At the beginning of the twenty-first century everything changed for the United States of America. Hundreds of people were forced to jump to their deaths. Four airplanes, used as suicidal attack vessels, quaked the earth and the Pentagon as they hit their targets. Thousands of people died as the towers fell. It all happened Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. Al-Qaeda, an Islamist militant group, was responsible for this brutal terrorist attack. It forced the United States to restructure the architecture of its own government in order to properly respond to a new terrorist threat. The US government had to consolidate “22 government agencies involving 180,000 employees, for the purpose of, as President George W. Bush stated, ‘ensuring that our efforts to defend this country are comprehensive and united’” (Mabee 386). In response to compromised national security, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created. The DHS is responsible for the coordination and unification of homeland security efforts in the United States (Kemp 28). In order to evaluate the success of the DHS I have to analyze whether it’s possible to prevent terrorism, if the US has been more secure since the DHS was created, and whether the DHS compromises our freedom to protect it. To begin with, the Department of Homeland Security uses the concept of virtuality to predict and prevent terrorist attacks. The DHS is “faced with unbounded and unlocatable threats [and] attempt to rein in the seemingly infinite opportunities for disaster into a matrix of predictable and measureable results” (Martin and Simon 283). The concept makes two primary assumptions: there is always a present threat and that it can be predicted and prevented (294). The DHS aims to prevent and alter attacks on US soil by allocating resources towards various response and training methods. The concept makes sense because since September 11th, 2001, terrorist threats became extremely real to normal life. With the constant assumption that there is a terrorist threat, as a nation there is a state of preparedness that can help put these threats into factors that can be organized. That allows the DHS to control threats effectively, which is the first step to prevent terrorism. Furthermore, does the concept actually work and give the Department of Homeland Security a full fillable purpose or was it created to give citizens a peace of mind? Since “the goal of all government officials during emergencies and disasters has always been to reduce loss of life and property,” the process for achieving this has been come more sophisticated since 9/11 (Kemp 28). I believe that these concepts work even after they became more sophisticated in the wake of a homeland terrorist attack. President Bush had a fantastic response with the formation of the DHS. It not only gives citizens a peace of mind, but the department has effective strategies that have actually worked. Implementations of National Warning Systems alert the nation during terrorist threats (29). This allows every citizen to be part of homeland security by helping raise suspicion. When an entire nation is ready and watching for a threat, it becomes easier to predict, diffuse, and stop terrorist attacks. This gives citizens a purpose rather than just peace of mind. Therefore, the final part to preventing terrorism is having citizens be assets to the defense of terrorism. The formation of the DHS was in direct response to a terrorist attack on friendly soil; its purpose to effectively formulate plans to prevent disasters. Relying on “threat, vulnerability, preparedness, information, action, and capabilities-based planning” the DHS can formulate strategies to protect the nation (Martin and Simon 284). It has been established after the devastating hit of 9/11, there is a constant threat of terror. The United States is always vulnerable because for the Department...
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