The US employs a federal state of governance to manage and secure the totality of the individual states as mandated by the Constitution. The federal government’s headquarters is centered in the White House in Washington, D.C. The government is divided into three separate sectors, each with a well-defined role: (1) executive branch, defines the role of the president and his body and the limit to their powers; (2) legislative branch, is a bicameral form consisting of the House of Representatives/Congress and the House of the Senate and is generally concerned with passing of laws and amendments; (3) legislative branch, acts as the forecourt in judging state matters and decision-making on any matters, whether executive or legislative regarding US Constitution.
The US Constitution dictum includes freer reign in each individual states meaning that in the federal government, the powers are limited because they are heavily limited and separated in each individual state. Each branch is separated into agencies and smaller branches with a definitive role.
US being an industrial and a political giant would be an important target for those who aim to undermine its power. External conflicts, counterterrorism attacks, and mitigation of related disasters are major fora for homeland security. The Executive Office of the President houses 17 councils and since the power vested in the president, aside from being the “head of the state”, is the military chief –command, then it is concluded that the “decision-making” regarding national security befalls upon him.
There are three offices of import to his role as the military chief-in-command: (1) Homeland Security Council (2) National Security Council and (3) Whitehouse Military Office. Understand that in the insidious role of protecting the homeland security, the council enacted for this task is the Homeland Security Council but this does not mean it is responsible for the safety alone since it harmoniously relates with the National Security Council and the Intelligence and the military to produce and ensure maximum homeland security.
The HSC was established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 under Executive Order 13228 last October 8, 2001 as a protective and legal response to the attack on the twin towers. The main quota of the act is to guarantee synchronization among executive departments and federal agencies regarding combating terrorism and ensuring homeland security. It is spearheaded by the President with attendees like the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, Director of National Intelligence, and other “heads” of agencies are invited to attend the meetings.
Currently the homeland security and counterterrorism advisor is Miss Frances Townsend; she facilitates the HSC meetings and the thirty-five member-staff and accepts the and organizes the reports from staff pertaining to (1) peripheral security, (2) biochemical defense, (3) continuity of operations between agencies, (4) emergency preparedness (5) anticipation of ‘events’, and (6) nuclear defense. She works hand in hand with the Assistant for the National Security Affairs in combating terrorism.
Naturally, homeland security would involve that of the United States Intelligence Community (production and dissemination of intelligence) and the Military of the US (civilian protection). The Intelligence is subdivided into three, namely, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Security Agency (NSA); and the Military Unit, into four, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard. Their executive heads work hand in hand with HSC and the transfer of information and job relation of the various agencies all assist in the rendering of the task of bringing about homeland security.
Bush’s National Strategy for Homeland Security, which was amended in October 2007, aims to target security at two levels: (1) terrorist and non-terrorist attacks which may have implications for the security and (2) offense and defense on the face of terrorism. The conceptual framework on the Strategy is based on the following goals: (1) avert terrorist attacks; (2) protect state members, assets, properties, resources; (3) counteract incidents; and (4) strengthening the foundation to for long-term success.
With so many levels or branches of government, would it still be possible for an effective management and delivery of homeland security system? Bush’s strategy and to achieve that of the fourth goal, proposed for a comprehensive Homeland Security Management System at the national, state and tribal level using the scheme guide-plan-assess-execute-evaluate. All complementary processes and practices must be implicated at all levels, employ multidisciplinary education opportunities, use s & t and governmental influences, and working hand-in hand with the Congress.
There are problems regarding this area although this is highly resolvable by an ingenius shift of high-performance information technology between sectors. The e-government, as we may call it can facilitate, a more clear connection between the hundreds of agencies whose roles are rather overlapping and who must maintain thousands of information across the different bureaus. This may also facilitate not only more efficient communication between government agency channels but as well as mediated response between the members of the state and the government.
The E-government strategy as an agenda for improving efficiency across homeland security channels may facilitate for a good protective homeland security measures in addition to the branching, structure of the Homeland Security.
Forman, M.(2002). E-Government Strategy. Retrieved Dec 17, 2008 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg/egovstrategy.pdf.
Homeland Security Council. (2007). Retrieved Dec 17, 2008 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/