Homeland security


Homeland security

The term "homeland security" refers to the broad national effort by all levels of government to protect its territory from hazards, both internal and external, natural and man-made. The term is most often used in the United States; elsewhere, "national security" has more usage. The term is also used to refer to the United States Department of Homeland Security itself.

In the United States

In the United States, the concept of "homeland security" extends and recombines responsibilities of several government agencies and entities, including the United States National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the United States Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, and Civil Air Patrol. The George W. Bush administration has consolidated many of these activities under the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a new cabinet department established as a result of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. However, much of the nation's homeland security activity remains outside of DHS; for example, the FBI and CIA are not part of the Department, and other agencies such as the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services play a significant role in certain aspects of homeland security. Homeland security is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council, currently headed by Frances Townsend.

Homeland security is officially defined by the National Strategy for Homeland Security as "a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur". [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/book/index.html The National Strategy For Homeland Security ] ] Because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it also has responsibility for preparedness, response, and recovery to natural disasters.

The term became prominent in the United States following the September 11, 2001 attacks; it had been used only in limited policy circles prior to these attacks. The phrase "security of the American homeland" appears in the 1998 report " [http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/visions/publication/terrorism.htm Catastrophic Terrorism: Elements of a National Policy] " by Ashton B. Carter, John M. Deutch, and Philip D. Zelikow.

Homeland security is also usually used to connote the civilian aspect of this effort; "homeland defense" refers to its military component, led chiefly by the U.S. Northern Command headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The scope of homeland security includes:
* Emergency preparedness and response (for both terrorism and natural disasters), including volunteer medical, police, Emergency Management and fire personnel;
* Domestic intelligence activities, largely today within the FBI;
* Critical infrastructure protection;
* Border security, including both land and maritime borders;
* Transportation security, including aviation and maritime transportation;
* Biodefense;
* Detection of radioactive and radiological materials;
* Research on next-generation security technologies.

Criticism

Conflicts exist between bodies of international law (ratified by the United States or not) and those applied under "homeland security". One example is the notion of "unlawful combatant". [Human Rights Brief: A Legal Resource for the International Human Rights Community http://www.wcl.american.edu/hrbrief/09/3guantanamo.cfm] The United States government has created a new status that would exclude prisoners captured by a military force from coverage under the Geneva Convention. While the United States has only been a signatory to portions of the Geneva Convention,Fact|date=September 2008 much international law is based upon it.

Outside the United States

Other nations around the world have also reorganized government activities consistent with homeland security. For example, in 2003 Canada created a Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness led by Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan. Many European nations' homeland security efforts are led by their interior ministries, and they are increasingly coordinating their homeland security activities at the European Commission. The Labor Party in Australia had at one point called for the creation of an Australian Department of Homeland Security. Similarly, the Conservative Party opposition in the United Kingdom has called for the creation of a Department of Homeland Security. [ [http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=news.story.page&obj_id=128321 Jones: Safeguarding our security - News Story - Conservative Party ] ]

ee also

* Airport security
* Civil defense
* High policing
* National security
* Port security
* Supply chain security

References

Further reading

*United States. Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives. (2008). "Compilation of homeland security presidential directives (HSPD)" [110th Congress, 2nd Session. Committee Print 110-B] . Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

External links

* [http://www.hlswatch.com/ HLSWatch.com] : Homeland Security Watch policy and current events resource
* [http://city-journal.org/2008/18_1_homeland_security.html Rudy Giuliani, 'The Resilient Society,' "City Journal," Winter 2008]
* [http://www.hsdailywire.com HS Daily Wire]
* [http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/book/ U.S. National Strategy for Homeland Security]
* [http://www.carlisle.army.mil/library/bibs/homesec06.pdf Homeland Security: A Selected Bibliography]
* [http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/ Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports on homeland security]
* [http://www.gao.gov/docsearch/featured/homelandsecurity.html Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports on homeland security]
* [http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-hmld.htm Comprehensive homeland security links (USAF Air War College site)]
* [http://www.psepc-sppcc.gc.ca/index-en.asp Canadian Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness]
* [http://www.homelandsecurity.org/bulletin/current_bulletin.htm Homeland Security Institute weekly bulletin]
* [http://www.hsaj.org/ Homeland Security Affairs]
* [http://www.hstoday.us HSToday]
* [http://www.homelandsecurityweekly.com Homeland Security Weekly]
* [http://www.nationalterroralert.com National Terror Alert Response Center]
* [http://www.checkpointUSA.org Website on Homeland Security Roadblocks within USA & Civil Liberties Concerns]


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