the Department of Homeland Security, political science homework help

Provide thoughtful sperate response to each one in about 150 words…


Final Discussion


I believe the Department of Homeland Security should be dismantled altogether. It is a giant and costly inefficient bureaucratic institution. Personally, I lived in New Orleans from 2003-2005 and saw first hand FEMA’s many failures in the disaster relief effort. As far as the DHS in respect to security, they aren’t even capable of protecting themselves from cyber attacks, so I question their capability as an institution as a whole. There are other departments and organizations capable of dealing with both issues without the need for this larger umbrella bureaucracy.The larger the institution, the more vulnerable it is to interdepartmental communication as well as the necessary communication that is required with other outside institutions. This ultimately always leads to wasteful spending and inefficiency.

2-One could argue both points with this scenario with pros and cons for both sides. For the side that is for separation into two units lets analyze the pros and cons of this division. When you separate a single intelligence agency that worked as a unit since its inception there will be communication issues. Part of having a agency, such as homeland security, that covers a broad range of intelligence and security is that they have the ability to quickly collaborate on information. When you you place a divide in operations it can cause chaos and inappropriate allocation of time in the agency due to lack of communication about what tasks have been completed and what have not. The positive outcomes that could be derived from splitting the agency in two is that they could be able to have a more focused look at various issues such as responding to disasters and security. By having two separate dimensions of the agency it could lead to more positive outcomes for the agency with respect to the two units.

If you look at the other perspective of keeping the agency as one unit with various focuses, as that has been it’s method since it’s inception post 9/11, you have to analyze how the system has worked and how it can be improved under this model. The positive side to keeping the agency as a singular unit is that it keeps the hierarchy intact and the sense of superiority in the agency goes unchanged, keeping that chain of command for who reports to who intact. The negative side, and the reason for many critiques that the agency has received, is that since it is an executive agency that is in the cabinet of the president it has a large amount of red tape that has caused misinformation and miscommunication over the past decade and a half of its existence.

I am a firm believer of the philosophy if it’s not broken there is no need to fix it. I see under our current structure and usage of the department of homeland security it is optimal. By potentially separating the department into two facets that in a way can mutually benefit from each other, if they work side by side, would be disastrous. Keeping the agency as a singular unit with the few minor defects is a much better solution than attempting to revert years of progress in homeland terrorism prevention.


Generally, I believe that the current structure of the Department of Homeland Security is sufficient. DHS is a fairly large apparatus that seems already to encompass both of these missions. Additionally, DHS already has two sub-agencies (Coast Guard Intelligence and the Office of Intelligence Analysis) that are represented within the U.S. Intelligence Community and deal with security matters and FEMA, which deals with response.

As for the rest of the department, I think there is value to coordinating both proactive security measures and responding to attempted terrorism within the same office. In this respect the professionals within the offices are able to see how various security protocols, for example, may effect response should a disaster occur. I am not sure it would be wise to completely isolate one from the other.

My larger concern at the present is the large amount of senior administrative positions in the intel community (and throughout the federal government) that remain vacant or are filled by individuals only on an acting basis. My sense is that we are at a heightened vulnerability when there isn’t the same level of leadership that typically exists within these departments.

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