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Homeland Security Essay

I. Topic: The United States Homeland Security and The War on Terrorism
II. Thesis Statement: Homeland Security plays a major role in the war on terror.

Topic Sentences
1. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 reduces the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism.
2. The Department of Homeland Security was created for the war on terror.
3. The role of the Homeland Security Committee.
4. The history of the United States on foreign policy.
5. How terrorists communicate what they want to accomplish.
6. The study of Foreign Intelligence.
7. The Increasing Need for Domestic Intelligence.
8. How security benefits from intelligence.
9. The United States is strengthening our Nuclear Security.
10. How the U.S. is fighting the war on terror.
11. Conclusion

The Homeland Security Act

Created by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks the United States Department of Homeland Security is the largest federal government reorganization since the Department of Defense was created via the National Security Act of 1947. The new department assumed a large number of services, offices and other organizations previously conducted in other departments, such as the Customs Service, Coast Guard, and U.S. Secret Service. The Department of Homeland Security was created for the war on terror The primary mission of the Department is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States. Homeland Security reduces the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism. It also minimizes the damage, and assists in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States.

The role of the Homeland Security Committee

Homeland Security Committee States that

The Committee on Homeland Security was created by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. The Committee was first formed as a select, non-permanent Committee, to provide Congressional oversight over the development of the Department of Homeland Security. The Committee was made permanent when it was designated as a Standing Committee of the House on January 4, 2005, the first day of the 109th Congress. The Committee will be made up of 21 Democratic Members of Congress there is currently one vacancy, led by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), and 13 Republican Members of Congress, led by Ranking Member Peter T. King (R-NY).

Frances Townsend currently heads the committee.

Trudeau states that “President George W. Bush said We’re under attack because we love freedom, is why we’re under attack. And our enemy hates freedom. They hate and we love. We differ from our enemy because we love. We not only love our freedoms and love our values, we love life itself. Our enemy hates innocent life.” (2002)

The history of the United States on Foreign Policy

Because of its role as a major world superpower, the United States must carefully consider its national foreign policy goals. Although they may be carried out very differently from administration to administration, the primary goals of American foreign policy are most effective when they remain constant over time. Historically, the United States has pursued a number of foreign policy goals, but one goal has been and continues to be a primary goal of every generation is national security. The Realists point to several factors that demonstrate the importance of national security. They begin by declaring that humans are naturally aggressive and instinctively fight one another. This human tendency reveals the inevitable nature of war. The Cold War which was a period of strong change starting in 1945 led America into a geopolitical mindset for the first time in American history. This period made national security and military affairs the center of focus for America.

This gave way to the idea of national security being a strong focal point of the American agenda. It made it equally as important as anything else did on the agenda. Also the United States was now a state of mobilization. The armed forces would now and always be at a striking force. All of the changes were something new to the people of America but it was an idea that was not only accepted it was expected. The same rings true with 9/11 in relation to the role of America. Our sole focus is national security and to put our military at a point of being called upon any second. The United States has embraced the idea that things have changed and are willing to do whatever possible to prevent future events of this magnitude. Another characteristic that the Cold War Period and 9/11 hold in common is that both were a pervasive political and military competition that dominated international politics.

On September 11, 2001 terrorism became a reality! There is no way for the United States to prevent future attacks on Americans without working as a coalition force with the other nations to identify, track, and eliminate terrorist networks around the world. One of the main problems with fighting a war on terrorism is that the nations of the world have become accustomed to working alone as individuals vice working together. The United States will need to change its approach in order to conquer the worldwide threat of terrorism. The way to defeat terrorism at home and around the world is to form an international counter-terrorist task force.

In order to prevent future acts of terrorism on the United States and around the globe, the free-nations of the world will have to come together and form a large task force to counter against the terrorist threat. The main problem with forming a world wide counter-terrorist headquarters is that there is no one single definition of terrorism. Each country has a definition of the word “terrorism” based on the political stance that the country takes on use of force. The United Nations must first come up with a clear definition of terrorism in order to facilitate the creation of an international counter-terrorist organization. How Terrorists communicate what they want to accomplish

Terrorists kill for a reason. The reason is to communicate a message that will instill fear in the enemy government and demoralize it. The strategy of terrorists is to provoke the government into repressive measures in the hope that this will cause a revolt.

The Study of Foreign Intelligence

The study of foreign intelligence has demonstrated that the purpose of intelligence is to acquire information necessary to apply governmental power with greater precision and that as the need for application of government power increases, so does the need for intelligence. Domestically, terrorist threats to homeland security will be countered by government power used by various domestic security agencies, and the newly created domestic intelligence programs will enable them to apply their powers with greater force and precision. As technological capabilities inevitably grow threats to homeland security will increase in the future, and the need for domestic intelligence will increase.

The Increasing Need for Domestic Intelligence

Homeland security will require greater levels of domestic intelligence in the future. Foreign intelligence has indicated that the purpose of intelligence both foreign and domestic is to facilitate precise application of governmental power. Countering terrorism has increased the need to collect domestic intelligence, but threats to domestic security will increase even more in the future due to growth in technological capacities. As the use of power increases to counter these threats, domestic intelligence capabilities must also increase so that the power is applied effectively. American officials created a permanent intelligence community to warn policymakers of threats to national security.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had such a detrimental effect on American perceptions of security that after World War II ended, policymakers decided to create for the first time in the nation’s history a permanent bureaucracy intended to prevent any future surprise attacks or other strategic surprises. Historically, intelligence capabilities had been organized to provide targeted military information to commanders because losing wars held such disastrous consequences. The United States was the last major power to get into the intelligence analysis business. It was thought that it wasn’t necessary because two great oceans protected America from foreign dangers.

Marrin states that

The attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent American involvement in World War II changed the United States’ need for and use of intelligence. During World War II, the United States increased its overseas presence, and this necessitated the creation of a global intelligence capability commensurate with the United States’ expanded global role. After World War II ended, American political leaders decided that the United States needed an intelligence agency capable of integrating disparate pieces of information distributed throughout the military and other government agencies to prevent another Pearl Harbor. As a result, in 1947 the Central Intelligence Agency was created to prevent future surprise attacks by focusing on threats to national security. (2003)

How security benefits from Intelligence

The primary security benefit of intelligence is that it enables power to be applied with greater precision and with less collateral damage. The role of intelligence is the collection and analysis of information to find out who the terrorists are and what they are up to. Knowledge can make the application of power more effective, but knowledge alone is powerless. The benefit of foreign intelligence is easiest to illustrate in the application of military power. Foreign intelligence can also assist in the application of economic and political power.

The United States is strengthening our Nuclear Security

In the 1990’s we were warn of potential terrorists obtaining and using of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) whether chemical, biological, and nuclear. Chemicals weapons are available to terrorist through homebrew or rogue states. Nuclear terrorism is our biggest worry. Nuclear weapons are more difficult for terrorists to handle.

Henderson (2004) states that

With so many nuclear warheads being stored under conditions of uncertain security in the former Soviet Union, it is possible terrorists might be able to buy or steal a ready made nuclear weapon. But nuclear warheads have safety interlocks, and it has been proposed that the weapons be fitted with devices that would allow them to be remotely destroyed or disabled if terrorists obtain them. U.S. agencies since the 1900s have sought closer coordination between U.S. and former Soviet Scientists and engineers in order to secure the nuclear stockpiles. How the U.S. is fighting the war on terror

We have worked with a number of states around the world to expose plotting Al Qaeda cells. The United States has implemented broad-sweeping, even controversial, steps such as the Patriot Act in an attempt to improve our domestic security. There are three tools that can be used on terrorists. The criminal law and legal system is used to prosecute terrorist suspects. The military can be used to destroy terrorist’s infrastructures. Diplomatic efforts can be used in the hopes that nations can work together to prevent the movement of terrorists around the world.


After 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security was organized. The primary mission of the Department is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States. Homeland Security reduces the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism. It also minimizes the damage, and assists in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States. Intelligence has been used to collect and analysis information to find out who the terrorists are and what they are up to. It is best to see that the United States is taking the proper steps to fight terrorism.

Henderson, H. (2004) Global terrorism, New York, NY:
Facts on file, Inc.
Homeland Security Retrieved November 25, 2009
Marrin, S. (2003) Homeland Security Intelligence Retrieved November 25, 2009 http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal/Articles/marrin.html Homeland Security Retrieved November 24, 2009
Trudeau, G. (2008) The war in quotes p.20 Retrieved November 27, 2009 http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/George_W__Bush_Homeland_Security.htm

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