Perspectives on Strengths and Weaknesses for Homeland Security

As studied in the past readings, the U.S, Department of Homeland Security came into existence in 2003 following the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U. S. The body, charged with the mandate of protecting the United States from external attacks, securing the nation’s borders and reacting to natural disasters, has grown exponentially since its creation, becoming the largest arm of United States government (Murse 2019).  The organization serve numerous purposes and had several strengths and weakness, supporters and even critics.

However, the strengths of Homeland Security to some extend override the weaknesses. Since its inception, the DHS has helped to create a structure for interagency communication that did not exist before, hence simplifying communication protocols within federal government agencies. A centrally coordinated communication system is a key pillar for the national intelligence in countering or preventing any form of attack. Study shows that communication problem between the CIA and FBI was the major loophole during the 9/11 attack, making it a challenge for the two U.S. most powerful federal intelligence agencies to track the movement and plot of the terrorists (Zegart 2009). Besides, DHS operates from 10 regional offices across the United States, allowing for specialized regional coordination of the national issues. For instance, the southern employees are mostly trained on hurricanes while those on the northern sides respond effectively on port security issues (Farmer 2015).

As such, the DHS remains the most effective organization in coordinating the national security issues despite receiving a myriad of criticism from various social and political angles. Since the creation of the DHS, the United States has been able to respond promptly, and in a well-coordinated approach to any threat of external attacks, there has not been an attack of such magnitude since its creation. However, just like any other organization, DHS needs to restructure its security frameworks to respond to emerging security issues such as global pandemics, biological warfare and cyber-security issues, among other security threats.   


Farmer, R. A. (2015). Emergency Management in the United States of America.

Murse, T. (2019). How the Department of Homeland Security was created.

Zegart, A. B. (2009). Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11. Princeton University Press.