Homeland Security: Historical trends

Homeland Security: Historical trends Essay example
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Homeland Security: Historical trends Introduction The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 were a major catalyst in highlighting the importance of homeland security, signifying the need to strengthen internal defenses against all possible threats. The ‘Department of Homeland Security’ (DHS) was carved out as a result of this incident and is now the third largest department under the office of the President of the United States (Sauter, 2005).


Historical evolution of Homeland Security Prior to 9/11, homeland defense was the responsibility of the US military. The founders who framed the constitution regarded homeland security as a crucial obligation. In fact, it served as the basis for a ‘common defense’ mechanism that was constituted by President George Washington and tasked with protecting the nation against foreign invaders (most notably the English, French and the Spaniards) as well as native Indian tribes (Maxwell, 2008). Having fought against the English in their war for Independence, the leaders of the American republic were wary of another attempt by the empire and considered it as the greatest threat. In contrast, the US was embroiled in internal territorial conflicts with the French and Spanish. Besides disputes with France over ownership of a large swathe of land in the western United States, Spain’s occupation of the state of Florida and neighboring territories was another important reason for strong internal security (Maniscalco, 2010). Moreover, frequent conflicts with native Indians were delaying the country’s expansion into the west. ...
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