the federal government to responders at state and local levels with an aim of fostering a more lasting relationship between the new department and terrorism response community (Parachini, Davis, & Liston, 2003). It is noted that at this point, there had been no recommended policy on means to address the budgetary issues surrounding the enhancement of homeland security.
Among the security issues highlighted in the 2003 Rand report include intelligence and warning of threats or attacks, border and transportation security, domestic counterterrorism emergency preparedness and response, protection of critical infrastructures and Key assets, and catastrophic threats (Parachini, Davis, & Liston, 2003). The report indicates that following the September 11 attack, the administration developed policies to enhance better sharing of information among the FBI, intelligence community, and border security entities (Parachini, Davis, & Liston, 2003). The issue on border and transportation was covered in the National Strategy for Homeland Security, which proposed the consolidation of different government agencies in securing the borders and prevent the entry of terrorists.
The 2017 CRS report highlighted that since 2003, the federal government had allocated approximately $807 billion to Homeland Security (Painter, 2017). The resources were used to detect, deter, protect against, and respond to acts of terror. It indicated that the budgetary allocation for Homeland Security activities for 2016 was $71.7 billion. The budgetary allocation had expanded from $31.2 billion in 2003 to $63.5 billion in 2015 (Painter, 2017). The issues highlighted in the 2017 CRS report include homeland security and US intelligence community, counterterrorism and security management, border security and trade, disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and cybersecurity.
From the review of the 2013 Rand report and the 2017 CRS report, it can be identified that among the major hurdles that have been overcome is increased budgetary allocation to fund homeland securities. It is clear that there is more that needs to be done in relation to border security and cybersecurity issues.
Public Policies on Homeland Security
Among the key issues that public policies should address Homeland Security is border security. Border security has remained a contentious issue that has even shaped the nation’s political environment. There has been a debate on the nature of investments that are required to secure the U.S. border with Mexico (Nunez-Beto, 2018). The Border with Mexico has been porous to illegal immigrants and drug smuggling. Among the proposed strategies to enhance the security along this border, is the construction of a wall and use of advanced technology. Both of these strategies require resources to finance their effective implementation. It is indicated that the policymakers need to put resources into consideration. This will be critical in making improvements to the ability to detect narcotics at the point of entry (Nunez-Beto, 2018). A key point to note here is that the drug cartels are ruthless and very adaptive. This highlights the need to develop policies that emphasize technologies that can be flexible and relocatable to the land border. This approach will ensure that the border patrol agents can easily adapt to any improvised cartel strategy.
Another issue that should be thoroughly considered in the development of public policy is cybersecurity. The United States has increasingly become dependent on information and technology thereby, increasing the vulnerability of the nation to cybersecurity attacks. Among the sectors that are reliant on information technology include the banking sector, foo industry, water, energy, transportation, healthcare, and the military (Clark, Berson, & Lin, 2014). This highlights the dire need of developing cybersecurity policies. The nation’s cyberspace is vulnerable to attacks from different sources such as hackers, criminals, terrorists, and state actors. The allegation of cyber espionage in the last election is just but a pointer on the seriousness of this issue. The cybersecurity issue is made more complicated by the complex nature of modern IT systems and exposure to human weakness in making a judgment of what is safe or unsafe about a threat (Clark, Berson, & Lin, 2014). It is thus clear that cybersecurity requires a huge consideration in terms of political and policy-making processes.
Clark, D., Berson, T., & Lin, H. S. (2014). At the nexus of cybersecurity and public policy. Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council, Washington DC: The National Academies Press.
Nunez-Beto. (2018). Prioritizing Security at the US Border with Mexico. Rand. org. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/blog/2018/01/prioritizing-security-at-the-us-border-with-mexico.html.
Painter, W. (2017). Selected Homeland Security Issues in the 115th COngress. Congressional Research Services\.
Parachini, J. V., Davis, L. E., & Liston, T. (2003). Homeland Security. A Compendium of Public and Private Organizations’ Policy Recommendations. Rand Corp Arlington VA National Security Research Div.
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