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How counter-terrorism plans are developed

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“ For decades the threat of terrorism and actual terrorist incidents inside the united states- in most cases, by home grown perpetrators- were treated like potential and actual crimes” (Nacos, B.L. 2012, pg.238). With a lack of proper means to correctly identify terrorism and the repercussions that followed, the FBI and local law enforcement were in charge of handling prevention and investigation. The magnitude of terrorism quickly proved too much for these agencies and emergency responders to handle. Lack of communication between agencies proved to be detrimental. The need for more protection, quicker response times and strategy called for the birth of a new branch. Soon after was the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security.

“ The new department brought together, under one umbrella, twenty-two entities that had be either independent or part of larger departments and agencies”. ”Its four major directorates, each headed by an undersecretary, united a multitude of agencies under one roof; the boarder and transportation security directorate, the emergency preparedness and response directorate, the science and technology directorate, the information analysis and infrastructure protection directorate” (Nacos, B.L. 2012, pg.239). Finally there was some order to the mayhem; there was a steady and positive flow of information between agencies. No longer was there a lack of communication, there was finally a chain of command and appropriate actions could be taken, decisions could be made and the lives of millions could be properly protected.

In 2007 “National Strategy for Homeland Security” was finally defined. During fiscal year 2008-2013, DHS devoted three of the five explicit goal categories to prevent terrorism. Goal 1. “protect our nation from dangerous people” Goal 2.” Protect our nation from dangerous goods” Goal 3. “Protect critical infrastructure” Goal 4.” Strengthen our nation’s preparedness and emergency response capabilities” Goal 5. “Strengthen and unify DHS operations and management”. These actions further show specific strategies to further develop our nation’s homeland security efforts. The thought process being, the fewer channels to go through and the clearer the goal, the less room is made available for mistake. Similar actions are taken with our own military. The thought being, if there are set goals, easy to understand, easy to develop with a clear chain of command, there is no room for error. ” (Nacos, B.L. 2012, pg.243).

The attacks on 9/11 created the beginning of the reorganization of the U.S. intelligence community, due to the inabilities of intelligence agents to connect all the pieces to the puzzle in terroristic acts. The information sharing mechanisms and the gap between communications, of national and government intelligence, defined exactly where the United States is as a nation in intelligence. Communication is the key of any organization, let alone a country defending against potential terrorist enemies. As a result of 9/11 the attacks on the United States prompted the largest reorganization of Intelligence the community as seen since 1947. The reorganization reform since 9/11 came with several changes.

National Security Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 made changes in “director of national intelligence, ‘‘responsibilities and authorities of the director of national intelligence ‘‘sec. 102a. (a) provision of intelligence, access to intelligence, role of director of national intelligence in transfer and reprogramming of funds, transfer of employees, tasking and other authorities, intelligence information sharing, analysis, protection of intelligence sources and methods, uniform procedures for sensitive compartmented information, coordination with foreign governments, enhanced personnel management” An emphasis has been placed on information sharing and the development of state and local centers which have resulted in the significant presentation of resources and efforts to address the national intelligence gap. The Bush doctrine states “counterterrorism is part of larger U.S. policy. Counterterrorism rarely, if ever, should be the lead in that policy.

The challenges we face are different in different regions of the world and are interconnected to broader U.S. policy interests” (Nacos, B.L., 2012, Pg.182). The problems that the intelligence community faces is that telecommunications have now open windows to how people relay and communicate information. Information has been able to be transferred on a global scale, leaving tracking difficult and information transferring viral. The technical side of telecommunications and their devices leave intelligence agents in a compromising position. If a call or communication device is used, it may be possible that it wasn’t in the U.S. or used by someone from the U.S. Surveillance and wiretapping has been used by law enforcement and intelligence agents throughout time, but raises questions about civil rights and privacy, which can influence the consensus of the people that was gained after 9/11 attacks and the necessity to gain better intelligence. Social networks and similar sites give intelligence agents the ability to share fresh data via networks without necessarily monitoring deeply which still support a varied logical technique.

The problem that most people have is that personal identifiable information may be able to be accessed. As long as information is protected and safeguarded through protocols, guidance, accountability, and logs will erase most controversy faced over the NSA’s post 9/11 surveillance program and other data-mining ingenuities which came to question to better intelligence. The National Strategy for Homeland Security contains mission areas, outlines goals and initiatives, and suggests policies and objectives, but does not form a strategic approach that will piece them all together. Martha Crenshaw as international scholar states “[Before 9/11] the security studies and international relations fields were not especially hospitable to scholars interested in terrorism precisely it was not considered an important problem for the discipline or the development of a strategy” (Nacos, B.L., 2012, Pg.182).

This strategy seems to need a clear cut vision and seems to raise questions about national intelligence issues than answer them in a larger scheme of homeland security enterprise. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism have reduced the pace of military transformation and have revealed our lack of preparation for defensive and stability operations. This Administration has overextended our military (Barack Obama). The intelligence community should focus on developing a practical national intelligence strategy will be meaningful now with all the major events being taken place in a large city such as New York. At a strategic level, the intelligence agencies and communities have failed to organize and develop a concise and clear cut vision since the Cold War. The inability of policy makers and Intelligence communities to come together and clearly speak about the national security interests are a concern. In a post 9/11 environment, it seems that it may be set, that the United States may still be in the same predicaments as they always have been.


Retrieved on February 1, 2014 from website: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/transformation.html#qAq4w2ei8UasRk4x.99 Nacos, B.L.: Terrorism and Counterterrorism, Edition No.4, Publisher: Pearson Education, Inc., Glenview, IL (2012). U.S. Congress, Senate, Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law 108-458 (Washington DC: GPO, December 17, 2004), 3644,http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ458.108.pdf. Section 101(a) established the Office of the DNI. The act also codified the NCTC; Congressional Research Service, FBI Intelligence Reform Since September 11, 2001: Issues and Options for Congress (Washington DC: The Library of Congress, August 4, 2004), 5-6; http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL32336.pdf.↵

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