Designing a Safer Homeland

Essay written by IdesOfMark on Monday 23, June 2008

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Complete breakdown of how to Identify, Avert, and Lessen the impact of terrorist acts in the United States.

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* Another of college essays in Anti-Terrorism, this one being my final exam. The scope of this assignment was to Identify, Avert for and lLessen the impact of terrorist acts in the United States. Please review and comment, I also received a perfect score on this paper. * Designing a Safer Homeland By Mark Kopczynski September 11th, 2001.The United States witnesses first-hand an earth shattering attack on its people and cultural values. Such attacks are not commonplace on U.S. soil, and therefore have generated an initiative for the United States to assess and ascertain what parts of its infrastructure have inadequacies. It is inevitable that the world has now shifted to a new paradigm, that of terror - fear of attack at anytime, by anyone who would become inspired for causes that have limitless motivations. American society, aside from the world, has changed drastically. Citizens of this country now have a renewed, and in some cases, established respect - for outside viewpoints and the inevitable vulnerability of such a long standing, stalwart nation. Of the most pressing and recent issues in America's political agenda is the continued deployment of troops to Iraq. In its most specific context, the main goal and purpose of this deployment is to restore order to Iraq and develop a running democratic system of government - returning power to Iraqi officials and its military. Parameters for successful completion of this goal should be as follows; (1) establishing a formal, codified, constitution or representative set of laws, (2) training and dispersing a formidable armed forces unit to resume control of Iraq, (3) holding elections and filling necessary governmental positions to continue legislative duties and responsibilities. Once these parameters are fulfilled the immediate withdrawal of United States troops shall follow. The power of control shall return to Iraq's military, and it's newly placed government officials. Immediately following the withdrawal of United States armed forces, a convention will be held to further debrief, and discuss the effectiveness of the occupation and elaborate on the current status of Iraq's new government and possible areas of complication. The President shall hold a state-of-the-union style press conference to formally and publicly announce the progression that was made in the time of Iraq's occupation. In the time following, a training facility will be constructed in Iraq, for its own military operations and training of troops on a global scale. This facility will generate a multi-national inter-operability and help to unify many countries in a multi-faceted strategy on reducing the impact of terrorist attacks worldwide. U.S. troops and armed forces of agreeing countries (i.e. NATO) shall be deployed at this facility to train in more advanced, and specific anti-terror strategies. These courses shall train troops to detect possible terrorist situations abroad, react to an act of terrorism, and how to coordinate tactics to lessen the impact and likelihood of further damage from multiple attacks. This facility will be the crux of a global movement towards unity in disavowing terrorism. Funding for this facility shall be first decided by polling to determine the level of public support. Public relations for this drive shall consist of advertising campaigns with suggestive themes such as "Never Afraid" or "Fight Back" - hence promoting the public's need to be participants in this "war on terror". This shall provide at least nominal numbers in terms of funding. This shall be a joint operation with supporting countries and be a large-scale campaign that is performed on the global stage and will create awareness and motivation to keep troops home, but continue the fight. The remainder of funding will be divided equitably among the participants, and be requisitioned and accumulated on off budget expenditures. The next step in creating a safer homeland will be relocating some of the assets on U.S soil to provide deterrents and lowered response time to incidents that breach national security. This movement shall be known as - - Strengthening the Homeland by Increasing and Elevating Local Defenses (Operation SHIELD). The number of local (United States) private security employees far outnumbers the number of public, federal and bureaucratic law enforcement agencies. This process will consist of - - (1) proposing, and allocating existing private sector security forces to be assigned to critical infrastructure, (2) providing a new federal security workforce designed solely to defend critical infrastructure. This allows the United States government to hire citizens as Security agents, control the training terms and candidate selection process. Also, this would generate an estimated five-thousand jobs. Structurally, each unit assigned to a piece of critical infrastructure would consist of a uniform command system. Unity of command would be ensured by each unit having (3) lead personnel who assume control at varied intervals (shifts) and coordinate daily with surrounding units. Each unit would report to the SHIELD headquarters, a subdivision of the Department of Homeland Security. This would ensure a twenty-four hour surveillance of the nation's critical infrastructure, and response teams capable of arriving to an incident within a reasonable amount of time. The key to providing a safer homeland is to instill the idea into the American people that the core of our safety actually stems from the involvement of the citizens that have been oppressed by these acts. This new paradigm has switched to increasing the amount of participation by the public and possible cooperation with the state and federal governments in this global problem. The decision to issue a second PATRIOT Act will be an important one. The United States government needs to a certain degree the ability to monitor the activities that occur within its boundaries. Most citizens do not believe that their rights should come second in the prevention of terrorist acts. The Domestic Security Enhancement Act will need to be implemented as a safeguard for counter terror measures. Governmental agencies should be allowed to randomly screen citizen's activities in public without being absolutely infringing on constitutional rights. Public support may be won over by testimony in regards to the passing of the bill using a variety of loaded language techniques. Being suspicious as to letting the government perform random electronic searches of activities (such as library rentals, and other activities done primarily in the public) would ultimately mean the individual had something to hide. Assuring the public that these purposes would be solely for the protection of it's citizens, and also would only be used to (1) detect the presence of terrorist related activity; with specific examples and citations as to what constitutes suspicion, (2) would also not be used to target non-terrorist related charges i.e. using this ability to serve outstanding warrants, and track those who are in that category. The sole purpose of this legislation is to combat terrorism, and protect the citizens of the United States - not imply that the government can spy on its people and use it to incarcerate those who are involved in criminal activities outside of the jurisdiction of the very principles included in the Act. Constitutionally, this act is not infringing upon anyone but those who have taken the first initiative to commit, and or engage in acts of terrorism whether it be (1) supporting financially, (2) aiding in planning and procedures, or (3) harboring those suspected in these plans - all of which would override the precedence of the constitution. There shall be no indication, or notice to the suspected person that they are being monitored for it shall be a breach in strategy and design to alert the person(s) of their suspicion. Those who are labeled as engaged in such activity will be remanded with an official warrant, using the information attained. Once in custody, the person(s) has the opportunity to receive full legal counsel as to what it is they are charged with, and on what grounds - with a list of what has been collected on them (barring evidence that would indicate they have been linked to other people). All proceedings can and will be processed through the court system, and tried for constitutionality in motive, evidence procurement and whether or not this person(s) activities warranted an investigation to begin with. These measures will make sure that this privilege is not abused, and consequences will be in place for those that attempt to misuse it. In accordance, the United States government shall begin to compile organizations in those communities that are labeled potential threats, and most vulnerable in the event of an attack. These classifications will section the United States into fifteen sectors, which will allow a supplemental breakdown of critical infrastructure that lies within the particular sector. As aforementioned, the personnel assigned with the SHIELD program shall be assigned accordingly to each sector as the necessity is foreseen. For example, New York State (more particularly, New York City) would fall into Sector 2 - with neighboring states, and would be a primary sector of concern. Consequently, there would be a larger accumulation of SHIELD concentration to adjust to the sector's relative need. Also, this layout would generate a more specific database of critical infrastructure and utility availability - a large scale blueprint of not only vulnerabilities - but assets that can be accessed in case of emergency. A scoring algorithm will be emplaced to mandate uniform inspections of vulnerabilities and preparedness for disaster. Each sector will be subject to a random, semi-annual inspection of operations. Included in these inspections will be (1) a test on current-ness of information regarding utilities, layout of geographic area and preparedness in response to any number of incidents, (2) tracking of personnel - including drug screenings - to monitor the activities of employees, (3) physical inspection of infrastructure for deterioration, property damage and unsecured facility indicators (i.e. locks missing, mal-functioning CCTV cameras, holes in fences). This score shall be revised at the time of every inspection and placed in a public forum for all to see. Sectors scoring inadequately shall be subject to internal audits, such as personnel replacement, relocation or dismissal to remedy these problems. Scoring shall be numerical, as a percentage based on penalties against a sector, although this score will appear to the public as a color-coded key (much in refection of the Bush administrations terror alert system). Keeping these scores public will keep insurmountable pressure on the personnel running each sector to maintain a high level of vigilance in performing their job responsibilities. Following the paradigm of public involvement in the war on terror, as it is called, will be a public watch system. Keeping in sync with demanding the public's involvement in a "homely" issue such as terrorism - there will be established the Citizens Terrorist Preparedness Act (CTPA). In this, the Department of Homeland Security shall begin drafting current wanted posters of suspected, known, terrorists and posting them across the country. Also, many posters shall adorn public places from subways to shopping malls - with numbers to call to report suspicious activity, and examples of what to look for. In addition through local police departments, grants will be offered to those who become certified to instruct citizens on suspicious behavior, and what to do in advance and even after an incident. This will be a step towards a country-wide "Neighborhood Watch" program that will function much like present day citizens police academies. Stressing to the American people that this problem of terrorism can only ultimately be lessened by the people will dramatically help the situation at hand. Lastly, lessening the impact of terrorism is an enormous area of limitless boundaries and shortcomings. The news media does a lot to amplify the severity of terrorist incidents, while still fairly reporting the news as it happens, when it happens. One very severe way to limit the impact of these shocking images of terrorist incidents is to limit the number of outlets that they are displayed on. A system of reporting would be developed to limit the air time each incident would receive, not to lessen the severity or de-legitimize the incident, but not to give glory to the oppressors. The system shall consist of (1) limiting news agencies to reporting only the events that occur within their jurisdictions (i.e. municipalities in cases of local news casts), (2) assigning a panel of journalists and news casters from national media sources to collectively broadcast the incident, nationally, from ONE channel, (3) barring any other agency from airing the incident (strictly speaking of video, or pictures) unless they themselves fall into the aforementioned (2) categories. This proposition may indeed be seen as unconstitutional, for it may be taken as an abridgement of freedom of press. In turn, a court decision would have to be made allowing that only this partial, and in it's entirety only emergency situation would their be such abridgement to the amendments. The American people would have to realize the reality of glorifying these images repeatedly, and also not forget that this is not meant to censor the media - for their will be special, specific newscasts covering the incidents. In summation there are to be some drastic changes brought about to the American society in order to effectively reduce the incidents of terrorism. The United States government has a large responsibility about them, and it is one of global magnitude. For years it has felt as if the government were liable for all the wrongs against the American society, and now more than ever - it may be time for both the government and the people to stand together firm against this long time omnipotent force. Terrorism is by definition : " premeditated, politically motivated violence - perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents (not by the army of a country), usually intended to influence an audience." Terrorism is in fact aimed at citizens, on a global stage with the very civilians of the world it's audience. American citizens need to become more educated and involved in what terrorism is, how it is carried out, and how we are influenced by it. This is the most crucial aspect of a more unified anti-terrorism movement - the willingness and readiness of the government and it's people to go hand in hand. With the support of the citizens, there would essentially be a watchful, omnipresent eye, at all times on the country of the United States of America. United is the word that shows the bond between each individual state and it's motherland - an attack on New York is an attack on California for we are all united under one flag. This, in turn should directly correspond with how homeland security is handled - by unison and cooperation by the very people who live there. This, will ultimately lead us into the future of living safe, and unafraid as American citizens

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