This policy was established as support to the directive issued by the former president of America George W. Bush after the September 2001 terrorist attack. The main aim of this policy was to ensure that proper screening mechanisms were established to bring to book all perpetrators of terrorism activities (Darmer 2004). The policy was expected to help security officers to detect and interdict anybody that is suspected to be involved in criminal activities. In addition, it aimed at ensuring that there was the coordination of all terrorism management activities to ensure there is a united front in fighting this menace. This involved the use of various departments (immigration, registration of persons, security, residence, and employment) to ensure they work together to develop s strong anti-terrorism fight. In addition, the directive develops the ‘Integration and Use of Screening Information to Protect against Terrorism’ policy that is aimed at ensuring that all government employees are screened to check whether they have the knowledge or are involved in terrorism activities.
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The policy defines terrorism screening as the collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of information related to people, cargo, conveyances, and other entities and objects that pose a threat to homeland security and also includes risk assessment, inspection, and credentialing (The White House 2004). The report outlined a strategy to enhance the effectiveness of terrorist-related screening activities by the policy outlined in Section 1 of this directive, by developing comprehensive, coordinated, systematic terrorist-related screening procedures and capabilities (The White House 2004). This was aimed at maintaining a high level of the current security protocols to ensure they are not compromised by the introduction of a coordinated approach to fight terrorism. In addition, the strategy would encourage innovations that exceed established standards because the department of homeland Security noted that terrorism was evolving and adopting sophisticated approaches in executing attacks. Moreover, the policy was expected to ensure that there was sufficient flexibility to respond to changing threats and priorities posed by terrorists who were keen on punishing America, its citizens, and institutions located in different regions in the world (The White House 2004).
Lastly, the policy is aimed at incorporating security features, including unpredictability, that resists circumvention to the greatest extent possible and ensures terrorism is reduced to manageable levels (The White House 2004). The facilitation of legitimate trade activities, movement of people across regional and international borders was also a mandate of this policy and this means that there was the need for security officers to cooperate with immigration officers to ensure this was achieved. The design of this policy was structured to accommodate and enable other departments to perform their duties independently yet work together to detect and stop terrorist attacks. The need for coordination in sharing information was also an important factor that this policy observed to ensure all departments understood what was happening and that they were in positions to execute their responsibilities within a reasonable response time as expected by all anti-terrorism policies (The White House 2004). The executive branch of the Federal Government had serious challenges in terms of internal management and thus it was necessary to have a policy that ensured there is a commitment, accountability, coordination, and transparency in this section (The White House 2004). This means that it was not supposed to benefit any person or section of the staff, state or institution, but ensure appropriate steps are taken to promote internal security and safeguard the future of Americans.
Therefore, this policy became an important tool in ensuring the Department of Homeland Security is granted more power to work effectively in screening and detecting terrorism-related activities. In addition, it ensured due diligence and integrity were driving forces that motivated government officials to work together to ensure terrorism is eliminated in the United States (Mahan 2007). The policy was an important approach to managing the challenges associated with interior terrorism where terrorists targeted America using its citizens and people that were expected to be at the forefront in fighting this menace. In addition, it offered a platform that ensured all security personnel and individuals working in departments concerned with anti-terrorism wars pledged their support to work for the benefit of the country and its citizens. This policy is an illustration of the challenges facing war on terror because it highlights the need to kill the enemy within before continuing with the war (Simonsen 2009). This is an important approach to ensuring the country does not waste money and other resources fighting terrorism in other countries, yet its servants are busy offering fertile grounds for terrorists to launch their attacks. Therefore, this and other policies established after September 11, 2001, terrorist attack are aimed at fighting terrorism from all possible avenues.
The United States realized that the war on terror was not as easy as it sounded because the perpetrators were not the traditional Islamic and Arab personalities. Most people had wrong perceptions that terrorists were from the Arab region and thus they never expected their sons to be involved in this criminal activity. However, investigations revealed that terrorists were becoming intelligent and using sophisticated surveillance techniques to launch their attacks (Kamien 2011). They invested in recruiting members from different regions and this became a serious blow to the fight against terrorism because it is not easy to differentiate terrorists from other members of the public.
The Department of Homeland Security has worked hard to ensure there are appropriate surveillance and screening of all individuals, homes, institutions, and business activities that are suspected to be involved in terrorism. This has become a major positive development that has helped the United States to maintain high-security standards. It is necessary to explain that Americans have developed a stronger faith in their military and other security organs (Bullock 2013). This has boosted their level of investment in business activities because they are sure that there is reasonable safety. The September 11, 2001 terrorism attack on the United States made it impossible for Americans to believe that their investments were safe. However, the Department of Homeland security has ensured that there is close supervision of all activities within the United States national boundaries. This has helped people to realize that terrorism is a national disaster; therefore, they work hard to ensure they offer the Department of Homeland Security the necessary support they need to perform their duties effectively (Ramsay 2014).
However, human rights activists claim that some policies established to curb terrorism are not good because they violate the rights of Americans. They believe that the screening policies proposed by former President George W. Bush give the Department of Homeland Security excess power to invade private property. This means that people do not have privacy because police officers have an express right to enter their homes and ransack them (Nemeth 2013). Lastly, the endless surveillance flights do not add any value to the fight against terrorism. In addition, some Americans believe that America is wasting a lot of taxpayers’ money under the pretense of air surveillance that is expensive yet unnecessary.
Bullock, J. (2013). Introduction to Homeland Security: Principles of All-Hazards Risk Management. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Darmer, K. (2004). Civil Liberties vs. National Security in a Post 9/11 World (Contemporary Issues). New York: Prometheus Books.
Kamien, D. (2011). McGraw-Hill Homeland Security Handbook: Strategic Guidance for a Coordinated Approach to Effective Security and Emergency Management. New York: McGraw Hill.
Mahan, S. (2007). Terrorism in Perspective. London. Sage Publications, Inc.
Nemeth, C. (2013). Homeland Security: An Introduction to Principles and Practice. New York: CRC Press.
Ramsay, J. D. (2014). Critical Issues in Homeland Security: A Casebook. Colorado: Westview Press.
Simonsen, J. (2009). Terrorism Today: The Past, the Players, the Future. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
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