Effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security Today – Personal View

The Department of Homeland Security was established in 2002 following the 9/11 incident which was the worst terrorist attack in the American soil. The incident was very horrific such that the main effort of the department was based on fighting terrorism and the Al-Qaeda group that was responsible for these attacks.  The department has therefore dedicated over a century of its existence in fighting terrorism and destroying Al-Qaeda network. Since the DHS creation, America has never experienced any other major terrorist attack (Nelson, 2013). Actually, it is considerably hard for any terrorist group to currently execute an attack of similar magnitude to the 9/11 event at the moment. DHS has managed to reduce the Al-Qaeda power such that it would be very hard for them to manage a similar attack as they managed in 9/11.  This means that the department has effectively managed to perform its main duty which is fighting terrorism in the country. DHS can therefore be uploaded for the good work it has been doing with regard to fighting terrorists. By managing this, Department of Homeland Security has managed to fulfill its main objective. However, the department has spread most of its energy in fighting the al-Qaeda group such that it currently being confronted with a number of new challenges and threats that will need analysis of the department missions, structures and priorities (Nelson, 2013).

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The al-Qaeda threat has been strongly reduced such that it is considerably hard for al-Qaeda to launch erudite attack in US. However, apart from this, DHS is facing new challenges which include cyberattacks. DHS must establish ways to augment the country’s defense over cyberattacks. DHS need to establish improved systems for credentialing and security screening, and enhance information sharing and intelligence (Nelson, 2013). Cyberattacks has been advancing day after day as technology advances. This may become a serious issue especially now that most companies are operating virtually. This issue poses a great threat to the economy of the country. It can easily result to intellectual property theft from U.S. businesses and corporations. The DHS will then need to safeguard over these intrusions and attacks. To manage this, the department will need to install an architectures and systems structured to support its cybersecurity growing role. This should be done when working in a constrained financial environment. The present budget climate in some ways presents a distinctive chance to change the department direction. Dollars limitation will push hard decisions with regard to what capabilities and programs to cut or fund. The budget cuts offer a chance not just to enhance the efficiency of the department but also to move past and overcome complex policy issues (Nelson, 2013).

Information is another important aspect of the DHS that need to be enhanced. Information sharing is turning to be more significant in fulfilling the security missions of the Department of Homeland Security. Nevertheless, this is not going to be easy with limited budget. The department has made great progress in promoting information and intelligence sharing since its formation so as to meet its requirements. Nevertheless, new systems and organizations have been developed and the current organizations have swiftly changed their cultures and structures to lower cross boundaries and strovepipes which existed prior to 9/11 (Nelson, 2013). Conversely, there exists a considerable risk that as a threat of another disastrous attack withdraws from consciousness support of the public for sharing of information will decline, permitting organizations to retreat into their initial isolation positions prior to 9/11 event. This means the department has not been very effective in controlling information sharing especially with the public. To prevent the above situation from taking place, DHS requires to be an influential advocate for the possibly even expanded and continued, sharing of information and intelligence (Nelson, 2013).

Illegal immigration is another challenge facing DHS. This is one sector that has been experiencing chaos all through since the formation of the DHS. Today, the country has millions of illegal immigrants who are straining its economy. This problem has been identified as the major policy issue in the US by the current government. More workable solution is needed in enhancing the process of immigration in the country, especially along the Mexico border. Border security issue is also a hot topic in the department (Boozallen.com, 2012). There are still some irregularities that may need to be fixed. The department has also been trying to employ new measures to control the country’s borders, though some sort of disagreements among the involved stakeholders. The general DHS border mission is to uphold balance among competing areas of operation that include enforcement of legislations to guarantee immigration and trade laws, international agreements, regulations, protect safety and health, and collect duties. The department also needs to enhance the security of infrastructure, people, conveyances, and cargo needed to be imposed to prevent the export and import.  Security is also needed to enhance travel and trade to keep people and cargo moving to enhance movement freedom and expedite commerce (Boozallen.com, 2012).

Basically, the DHS has over 20 units to coordinate and to ensure that they work effectively. All these units focus more on five main purposes. Among them the task of fighting terrorism and al-Qaeda has been given highest priority in the country, such that other tasks are experiencing different problems at different magnitude. It is also becoming harder every day to control many units of the department to enhance efficiency. The analysis demonstrates DHS deficiency in various aspects among others and thus, its level of efficiency can be generally considered to be low. More need to be done to enhance the general performance of the Department of Homeland Security especially on cybersecurity, data sharing, and immigration among others.

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