(Get Answer) – Intro to Homeland Security – Week 6

(Get Answer) – Intro to Homeland Security – Week 6 Intro to Homeland Security – Week 6 WMD The greatest fear in the mind of Americans today is the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, or WMD. Developing, weaponzing and transporting or delivering any WMD – nuclear, chemical of biological – is difficult and requires high levels of technical expertise. However, for numerous reasons, this threat cannot be discounted. A summary of the major weapons of mass destruction: Nuclear/Radiological:– The amount of radioactive material in existence, to include that used in x-ray machines, smoke detectors, medical devices, and other common devices, is enormous. Compounding this is the fact that tracking of waste material has been done poorly, and huge amounts are unaccounted for.– Radiation from a “dirty bomb” could render an area useless for decades.– The technical knowledge required to achieve critical mass has long ago made its way to the Internet and a bright engineering or science student could assemble a weapon.– Control of the thousands of weapons owned by the former Soviet Union is insufficient.– Over 140,000 nuclear weapons have been built since the 1940s, and over 248 tons of weapons grade plutonium and 1665 tons of uranium are in existence.– The Russians have 252 buildings at 40 sites that require nuclear security systems.– Enormous quantities of radiological waste exist in numerous countries.– Nuclear reactors in the US (and in any country) are not designed to withstand any type of attack.– It takes only 18 pounds of plutonium to make a nuclear weapon. As a side note, HBO films a few years ago made a movie called “Dirty War.” I highly recommend it – very entertaining, but also accurate and very informative. Biological– Strains of virulent biological weapons could be smuggled into any country in containers the size of a pen.– Bio attacks are hard to detect at the outset, and could spread far and wide by the time they have been discovered.– Bio security requires a completely different mix of non-proliferation, deterrence, and defense.– The potential exists for developing bio-engineered viruses (such as anthrax) that have no antidotes.– There are only a handful of labs in the US that can handle the highest category of viral strains.– Surveillance and detection technology is still fledgling (but improving).– Biological weapons used against plant or animal agricultural could have massive economic impact.– Soviet anthrax programs resulted in strains 100% lethal, and many of the scientists involved may still be available to the highest bidders– Vaccine stores are woefully inadequate. Chemical– Many chemical plants are “dual use,” producing chemicals that can be used for both legitimate and terror purposes.– Chemicals are easy to procure, but are difficult to weaponize and disperse to achieve large-scale effects.– The devastation possible with simple chemical weapons was evident in the Aum Shinrikyo attack in the Japanese subway system in 1995. Our homeland security community has given the countering of potential attack with a WMD the very highest priority. President Bush published HSPD 4, the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, in Dec 2004. The directive requires an emphasis on intelligence collection and analysis, and strengthening of alliances to combat WMD. The US has made it clear that it will not permit dangerous state regimes and terrorists to threaten security with WMD. There are three pillars to the strategy: – Counter-proliferation through interdiction; deterrence (will respond with overwhelming force); defense and mitigation (destroy capability before use) – Non-proliferation through active diplomacy (dissuading suppliers and building coalitions); multilateral regulation and treaties; controlling nuclear material; and sanctions against developers – WMD Consequence management by preparing for the worst These three pillars are integrated by improving intelligence, research and development (for detection and countering), and targeting strategies to specific countries and threats. See also the power point presentation on WMD. The presentation is self explanatory, but in a few cases there are background notes. Note also that following the WMD slides are a few regarding the all hazards approach and natural disasters. The threat of natural disasters is clearly more prevalent than terrorist attacks, however, as discussed earlier, the focus of Homeland Security following 9/11 was clearly on terrorism. Since Hurricane Katrina, much more emphasis has gone to all hazards and dealing with natural disasters or accidents. Cyber Terrorism The US published a National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace in February 2003; President Obama has spoken of the criticality of this issue; and the Department of Defense recently established Cyber Command.  Clearly, cyberspace is the central nervous system of all of our critical infrastructures. Our cyber systems are constantly being probed for vulnerabilities, but attacks do require a very high level of technical sophistication, which may explain why there have been no debilitating attacks to date. However, the intelligence community believes that a serious cyber attack, just like another serious terror event, is a matter of when, not if. Some other things to consider (as highlighted by the National Strategy):-The private sector is well equipped and structured to respond to a large scale attack-The key threats to cyberspace are:– Organized cyber attacks– Use of technology for disruption – viruses and code-The effects are:– Damage to the nation’s CI, both software and hardware– Economic losses– Potential loss of defensive and offensive response capability-US Policy is to prevent attacks and minimize disruption if attacks do occur. The policy adheres to the following guiding principles:– A national effort – requires effort by all parties involved– Privacy and civil liberties must be protected– Regulation and use of market forces are not a primary means of securing cyberspace– Accountability and responsibility require more resilient and reliable systems and infrastructure– Flexibility is key and planning must span multiple years– Engage international cooperation is essential Questions: Make an argument for which WMD – Nuclear, Chemical, or Biological – poses the greatest threat. Don’t just look at the results of weapon usage, but also consider in your answer how difficult it is to develop and deploy such as weapon. Compare the FBI and DHS is terms of their mission relative to cyber crime and terrorism. Does any organization have primacy for cyber-security? If not, should someone take over ultimate responsibility? Iran has certainly been in the news – mostly for pursuing its nuclear program, which involves producing fissile material which almost assuredly can be used to produce a nuclear weapon. We are using the non-proliferation aspect of our counter WMD strategy at the present time. Is this enough? What homeland security threat does a nuclear armed Iran pose, and what action would you take other than what we are already doing?

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