In her article Homeland Security: Building a National Strategy, Ruth David (2002, p 1) argues that for a very long time the government of the United States overlooked or even ignores the increasing risks of terrorist attacks on the American population. This attitude made the country more vulnerable to external threats. The author points out that the September 11 attacks highlighted the defects in American homeland security.
In her opinion, the national security strategy should consist of the following components:
- crisis management;
- consequence management;
- attribution; and
Overall, it is possible to argue that Ruth David’s model is a good tool that should be used by policy-makers who need to prevent or minimize the threat of terrorist attacks. Its major advantage is that it stresses the importance of cooperation among governmental agencies, and this component was missing before 2001. This article contributes to a better understanding of national security strategies.
In turn, in his article Avoiding the Bear Trap Mark Lefcowits points out that the US government should develop ways of reducing expenses on homeland security. He explains these expenses by the fact many governmental agencies remain very bureaucratic and, most importantly, their efforts are poorly coordinated (Lefcowits, 2002, p 7).
To prove his argument, he mentions that many organizations, which are responsible for homeland security, have a very large paperweight and this makes them more cumbersome. One can say that the information presented in this article should not be underestimated since the bureaucracy is still rooted in many military organizations. Furthermore, effective cooperation is an indispensable condition for homeland security. Mark Lefcowits has raised very important issues to which policy-makers should pay more attention.
Governmental organizations also attempt to develop more effective ways of protecting American people from terrorist attacks. For instance, the reports issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) show that it is necessary to adopt more effective risk assessment and management strategies, especially if one is speaking about maritime security (2002, 2004).
According to this organization, ports can be chosen as targets by terrorists and at the present moment, the emergency response system should be further elaborated. These reports are important to that extent they are focusing on emergency management but they do not provide step-by-step guidelines for the prevention of terrorist attacks on ports. More practical recommendations are offered by the Department of Homeland Security (2004). This organization insists on container security programs, trade partnerships against terrorism, the adoption of international security codes, etc (DHS, 2004, p 5).
The instructions offered by this agency are much more oriented toward practical issues, and they seem to be more beneficial for the needs of port administrators. When speaking about maritime security, we should also refer to the article by Steve Dunham, who discusses ways of protecting ships from the attacks by swimmers and small boats (2004). He speaks an underwater surveillance system, the use of sensors and acoustic instruments (Dunham, 2004, p 3). This author emphasizes technology and prefers to discuss more practical aspects of maritime security.
On the whole, these articles show that homeland security is possible only if policy-makers, governmental organizations and private institutions join their efforts. This argument is particularly relevant when one is speaking about the development of strategies and the adoption of security standards.
David R. (2002) Homeland Security: Building a National Strategy. National Academy of Engineering, pp 1-3.
Department of Homeland Security. (2004) Secure Seas, Open Ports Keeping our waters safe, secure and open for business. Homeland Security, pp 1-7.
Dunham. S. (2004). Defending the Fleet in Harbor – Stevens Tech Studies Navy Antiterrorism and Force Protection Measures. Journal of Homeland Security, pp 1-6.
Lefcowitz. M. (2002). Homeland Defense: Avoiding the Bear Trap. Homeland Security. Web.
United States General Accountability Office. (2002) “Port Security: Nation Faces Formidable Challenges in Making New Initiatives Successful”. United States General Accounting Office, p 1-22.
United States General Accountability Office. (2004). Maritime Security: Better Planning Needed to Help Ensure an Effective Port Security Assessment Program. GAO, p 1-10.