Since 9/11 the United States has pumped millions of dollars and a great amount of man hours into trying to provide homeland security. There has been a restructuring of internal investigative bodies, a rethinking of the organization of relief agencies, and the production of new and better guidelines for law enforcement officials across the country. While there has been a blizzard of activity and the creation of many positions, charts and graphs there is also a complete neglect of several key factors that could substantially affect America’s homeland security. Those attempting to provide for the full time, full scale security of the United States need to look at fixing things that are broken and considering these five ways to improve homeland security not yet being fully implemented.
1.Make our country education centered. All of the Homeland Security advisories, warnings and bulletins in the world are not going to keep our nation safe if there are still millions of our citizens who are unable to read and act on what they have been told. We have been lulled into believing that all due efforts are being taken to address the educational crisis in the United States today and yet the level of illiteracy, the drop out rate and the unemployment statistics indicate that the United States continues to fail in educating its citizens effectively.
We can not stand together as a nation to face the issues posed by terrorists when a large portion of our country lacks the basic skills necessary to function effectively in society. The first way to improve homeland security is to deal frankly with the education gap in our society today. Without an educated population we are condemned to be victimized by the schemes of others.
2. Make our country drug free. The United States invaded Iraq in part because our intelligence agencies had convinced us of the threat to us that was being hidden there in the form of weapons of mass destruction. While our efforts to unearth these WMD’s proved fruitless, the mere idea that they might exist stirred considerable fear and concern among Americans. In the United States today we have in our midst our own localized weapons of mass destruction. We call them drugs.
One way to improve homeland security is to concentrate our efforts, our law enforcement and intelligence resources , on solving the national drug problem. The violence that the sale and use of drugs generates in our country has destroyed and is continuing to destroy young lives and the very fabric of our society . If we are concerned about our national existence and the quality of life in our United States, we don’t have to go to Iraq and search for WMD, we only need to concentrate on the considerable destruction going on right under our own noses.
3. Work to reduce Global Warming Our homeland cannot in any way be considered secure as long as the trend towards global warming continues. While the effects of global warming may not be lethal today or tomorrow, scientists have made it clear that we are fast approaching the threshold after which our actions to reduce global warming may no longer be able to rescue our planet from calamitous weather repercussions.
Global warming is real. It is something going on right now . And it is something for which the United States need not search beyond its own shores. We can begin the effort to protect our children from the serious problems attached to global warming by working in the United States to reduce the creation of greenhouse effect gases. If homeland security means to protect our nation then one way to improve homeland security is certainly to work for a reduction in global warming, nationally and internationally.
4. Resolve Our Border Crisis One way to improve homeland security is certainly to maximize the number of trained personnel we have available to deal with potential crises. This means that we can no longer afford the luxury of tying up countless law enforcement officers patrolling the border we share with Mexico. The United States government has been classically ineffective in halting illegal entries from Mexico into this country and yet still pours huge sums of money and manpower into this effort.
There are many potential solutions to this problem, many of them untried. If we are serious about finding ways to improve homeland security then we must end this chronic mismanagement and waste of our professional law enforcement manpower by resolving our border crisis with Mexico, now.
5. Train Americans to assist with Homeland Security The United Sates is a major world power. Its citizenry needs to be prepared for the dangers that worldwide terrorism can bring to our shores. To date the training of Americans to be of practical assistance in times of crisis has been reserved to professional forces. Ordinary citizens are only considered competent to call in reports of anything that looks “suspicious”. The citizenry has been left outside of the active work of homeland security.
Americans need to be given basic training and information so that they can feel involved in their own protection and in providing localized defense of their country. One of the best ways to improve homeland security is improve the individual awareness of citizens.
Providing homeland security in the United States is a huge undertaking, one that is done best by first reducing our own domestic problems.