accuse of being pro-Israeli (Mansbach, 1992). Terrorism is used to poison the atmosphere and rouse popular passions, hoping to sabotage peace efforts by triggering a spiral of violence and counter violence.
September 11 was a tactical victory for the terrorists. The Homeland Security Programme was devised to stop a recurrence of such activity.
The Programme has been built up to devise attack tactics in conjunction with designing counter-measures. The drivers of new technology have to be broadened in the public and private sectors. Transnational intelligence needs to be improved and information has to be shared with allies. This is necessary as terrorists themselves are transnational in nature. The Programme's creators realise that the means that terrorists employ are potentially more important than the surveillance of persons, and raises far fewer civil liberties issues i.e. checking on those persons seeking information on the layout of a nuclear power plant is more feasible than putting all Arabs in the USA under surveillance.
Protective measures for homeland security covers a wide spectrum of possibilities: vaccines, air defences around the White House and nuclear power plants. This has to be paid for by the state.
A major ingredient of the protection effort must be safeguarding information infrastructure that is overwhelmingly in private hands.
Containment of damage from an incident of mass terrorism requires that the public health and agricultural systems establishing capabilities that go beyond protecting against naturally occurring dangers. Getting public opinion to accept the conferring of extraordinary powers on the government can be very difficult and they need reassurance that the measures will be disbanded as soon as possible. This is perhaps unlikely as President Bush enunciated a principle of American policy against catastrophic terrorism which if pursued to the logical conclusion, could establish the absolute destruction of the terrorists as an on-going effort rather than an episodic response to actual attacks. As he stated to a joint session of Congress and the American people on 20 September 2001, 'Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists'.
The term 'homeland security' was first used in 1997 in the USA, in a report issued by the National Defence Panel. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) would pose a severe threat to the American homeland and to forces overseas, and this could be compounded by threats to information systems. Basically the term meant the protection of American cities and US government infrastructure.
The first Director of Homeland Defence, Tom Ridge, was appointed in 2002 and was charged with directing a cabinet-level initiative without the support of a department and a corresponding budget. The position involved the co-ordinating of over 42 departments and agencies in an environment where combating terrorism had become an overwhelming priority post-September 11.
In the eyes of many people it is still a difficult term to define. The Quadrennial Defence Team had a go and defined it as 'preventing deterrence and pre-emption of, and defence against aggression targeted at American territory, sovereignty, population and infrastructure as well as the management of the consequences of such aggression and other domestic emergencies, civil disturbances and designated law enforcement efforts'.
Of the many departments charged with the dilemma of dealing with terrorism, none are terrorism specific but instead, terrorism is one of the many items for which they are responsible. September 11 showed comparative weaknesses in America's capacity to compile, collect and communicate information about terrorists and potential terrorist activity (Miller and File, 2001).
The idea of a homeland security post will perhaps be considered in other democratic nations, However, in November 2002 the Prime Minister ruled out a similar unit being established in the UK, although, in March 2003 the Home Office provided new guidance to Britons over possible terrorist attacks. The guidelines covered topics ranging from food stocks to emergency phone numbers. The public were advised not to buy
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Publication information: Book title: Dictionary of Terrorism. Edition: 2nd. Contributors: John Richard Thackrah - Author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 237.
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