The September 1, 2001 attacks in the United States greatly altered the way American government viewed terrorism. It was the events that occurred during that time that the Department of Homeland Security was reorganized into the way it is now (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2009). The September 2001 reiterated the important role of Department of Homeland Security in the country’s economy. In the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has transcended into one of the most important departments in the U.S economic growth. The DHS plays a huge role in protecting critical infrastructures; disruption of the terrorist financing and identification of the vulnerabilities to security threats, all which are essential in the country’s economic growth.
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The critical infrastructures are important in provision of essential services like electricity and healthcare. These infrastructures are important in the nation’s economic growth. Security vulnerabilities must be identified in order to protect the American and ensure the flow of goods and services is not interrupted and thus ensure the economy keeps growing. On the other hand, the disruption of terrorist financial networks ensures the prevention of terrorist actions, allowing people to remain safe and continue with nation building.
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The Roles of Department Of Homeland Security in Economic Protection
The critical infrastructure is the backbone of the economy of the United States. The critical infrastructure include the chemical, commercial facilities, critical manufacturing, dams, defense industrial base, energy, emergency services, food and agriculture, healthcare services, financial services, nuclear reactor, transportation, information technology and water and wastewater services sectors (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2009). The interruption of their operations can cause massive loss that can be estimated at millions of dollars per hour. Radvanovsky & McDougall (2016), points that the critical infrastructures are the target of terrorist groups in their efforts to scuttle the activities of the perceived enemies. In recognition of the importance of the critical infrastructure to the country’s economy, the Department of Homeland Security has developed a number of measures to protect them. The DHS has developed the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) that is tasked with the provision of a coordinated approach to the critical infrastructure as well as the key resource protection and federal, the individual state, local, tribal and private sector security partners.
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Safeguarding the critical infrastructure may not be a success in itself in the prevention of possible terrorist attacks. There is need for an elaborate program to ensure the terrorist activities are curtailed through the disruption of the financing (Bullock, Haddow & Coppola, 2012). A terrorist attack requires a lot of planning, manpower and equipment. All these need a lot of money for an attack to be done successfully. This is why the Department of Homeland Security has identified the disruption of the terrorist financing as one of the critical responses against terrorist attacks. In doing so, the DHS ensures protection of the citizens against threats, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of goods and services that are necessary for the growth of the economy.
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Although the disruption of the terrorist financial networks and protection of the critical infrastructure are important, there is need to ensure continuous assessment to identify the vulnerabilities to security threats. The world economy is dynamic with new businesses being developed and production system created on continuous basis. This creates new entities that could be a source of threat to the terrorist activities. As technology continues to evolve, so to the terrorist groups evolve in their strategies. In the wake of the evolving weapons of mass destruction, the DHS must have the ability to translate threat information into effective action in the shortest time. Making assessments to determine the vulnerable areas is key in prevention of terrorist activities and the disruption of the economy.
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Although the has been on the receiving ends in its infringement of civil rights and privacy claims, the department is critical to the functioning of the economy of the United States. The DHS is responsible for protection of key areas that support the daily activities that are important for the running of the economy. In addition, the departments role in disruption of terrorist financing and assessment of areas to determine vulnerabilities, are important in ensuring sustained daily economic activities.
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