Summary: Challenges To Secure The Border
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For example, some estimates indicate that online frauds perpetrated by Central European cybercrime networks have defrauded U. According to the U. The National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI , functions as a domestic focal point for 18 federal departments or agencies to coordinate, integrate, and share information related to cyber threat investigations, as well as make the Internet safer by pursuing terrorists, spies, and criminals who seek to exploit U.
Computers and the Internet play a role in most transnational crimes today, either as the target or the weapon used in the crime. The use of the Internet, personal computers, and mobile devices all create a trail of digital evidence. Often the proper investigation of this evidence trail requires highly trained personnel. Crimes can occur more quickly, but investigations proceed more slowly due to the critical shortage of investigators with the knowledge and expertise to analyze ever increasing amounts of potential digital evidence.
The Critical Role of Facilitators. The range of licit-illicit relationships is broad. At one end, criminals draw on the public reputations of licit actors to maintain facades of propriety for their operations. Business owners or bankers are enlisted to launder money, and employees of legitimate companies are used to conceal smuggling operations. They also depend on fraudulently created or fraudulently obtained documents, such as passports and visas, to move themselves or their clients into the United States and illegally reside here. Many of these disparate networks also appear to use the same casinos, financial intermediaries, and front companies to plan arms and narcotics deals because they view them as safe intermediaries for doing business.
Cash-intensive and high-volume businesses such as casinos are especially attractive, particularly those in jurisdictions that lack the political will and oversight to regulate casino operations or fail to perform due diligence on casino licensees. Illicit networks similarly abuse some of the same financial intermediaries and front companies in regions where government or law enforcement corruption is prevalent, with officials receiving either revenues from the criminal businesses or ownership stakes in the legitimate-appearing commercial entity.
Western Hemisphere: TOC networks—including transnational gangs—have expanded and matured, threatening the security of citizens and the stability of governments throughout the region, with direct security implications for the United States. Central America is a key area of converging threats where illicit trafficking in drugs, people, and weapons—as well as other revenue streams—fuel increased instability.
Transnational crime and its accompanying violence are threatening the prosperity of some Central American states and can cost up to eight percent of their gross domestic product, according to the World Bank. The Government of Mexico is waging an historic campaign against transnational criminal organizations, many of which are expanding beyond drug trafficking into human smuggling and trafficking, weapons smuggling, bulk cash smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping for ransom. TOC in Mexico makes the U. Farther south, Colombia has achieved remarkable success in reducing cocaine production and countering illegal armed groups, such as the FARC, that engage in TOC. Yet, with the decline of these organizations, new groups are emerging such as criminal bands known in Spanish as Bandas Criminales, or Bacrims.
After years of intensive capacity building assistance in Colombia, the United States is working to transfer financial and operational responsibility for institutional development to the Government of Colombia. This reality is the result of the success of U. The insurgency is seen in some areas of Afghanistan as criminally driven—as opposed to ideologically motivated—and in some areas, according to local Afghan officials and U. In other instances, ideologically driven insurgent networks are either directly trafficking in narcotics or have linked up with DTOs to finance their criminal actions.
Russian organized crime syndicates and criminally linked oligarchs may attempt to collude with state or state-allied actors to undermine competition in strategic markets such as gas, oil, aluminum, and precious metals. At the same time, TOC networks in the region are establishing new ties to global drug trafficking networks. Nuclear material trafficking is an especially prominent concern in the former Soviet Union. The United States will continue to cooperate with Russia and the nations of the region to combat illicit drugs and TOC. The Balkans: A traditional conduit for smuggling between east and west, the Balkans has become an ideal environment for the cultivation and expansion of TOC. However, numerous partners cited challenges related to the inability to resource the increasing number of interagency forums and raised concerns that some efforts may be overlapping.
While guidance issued by GAO stresses the need for a process to ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently, DHS does not oversee the interagency forums established by its components. DHS oversight could help prevent possible duplication of efforts and conserve resources. DHS component officials reported that federal agency coordination to secure the northern border was improved, but partners in all four sectors GAO visited cited ongoing challenges sharing information and resources for daily border security related to operations and investigations.
DHS has established and updated interagency agreements, but oversight by management at the component and local level has not ensured consistent compliance with provisions of these agreements, such as those related to information sharing, in areas GAO visited. As a result, according to DHS officials, field agents have been left to resolve coordination challenges. Ongoing DHS-level oversight and attention to enforcing accountability of established agreements could help address long-standing coordination challenges between DHS components, and further the DHS strategic vision for a coordinated homeland security enterprise. A DHS targeting center could provide a more complete view, putting together pieces that other, smaller centers might miss.
By focusing on greater integration of databases, increased automation, and the creation of a Department-wide targeting center, DHS has an opportunity to create a more efficient and effective screening and credentialing enterprise. Further advances in risk-based security will also play a vital role in ensuring efficient and effective screening and credentialing systems. As budgets are reduced and demand for screening and credentialing grows, the targeted application of resources will become increasingly necessary. DHS will need to spend fewer resources screening those who represent a low risk, yet in order to realize savings, the Department must build a better picture of these low-risk individuals. Yet in order to fully realize the benefits, these programs should be expanded to include a greater number of trusted travelers from a variety of sources.
Further, trusted travelers enrolled in one program should be provided an ID number or biometric profile that would be recognized across programs, greatly increasing interoperability while decreasing the resources wasted screening those who have already been screened by another program. By expanding risk-based security, DHS can not only increase security, but save limited budget dollars. As DHS pursues methods for improving screening and credentialing systems, the Department must also look to improve its identity management capabilities. Establishing identity is often the first and most important step in the screening and credentialing methods employed by the Department. Furthermore, this information is subject to a variety of potential errors that can limit its utility.
Abdulmutallab would likely have been discovered before he attempted to ignite his explosives if his fingerprints or iris scan, rather than his name, had been compared. Furthermore, such biometric identifiers are significantly more difficult to counterfeit than biographical information, greatly reducing the risk of fraud. The Mission Accelerant: Intelligence and Information Sharing Given the wide variety of rapidly-evolving threats facing the Department, intelligence, and particularly the sharing of information, is only becoming more vital to fulfilling homeland security missions. In an environment of reduced budgets, intelligence is of even greater value, allowing for the effective targeting of limited resources.
DHS and the greater homeland security enterprise have made enormous strides over the past decade in promoting the sharing of intelligence and information in order to meet these needs. In order to prevent this from occurring, DHS needs to be a forceful advocate for the continued, and potentially even expanded, sharing of intelligence and information. While the traditional core of al Qaeda has been decimated in recent years, its adherents and supporters continue to pose a worrying, if somewhat reduced, threat to the security of the nation.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has repeatedly attempted to strike within the United States and on at least two occasions has managed to operationalize plots that would have brought down aircraft over the United States. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has not yet sought to launch attacks against America itself, yet recent events have demonstrated their increasingly sophisticated capabilities as well as the willingness of their associates to target U. However, the terrorist threats that face the nation are not just external but internal as well. Homegrown terrorists, already residing in the United States and familiar with U. While the overall frequency of homegrown terrorism has declined from levels, plots continue to be uncovered, evidenced by the arrest in December, of two Florida men accused of conspiring to employ weapons of mass destruction within the United States.
In such cases, a mixture of externally and internally-focused intelligence is often required to detect and disrupt the plot, necessitating robust and continued information sharing efforts. DHS must better define its role with regards intelligence in order to be effective. DHS should provide a common definition for all those involved in the homeland security intelligence enterprise.
The Department must also better establish its position within this enterprise. While a variety of agencies and organizations are capable of collecting and analyzing this intelligence, the multitude of entities involved demands that there be a single, coordinated point of control for the movement and distribution of this intelligence. In order to increase its effectiveness, DHS should firmly establish itself as this focal point, serving as the primary lead organization for the movement of information and intelligence between the federal government, state and local governments, and private industry. Furthermore, by allowing for outside oversight, fusion centers provide the high degree of transparency required when information regarding U.
Such a transparent environment will be critical in the coming years, given that the amount of information available regarding U. As such, DHS must take steps to ensure that increased controversy over how these centers are employed does not threaten their continued utility. The Department and other federal agencies must accept that state and local entities will only be willing to continue to participate in fusion centers if they add value beyond counterterrorism. As such, federal and state and local agencies must work together to strike a working balance between counterterrorism and all-hazards missions. Federal agencies such as DHS must also collaborate with state and local agencies in order to gain a better understanding of what information is most useful to them, so that no agency feels that they are sacrificing more than they are gaining by participating in a fusion center.
The Department should also encourage state and local partners to participate in standardized intelligence training, in order to better equip those on the ground with a better understanding of the intelligence process and equalize some of the disparities between various fusion centers. Additionally, the fusion centers need to find a means to better engage with the private sector. This includes not only finding new avenues for integrating information provided by the private sector, but keeping private companies and businesses informed of potential threats in a useful and timely manner while remaining cognizant of privacy and civil liberties concerns.
Fusion centers have the potential to continue to play a vital role in protecting the nation but will be hampered in their mission unless the Department and its partners can come together to address these challenges. Utilizing existing models, technologies, and lessons learned from counterterrorism, DHS has an opportunity to begin building information sharing capabilities dedicated to countering a variety of other pressing threats, most notably illicit activity along the border and cyber-threats. However, this data loses any long-term value if it is not quickly integrated, shared, and analyzed. By putting structures and systems in place to encourage this sharing and analysis, DHS has a chance to allocate its resources along the border in a more strategic fashion, so that border security is no longer purely reactive but increasingly predictive.
A similar model can be applied to cyber-security. However, in order for these efforts to meet with success, DHS, working with the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment PM-ISE , must lead the establishment of institutionalized means of sharing not just within the Department, but across government agencies as well as with foreign partners and private industry.But the regularity with which such initiatives are implemented is limited by Isabel Dos Santos Case Study shortages. NGOs that supported women Isabel Dos Santos Case Study and in seeking justice have since left. The Effects Of Racism In Baseball to the U. By applying information sharing lessons taken from Carolyn Bekhor Career of counterterrorism efforts, the Department Summary: Challenges To Secure The Border begin to build the capabilities necessary to address the next Carolyn Bekhor Career Compare And Contrast Profit And Nonprofit Organizations threats to the homeland. Organizations increasingly rely on data for a number of purposes, including to monitor production systems, manage Summary: Challenges To Secure The Border workforces, monitor supply Isabel Dos Santos Case Study, and support realism theory in international relations in the field in real time. DHS and Summary: Challenges To Secure The Border greater homeland security enterprise Munchkin Girl Research Paper made enormous strides over On The Amtrak Poem Analysis past decade in promoting the sharing of intelligence and information in realism theory in international relations to meet these needs. India India has proposed Tayo In Ceremony range, and enacted The Five People You Meet In Heaven And Tuesdays With Morrie Essay, laws and regulations requiring data localization.