What Homeland Security Is
Homeland Security is often misperceived as a constant battle with bad guys and making sure the enemy does not harm the nation. While Homeland Security does work to protect against terrorism, its goals are even broader.

As defined by the official website of the Department of Homeland Security, the department works to guarantee “a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards.” By ensuring security in all areas of life, resilience against harm and safety through customs and exchange, Homeland Security can protect the nation from various versions of injury.

The Department of Homeland Security describes its goals as follows:

  1. Prevent terrorism and enhance security
  2. Secure and manage our borders
  3. Enforce and administer our immigration laws
  4. Safeguard and secure cyberspace
  5. Ensure resilience to disaster

The branches of Homeland Security frequently work with the public to ensure safety from occupational hazards, disasters and threats to cyber-harm and terrorism.

One tactic used as an advantage in Homeland Security is “soft power.” Soft power is the ability to persuade others that they want the same end goal as yourself without the use of force or violence. The term can also mean altering the general public’s opinion, usually through non-transparent ways.

Most large nations have a strong Homeland Security department to protect their citizens. Though the U.S. official department was formally created in 2002, the presence of the United States in other countries had been felt long beforehand.

During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt used a great deal of soft power with his Four Freedoms to convince Americans and those around the world to support his efforts. Although the Four Freedoms were morally high in stature, it allowed him to persuade others that they wanted the same as him and the United States.

Soft power has been used plenty of other times throughout American history, but it has also been seen around the world. For example, Pope John Paul II made a trip to Poland in 1979 and, according to Homeland Security Today, “influenced events against Poland’s Communist regime, the Soviet Empire, and ultimately Communism.”

The influence strong nations have through soft power on global issues, including poverty, can be life-changing. Supporting acts and initiatives to reduce poverty around the globe can create leverage over other countries that are less sure about helping the world’s poor.

Although these strong nations have the power to push efforts through, reasons to better their own positions are usually included. By reducing poverty around the world, threatening terrorist actions can be reduced.

A majority of terrorists resort to joining terrorist groups in order to provide for their family. When groups such as ISIS offer exceedingly high pensions, it is hard for struggling families in poverty-stricken countries to decline the offer.

By improving the widespread poverty situation around the world, the globe becomes a safer home for those living in all countries.

– Katherine Wyant

Sources: Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Today
Photo: Climate and Security