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Note: There are 2 parts to this assignment.

Part 1

Choose 1 of the following ideas. Argue its feasibility, or lack thereof, and justify your reasoning. Use 200–300 words to make your point.

  • Sedate airline passengers to prevent hijacking.
  • Solve the communications interoperability problem by requiring all responders to buy their radios from one manufacturing company.
  • Attach transponders to foreign visitors to prevent them from becoming illegal aliens and potentially forming sleeper terrorist cells.

Review and comment on at least 2 other posts.

Part 2

In 2012, Congress presented a bill to the President proposing to cut the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s budget to $398 million. Of that amount, more than half was earmarked to maintain laboratories and other mandatory spending. That left $106 million for discretionary research and development, amounting to an 80% cut over the previous fiscal year.

Use 200–300 words to answer the following questions:

  • Why do you think Congress cut the Science and Technology (S&T) budget so drastically?
  • As President, would you sign or veto the bill that was presented by Congress? Why or why not?

Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, please consider the following questions:

  • What did you learn from your classmate’s posting?
  • What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?
  • What clarification do you need regarding the posting?
  • What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates’ postings?

REPLY TO 

The Department of Homeland Security (HLS) is constantly looking for ways to improve the safety and security of the people of this country. Since the events of 9/11 and the constant threat that from terrorists on the nations many infrastructures, it is an ongoing battle and understanding of what needs to be done. While people’s freedoms could be limited, they won’t be taken away but there will be inconveniences to people, longer wait times and growing frustrations. One of the technological advances that currently have this impact is the implementation of the AIT scanners at airports. This has caused long lines, delays, and the increasing ability to arrive at airports hours before departure just to get through the security line. Is this an inconvenience in a world where people are go-go-go and time is money and the impatience felt through all? Absolutely. Is it much needed to prevent a catastrophic event that could cripple the nation once again? Absolutely. Balancing the freedoms of the people along with national security is a fine line to dance but one that must be done to improve security measures, protect the lives of individuals and thwart terrorist attempts.

Among the ideas listed, while taking the stance of lack of feasibility, I would go with the idea behind sedating passengers to prevent hijackings on flights. The idea behind this is completely asinine. For one to think that the simplest solution is to sedate people would not work in the slightest. Sure, popping a couple Benadryl would make some people go night-night, but in my experience that isn’t always effective for everyone plus there are some that have allergic reactions to this. How would this be monitored and regulated? Are airports going to have doctors on duty to assess and determine the right dosage needed to sedate an individual? How about monitoring them during the flight? Certain medications require the monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels in order to ensure none of these fall to a critical level. The equipment needed would be an added expense, which means more cost for an already expensive flight. Any time you add a medication, the risk for potential health effects increases and the danger of treating someone 20,000ft in the air is not the smartest or most efficient.

The 9/11 attacks didn’t just generate an increase in security across the board but it boosted the confidence of the American people that they are the last defense against a potential attack. Several people aboard flight 253 from Detroit to Amsterdam banded together to take down a terrorist and prevent the plane from exploding (Farrell, 2009). A shoe bomber was taken down on a flight in 2001 from Paris to Miami in which the passengers again thwarted this plan and with the help of a doctor, sedated the individual until the plane safely landed and he was apprehended. Since the 9/11 attacks, passengers respond differently than they once did. People realize this could be the fight of their lives and understand the plane isn’t being hijacked for demands but to kill a lot of people. Technological advances since 9/11 have included reinforced cockpit doors, AIT scanners, and the simplest of all equations: passengers knowing how to resist hijackers. Passengers understand that they face a greater chance of being injured or killed fighting a terrorist than guaranteeing their death (and many others) if they sit back and do nothing.

To suggest the idea that sedating passengers for safer travel is an all around loss. Taking aside the possibility that a terrorist could take a counter acting drug and “fake” being sedated only to wake up mid flight while everyone is, increases the likelihood that an attack could happen. Coupled with the fact of getting the American people on board to agree with this is next to impossible. The COVID-19 pandemic showed that something as simple as wearing a mask aboard a flight, the unrest and push back that was received over a piece of fabric, shows that moving people out of their comfort zone is a lose-lose. It’s taken close to a year for people to understand this let alone the idea of “hey by the way, we need to sedate you so for safer travel” will not bode well with passengers not to mention the astronomical costs associated with this.

It is believed that congress cut the Science and Technology (S&T) budget as a means to merge them with CISA and allow the cyber security infrastructure to be the front-runner for the nations security. CISA and S&T have been collaborating for quite some time in order to bring more technological advances to the public and present ideas that fit with both the private and public sector. CISA has long been charged with cyber security development within DHS so it would only make sense to potentially combine the two and receive a greater output. The president wanted to push more money into the industries of the future such as artificial intelligence and quantum information (QIS)(Malakoff, 2020). In order to build towards more significant changes and efficient ways of developing tech, two departments shouldn’t competing with one another (or doing the same tasks) but rather working together towards the common goal.

If I were the president, I would’ve made the same decision. Financially speaking it makes sense to cut costs where you can, make DHS more efficient in its protection of the United States while advancing technology. Potentially combing S&T with CISA would be a wise move as you have more people collectively working together and the advancements would come sooner. The nation is already in a budget crisis and spending money on two departments that are (to a degree) doing the same thing: advancing technology, just quite make sense. Combine the two, combine the minds, and work to better DHS collectively instead of individually.

i am choosing to dissect the idea of sedating airline passengers on airplane, whether it is feasible, the lack thereof and justifying my reasoning. First off this sounds like something China would enforce if they have an uptick in terrorist attacks. I am against this idea whole heartedly due to the vast number of rights that this idea violates. How feasible is this idea? I think that the idea is completely possible in a ‘Black Mirror” sort of way. I also think this would be an absolute win for which ever companies get picked up to be the distributors of this sedative. But I think this is feasible due to the fact that during these time of Covid were already have teachers, first responders, nurses, and pilots losing their jobs for not getting vaccinated. We also have to get vaccinated to be hired by certain jobs as well. I think that if they were to give you a sealed sedative when you receive your ticket and you have to take it at the gate in front of the airline staff is a way to accomplish this. Another way to accomplish this is since the plane has air filters and pumps oxygen, they could gas everyone on the plane except flight crew which could wear gas masks. I do not think that this is feasible overall due to the amount of civil liberties that it could violate. Also, if it is a long flight people have to use the toilet, will they be hooked up to something that helps alleviate a natural bodily function.

I believe that congress cut the budget to the science and technology because they found somewhere else that the funds could be useful. In doing so, the budget cut wiped out dozens of programs, stalled the development of technologies for border protection, the detection of biohazards, and the screening of cargo. There was also an initiative to create detection systems that could identify improvised explosive devices (Homeland Security News Wire, 2011) I believe that a large part of the budget was taken from the science and technology department and shifted to the military to fund the war in the Middle East. If I were the president and choose between signing or vetoing the bill I would have not taken the money away from the budget. I think that due to the fact that we were attacked on our homeland a year prior, we should definitely bolster our defenses to make sure it does not happen again.

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