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Agencies Responsible for Homeland Security
In this section and its subparts we will move from the U.S. Constitution and the use of the military in homeland security to the first civilian agency, the National Security Council, and finally to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The section begins with a discussion of the National Security Act of 1947, which organized the numerous foreign and domestic aspects under the NSC—the National Security Council. After the attack on September 11, 2001, the need for better coordination resulted in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, headed by a cabinet level secretary. While the Department of Defense continues to have responsibility for deployment of military forces, DHS oversees and coordinates security issues within the United States. The DHS is divided into 5 areas, but it still must coordinate with several other departments—the State Department, the CIA, the Attorney General and Department of Justice, and the FBI. In addition, there are many "first responders" at the local level that must deal with a terroristic attack. How well this system is working is a great topic for student discussion and evaluation.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit the student will be able to::
  1. Explain the relevance of the National Security Act of 1947 on today's national security framework.
  2. Describe the mission and general organization of the Department of Homeland Security.
  3. Describe the other agencies responsible for national security and homeland defense.
Section Contents
  1. The National Security Act of 1947
  2. Creation of the Department of Homeland Security
  3. Other Agencies Involved in Homeland Defense