Terrorist attacks emanate from different directions. They can come at any time, place, and manner. Frankly speaking, not everything can be protected. As a result, it is indispensable to focus on the fortification of vital structures (DHS, 2012). This includes the infrastructure like bridges, subways, railroads and airplanes. It also includes facilities like nuclear power plants, oil storage, water utilities, and electric utilities. These are very fundamental essentials of the economy.
Due to the fact that subway stations as well as airports have buildings as well as entrances, the best defensive approach is to control access ways as well as monitor buildings inside and outside (DHS, 2012). One of the key strategies of the DHS is to prevent terrorism as well as enhance security. This involves understanding the threat. In this regard, the DHS collects, gathers, scrutinizes and appropriately shares intelligence and other information on the current as well as up-and-coming threats (DHS, 2012). The DHS also works hard to deter and disrupt operations. This is achieved through disrupting surveillance rehearsals, and execution of operations by terrorists and other malicious actors (DHS, 2012).
Another methodology that is constantly used by the DHS in its antiterrorist activities is the deterrence of unlawful acquirement or use of chemical, biological, radiological, as well as nuclear (CBRN) materials or capacities (DHS, 2012). In this regard, the DHS identifies and comprehends potentially perilous actors, technologies, and materials. It also controls access to CBRN (DHS, 2012).
The DHS also works hard to implement and govern immigration laws. It effectively enforces U.S. Immigration laws while at the same time streamlining and facilitating the legal immigration process. This is very instrumental in recognizing and getting rid of all criminal aliens who may pose a threat to the safety of the public. The DHS also targets employers who intentionally and continually act in contravention of the law (DHS, 2012). As a result, criminals, fugitives, as well as unauthorized foreign nationals are prevented from entering the United States (DHS, 2012).
In this generation that uses technology, the cyberspace has been very vibrant with the risks posed by malicious cyber activity being very high. In this way, the DHS is very cautious in securing the cyberspace (DHS, 2012). However, this is not a simple task since it necessitates the involvement of the society as a whole. It basically involves the government, law enforcement agencies, the private sector, and more so, the members of the public. This is every crucial in reinforcing defensive capabilities (DHS, 2012).
In the fight against terrorism, it is very crucial to ensure pliability to disasters. In this regard, the DHS coordinates wide-ranging efforts by all the stakeholders to get ready for, act in response to, pick up from, and alleviate a terrorist attacks. This goes a long way in ensuring that the public is able to recover as fast as possible in case of an attack (DHS, 2012).
To achieve this, the DHS creates a protected, safe, and pliant cyber environment. This is mainly because of the fact that the cyber infrastructure is very instrumental in improving the economy of the United States, and cannot be left vulnerable (DHS, 2012). The DHS also ensures that the whole country is prepared for the cyber threats as well as the challenges that may come in future (DHS, 2012).
The Political, Police and/or Military Efforts to Thwart Terrorist Actions
From a political perspective, the Obama administration has frequently expressed to the U.S. public about its profound belief that terrorists are continuously scheming attacks against the U.S. As a result, the U.S. remains susceptible devoid of the external alertness at home and abroad. In this regard, the administration has struggled to consistently fulfill its pledge to fight terrorism. In line with this, the administration was instrumental in pushing through the political will that saw the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, the immediate former leader of Al Qaeda, the infamous terrorist organization responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack on the US.
However, the Obama administration has met several practical barriers as well as political machinations in its commitment to close Guantanamo Bay. On the other hand, the increased threat of obliteration through the targeted killing program has been effective in severely upsetting Al-Qaeda’s ability to operate in the far-flung and ‘safe’ Afghan border areas.
The police have a very important role to play in preventing terrorism (Clarke & Newman, 2007). This is mainly because of the fact that they are better placed in investigating local terrorist threats. The police are also able to ensure that vulnerable targets within their areas of jurisdiction are well safeguarded. The police are able to organize the first response to terror attacks. The involvement of local police in the fight against terrorism in the United States is very critical if terrorism has to be defeated in the United States (Peleg, 2006).
One of the ways in which the police have been engaged in the fight against terrorism is the intelligence-led policing. This was a strategy which was popularized by the 9/11 Commission. The leading proponent of this strategy is the New York Police Department (Clarke & Newman, 2007). It has well over 1000 police officers involved in the fight against terrorism. It also has hired intelligence as well as counterterrorism specialists who are very fluent in several foreign languages. In line with its operations, it monitors news services as well as intelligence reports. It also has stationed agents abroad especially in terrorism hot spots (Clarke & Newman, 2007).
The Effectiveness of Antiterrorist Actions
It is without doubt that the measures involved in counter terrorism have been effective in many ways. A good case in point is the way the FBI has been involved in nabbing elements suspected to be involved in terror. To a great extend, the DHS has also been very effective in securing the U.S. borders from terrorist attacks. Their impact has been felt especially in the area of Immigrations since this has played a key role in getting rid of questionable elements who are foreign nationals (Pillar, 2003).
However, the United States, just like any other democratic country, faces an uphill task in the war against terror. This is because the value of personal freedom as well as the essential civil freedom makes many parts of the United States very susceptible to terrorism. In many ways, the elementary lop-sidedness of the lack of ability to guard all targets all the time against all potential attacks makes certain that terrorism is likely to keep on being attractive to adversaries of the United States (Peleg, 2006).
Ways in Which Tactics/Organizations Can Improve Effectiveness in Fighting Terror
One of the most effective ways of improving the effectiveness in the fight against terrorism is the enhancement of community policing (Clarke & Newman, 2007). In many ways, the local police officers are usually the ones involved in regularly communicating with the local residents. As a result, they are more likely to notice any kind of changes in the locality. In this way, they are better placed to identify responsible leaders in the Islamic communities (Clarke & Newman, 2007). In this regard, they are able to reach out to them ands gather any relevant information. They can also help in developing informants (Clarke & Newman, 2007).
This is actually very crucial in the fight against terrorism. As a matter of fact, the information obtained from informants can be very crucial in averting terror activities. Community policing necessitates assigning police officers to particular neighborhoods where they can spend considerable time and get to know what residents and business owners are talking about (Clarke & Newman, 2007). In this way, they are able to pay close attention to what is bothering the residents.
This is the initial step in alleviating their problems. Eventually, when the local authorities address the same issues, the police are able to win the trust of the local community in this way. It becomes very easy to get relevant information from them (Clarke & Newman, 2007). Additionally, there ought to be cooperation between the law enforcement departments as well as intelligence agencies. By sharing information in their jurisdictions, much can be accomplished in the war on terror.
Terrorism thrives especially when the same groups have access to colossal sums of money. In this regard, in order to fight terrorism more effectively, there ought to be intergovernmental cooperation as well as stringent laws that can help in drying up the financing of terrorism organizations (HRW, 2011). Once this is done, terrorist will have nothing to facilitate their activities with.
Prediction Concerning the Future of Tactics/Organization
In essence, terrorism will always be deliberate, resolute and premeditated. It is usually very easy to dismiss terrorists as irrational homicidal maniacs (Hoffman, 2002). However, it is appropriate to understand depth of their dissatisfactions, the foundation of their objectives and inspirations, as well as the impact of their tactics and targets (Hoffman, 2002). This will go a long way in assisting organizations to combat terror in future. In the future, fighting terror will be based on a better understanding of the terrorists and terrorism from a wider perspective (Hoffman, 2002).
Being that terrorism is fundamentally a psychological warfare, organizations will be very strategic in their fight against terror. This is mainly because terrorism is designed as to have a fundamental psychological impact on a specific target. Additionally, fears as well as intimidation are usually the timeless stock in trade of terrorists (Hoffman, 2002). In many ways, terrorism is also designed to weaken the confidence of citizens of a nation in their government as well as its leadership. It is also aimed at renting the social order of the kind of trust that links the society. In many ways, it is used in creating uncontrolled dread, dark uncertainty, and rumbling horror (Hoffman, 2002).
In this regard, the future tactic of fighting terrorism will involve strategies that will blunt the threat (Hoffman, 2002). They will also make use of a full range of means that are applicable in countering terrorism. This will most likely involve aspects like diplomatic as well as economic means. They will also have to use the power of persuasion (Hoffman, 2002).
Again, the hostility in many parts of the world towards the United States will probably not lessen. This is mainly because the United States is seen as a hegemonic and lone superpower. It is therefore very important for the organizations concerned with fighting terrorism to engage the principles of diplomacy (Hoffman, 2002). This will be very crucial in influencing successor generations of budding terrorists. On the whole, the efforts against terror will be unstinting, inventive, and forceful (Friedrichs, 2008).
The best way of viewing terrorism is in the way it constantly moves forward in order to stay alive and thrive. In as much as there are strong governmental measures in averting terrorism, it has somehow succeeded to overcome the defenses as well as the physical security barriers that are meant to thwart attacks. In this regard, it is imperative that necessary changes ought to be instituted in order to stay steps ahead of terrorists. This means that there has to be changes in tactics, modus operandi, and technology in the war against terrorism. All in all, with necessary changes and a positive attitude, the war on terror can be won.