Date of Graduation

Fall 2013


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Andrei Shoumikhin


homeland security, counterterrorism, disaster response, state, local

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the widely criticized response to hurricane Katrina in August of 2005 brought to light the weaknesses in the federal government's homeland security enterprise. In response to these catastrophes, the federal government has dramatically increased its spending on homeland security and expanded the federal level structures devoted to counterterrorism and disaster response. This paper seeks to evaluate the efficacy of the federal government's homeland security efforts and determine if there are ways in which current federal homeland security functions can be decentralized in an effort to reduce cost and increase efficiency. I conclude that most federal functions related to homeland security could be consolidated or redistributed within existing national security and law enforcement entities. Also, this thesis reaffirms the need for unity of effort across all levels of government, but finds that state and local authorities can play a larger role in defending the nation than they do today. Finally, I suggest the possibility of dismantling the Department of Homeland Security and offers one possible reapportionment scheme for its components.


© Scott Matthew Swift

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