The International Impact of Homeland Security Policy
Terrorism is an immediate and real threat that is facing the American people and our interests. This threat could get even more dangerous if terrorists were to get hold of more advanced weapons such as biological or nuclear weapons. In this regard, according to Benjamin (2008), a sound counterterrorism policy must “go beyond uncompromising efforts to thwart those who seek to harm us today—we must engage other countries whose cooperation is essential” (p. 1). Such kind of policies that are cooperative in nature will ensure that new terrorists will not emerge to replace those that were defeated.
U.S. Homeland Security Policy
One Homeland Security policy that has an international impact is the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP has, since its advent in 1986, allowed citizens from some 38 allied countries to enter the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days without the requirement of a visa, in exchange for the same favor for U.S. citizens. According to Graham et al. (2008), the VWP has been used as a risk-based comprehensive approach to identifying, preventing, and deterring terrorists, criminals, as well as other such actors from entering the U.S. This policy has an impact on U.S. foreign relations with other countries (p. 45). For example, the move to tighten the waiver program in 2015 had an adverse impact on U.S.-Iran relations and strained the Iran nuclear agreement. This situation was a result of the provision that citizens who traveled to countries designated by the U.S. as sponsors of terrorism would have to apply for a visa.
Non-U.S. Homeland Security Policy
A non-U.S. Homeland Security policy that has an international impact is Iran’s defense program. Tehran has been testing ballistic missiles, sourced for weapons from Russia, and has been maintaining its support for Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and has also threatened to bar off the Strait of Hormuz if it is attacked. These defense policies have affected the relations, particularly with regards to border rapprochement, with the U.S. and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait among others.
In summary, terrorism is an immediate and real threat that is facing the American people. In today’s world, countries no longer can remain unaffected by the actions of other countries. Bullock, Haddow, and Coppola (2013) note that Homeland Security issues remain a major challenge that needs the cooperation of many states to ensure better prevention and response (p. 137). One Homeland Security policy issue that affects other countries is the VWP as it is now a measure of terrorism and criminal activity and countries must cooperate with the U.S. Iran’s development of ballistic missiles is a non-U.S. policy that has an international impact.
Benjamin, D. (2008, October). Strategic counterterrorism (Policy Paper Number 7)
Bullock, J. A., Haddow, G. D., & Coppola, D. P. (2013). Introduction to homeland security (5th ed.). Waltham, MA: Elsevier Inc.
Graham, B., Talent, J., Allison, G., Cleveland, R., Rademaker, S., Roemer, T., Sherman, W., Sokolski, H., & Verma, R. (2008, December). World at Risk: The Report of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism. Washington DC: Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.
“You make a good point about how no country is immune from experiencing acts of terrorism within its borders. This makes cooperation among allies even more important when it comes to areas such as national security and counterterrorism measures. My wife has been able to visit me when I am stationed in areas where I am sent unaccompanied. Using her US passport she can travel to locations such as Greece for 90 days. If it were not for this, I would not get to see her nearly as much. She is granted a visa when she travels with me on government orders, but it is not always possible for her to go on my orders with me. I am glad that there are these agreements among nations so these types of travel as possible. Allowing others to enter the United States from ally countries can provide similar results and improve relations among nations.”
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