Intro to Homeland Security_7
Q1. The debate on whether the military should be involved in domestic operations has been going on for the longest time. In reference to the new National Military Strategy, the military’s role has been stated as that of defending the United States from both domestic and foreign enemies. Apart from participating in overseas wars, the military is also mandated with defense of the homeland. Homeland security is under the jurisdiction of law enforcers, however as depicted by the events of September 9/11, homeland defense seemed inadequate. It became clearly evident that the role of the military would be necessary even in domestic operations. The law governing the operations of the military such as Posse Comistatus needs to be reviewed to allow for increased domestic roles. Collaborative efforts should be incorporated in the functions of the homeland security department and the military. As the military focuses on domestic preparedness, defense support to civil authorities, border and coastal defense and continued military operations, this should not be confused with law enforcement. Actually it is the homeland security law enforcers who need to understand these concepts too since the threat can originate from within the citizenry.
Q3. The functions of homeland security and that of homeland defense elicit debate much so concerning their roles in matters of securing the United States and its interests. While the homeland security is mandated with “prevention, preemption, and deterrence of, and defense against, aggression targeted at U.S. territory, sovereignty, domestic population, and infrastructure as well as the management of the consequences of such aggression and other domestic emergencies”, the homeland defense entails “the protection of U.S. territory, domestic population and critical infrastructure against military attacks emanating from outside the United States.” (Brennan, 2002). The difference is really on the kind of operations each unit is meant to engage in. On the part of homeland security the focus for instance on terrorism would focus on the threat posed by terrorists who are either citizens of the United States acting independently or in collaboration with a foreign enemy such as a hostile state. On the other hand the military role in protecting America from threat is more targeted to outside forces and may do this through conventional military operations against hostile states or state-sponsored political groupings as well as ideological enemies such as criminal terror gangs. This therefore means that their roles may overlap but are not necessarily identical.
Q3. There is no reason as to why the active duty military should only be designed for overseas operations. The overseas operations may appear perennial but are not a permanent program. This therefore means the military’s primary role is to guard the US territorial boundaries. Furthermore, it would be overly expensive to maintain both the National Guard in a continuous active role in homeland security and defense functions. The current status in which the National Guard is only called in as reinforcement during wars or natural disasters should be maintained, much so due to the budgetary sums involved. The administrative organization of the National Guard is already facing controversy following activation of significant number of individuals to partake in ongoing military operations against terrorism. The department of defense ought to be in consultation with state governors on the role of the National Guard in order to determine the circumstances under which their input may be necessary (Tilton & Army War College (U.S.)., 2009).
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