The term global war on terrorism (GWOT) remains fixed in the American lexicon. The Obama Administration, soon after taking office, directed all military and civilian federal agencies to refer to efforts to combat terrorism, particularly in reference to the two primary theatres of operation (Afghanistan and Iraq), as “overseas contingency operations.” For the purposes of clarity and ease of understanding for the learner, the term GWOT is used in this assignment.
You have been asked, as a recognized homeland security expert in your jurisdiction, to write a memo for your newly elected U.S. senator. She would like to know your thoughts on the following questions.
Using the course materials, textbook, and Web resources, consider the following questions as you write a memo of 750–1,000 words to your senator.
- Address the following in 750–1,000 words:
- Have the strategies enacted since 2001 clearly articulated the transition from the posture adopted during the Cold War to that required for non-state threats and the conduct of the GWOT?
- Are they clear enough to define roles of organizations that are responsible for homeland security? Have you identified any areas of conflict (potential or actual) between federal agencies’ assignments?
- Several HSPDs assign responsibilities for incident management leadership to federal departments that fall outside of the area of responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security. Do the identified lead departments have a day-to-day HS mission and focus? What challenges may exist when they are called to lead a multidisciplinary response effort if emergency management or HS are not their primary focus?
- State emergency management and homeland security agencies design their response structures to reflect the anticipated organizational hierarchy established in several federal laws and policies (e.g., the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and HSPD-5). Does current policy guidance support this planning assumption?
- What challenges exist or may emerge as a result of unclear pathways of command, control/coordination, and convergence during disaster or incident response operations?
- Is the new environment supportive and appropriate for an all-hazards concept of homeland security and emergency management, or is it too focused on terrorism?