Burdens on the States - Essay Example

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The recent events of 9/11 and typhoon Katrina showed lack of preparedness of the government to respond.
After the terrorist attacks on September 11,…
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Burdens on the States
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The new burdens of the Federal Government The federal government is concerned with new burdens consisting of terrorism and catastrophic incidences suffered by the nation. The recent events of 9/11 and typhoon Katrina showed lack of preparedness of the government to respond.
Terrorism preparedness
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the federal government has been more concerned on the security of the nation. A major reorganization since World War II was done in the federal government. A new agency, the Department of Homeland Security was created and entrusted a new mission for the “homeland security” Since then; a large amount of government funds was spent on securing the safety of the naton. Anita Dancs, the Research Director of National Priorities. reported that more than $200 billion was used for security.
The recent report on military attacks in Iraq brought a heightened alert for security and the need to activate the government’s security plans. The New York City, after the sad experience of 9/11 launched the “Operation Atlas” that is designed “to beef up safety and security throughout the metropolitan area during a time when there is an elevated risk of terrorist attack” (Heather Cross) The plan has been estimated by New York City Mayor Bloomberg to cost the city $5million per week to pay overtime services of police officers. Report said that as of May 10, 2003, New York City had spent $1 billion on antiterrorism activities, but has not received any support from the federal government. In spite of “no budget” from the federal government, New York City government pledged to continue its present anti-terrorist “Operation Atlas” plans in the city.(“Operation Atlas”)
All Hazards Preparedness
The present mission of the Homeland Security, by definition, is focused on terrorist’s incidents. By that, report of Anita Dancs stated that respondent training and equipment was given more emphasis on terrorism as against all-hazards. All hazards are events of catastrophe, such as bird flue pandemic, the likes of Katrina hurricane, and others of the same nature. Dancs pointed to arguments of the members of Congress on the indifference of preparedness of Homeland Security to address this kind of problem and the importance of all-hazards preparedness. Danc’s report stated the Homeland Security mission defined by the federal government as:
“a concerted effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduces America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimizes the damage and recovery from attacks that do occur.”
A pertinent section of the Homeland Security Act says that:
Response to natural disasters and catastrophe does not fall within the homeland’s definition of preparedness. The preparedness for all hazard response comes only as support preparedness for terrorism related threats.
For example, the DHS has prepared 12 preparedness scenarios. Out of these, only 2 scenarios placed emphasis on disaster preparedness.
The total budget of the government for the nation’s security for 2007 is $58 billion. This is shared by several units of the government such as Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security. Out of this budget, the DHS gets an appropriation of $28 billion.
Danc’s report summarized that upon noting these differences from arguments of members of Congress, a forward looking position favoring inclusion of all-hazard preparedness has been concluded.
Cross, Heather. “Operation Atlas in New York City.” New York City Travel. Retrieved 08 November 2009 from Read More
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