No failure of imagination : examining foundational flaws in America's homeland security enterprise
Freed, Judson M.
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Current United States (U.S.) policy vis-aÌ -vis the nation's homeland security enterprise is built on a fatally flawed foundation. It is based on a top-down, federal-centric model rather than on a constitutional model that develops capability for resilience, response, protection and preparedness for crises. The issues leading to this flawed foundation go back to the inherent constitutional tension between the federal and state governments. Historically, when confronted by national-level crises, the federal government has based its actions and mandates on flawed metapolicy addressing all possibly related issues, rather than directing effort at solving the major crisis at hand. In so doing, the preemption of power, and the coercion through funding and regulation have been results unto themselves. The crisis that encapsulates homeland security today is as wide and amorphous as the crisis confronting America at the time of the Great Depression. Both crises involve Constitutional, social, financial, and political issues of extreme complexity. In addition, both resulted in significant expansion of federal prerogatives. This thesis seeks to examine the metapolicy behind the reaction to such severe and yet amorphous crises and to suggest courses of action that--within the bounds of existing political reality--can redirect today's homeland security enterprise in a more effective manner. The research looks at historical and legal concepts, and conducts an in-depth review of similarities between the New Deal era and the modern homeland security era.
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