Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS)
Description of Role:
Created after September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) focuses on such issues as terrorism prevention, border security and immigration, disaster response, and cybersecurity. Agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Transportation Security Administration are part of this department. The secretary must help the president and other National Security Council (NSC) members understand any risks to the United States and its citizens that may arise from the situation and possible policy responses.
The secretary of homeland security’s goals are to
Issues for Consideration:
- How does international terrorism threaten U.S. national security? In particular, how much of a threat to the United States are al-Qaeda leaders?
- What are the immediate security risks of the policy options being considered in this case? For example, what would be the implications if U.S. forces involved in a raid were captured or killed?
- How could various policy options affect the security of the U.S. homeland and U.S. citizens and interests abroad, such as through retaliatory efforts by al-Qaeda or other groups?
- What is the effect of various counterterrorism practices on terrorist recruitment, global extremism, and public support for extremist ideologies? Could certain policies fuel the forces they are trying to extinguish?
- "Preventing Terrorism," Department of Homeland Security, https://www.dhs.gov/topics/preventing-terrorism.
- “Profile: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” BBC News, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-11483095.
- “Threats to the Homeland,” Written testimony of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson for a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, https://www.dhs.gov/news/2015/10/08/written-testimony-dhs-secretary-jeh-johnson-senate-committee-homeland-security-and#.
- “Worldwide Threats and Homeland Security Challenges,” Testimony of Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey to the House Homeland Security Committee, https://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/worldwide-threats-and-homeland-security-challenges.
- “Chapter 5: Strategic Considerations,” Living Under Drones, https://law.stanford.edu/publications/living-under-drones-death-injury-and-trauma-to-civilians-from-us-drone-practices-in-pakistan/.
- “Why Drones Work?” Foreign Affairs, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/somalia/2013-06-11/why-drones-work.
- “Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies,” Council Special Report, https://www.cfr.org/report/reforming-us-drone-strike-policies.
- “Special Operations Forces and the Raid Against Bin Ladin: Policymaker Considerations in Combating Terrorism,” Combating Terrorism Center, https://ctc.usma.edu/special-operations-forces-and-the-raid-against-bin-ladin-policymaker-considerations-in-combating-terrorism/.
- 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, https://www.odni.gov/index.php/newsroom/congressional-testimonies/item/1947-statement-for-the-record-worldwide-threat-assessment-of-the-us-intelligence-community.