The United States has decided to establish a cabinet level Office of Homeland Security. It appears that the new department there will have four main tasks (and most likely four divisions, employing 170,000 people, to handle the work).
1. Intelligence Fusion. An analysis, not collection, operation to gather intelligence information from all sources (FBI, CIA, NSA, Etc.) and attempt to integrate the data and look for indications of threats within those sources. The FBI and CIA have demonstrated serious shortcomings in this area.
2. Strategic Direction. Perform strategic analysis of potential threats and direct research efforts by the various agencies to counter such threats. The idea here is to office through out various research organizations. Sort of like what DARPA has done for decades, but concentrating on more short terms and off the shelf projects.
3. Better organized border security. A merger of the duties and responsibilities of the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, Customs and the newly formed Transportation Security Agency within the Department of Transportation.
4. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will become part of the Office of Homeland Security. FEMA will continue its current functions, as well as pick up all the various Federal Grant programs directed at local and state government preparedness.
5. The Secret Service will report directly to this new Office of Homeland Security as well as establishing state and local liaison operations. In effect, the Secret Service will take over some functions formerly taken care of by the FBI.--William Gross