Terrorism and Infrastructure Protection

Potential effect of NBC agents on various environmental settings

NBC are in a wide array and their potential effect to harm to the security of the US is high. This is because of the widespread of the sector of agriculture, emanating from the USA and involving countries beyond. The importance of the sector is such that one in eight people directly benefit directly from the sector while a huge percentage is involved indirectly. Despite this, the country has not instituted any substantial preventive mechanism of detecting and mitigating possible NBC attacks in the agricultural sector. The sector is quite vulnerable given the many possible entry points and weaknesses in detection. There are no response measures, threat assessments and or any preparedness programs on the same. Because of paucity of training programs on the same and insufficient of resources or capabilities in the same, anyone with malicious intentions would not have significant challenges in attacking the country through agriculture-related activities. Some NBC agents can stay for as long as 22 years in their active state and most of them spread so rapidly. The effects on possibility could destabilize the economy in various aspects and threat the economy of the country.

There is an urgency to respond to the challenges that agriculture with respect to terrorism. They range from training, provision of sufficient resources, coordinate with forensic experts, develop response modalities and increase communication that would enhance trust among the players in the industry. Controlling possible attacks by far outweighs potential effects of a single attack in social, political and economic perspectives.

Analysis of FEMA’s strengths and weaknesses

The organization has existed for over 26 years and therefore its mandate is well known throughout the people in the country. It has the name and is almost synonymous with what Red Cross sounds to many. Because of this, it is able to work with many agencies in the category of emergency response. This allows its mandate to be more effective on the ground especially when coordinating various actors in security and emergency response.

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FEMA is able to plan and coordinate communities towards emergency response. It may not be explicitly indicated, it seems to be what it does best from what it has been doing in the past. Another strength would be in its recognition of the role of various experts in various fields to provide advice on informed opinion in specific emergency areas. However, it should be noted that FEMA is not part of HRV, although it has been working with participants to collaborate with these experts.

Weaknesses of FEMA that have been noted include its inability to work with the community in the planning process, but rather on the identification of hazards only. The lack of association of the community in the planning process may not bring out all the issues that should come out in a given emergency. The experts give advice from a professional perspective but without all facts on the ground may make it ineffective. Besides, it does not train the citizens in any way, therefore, making it crippled in effectively creating awareness and emergency in emergency response.

FEMA does not have clear guidelines or procedures for tacking hazards to determine priorities for handling hazards and risks. Also, the method of assessing risks is somehow ad hoc, making rating of risks to be difficult.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property theft is the disallowed use or misuse or stealing of proprietary information of a person or a particular entity. According to Business Theft, examples of such rights that can be misused include copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and ideas. As such, it can involve books, DVDs, journals, which are easily accessed through the Internet.

Violations of IP theft can be rendered unprofitable or undesirable by strengthening regulations protecting IP rights. These are rules that explicitly outlaw any form of counterfeiting or misuse of protected IP rights. This is possible if the owners take appropriate steps in working with agencies such as IACC (International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition) and USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). They are to register their trademarks, properly stating so in their products and making their logos and trademarks known and associated with the owner. Workers and all employees sign an agreement to protect all information that is exclusive to an organization and id useful for their objectives.

It is worth to protect to IP rights for reasons of providing deserved competitive advantage to the owner. If legally enforced, any infringement could result in compensation to the owner..Unless the rights such as copyrights have expired or the owner has allowed free access, the rights remain the owner or the producer. It encourages innovation, fair competition and fair recognition of the efforts of the owner of IP rights. If systems were weak or relaxed in enforcing protection of IP rights, people would not be incentivized to do research that is useful for development for a country as a whole.

Executive order 12, 133

This was an order by President Clinton in 2000 to the Working Group, under the Attorney General to make report and recommendations on the rightful usage of the Internet. It also required the provision of procedures for handling cases or methods that misuse the Internet and how the public can be educated on appropriate usage of the Internet by parents, teachers, and students to lessen illegal cases of the Internet (Newsmax).

Challenges to homeland security

According to the Department of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2011), the challenges the Department faces fall in nine categories, viz. Acquisition Management, Information Technology Management, Emergency Management, Grants Management, Financial Management, Infrastructure Protection, Border Security, Transport Security and Trade Operations Security.

In acquisition management, the Department faces the challenge of financing for the workforce, procedure, and policies for recruiting the workforce, leadership, and organization of the workforce so that the mandate of the Department is fully met.

In IT and Cyber Security, there is a need for effective management of IT resources and programs. They need to create awareness of threats and involving cyber terrorism and implement the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace among other Plans. Related to this, is the IT management that needs to be funded adequately to modernize current infrastructure and to increase efficiency of the workforce in this area.

Emergency management concerns the need to create preparedness strategies to handle risks and disasters. This required financial support, coordination of other stakeholders and creation of “operational preparedness”.

There is need to manage grantees by monitoring and creating programs to increase coordination among the stakeholders. FEMA is responsible in this respect , but it also needs to overcome its weaknesses and improve on its state responsibility.In financial management, the organization needs to manage its costs and improve on financial reporting. This should make it more transparent and trace its expenditure and requirements for individual tasks.

Other challenges such as border security against terrorism remain are well articulated as some remain permeable to illegal drug smuggling and weapons of mass destruction from other countries.


Business Theft, www.businesstheft.com

Chalk, P (2001), Terrorism, Infrastructure Protection, and the U.S. Food and Agricultural

Department of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2011), viewed 10 February 2012

Newsmax, Working Group On Unlawful Conduct On The Internet, viewed 10 February 2012

Sector, viewed 10 February 2012, http://www.rand.org/pubs/testimonies/2005/CT184.pdf

Stopfakes, viewed 10 February 2012

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