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Effective Use of Intelligence in Homeland Security Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Mar 23rd, 2021

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this memorandum is to give recommendations for increasing the effective use of intelligence in homeland security.

Background and discussion

The role played by intelligence in enhancing security cannot be overemphasized. There are many types of crimes, which cannot be deterred without the support of intelligence information. War on terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and drug trafficking are just a few examples of serious crimes, which cannot be stopped without the aid of intelligence information (Ivan 2005, 2). Systems of providing intelligence information have been put in place in the past, which have recorded both successes and failures.

Nevertheless, owing to the sensitivity of the matters requiring intelligence information, any failure in the timely provision of such information can have a devastating effect. More so, if this failure is related to information that would have helped curb an occurrence, which ends up killing people, damaging property, and tainting the image of National security systems (Joseph 2006, 3). Additionally, coordination between intelligence systems and law enforcement agencies is of great importance in winning the war against domestic and international crime, which threatens state security.

Recommendations for increasing effective use of intelligence

The following are some of the recommendations that can be applied to increase the effective use of intelligence in homeland security:

Enhanced coordination between elements of intelligence and law enforcement agencies

It has emerged that the nature of terrorism threats has changed over time. In the past, terrorism entailed an organized strike of the USA by terrorists, aimed at killing and destroying property. However, this pattern has changed, with the current trend being that of terrorists attacking the USA and its allies, through attacking foreign USA missions (Brian, Margaret and Peter 2001, 7).

This makes it difficult to know the next target, and has made the fight against terrorism a great challenge in that, it is no longer just a matter of enhancing security internally, but also in all regions where the US has interests. Therefore, more coordination is required between intelligence units and law enforcement agencies, to stop any planned crime before it happens. Any delay in coordination is detrimental since it can lead to irreversible consequences.

Creation of a decentralized intelligence structure

As the threat of crimes increases, so does the need to enhance intelligence information gathering and timely communication. Therefore, the intelligence structure must be decentralized to the grassroots, to be able to track relevant information from all angles (Richard 2007, 12). This would enhance the ability of the security apparatus to respond to any threat, regardless of its magnitude, serving to curb such threats from thriving and becoming bigger crimes, which are difficult to address. Through the decentralization of intelligence structure, no wind of potential threat or organized crime would go unnoticed. This way, the efficiency of security systems is enhanced, as problems to be addressed would be fewer (Joseph 2006, 40).

Developing information standards

Any crime is organized and coordinated by people. There are various channels through which coordinated information is transmitted. Therefore, through developing effective information standards that particularly address systems of communication and information sharing, it would be possible to terminate such coordination (Jordan 2005, 20). Communication is the fundamental principle of any coordinated activity. Therefore, its termination has the effect of interrupting the whole chain of activities. Through developing IC-wide information standards, it would be possible to track down planned crimes and terminate them before they are executed.

Foster cooperation with international missions

In an attempt to curb terrorism and other crimes, it would be futile to depend on the internal security structures only. This is because, with improvement in technology and attack tactics, an operation can be organized and executed from a different territory (Richard 2001, 16). Therefore, it is crucial to enhance coordination between the intelligence systems and international missions, so that external intelligence information can be collected and communicated in good time. This helps to avert threats posed by external attacks.

Conclusion

Insecurity is one of the greatest dangers that the current world is facing. The threats of crimes keep increasing every day, while the tactics for organizing and executing such crimes keep improving by the day. Thus, it is inevitable to seek ways of improving the security apparatus. Therefore, it is important to enhance coordination between the intelligence systems and law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, decentralizing the intelligence structures to the grassroots and fostering good cooperation between security systems and international missions, goes a long way in averting the threats of increased crimes. Developing information standards that would enhance tracking communication between organizers and perpetrators of crime is another crucial aspect in averting the dangers posed by insecurity.

Reference list

Brian H. Hook, Margaret J. A. Peterlin and Peter L. 2001. Welsh white paper on anti-terrorism legislation intelligence and the new threat: The USA Patriot Act and information sharing between the intelligence and law enforcement communities. Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies: 1-19.

Ivan T. Luke. Homeland security – civil support. 2005. How DoD plugs into the interagency C2 structure. U.S. Naval War College: 1-15.

Jordan, Tama. 2005. Intelligence reform: progress, remaining deficiencies, and next steps. Princeton Project on National Security 1-39.

Joseph R. Fuentes. 2006. New Jersey state police practical guide to intelligence-led policing. Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: 1-46.

Richard A. Best, Jr. 2001. Intelligence and law enforcement: countering transnational threats to the U.S. CRS Report for Congress 3: 1-35.

Richard A. Best, Jr. 2007. Sharing law enforcement and intelligence information: The congressional role. CRS Report for Congress 13: 1-18.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Effective Use of Intelligence in Homeland Security'. 23 March.

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