A Department of Homeland Security Reserves (DHS-R) simultaneously protecting the homeland while alleviating the increased DoD role in Homeland Defense and Security
Schulz, David V.
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As the Global War on Terror continues to exhaust both federal and state military resources, it is important to establish a domestic disaster response plan that does not rely or default to a military solution. Post-Katrina assessments highlight that the response to Hurricane Katrina has tarnished the DHS and FEMA's image and trust that Americans have in the government's ability to respond effectively to a disaster. The Department of Homeland Security does not directly address a concerted volunteer effort; instead it provides limited support for volunteer initiatives like Citizen Corps, which can be improved by a more concerted nation-wide effort like a DHSReserve. Additionally, there are many disparate volunteer response efforts managed at every level of the government. Although many Americans are willing to serve their nation, many are apprehensive to serve in uniform and, specifically, in combat. The aftermaths of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, however, highlight the need for citizen involvement during domestic emergencies. The unconstrained and largely uncoordinated disparate volunteer organizations, the lack of a national governing body or oversight mechanism, along with the overexhausted and ill-equipped troops at home, clearly demonstrates the need for America to consider expanding the opportunities for citizen service. Enacting an emergency response volunteer system that is part of a national service system is the best way to involve Americans in homeland security.
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