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Terrorism remains a great threat to the United States homeland security department. Since the 2001, September 11 bombing, the United States has engaged in relentless efforts to counter terrorism (DeYoung, 2006). The homeland department has gone to an extent of launching the U.S. military in Afghanistan (Department of Homeland Security, 2003). Many of such measures have been highly questioned. On one hand, human rights issues have arisen, with human freedom and dignity being put at risk. The Obama administration has been heavily put to task. Even after the successful capture of Bin-Laden, the administration's efforts against terrorism are under much debate. While the Bush administration's approaches to counter-terror remain under condemnation, the current policies are also being viewed with much concern. Though many EU member states support the U.S. framework on the fight against terror; the difference and conflict between the EU and the U.S. on terrorism have been publicly debated. On one hand, there was much criticism on the closure of the Bragram and Guantanamo detention. On the other hand, unlike the U.S., the EU gives human right a priority, e.g. in ensuring that listed suspects access the court.

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In light of the current situation, it is clear that current frameworks that use the military in the fight of terror need to be reviewed. The U.S. homeland security needs to step up its acts and review its frameworks in countering terrorism. In support of a new model against terrorism, this paper consists of a Counterterrorism and Intelligence Framework, written as a policy recommendation to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Framework addresses the roles and responsibilities of agencies participating in the framework, and gives a set of tools the agencies use in countering terror.

Public trust agency

Public trust remains a cornerstone for the successful launch of a counter-terror campaign in the fight against terrorism. In many instances, Al Qaeda and other terror groups have used appealing messages to the public in order to recruit youths and gain sympathy from the vulnerable youth in their recruitment. The American government is often deemed as merciless and the instigator of terrorism (Singel, 2005). While Bin Laden has been a threat to America since 1992, it is no doubt that before his demise, he has used appealing messages to the Islamic community to convince the public, especially in Islamic countries, that America is responsible for the decline in Islam and the discrimination against the Islamic community. Bin Laden constantly accused the West and the U.S. in particular as indecent and corrupt. He often called on youths to engage in the fight against the U.S. and the conversion of U.S. into Islam. Unfortunately, these messages have been appealing to many youths and offered consolations, which led them into terrorist acts and into the fight against “Crusaders and the Jews”. Many desperate young men corporate and risk themselves to carry the vision of Osama in fighting America due to lack of trust in the American government. In addition, the government has used unfavorable and discriminatory launches that have drawn much criticism from the public. The use of force in the counterterrorism efforts has left the American public trust in the government largely ruined. In an effort to counter such mistrust among the public, there is the need to include a Public Trust agency within the homeland department. Over time, hard tactics as witnessed in the Bush administration have proved unsuccessful; it is time the department applied soft tactics. In using soft tactics, there is a need to include the entire public intelligently through appeal in engaging them to counter-terrorism.

Such an approach is an effective intelligence policy that will incorporate the entire population to engage in counteracting terrorism. The public Trust agent within the homeland security department will engage in an intelligence campaign geared to gain the trust of the public. The campaign will change the public image towards the American government in the fight against terrorism. The agent will engage in key activities of disseminating and coordinating of intelligence information that is positive between the public and the homeland. Different countries were portrayed in the Gulf war against Iraq, where the United States, Europe, Syria, and the Middle East collaborated intelligently through trust in launching their planned operations and attacks.

The campaign launched by the public Trust agent must tactfully utilize three key tools; proper analysis, acquisition and dissemination of information. Firstly, there should be proper analysis of current attitudes and factors that have led to such attitudes of the public. Proper analysis will be crucial to the next prerequisite measures of information acquisition and dissemination. Information acquisition will require careful coordination and tact in order to engage the public to submit the correct information. There should be coordination with local officials from the homeland department in order to engage the grassroots public. After acquiring the appropriate information, it is crucial for the Public Trust agent to get engaged in information dissemination through a campaign targeting the entire population.

Since it is clear that much of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. are instigated from outside the country, the agent must also engage in collaborative activities with foreign countries in order to gather and disseminate information from other countries. By collaborating with foreign countries and their citizens, the framework will be counteracting the economic, political and diplomatic terms of other nations that influence the foreign citizens’ efforts to cooperate in counterterrorism activities. In many cases, conflict and differences between individual countries and regions and personal differences between the leaders, police and the military largely differ. The campaign by the public Trust agent will largely benefit from the cooperation between different countries.

Cross Border agencies

Since the September 2001 bombing, the vulnerability of the U.S. borders remains an issue of concern. While many legislations and efforts have been implemented, there is still a need to consider the citizens freedom of movement as well as their human right. The department of homeland security has done much to ensure domestic security. All the agencies in regards to border security were incorporated under the Department of Homeland Security since the 9/11 bombing. The U.S. border is comprised by Northern and Southern stretches that separate the country from Mexico on the South and from Canada on the North. The Northern borders probes a major issue of concern in regards to terrorism.

On the other hand, the Southern border is notorious for illegal immigration and drug trafficking. The major challenge that Homeland Security faces in the security of the borders in counteracting terrorism is the length of the stretches of land, separating U.S. from its neighbors. The Northern border with Canada poses the greatest threat in counteracting terrorism. The border comprises of 3, 987 miles with the stretch between Canada and Alaska being 1, 538 miles. On the other hand, the border between Mexico and the U.S. is 1, 933 miles. The Mexican border has exposed Arizona and Texas to much vulnerability against drug trafficking.

In an effort to secure the land borders, the Homeland Security department needs to adopt key tools to counteract terrorism. Firstly, the department needs to involve security, enforcement and law agencies along the borders (Mosse, 2006). Among the most effective security officers that the Homeland Security Department needs to incorporate along the borders are the Seal Team Six, Delta Force and the Special Operations Command. These are often equipped and tactfully trained to work with technical weapons, equipments that have airborne insertions along other technology. It will also be appropriate to include the teams from counterterrorist elites that deal with terrorism, and that are trained to rescue hostage and deal with terrorism in a manner that force from the military is unnecessary.

The second crucial tool in cross border security is the consultation of the coordinator for counterterrorism. The coordinator of counterterrorism has the responsibility to enhance networking and cooperation between foreign counterparts and the United States government to fight terror as dictated by the U.S. counterterrorism policy major principle. The coordinator of counterterrorism should be incorporated to work with the Homeland Security to improve border security. There is a need to work with the respectful governments of Canada and Mexico in countering terrorism jointly. Since the flow of terrorists originates in those countries, the coordinator should peacefully engage the countries in a treaty that will commit them in the counter terror efforts. Thirdly, it will be necessary for the DCI Counterterrorist center to become completely incorporated into the Homeland Security Department in the efforts to enhance border security. The Counterterrorist center is an organ within the CIA that works in countering terrorism. It was formed in the 1980’s after investigation and conclusions led by the then vice-president George Bush in an effort to fight terrorism. The investigation had revealed that despite the much investigation, conducted by the U.S. security agencies, the agencies were doing little to counteract terror activities. In-depth analysis of terror groups, collection of information need to be done by the Counterterrorist center along the U.S. borders, especially on the border with Canada, where terrorism thrives. In addition, the FBI should work more with the Counterterrorist center and the Homeland Security Department in investigating cases and situations against terrorism along the borders. Before 2001, the FBI agencies were only involved in law enforcement; the agencies have become more involved in countering terror after the September bombings.

Intelligence system center

Since the dramatic 2001 attacks, the Homeland Security Department has undergone major changes. The key changes in the Homeland Security Department have been through the Intelligence community in the country, concentrating on the use, sharing as well as coordination of intelligence systems to offer security and prevent terrorism in the country. In order to counter and prevent terrorism in the country, the department needs to effectively apply a counter-terrorist strategy, dealing mainly with sharing intelligence and coordination of community Intelligence. In applying such a policy, the country needs to evaluate the European framework and borrow a few concepts. In comparing the U.S. and the EU counterterrorism strategy, there is no doubt that the European approach has proven more successful in the efforts to deal with terrorism. The European approach gives much attention to human rights and freedoms in the context of the European legal framework. In borrowing such a strategy to the intelligence community, there needs to be coordination, collaboration among the various states, structures of control and legitimacy.

Legitimacy as a tool for the intelligence community refers to the legal steps, taken by the legislative bodies, in order to mobilize the public and pass laws that are sensible towards the public. In the current situation, the legality of antiterrorism activities has been undermined with many laws, discriminating the minority in religion. Laws fail to solve unemployment and favor situations that are favorable for terror group exploitation. Legitimacy should be applied by the Homeland Department to empower the government in disabling terrorist, in their ability to offer solutions such as employment to the public. In applying legislations intelligently, the government must balance human rights and policies. While Italy ignored intelligence and embarked in policy implementations, its efforts to fight terror failed and led to the growth in the Red Brigades activities. The Italian government was held captive in the 1970’s by the terrorism activities of civilian kidnapping.

In counteracting terrorism, the government must apply intelligence and coordinate its activities. A clear structure of control and command is necessary. The structure needs to be carefully constructed to distinguish foreign and domestic matters. The national intelligence needs to work in networking and connecting the structure between the military, domestic and foreign roles of the intelligence as one organ. In achieving command and control, it is crucial to apply the policy documents on National Strategy for Homeland Security. The National Strategy for Homeland Security document discusses crucial moves in renewing the Domestic Homeland Department in order to effectively counter-terrorism. In using coordination, new channels of correcting information need to be implemented; also, there needs to be more empowerment of the director of central intelligence as part of a command. In order to counter terror groups in the country, there needs to be more coordination between the law enforcement officers and the intelligence community. In the operation of the intelligence community strategy, the Homeland Department can opt for either one of the following three approaches. First, there is an approach that is controlled by the federal government and dominated by the old foreign intelligence. In this system, there is a top-down flow. It is characteristic of the traditional intelligence system. The second approach is appropriate while evaluating the local situation for any criminal activities or threats. In such a system, information is in form of feedback and is mainly bottom up. The third approach is the most appropriate for the Domestic Homeland Security Department. It is a decentralization approach, where the traditional actors and law enforcers interact. This approach is neither a bottom up approach or top-down approach and neither is it restricted by geographical factors. Collaboration in the intelligence system needs to be build in order to uniformly identify the threat and its impact to the society. Americans have uniformly identified Al Qaeda as the enemy. The governments need to collaborate and work together in fighting the threat. There needs to be units in foreign countries that assist the government in detecting any terror activities.  Governments need to collaborate in the fight against terrorism.

Specific policy recommendations

As noted above, the Department of Homeland Security needs to get involved in specific policy formulation and implementation in order to counter-terror activities. First, the department needs to engage in more realistic legislation efforts. As observed by the Homeland Security director in 2006, there is an urgent need for greater coordination between law enforcers, especially among the federal government. Secondly, as part of the needed policy recommendations, many security directors prioritize the creation of an intelligence system center within Homeland Security. This needs to give priority in the efforts of countering terrorism. Thirdly, the department must recognize and deal with the problem of cross-border security. The respectful pole offices and other security agencies have to be incorporated in these efforts to secure the U.S. borders.


There is no doubt that much has been done by the Homeland Department in the efforts to counter terrorism activities, especially after the 2001 bombings. However, in consideration of the already established and implemented framework, the department will heavily benefit in the creation of the specified agencies and in engaging them in the specific roles. The public Trust department, the cross-border agencies, and the intelligence system center will be crucial in the successful efforts of fighting terrorism. As specifically demonstrated in the paper, the specific agencies must collaborate with one another and with other agencies at the domestic, foreign and international level in order to succeed. Proper coordination, command and consultation need to be established among all the actors. The fight against terror is a hectic activity that must involve all the actors.

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