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United States and Israeli Homeland Security: A Comparative Analysis of Emergency Preparedness Efforts

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Counterproliferation Paper no. 33

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This paper will provide a comparative analysis of the United States U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys Emergency Preparedness and Response directorate and the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command. It will focus on the preparedness aspect of homeland security and will address similarities and differences of both organizations, recent initiatives within each organization, and collaborative efforts between the United States and Israel in support of homeland security. It will illustrate that both organizations have made great strides in their homeland security efforts but there is still much that needs to be done. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was established on January 23, 2003, in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is built upon the long and solid track record of the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA. It oversees the federal governments national response and recovery strategy and ensures our nation is prepared for natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Israel does not have a Department of Homeland Security. Israel established its Home Front Command, an entity of the Israel Defense Force IDF, in February 1992, largely as a result of events of the 1991 Gulf War. The Home Front Command falls under the minister of defense within the IDF. There are certainly lessons the United States can learn from Israels 35-year battle against terrorism. We must not forget, however, that Israel is a small country approximately the size of our state of New Jersey. Therefore, many of Israels security initiatives are simply not practical or feasible for implementation within the United States of America.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Civil Defense

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