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US Homeland Security Strategies and Structures

Do you believe that the U.S. government is properly organized or structured to accomplish the six critical mission areas defined in the 2002 version of the National Strategy for Homeland Security, or the four goals outlined in the 2007 version? Why or why not?

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The U.S. government is ready to accomplish the major missions defined in the 2002 and 2007 versions of the National Strategy for Homeland Security. The latter version of the document is more comprehensive, which enables the U.S. government to better respond to various threats. Secretary Napolitano reports that the U.S. government has the necessary tools to respond to the various threats (Homeland Security, 2011). The U.S. government, as well as other federal entities, is coordinated in accordance with the mentioned missions. Now there are no strict distinctions between various threats (be it international or domestic terrorism, immigration or border security, etc.). This makes the federal entities more informed and ready to respond. Various federal entities and governmental departments cooperate in responding to various incidents.

There are numerous versions or iterations of national strategies relating to homeland security or national security. What do all these really mean in practical terms to emergency first responders at the state or local levels, including National Guard forces? Do these strategies remain valid or relevant in our current situation today?

Notably, national strategies to national or homeland security are critical for emergency first responders. These documents outline the major principles of homeland and national security. Emergency first responders, as well as other citizens, can clearly understand the major patterns (Homeland Security Council, 2007). Now there is a shared responsibility, i.e. all departments and federal entities (as well as each citizen) will obtain the necessary information about the situation. Besides, national strategies define particular areas to pay attention to. Admittedly, these documents also provide important information that helps people to have a complete picture. Therefore, emergency first responders (e.g., National Guard) can easily prioritize numerous tasks. Identifying priorities can help to effectively respond to different situations. Notably, different versions reflect the changes which are taking place in the world. Thus, the 2002 version is often regarded as somewhat out-of-date, while the 2007 version of the National Strategy for Homeland Security fits the demands of the contemporary world.

Which of Bellavita’s alternate definitions of homeland security described in the Course Introduction and Overview or any other sources seems most accurate or compelling to you, and why, or would you prefer a different definition of homeland security?

Bellavita (2008) provides seven alternate definitions of homeland security. Some of them are quite one-sided. It is possible to note that only one of them can be regarded as complete. This definition addresses all possible threats: “Homeland security is an element of national security that works with the other instruments of national power to protect the sovereignty, territory, domestic population, and critical infrastructure of the United States against threats and aggression” (Bellavita, 2008, p.2). Therefore, there is no specific emphasis on a particular threat (e.g., terrorism). However, this definition presupposes that the state should take into account various scenarios to prevent any kind of catastrophe, be it a military attack, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, etc. Admittedly, it is unacceptable to focus on a specific problem, as other issues can be missed, which can lead to various negative outcomes. In simple terms, if the state focuses on terrorist attacks, it can be unprepared for other hazards.

Do you believe homeland security is a valid or legitimate academic discipline? Why or why not?

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According to Homeland Security Council (2007), homeland security should be regarded as a legitimate discipline. It is impossible to disagree. This discipline can help train professionals who will work in the area. These professionals will understand the major trends in the field; they will know the history of homeland security; they will come up with appropriate plans which can be employed to address this or that hazard. Now those involved in the development of homeland security strategies can feel a lack of knowledge or skills, which is inappropriate in the contemporary world. There can be no doubt that homeland security is a legitimate discipline as it will ‘produce’ professionals who have the necessary (comprehensive) knowledge from the very start.

Reference List

Bellavita, C. (2008). Changing homeland security: What is homeland security? Homeland Security Affairs 4(2), 1-30. Web.

Homeland Security. (2011). State of America’s homeland security address. Web.

Homeland Security Council. (2007). National Strategy for Homeland Security. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'US Homeland Security Strategies and Structures'. 5 February.

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