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The Department of Homeland Security

Organization of the Department of Homeland Security


Terrorists today can strike at any place, at any time, and with virtually any weapon. This is a permanent condition and these new threats require our country to design a new homeland security structure.


The United States faced an enormous threat during the Cold War. We created a national security strategy to deter and defeat the organized military forces of the Soviet bloc. We emerged victorious from this dangerous period in our history because we organized our national security institutions and prepared ourselves to meet the threat arrayed against us. The United States is under attack from a new kind of enemy – one that hopes to employ terror against innocent civilians to undermine their confidence in our institutions and our way of life. Once again we must organize and prepare ourselves to meet a new and dangerous threat.

Careful study of the current structure – coupled with the experience gained since September 11 and new information we have learned about our enemies while fighting a war – has led the President to conclude that our nation needs a more robust and unified homeland security structure.


Mission of the New Department

The mission of the Department of Homeland Security would be to:


  • Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States;
  • Reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism; and
  • Minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur.

The Department of Homeland Security would mobilize and focus the resources of the federal government, state and local governments, the private sector, and the American people to accomplish its mission.



The creation of the Department of Homeland Security would empower a single Cabinet official whose primary mission is to protect the American homeland from terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security would have a clear, efficient organizational structure with four divisions.


  • Border and Transportation Security

  • Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures

  • Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection

Even after creation of the new Department, homeland security will still involve the efforts of other Cabinet departments. The Department of Justice and the FBI, for example, will remain the lead law enforcement agencies for preventing terrorist attacks. The Department of Defense will continue to play a crucial support role in the case of a catastrophic terrorist incident. The Department of Transportation will continue to be responsible for highway and rail safety, and air traffic control. The CIA will continue to gather and analyze overseas intelligence. Homeland security will continue to require interagency coordination, and the President will still need a close adviser on homeland security related issues. Accordingly, the President intends a strong continuing role for the White House Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council.


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