Homeland responders are the eyes and ears of

Homeland Security
is the protection of America, it’s citizens and property, whether in the
homeland or abroad.  There are two types
of terrorism, domestic and international, and both can cause us harm here in
the United States as we have seen in recent years.  The Strategy of stopping a terrorist attack
starts with intelligence and the gathering and sharing of it so that it gets in
the right hands to be able to prevent an attack.  We have also seen that terrorism has taken on
cyberspace and can see that the future strategy starts with computers and
cyberspace.  At the local and state
level, our first responders are the eyes and ears of the government and may be
able to see suspicious terrorist activity that our intelligence community has
missed.  All of these items make up
Homeland Security and the strategies that go along with them.  The goal of America’s national strategy for
homeland defense is prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks, protect the American
people and our critical resources, respond to and recover from incidents that
do occur, and to continue to strengthen the foundation to ensure our long-term
success (Bush).

Before
understanding the strategies that are employed it is first to understand that
types of terrorism and their activities. 
International terrorism is someone that wants to do harm in a country
that they are not native of.  International
terrorism was so successful between 1980 and 2003 that half of all suicide
terrorist campaigns were closely followed by substantial concessions by the
target governments (Brown).  That statistic alone shows that the mindset
of terrorists is that they commit attacks to further their own cause.  Domestic terrorism is someone who wants to do
harm in the country that they are a citizen of or have spent considerable time
in.  Domestic terrorists have been
responsible for orchestrating more than two-dozen incidents since 9/11 (Davidson and
Hudson).  Domestic terrorists can be hard to uncover,
they are sometimes self radicalized and may not have visited an area that would
spark concern with the intelligence community. 
The Obama Administrations strategy to quell terrorism-related
radicalization in the United States focused on individuals inspired by Al Qaeda (Davidson and
Hudson). 

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One of the
broadest definitions of intelligence is that intelligence is knowledge,
organization, and activity.  Arguably one
of the most meaningful purposes of intelligence is where the danger lies (O’Sullivan).  It is important that once the intelligence is
gathered it is then disseminated to the correct departments within the
government in order to take action.  Prior
to 9/11, it was possible to make a distinction between domestic intelligence-
primarily law enforcement information collected within the United States and
foreign intelligence – primarily military, political, and economic intelligence
collected outside the country.  Today,
this distinction is blurred and threats to the homeland posed by terrorist
groups are national security threats, and intelligence collected outside the
United States is often very relevant to the threat environment inside the
United States and vice versa (O’Sullivan).  The importance of this point with
intelligence is that we are working towards a common cause and this shows the
importance that government sharing of information.  What is seen outside of the country can be
useful to capture terrorists within our boarders.  Intelligence is one of the most important
factors to our strategy.  Intelligence is
our offense action versus a defensive action and can disrupt a potential
terrorist plan.  Defending against
terrorism threats will require policymakers to replace the formal, hierarchical
intelligence structure with a horizontal, cooperative, and fluid architecture
that gets information from those who have it to those who need it through the
development of virtual communities of information sources, analysts, and users (Eggers,
Steinberg and Graham). 

The Homeland
Security Strategy at the local level includes the local police and ultimately
the American population.  The American
population is included here due to the fact that if a person sees something or
hears something then it needs to be reported in order for it to be
actionable.  Inaction from a person can
lead to the terrorist fulfilling their mission. 
Intelligence gathering can also be used to advance the causes of
national security, as state and local law enforcement agencies can be viewed as
the nation’s counterterrorism (O’Sullivan).  The local law enforcement community can be
seen as the eyes and ears of our nation and play an important part in our
homeland defense strategy.  In 2010, the
FBI confirmed that 4,876 alleged terrorists had contact with US law
enforcement, usually for reasons not related to terrorism (Ernst).  This shows that police need to be trained on
non-criminal indicators of terrorism in order to prevent a future attack. 

The Strategy of
the Homeland comprises of the FBI, Coast Guard, Boarder Patrol, and TSA.  The FBI is a lead investigative option for
Homeland Security and there needs to be communication from the local level to
the FBI in order to make lead actionable. 
The Coast Guard is our protection on our coastline and out ports.  They are tasked with looking for illegal
immigration from the sea and routine checks of boats entering our waters along
with the protection of our ports.  The
boarder patrol is tasked with looking for illegal terrorism from our land
partners to the north and south.  The
Boarder Patrol sees more than 500 million people cross the boarders into the
United States, some 330 million of whom are non-citizens (Luoma).  The Transportation Security Administration is
our protection in our airports and with the Federal Air Marshal, our protection
in the air.  They are tasked with making
sure that passengers have proper documentation and screening while flying to
and from a destination.  All of this
protection helps us identify potential terrorist suspects but the ultimate
strategy is facilitating communication between them to identify and track
suspected terrorist suspects.

In cyber warfare,
every year we lose more intellectual property on government, university and
business networks than all of the intellectual property in the Library of
Congress (Hipp).  There is growing consensus that the day is
near where cyber warfare jumps from the cyber world to the real world.  The threat would be a terrorist bringing down
a public utility or power plant or critical infrastructure that runs our lives (Yakowicz).  The financial sector, banking, energy,
transportation and telecommunications all use cyberspace to conduct business
and therefore the healthy functioning of cyberspace is very important to the
United States.  In 2015, the chairman of
the House Intelligence Committee stated that the Department of Energy along had
been successfully hacked 159 times, and in 2016, there were major data breaches
carried out by hackers against the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI,
Treasury Department and various U.S. voter databases (Marks).  We have seen that terrorists have two main
goals in their attacks against America, to kill as many Americans as possible
and to disrupt our day to day lives. 
Cyber attacks and Cyber warfare is going to be the future of these
attacks.  Terrorists would be able to
affect our power grid to be able to affect our day to day lives and take down
our communication to hide a potentially devastating attack.  Cyber defense needs to be one of the top
priorities of out Homeland Security strategy for the future. 

Our national
security is in the hands of a lot of different parts of the Homeland Security
Administration with a lot of different employees involved.  The main goal of our National Security
Strategy needs to be fostering the communication between all of the these
different parts of the Homeland Security Administration.  Creating the Homeland Security Administration
was the first step in fostering this communication by breaking down the
barriers that existed in governmental communication before September 11th.  We have an offensive approach strategy by our
intelligence community and having them reach out to thwart an attack during the
planning stages.  We have a defensive
approach through our FBI investigating leads that are provided to them.  Along with our defensive approach we have
agencies that act as deterrents like the Coast Guard, TSA, and Boarder Patrol
along with local and state police forces. 
The fostering of communication is key so that nothing slips through the
cracks that we have actionable intelligence on. 
We need to make sure that we are not only prepared for the present day
but also looking to new forms of terrorism in the future.  One of the larger issues for the future is
the concern of a cyber attack towards our critical infrastructure.  There have been a lot of attacks that show
the public and businesses are susceptible to a cyber attack and we need to take
this as a warning that our critical infrastructure needs to be protected so
that a terrorist cannot affect our power grid or defense systems.  I believe the transition to the Department of
Homeland Security was the first step in protecting us, we just need to make
sure that we stay one step ahead of the terrorists to ensure safety for every
citizen in the United States.