DHS: Young, Flawed and Hobbled By Congress

on September 07, 2011 at 8:56 AM

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has faced a great deal of scrutiny, both from the public and from Congressional leaders since its creation in 2003. Some have accused it of being dysfunctional, ineffective, and mismanaged, going so far as to call for the dissolution of the Department. While we should ask a great deal of the agency designated to protect us against terrorism and other threats, much of this criticism is misguided, as are recommendations to close the department.

We must face the reality that working to improve DHS is our only option. From a purely practical perspective, DHS is unlikely to be disestablished. We have no track record of closing cabinet departments, and it is unreasonable to expect Congress to assume the political risk associated with pursuing the elimination of the organization designed to protect the homeland. Most importantly, we must acknowledge that, strategically, DHS is too vital to simply do away with.