France's Homeland Security Challenges and the Policies Thesis

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France's homeland security challenges and the policies and actions of that nation in response to these issues.

The homeland security and counterterrorism procedures were pushed into overdrive after the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. soil and the following terrorist attacks that occurred in different parts of Europe like the UK and Spain. The overall need for the safer and more thorough procedures was agreed mutually across both continents; however, the procedures and their application are much different across both the continents.

The major difference between the two states is this: the U.S. government has tried to completely restructure and reorganize their prior homeland and border security procedures while the European states have merely tried making adjustments in their existing counterterrorism and security structures. Both states have however focused on common aspects like communication effectiveness and response time to threats, natural and man-made, in their quest to improve the overall homeland security structures.

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Understanding the depth of the situation and the September 11, attacks, homeland security procedures in countries all over the world have been altered and enhanced. Annual funds allocated to the security within and on the borders of countries have increased significantly and the high-risk security procedures on every entry and exit point of countries have now become a global phenomenon. The figure below is a pie chart showing how the countries stack up with the overall percentage of homeland security investments and market share for a majority of the nations who have undergone significant changes since the September 11 and subsequent attacks on the U.S. And European soils respectively (Arie, 2005):

In this paper, we will highlight the following aspects of comparative homeland securities measures:

1. The overall discussion of homeland security laws and principles implemented in the U.S. And France;

TOPIC: Thesis on France's Homeland Security Challenges and the Policies Assignment

2. The overview of the departments that are responsible for homeland security within U.S. And France and the possible similarities between two structures; and

3. The overall challenge that both governments tackle on a day-to-day basis dealing with natural or man-made attacks and how they deal with them.


The French Ministry of the Interior is the main task force that takes care of the entire security structure of the European states, and hence is the largest and most far reaching security organizations in the world today. In France, it oversees the main and general security concerns of the state and controls the main security providing sections including the French National Police, fire brigades as well as the Gendarmerie along with the overall civil defense structures. It also oversees the communication and association between the local, central and national government authorities and manages the passport issuance, ID card and license issuance as well as the voting and campaigning activities during political elections.

Communication is perhaps the most important part of the overall control and management procedure of the French Ministry of the Interior. The overall success that the ministry has had over the years has to be directly or indirectly related to the formation of standardized consensus on the important issues that impact that states (Barber et al., 2005). The main aspects that the standardized consensuses need to be formed in every community that can possibly face attacks, man-made and/or natural, and need to be on the following functions of the homeland safety and protection system:

1. The overall cost-benefit ratio of the system and strategy being employed

2. The overall functional efficiency of the system

3. The overall security of life provided by the system

4. The overall decrease in probability of death and destruction from the attacks, man-made and/or natural

5. The overall impact that the system has on the standard of living and quality of life for the region

The border security and homeland security structures have an element of extreme importance in the existence of human life especially in the modern world when a majority of the world commerce and trade is on such a high rise and can be rarely ever traced and monitored 100%. The need for the homeland security and protection systems against the potential perils that can be caused by similar attacks is a conscious decision by the nations that the overall importance and benefits of the trade far outweigh the perils especially if these perils can be avoided, prevented or protected through efficient systems. Hence, it is safe to say that the overall standardized consensuses formed by the French Ministry of the Interior follow a certain feedback pattern (Voortman, 2003). This feedback model or pattern can be explained trough the use of a basic communication model. Hence, if we were to analyze the basic communication structure of the French Ministry of the Interior, it would look somewhat like the figure below:

One of the researchers who used a modified feedback structure was Wilde in his 1994 study. Wilde (1994) explained that the feedback model could also be used to structure the overall behavioral patterns of humans when they make conscious or subconscious decisions on potential hazards. Similarly, the basic communication model can be modified to analyze the overall social structures for making decisions that involve risk assessment against the attacks on homeland security, natural or man-made. For example, since the European states are only looking for major alterations in the systems and structures that already exist for their homeland security needs, a recommended feedback system for the homeland security and protection setup model would look somewhat like this:

The feedback structure above for a homeland security and protection system, the prior analysis is also further linked to the overall results attained after the integration stage. The noises represent the possible hurdles that a decision making body might face when implementing a particular security system. These hurdles could be linked to prior analysis done and how they apply to the current structure as well as simply indicate an error in the communication of objectives from one stage to the next.

If one was to look at a homeland security and protection model more specifically, it could involve the aspects of rise in potential threats and destruction capabilities of enemies, it could also include factors like anticipated threat levels (will be discussed in detail later) that have been wrongly evaluated from prior records and need to be re-evaluated at a later stage to have more comprehensive, current and authenticated threat level numbers. The table could then be adjusted as below:

Furthermore, looking at the departments in France that tackle the homeland security concerns include the various intelligence agencies and organizations, specialized legal committees, police forces and emergency responsive teams that have been formulated specifically to tackle the homeland security concerns especially those that are a direct result of a terrorist attack. However, unlike the Department of Homeland Security formed within the U.S., the French government does not have a specific department dedicated to the phenomenon of homeland security.

Discussing the departments and the responsibilities within France and its organizations, we can see that

The Ministry of MOI, as mentioned earlier, oversees all civil protection and security concerns and is the managing authority in case of a terrorist threat/attack.

The MOI is responsible for the response to the threat as well as the rebuilding and recuperation after the threat has been dissolved; or, in the event of an attack, after the attack has been prevented or after it has occurred.

The overall national response methodology an principles are normally designed and monitored by the Directorate of Defense and Public Safety (DDSC) appointed with the MOI.

The subsidiary authority if an attack or threat is eminent is the Council for Internal Security (Le Conseil de securite interieure, or CSI). This particular authority was established in 2002, after the September 11 that occurred the year before in the U.S. Hence the overall policies and principles implemented in this particular council were in response to those attacks (Canicule, 2004).

The CSI has a regular workforce that is led by the French President and includes in its committee the Prime Minister, the Ministers of the Interior, Justice, Defense, Economy and Finance along with other officials if and when the need arises.

Currently, the CSI is led by Philippe Massoni who has served as a successful and popular public official for a long times.

The overall plan of attack and structure for France is very different from that of the U.S. France basically has 90 different managerial areas (Shapiro and Susan, 2003). Each of these 90 is them governed and controlled by a prefect who is basically a government or public official employed with the central government branch in Paris. Furthermore, France appoints the perfect to do the tasks that the governors or local assemblies would do normally i.e. handle the regional affairs, controlling on behalf of the president and/or prime minister, communicate and monitor or the workings of the local or regional police forces or firefighters, monitor the policies and activities of Les Compagnies Republicaines de la Securite, or CRS, management of the investigation and intelligence organizations like the Gendarmerie. Furthermore, the military within… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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