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The technological development in the second half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century has continued to enhance the lives of human beings in different ways. However, this can only be termed as the positive part of technological developments. On the contrary, there have arisen many other challenges that undermine the positive effects of technological developments. In this respect, terrorism remains as one of the most challenging issue in the contemporary, especially in the United States of America.
In the recent times, the United States has continued to become vulnerable to terrorist attack, worsened by its commitment to destroy terrorist cells and groups across the globe create a peaceful global society. Whereas this has been the case, the United States government has created different security departments and mandated them with the task of eliminating any form of terrorist threats that it could face, now and in the future. Among these departments is Department of Homeland Security that is tasked with dealing with Radiological and Nuclear attack on the US as one of its major areas (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2010). In most cases, this department has utilized radiation detection technology to detect and respond to any nuclear radiation or any other form of radiation that could possibly threaten US national security.
Research Findings and Discussion
It was found out that there are numerous technological developments that have been developed by the United States under the Department of Homeland Security in order to increase their proof against terrorist activities that involves radiological and nuclear substances. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2010), the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for coordinating federal efforts to detect and protect against the unauthorized importation, possession, storage, transportation, development, or use of a nuclear explosive device, fissile material, or radiological material in the United States. Importantly, as technological advancements are made on a daily basis, the risks of a radiological or nuclear accidents and attacks are increased tremendously.
It is important to understand that there are different disasters that a nation such as the United States can face. In line with this, these disasters can be divided into manmade and natural disaster. However, the recent past has witnessed an increase in manmade disasters as compared to natural disasters. More so, manmade disasters are divided into intentional such as acts of terrorism and accidental disasters. Notably, these disasters have a potential of harming and even causing death, not only to human life but also to the environment around. Despite these challenges, it is important to understand that there are technological advancements such as radiation detection techniques have been developed in the recent past to provide early detection information and similarly deal with the emergent disasters in such a way that their effects are drastically reduced (Aycik, 2009, p.324).
It is also important to understand that radiation detection techniques also helps in gathering and analyzing of data to identify certain trends that could easily portray or rather exhibit potential disastrous trends (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2007, p.91). With these measures in place, the government of the United States can be able to identify potential risks to the national security at an early stage and thus deploy appropriate response mechanism to either avert the risk or reduce it by a substantial margin. For example, the Homeland Security Department involves both the civilian and security officers in identifying, scrutinizing and counterattacking any form of disaster that targets the United States of America; especially where the threats and vulnerability involved is aligned towards endangering the general security of the American citizen.
In reference to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2010), DNDO requires that manufacturers provide information relating to conformance to other industry and government standards, including those identified below. This has been found to reduce the risk of nuclear and other radiological materials from getting into the wrong hands. In addition, this has also been found to reduce the rate of negligence when handling nuclear and radiological products. In such a case, the government of the United States has been able to lay down strategies that not only enable it to deal with such a disaster but also places it at a position of reducing the probability of a particular disaster especially in regard to nuclear and radiology from occurring (FEMA, 2010).
To begin with, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is mandated with the task of providing sufficient training to its staff, both from the security forces and from the civilian on how to utilize radiation detection gadgets to easily provide early warning of either a nuclear attack from terrorists and accidents. In addition to providing sufficient training to these, there is need to develop radiation detection gadget on a large scale, especially those gadgets that are easily portable in order to increase the area of coverage in terms of nuclear radiation detection across the United States, taking in mind the fact that some nuclear products are manufactured in the United States (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2007).
In summation, technology plays a critical part in gathering and analyzing data that is associated with potential threats especially in regard to nuclear and radiological materials. In this respect, early warning signs are critical to the success of the civilian together with the security forces in protecting the American soil either from accidental or terrorist activities that could threaten the stability of the US security. Apart from the use of this technology, the US has empowered its people with the knowledge and skills in the use of specific technology to help it gather relevant data that concerns its security.
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