Homeland Security Research Design
HSM421: Research & Analysis in Homeland Security
Professor: Kenneth Jenkins
March 7, 2016
Homeland Security Research Design
The United States has invested heavily in maintaining cyber security and border security in the homeland. Federal, State, and Local level initiatives have been implemented to escalate enforcement undertakings in communities across the country. These efforts are geared towards thwarting illegal border crossings and unlawful presence and occur in tandem with workplace enforcement to prevent illegal employment. However, these measures are not level with the excessive’ focus on terrorist threats displayed by ...view middle of the document...
Subsequently, the government uses the threat to justify foreign assignment of troops and military and surveillance equipment and justify the obscene expenditure on the various security apparatuses in the country. This sequence of events leads to the hypothesis that centralization, politics, and complacency are the key factors that affect decision-making on homeland security.
The Constitution of the United States divides power between federal, state and federal governments. This design was deliberately done to ensure there is no over-centralization of power in the capital. In the case of homeland security and emergency management, the state and local tiers of government have the best experience, resources, and geographic locus to deal with threats to the community. On the other hand, threats that are not of a national level rarely trouble the federal government, meaning it is likelier to discount local threats that cumulatively injure security in the homeland.
Like every other function of the government, homeland security and emergency management are also susceptible to politics. Each administration employs a unique foreign affairs and security approach, such that objectives differ from one administration to another. Furthermore, each member of Congress has constituents, corporations, and other stakeholders calling for more resources while each member of a congressional committee has assignments that help them make powerful friends. Consequently, the laws that are passed are politically motivated and utopian in nature. Politics fails to produce good policies, which in turn affects the direction taken by homeland security and emergency management interventions.
The third hypothesis entails the presence of complacency in the homeland security apparatus. Maintaining national security involves a competition between the homeland security agencies and innovative and determined adversaries. If these agencies become complacent, the country will be exposed to multiple threats. Complacency in the homeland security and emergency management systems in the United States is evident in the manner in which the country has consistently failed to take a definitive stand on matters that could threaten the security of the homeland. For instance, the country has dithered on its approach to the threat posed by the Islamic State, while the move of illegal substances and immigrants continues unabated in the border with Mexico.
The study will be governed by three variables: threat, exposure, and consequences. These three variables affect the country’s degree of complacency and the politics that serve to promote over-centralization. Assessing threats is reliant on multivariate and contextual factors such as the potential actors, their intentions, their capabilities, and their weaknesses (Forest, 2006). With the continued classification of terrorism as the key threat to the homeland, it is safe to assume that homeland security and emergency...