Homeland Security Hierarchy

The Strategy Hierarchy and Homeland Security The concept of homeland security can be described as a collective interaction and marshalling of resources involving a various agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to protect U.S. borders and the mainland from threats posed by state actors, non-state actors, and other malicious entities. Additional threats homeland security must contend with include those that are biological origin such as highly pathogenic viruses as well as natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the primary federal agency responsible for homeland security with border security being one of its highest priority missions. The Customs and Border Protection agency …show more content…
The hierarchy construct contains a descending mechanism which begins at the top level and flows downward to the lower levels (Vick, 1984, n.p.). The National Security Strategy, which is formulated by the Executive Branch, is a strategic document that helps to form the foundation upon which other national strategies pertaining to homeland security and defense are formulated (Reese, 2013, p.2). Elements of the National Security Strategy form the basis of the DHS Homeland Security Strategic Plan 2012-2016 and the Customs and Border Protection Plan is based on elements of the DHS Homeland Security Strategic Plan. Moreover, elements of the Customs and Border Protection Plan form the basis of the Border Patrol Strategic Plan which further illustrates the descending mechanism of the strategy hierarchy. The stated missions of DHS are as follows: Mission 1: Preventing Terrorism and Enhancing Security; Mission 2: Securing and Managing Our Borders; Mission 3: Enforcing and Administering Our Immigration Laws; Mission 4: Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace; and Mission 5: Ensuring Resilience to Disasters (Quadrennial Homeland (2010, p.x). It can be argued that Mission 2 is most important since it directly impacts Missions 1 and 3. At the tactical level of the DHS strategy hierarchy, subordinate goals of Mission 2 include Goal 2.1 which is effective control of U.S. …show more content…
national security, forms the foundation upon which homeland security and defense policy is based. Homeland security is primarily concerned with border security, immigration, and terrorism while homeland defense focuses on the protection of the U.S. mainland and territories as well as U.S. sovereignty. Specific policies implemented by DHS, the DoD, and other agencies that pertain to homeland security and defense are formulated at the agency level of the strategy hierarchy. Such policies include the deployment of the Joint Task Force-North and advanced technology and equipment given to DHS by the DoD to enhance border security. The implementation of these policies takes place at the tactical level and also demonstrates the policy cohesion and congruency necessary among agencies within the strategy hierarchy for national strategies to be successfully implemented. Furthermore, the strategy hierarchy is seen in DHS efforts to protect critical infrastructure which contains a major vulnerability point in its cross-sector interdependence construct. Office of Infrastructure Protection policies formulated at the agency level are based on the DHS national strategy formulated at the top level and measures to mitigate threats to critical infrastructure are implemented at the tactical level. The strategy hierarchy is central to the formulation and implementation of national strategies

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