What are the strengths and limitations of a distributed homeland security intelligence production—a federal system with independent and largely "sovereign" state, local, and tribal jurisdictions?

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The strengths of a distributed homeland security system include the following:

1. A distributed system allows locals to work the areas they know best. For example, the intelligence needs of a tribal community may be vastly different than those of a large city. Independent jurisdictions allow for those that know...

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The strengths of a distributed homeland security system include the following:

1. A distributed system allows locals to work the areas they know best. For example, the intelligence needs of a tribal community may be vastly different than those of a large city. Independent jurisdictions allow for those that know the area to best use their abilities in a focused way and not have to worry about things they may not understand as well.

2. A distributed system negates bureaucracy. Though it may be overall federal, if each jurisdiction is essentially allowed to act on its own merit, things can be done faster, without all the "red tape" of the federal government. Imagine if all laws passed by a state senate had to be further approved by Congress and signed by the president. It would back up the lawmaking process beyond belief and, thus, be ultimately less effective.

The limitations include the following:

1. With a distributed system, there can be a lack of shared information, particularly across jurisdictions. If an individual being tracked crosses jurisdictions, having each be separate harms the chances of catching patterns, and there may be a lack of communication.

2. It's significantly harder for a federal program to disperse funds accordingly to a distributed system. Assuming that this is a federally funded program, this means that all local jurisdictions would independently have to ask for their funding. Naturally, some would receive less than necessary, while others might receive more, which ultimately could harm or unbalance the entire system.

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