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The Department of Homeland Security was created in the aftermath of September 11th terrorist attacks, ensuring the citizens of the United States they are doing something about the attack and preventing any future terrorist attacks. Focusing largely on federal preparations to deal with terrorism; with the duties of aviation security, border control, emergency response, cyber security, and customs and management. In addition, even though the Department of Homeland Security was created for the good, there are still many threats towards the department today. Threats against the Department of Homeland Security are militant failed states, cyber terrorist, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals.
Threats to Homeland Security
What is the Department of Homeland Security? According to the dictionary, the Department of Homeland Security could be defined as, “the department of U.S. federal government charged with protecting U.S. territory from terrorist attacks and providing a coordinated response to large- scale emergencies.” The Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of the aftermath of September 11th terrorist attacks against the world trade center and the pentagon. The United States was in an uproar and its citizens needed reassurance of its country protection. The DHS was the United States reassurance of protecting its nation from any future attempted attacks on the U.S. Since then the Department of Homeland Security have added many services to their team, which may help with the certain specialty we may be facing. The DHS is also back upped by operational and support components, leaderships, advisory panels and committees and the many different departments that makes up the department. Furthermore, even though the Department of Homeland Security was made as a safety net for the United States, it still faces many threats and amongst those are militant failed states, cyber terrorists, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals. The mission of the DHS is with honor and integrity, they will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values. “We are under attack from people who hate us, hate our freedoms, hate our laws, hate our values, hate the way we simply live our lives,” (DHS, 2017).
To begin with, the threats the Department of Homeland Security have face in the past, present, and maybe the near future are militant failed states, cyber terrorist, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals. First, we have the militant failed states as a threat to the Department of Homeland Security and the meaning of a failed state. Militant failed states could be defined as a state whose political or economic system has become weak and vulnerable, thus for being the safe place for terrorist organizations. In addition, when the government no longer has control of its people things tend to become hectic and that is a drive for terrorist organizations. For example, you have a small city in Iraq, and you have the different groups killing off officials and finding different lost souls who don’t know what to do, to come and join your group that makes threats against another country such as the United States, with the promise of a better future. With their mind being so vulnerable because of the state of their country they will do it with no hesitation, thus making failed states one of the biggest threats against the United States. Although, it is said that a foreign government can also destabilize a state by fueling ethnic warfare and supporting rebel forces, causing the state to collapse. Furthermore, one of the real life events we as American had to face of a failed state, was when the attack happened on the world trade by an Islamic violent extremist group. “Even the role of failed states in global terrorism may have been overstated. To start, terrorism is only a problem in failed states with significant Muslim populations,” (Traub, 2011). All in all, that turn of events shows you the cause of terrorist organizations behavior, when they have become a failed state.
Next, we have cyber terrorists as a major threat against the Department of Homeland Security. Cyber terrorism can be defined as a terrorist act in the form of technological devices or communications and is mainly performed through the internet. For example, you have a terrorist in a foreign country who is attempting to hack into the United States database, an attempt to disclose the countries personal information worldwide. This may cause a large disarray in the United States thus making us more vulnerable to future cyberattacks. “Leaders from the Department of Homeland Security have said the largest threat to the United States is no longer terrorism, but cyberattacks,” (Lynch, 2018). The United States has faced numerous cyber-attacks in the past from different foreign countries. In November of 2014, the North Korean Government launched an attack on Sony Entertainment; over a film that was produced depicting North Korea in a negative light. “The hackers took terabytes of private data and released confidential information to the public as well as a number of Sony movies,” (Walters, 2015). All in all, with the future of technological advancement cyber terrorism is a threat that many think will always be around.
Furthermore, we have vicious smugglers as a threat against the department of Homeland Security. For as long as one could remember, the United States has had terrorists trying to transport illegal goods into the country in many ways. The different types of goods that can be illegal are weaponry, drugs, deadly bombs, and even as far as terrorists. “ICE-HIS agents busted Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldairi, 31, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Aldairi is accused of smuggling at least six migrants from Yemen across the Texas border through Mexico, from his base in Monterrey, between July 1 and December 12, 2017,” (Bensman, 2018). For example, some cartel leaders hire different truck drivers to transport these different types of illegal goods into the United States, that is stored in normal types of cargo packages to hide it in a way no one will think to consider it being illegal goods being transported. Vicious smuggling is something that does not just happen everyone once and a while, but to happen on a daily basis. There are many everyday trying to cross at U.S. borders with illegal goods and bring them into the United States. In reality everyone does not get caught and are sly enough to make it past the Border Patrol officers, and able to release these illegal goods into the United States. In relation to the informational interview, it brings up Robert Smith’s thought surrounding homeland security, “I think everyone plays an important role, whether it is your designated area of service or not. He feels as if everyone is responsible if they see something, report it or say something to someone who will know what to do. Whether it is from someone that works for the community or a citizen of the community, we all play a role,” (Smith, 2018).
Lastly, we have sadistic radicals being one of the major threats against the Department of Homeland Security. Sadistic radicals could be looked at as individuals within different political parties or organizations performing acts of violence and having extreme pleasure from these acts. When individuals have a sick mind such as this, it is hard to control their violent acts without someone getting hurt. Sadistic radicals are an extreme threat to the Department of Homeland Security, because of the hate many individuals in different countries have towards the United States. “They are utterly without laws, conscience, or respect for human life,” (DHS, 2018). Sadistic radicals are individuals, the United States should fear the most because of their need to want to cause harm to others and finds it appealing. Those types of individuals you cannot control and will always be around somewhere.
Why is the threat to homeland security a problem? When you have a country that has so much power in political form or any form for that matter it creates threatening situations for other foreign countries. “DHS has started to address vulnerabilities to the nation’s critical infrastructure by standing up the National Risk Management Center in July,” (Bernstein, 2018). Furthermore, some may say being a powerful and successful country automatically come with threats, thus making it a part of the territory. As stated in above paragraphs the most talked about threats of the past and present are militant failed states, cyber terrorists, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals. The most common reasons why all four of these are the most talked about threat because it something that can cause the worst harm and damage to the United States as a whole. Each threat targets different parts of the country, militant failed states target vulnerable souls to perform out terrorist acts against different political parties. Then, you have cyber terrorists, who target the United States using technology. Next, you have vicious smugglers, who are targeting our streets to overload it with drugs, weaponry, bombs and illegal immigrants who are trying to cause harm. Lastly, you have the sadistic radicals who target any and everyone that may cause them pleasure to perform violent acts towards them. In conducting my informational interview, one thing that was discovered was that all departments within homeland security are designed to ensure the safety of its citizens through any type of disaster but mainly being threats to the nations well-being.
In conclusion, homeland security can be described as the nations attempt to prevent any future terrorist attacks against the United States. Being that Department of Homeland Security was created due to the catastrophic event on September 11th that brought the nation at its feet. According to the textbook the different U.S. intelligence agencies were not sharing essential information. “The 9/11 commission report cited a number of reasons for this including structural barriers, divided management, lack of common practices, and excessive secrecy,” (Badey, 2014). The four major threats against the Department of Homeland Security are militant failed states, cyber terrorists, vicious smugglers and sadistic radicals. Militant failed states are normally countries who have no political leaders to keep its nation in order causing chaos and terrorist organizations to form because of it vulnerable and weak state. Next, we have cyber terrorists who chooses to target the United States through technological advances mainly being the internet. Then, we have vicious smugglers, who have attempted to transport illegal goods into the United States, such as drugs, bombs, and weaponry. Lastly, we have sadistic radicals who find pleasure in performing violent acts towards others; also more than likely will belong to a smaller extremist group. To prevent these forms of threats the DHS is building homeland security enterprises, and improving screening for passengers, and the enhancement of screening for cargo and baggage. According to the Department of Homeland Security, fear monger strategies proceed to develop, and we should keep pace. Fear based oppressors look for refined methods for assault, including concoction, organic, radiological, atomic and dangerous weapons, and digital assaults. Dangers may originate from abroad or be homegrown. (DHS, 2015)
In reflection of my final paper, I view the threats to the Department of Homeland Security as foreign countries attempt to destroy us as a nation in any way possible. As stated in above paragraphs any country that has a lot of power may always be a target of threat. In all honesty I feel as if the United States has a lot of success and power which makes it vulnerable to other countries to attack. Furthermore, if the United States was considered a failed state as some other foreign countries we would be less of a target. It also makes you wonder if we were a failed state, if we would act in such a manner as these other foreign countries. In relation to the above statement about the U.S. intelligence agencies not sharing essential information, may have been part of the cause for the 9/11 attack. I would recommend a change in strategy of sharing information between intelligence agencies to eliminate the threat as much as possible. I like to think of it as a relationship, without good communication between everyone may cause problems in the end. Thus for, bringing me back to the term of leadership, in agreeance with Robert Smith Manatee County Government Public Safety director in his statement, leadership is knowing how to build an effective team and have the resources to accomplish the mission and helping go around obstacles. I feel as if this relates to the Department of Homeland Security because they are building effective teams to get the mission complete and eliminating threats as soon as possible. Furthermore, in actuality nothing is perfect, and there is always room for improvement, with that being said we have a lot to improve in if we want to eliminate these threats as much as possible. These improvements can consist in the form of communication, the hiring of more border patrol agents, and devices that may be placed into these foreign countries that can drop into any conversations that these violent extremist groups are having. The Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of a disaster and it must continue to serve because of the many threats the United States is facing on a day to day basis. This brings me to a close, saying we must help protect our country from these militant failed states, cyber terrorist, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals and any other posing threat we may face.
- Badey, T. (2014). Threats to Homeland Security. In Homeland Security (3rd ed., pp. 36-38). McGraw Hill Education.
- Bensman, T. (2018, August 13). Two Recent Smuggling Cases Provide a Rare Glimpse of a Terrorism Threat at the Southwest Border and What ICE Is Doing About It. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://cis.org/Bensman/Two-Recent-Smuggling-Cases-Provide-Rare-Glimpse-Terrorism-Threat-Southwest-Border-and-What
- Bernstein, L. (2018, October 10). Threats to homeland security ‘have never been greater or more diverse’. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from threats-to-homeland-security-election-interference-digital
- Home and Away: DHS and the Threats to America. (2017, April 18). Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/04/18/home-and-away-dhs-and-threats-america
- Lynch, J. (2018, September 11). On 9/11 anniversary, DHS says cyber threat has eclipsed terrorism. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.fifthdomain.com/civilian/dhs/2018/09/11/on-911-anniversary-dhs-says-cyber-threat-has-eclipsed-terrorism/
- Smith, R. (2018, December 01). Informational Interview: Public Safety [Telephone interview].
- Traub, J. (2011, June 20). Think Again: Failed States. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/06/20/think-again-failed-states/
- Walters, R. (2015, November 18). Cyber Attacks on U.S. Companies Since November 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.heritage.org/cybersecurity/report/cyber-attacks-us-companies-november-2014
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