National Strategy for Protection of Critical Infrastructure and Key Assets
National strategies are meant to assist the government and other parties to deal with the implementation of the plan to combat terrorism. The national strategies were formed to assist U.S in combating and preventing terrorism. After September 11, attack several national strategies were set to combat terrorism. The physical infrastructure strategy is a commitment of the government to protect critical infrastructure and assets from terrorists attacks. This strategy defines critical infrastructure as the physical assets that are of high value and provide services that are of great importance to the community. Critical infrastructures refer to those assets in which the government and public have high investments such as telecommunication, road infrastructures and health facilities in a country.
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Key assets include physical historical sites, prominent national symbols and key individuals that deserve protection because of their destructive potential or their value to the community (Ritter et al, 2007). This paper looks into the physical strategy adopted regarding investment in such facilities, as well as the related or associated assets.
Such a strategy will mainly involve three objectives. The first objective is to protect infrastructure and key assets by combating terrorism. Critical infrastructure and assets involves a shared responsibility among various players. This objective ensures that there are collaborative efforts from stakeholders in safeguarding the physical infrastructures of a country. The department of homeland security has been designated as the primary unit to organize the cooperation of all the parties involved in the protection of the infrastructure and the key assets. The national strategy of the department of homeland security has been mandated with enhancing protection and combating terrorism.
In doing so, the department has been dealing with each critical infrastructure individually addressing the challenges it faces in trying to protect it (Homeland Security, 2011). The other objective of the national strategy is to provide timely warning and assure protection of this infrastructure and assets. It is also the objective of the national strategy to encourage collaboration of federal, state, local government and private sector in the protection of critical infrastructure and assets that can be targeted by terrorists. The department of homeland security emphasizes that the protection of the infrastructure cannot be achieved by the federal government alone but it calls for cooperation of all sectors (Homeland Security, 2011).
The national strategy for the protection of critical infrastructure and assets identifies the possible effects that terrorists can impose. These are classified as direct infrastructure effects whereby terrorists can directly attack a critical nodule, purpose or system of infrastructure or asset. Indirect effects include disturbance of function and the financial consequences that the government and private sector will go through after the attack. The other effect of terrorists is the misuse of infrastructure whereby terrorists use infrastructure to destroy another target.
This strategy has eight guiding principles. This includes duty and responsibility, encouraging and facilitating participation of government and private industries. The guiding principles will aid in combating terrorism. They also include assuring the public safety, confidence, and services; promote international collaboration, development of technology and proficiency to combat threats, safeguard privacy and constitutional freedom and facilitating significant cooperation. Every terrorism attack has a national impact and, therefore, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the objectives and guiding principles are followed to combat terrorism (Ritter et al, 2007).
The national strategy for the protection of critical infrastructure and key assets clearly outlines the role of federal governments in combating terrorism. The roles include taking account of the infrastructure and ensuring they are properly prepared in case of attacks, creating interconnected policies and programs, providing good incentives to encourage stakeholders to take part in the protection of infrastructures.
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It is also its role to develop protection standards, guidelines and protocols to be followed to achieve the goals of national strategy. The federal government is also responsible for promoting education and creating awareness of terrorism and preparedness. The national strategy also identifies the federal departments and agencies that should be actively involved in protection. The roles of federal departments and agencies are to assist the local government, industries and private sector in their effort to combat terrorism.
They are to assist in trying to find the methodologies and practices, encouraging voluntary information sharing among the local and private sectors. They are also assigned with the role of conducting and organizing protection, continuity of government planning and operations in creating awareness of threats to the community. The department of homeland security has the role of ensuring implementation of all the policies in the national strategy of critical infrastructure and key assets (Ritter et al, 2007).
The role of the private sector has been defined as taking responsibility for risk management planning and investing in security as it is necessary for business continuity and customer security. This is to ensure that businesses continue in their operations that are important for economic development. The private sector should, therefore, reassess and adjust their planning and invest in programs to be prepared since the acts of terrorism have increased. The national strategy for the protection of critical infrastructure and key assets also creates allocation of resources and planning for combating terrorism (Ritter et al, 2007).
Homeland Security (2011). Preliminary Observations on Efforts to Target Security Inspections of Cargo Containers GAO-04-325T. Web.
Ritter et al, (2007). Securing Global Transport Networks. New York: McGraw hill professional.