U.S. Homeland Security essay

Engels once said that every great historical disaster leads to great historical progress

Tragic events of September 11, 2001, during which thousands of people were killed, made the Americans radically rethink not only their conceptions of the national security state, but of the law, the structure of the government, the state budget, priorities of the main directions of the military, domestic and foreign policy, investment and personnel policy development, and the use of high technologies. As a giant spaceship-transformer, the USA rebuilds the established state and social order of its structure at full speed due to international terrorism being the main threat in the twenty first century.

The Main Tasks of U.S. Homeland Security

The main tasks of U.S. homeland security are officially assigned to two departments: the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The former is the fifteenth department of the U.S. federal government. It was established on November 25, 2002. The Department of Homeland Security has the following functions:

  1. The prevention of terrorist attacks on the U.S. soil.
  2. The reduction of the vulnerability of the U.S. to terrorism attacks.
  3. Damage reduction and the elimination of consequences of terrorist acts.
  4. The maximum suppression of the relationship between drug traffickers and terrorists, including the fight against the former.
  5. The observance of economic interests of the United States in activities and programs created for internal security.
  6. The implementation of all functions and powers transferred from other agencies of the government, including the coordination of other ministries and agencies in the aftermath of manmade and natural disasters.

The purpose of department creation was the consolidation of all executive agencies related to national security in a single government one. Initially, a new department was headed by former Pennsylvanian governor Tom Ridge. However, on January 11, 2005, George W. Bush appointed U.S. federal judge Michael Chertofa a new head of the department. The DHS brought together many organizations and services, in one way or another involved in the protection of the population and the infrastructure of the United States from international terrorism. It includes 22 different federal agencies. The DHS has 169,000 employees. In the current fiscal year, the budget of the ministry amounted 37.4 billion dollars. It was almost a billion more than the amount allotted to fund its member agencies. According to the White House, the creation of the DHS is the largest reorganization of the federal apparatus over the past 55 years.

It consists of five main departments:

  1. The department of the security of land and sea borders.
  2. The department of the aftermath of emergencies.
  3. The department of anti-chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.
  4. The department of the protection of infrastructure.
  5. The department of the information systems analysis of crisis in the country.

The DHS consists of the Secret Service, Customs Agency, Border Guard, Coast Guard, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Furthermore, the ministry coordinates eight independent federal agencies, including the Control, Intelligence and Counterintelligence Service. They retain independence, but the DHS analyzes incoming information and coordinates joint operations of various intelligence agencies. A special program named the National Strategy for Homeland Security was developed. It focuses on the following six areas: intelligence service, security communications, counter-terrorism operations within the country, the protection of strategic facilities of infrastructure, tactics in case of natural disasters, as well as the provision of the population with comprehensive training on how to act in emergencies. Moreover, special programs aimed to improve security in cyberspace, political institutions and economy were developed.

From time to time, the Department of Homeland Security provides grants to various universities and corporations to develop technologies that can contribute to strengthening internal security. For example, in February 2005, a group of researchers from the University of Riverside (California) and the Lucent Technologies company, which develops and manufactures telecommunications equipment, received the grant of 800,000 dollars from the DHS for the development of a method of processing large amounts of information in order to find anomalies and identify “hostile” behavior patterns.

The Secret Service

Before the inclusion of the Secret Service into the DHS, it was part of the Ministry of Finance, because it was created in 1865 to combat counterfeiters. Only in the 1930s, it started protecting the U.S. president. Nowadays, the Secret Service guards a vice-president, former presidents and candidates for these posts for four months prior to the election and families of all persons belonging to these categories. Secret Service agents also guard all senior government officials of other countries, who pay official visits to the U.S. They are responsible for the security of the White House, the most important buildings of ministries and foreign diplomatic missions. The immediate protection of the president, his family and other high-rank people is provided by the so-called “presidential battalion”, which consists of 1200 people. The second category of the functions of the Service is to protect the national financial system and investigate cases involving the counterfeiting of money, securities, checks, credit cards, personal documents and all kinds of financial fraud. In addition to the Central Office, the Secret Service has 118 offices in the U.S. and 16 offices abroad.

The U.S. Coast Guard

According to its official status, five are responsible for protecting the ocean side of the country and combating drug trafficking on water routes, environmental crime and terrorist threats of a similar origin. It enforces federal laws and is created to ensure the safety of ships in country waters. Since its inception and until 1967, the Coast Guard unit had been under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Treasury, and in 1967, it was passed to the Ministry of Transport. However, in 2003, there were new structural changes: it was transferred to the Office of Homeland Security. Despite the fact that the U.S. Coast Guard has been part of the Department of Homeland Security, it is considered to be independent, and its director is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces of the United States. Organizationally, the unit is divided into two parts, namely the Atlantic and Pacific Commands, with more than 38,000 soldiers and eight thousand civilian personnel. There are about 200 combat and special vessels, 43 aircrafts and 127 helicopters in the ship structure. The expression “Semper Paratus”, which means “always ready”, has been a motto of the U.S. Coast Guard for many years.

The Coast Guard in the U.S. is equated to a military service

Its first troops came with the filing of Alexander Hamilton, who called them the Revenue Cutter Service. The day of its appearance in the U.S., August 4, 1790, is considered to be the date of the creation of the Coast Guard. In fact, the forces play a very important role in the country. They do not have so much influence in any other state. Militants of the U.S. Coast Guard did not miss a single armed conflict of countless wars, in which America was involved.

2009 showed that the activity of the Coast Guard spread around the world. In April 2009, the Tethys (Medium Endurance Cutter Thetis) participated in the UNITAS exercises in the Caribbean Sea involving navy and maritime agencies from 11 countries. In June, the corvette of the Coast Guard named Legare, located on the coast of West Africa as a major naval base for the activities of the international headquarters of the African Partnership, completed a number of joint ventures and exercises near Morocco, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. In September, the Coast Guard delivered humanitarian aid to victims of the earthquake and tsunami in American Samoa, and conducted a study on pollution in the region and the impact of disasters on the environment. Finally, for the whole year, the Coast Guard assisted the Central Command, sending six patrol boats and 400 people to the Persian Gulf to protect Iraq's oil platforms and infrastructure, train the Iraqi Navy, and provide military supplies to the region. In coastal waters of the United States, the Coast Guard prevented penetration into the territory of more than 5,000 illegal migrants, detained 167 tons of cocaine, and performed 24,229 search and rescue activities. As a result, according to the statistics, 4044 lives were saved. In addition, the Coast Guard inspected more than 70,000 merchant ships, and performed more than 12,000 inspections of foreign cargo that came to the USA for the purpose of safety and environmental protection.

Since September 11, 2001, the Coast Guard increased its forces by 20% for successful implementation of its primary mission, namely to ensure the internal security of the U.S. The terrorist attacks in 2001 caused extensive changes in priorities in protecting 95,000 miles of coastline with 361 ports, including redistributing resources, increasing costs to $ 24 million, creating a 25-year program to recapitalize the sea, developing an allocator to prevent threats from the sea directions, safeguarding the coast, and bringing staffing in line with new requirements. The spread of global forces of the Coast Guard promotes the security of the country. The head of the agency proclaimed that its employees abroad cooperate with other nations to ensure global stability and security, and these initiatives are the key for improving U.S. security. The latter can be achieved through close cooperation with foreign governments, navies, and coast guards, and the development of a joint strategy for the prevention of crimes, such as piracy, smuggling and terrorism. In September 2008, the corvette of the Coast Guard named Munro (High Endurance Cutter Munro) with Chinese fisheries officers detained two Chinese ships prohibited to fish by means of trawl nets. The ship acted basing on the data obtained from Japanese and Canadian pilots. This interaction can protect the world economy and provide stability. The Coast Guard improves the system of detection and interception of targets being in the middle of the largest restructuring in history. According to official documents, the Office of Information CG-9 transferred from the phase of the “development” to the phase of “continuous improvement”. Nowadays, it fully meets all needs of the Coast Guard concerning information.

In 2009, the Coast Guard approved a new slogan of a recruiting program, “Born Ready”, to draw attention of those, who are impressed by the motto “Semper Paratus” – “Always Ready”. According to the departmental information, the aim of the recruitment campaign is to select people, who hear the call to serve, are willing to change, and try to do something significant in their lives. In addition to the forces of permanent readiness, the Coast Guard creates the reserve number of 7484 people and the staff of 7750 people. The auxiliary forces of the Coast Guard, namely volunteers numbering 28,000 people, patrol to monitor and ensure safety, conduct safety briefing management of small boats, and check vessels for compliance with safety requirements. The activities of the Coast Guard fall under Section 14 of the United States Code, which defines the membership of the armed forces and military service, and provides the right to operate on the high seas and inland waters of the USA. The Coast Guard also operates under Section 10 as a military service responsible for providing the admission of its personnel to naval vessels in order to comply with the law and other regulations.

The Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a leading center service, govern operational units, provide logistics, staffing, management of exploration, and procurement, and conduct research and planning to develop the Coast Guard. The headquarters include the following administrations: personnel, intelligence and criminal investigation, operational and overall planning, technical and logistic supply, management systems, communications, control, and information technologies, and resources development. The Pacific Command is responsible for four areas of the Coast Guard, covering the Pacific Ocean to the west of the Rocky Mountains. The Atlantic area includes five regions from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. The Atlantic Command works in conjunction with Atlantic running repairs and supplies.


To sum up, analyzing the main activities and the mechanism of new ministry formation, it is seen how difficult and daunting the task set by the U.S. government in the field of internal security is. The U.S. can reconstruct the established state and public order. All actions taken by the government to combat terrorism will have far-reaching consequences not only for the country, but also for the entire world community.

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U.S. Homeland Security essay

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