What do you think are the most likely or serious threats, risks, hazards or vulnerabilities affecting the Food and Agriculture (FA) sector?

Please review the Syllabus, as well as the Guidelines, Expectations and Grading Rubrics for the Essay Exams, and follow the instructions below:Please include a cover sheet with the course title, a sub-title of “Final Essay Exam,” and the date of submission. Do not include your name anywhere on the exam.
Respond to both questions from each session for the second half of the semester (7-11), for a total of ten responses. Please don’t repeat or restate the questions, as Turnitin will “hit” on those as if they were quotes. Just indicate the corresponding question number for each response.Your responses should be clear, complete, succinct and substantive, addressing all of the main themes, elements or sub-questions in each overall question selected.Your own critical thinking and analysis should be supported by evidence of research in appropriate sources such as assigned or supplementary sources used in this course, or from other scholarly/authoritative sources found in your own research, with source attribution and in-text citations in your responses in proper APA format for all conclusions, statements of fact, quotations, ideas or other supporting content.Please do not cite my PowerPoint presentations, or any comments from others in discussion forums, although you may repeat or expand on some of your own comments from the forums with no need for citations.
This is not a research paper, so please don’t overdo it in terms of direct quotes, paraphrasing, or citations. At the same time, while I want to see what you think about these topics, I’m not looking merely for opinions; rather, well-reasoned arguments or assertions supported by evidence with at least a few citations from authoritative sources. The challenge is to maintain a high proportion of original work and limit the use of material quoted or paraphrased from the sources you cited.
UMGC requires the use of an accepted manual of style for citations, as indicated in the Syllabus. APA is preferred.
Please include a single overall list of References or Works Cited at the end of the exam rather than piecemeal after each response, with full citations in proper APA format.Make sure to follow a single, correct, consistent citation style for both in-text citations in your responses and full citations in the list of References or Works Cited; don’t “mix-and-match” APA with other styles in the same exam.
Do not reproduce lists, tables, charts, graphs, figures or images, as these are not appropriate for essay exams.Proofread and edit your replies for organization, coherence, sentence structure, grammar and spelling.Your responses should be in Times New Roman, size 11 or 12 font, and may be either single or double-spaced.Please include pagination (i.e., insert sequential page numbers).
Your completed exam should total approximately 8-10 pages (a minimum of about one page per response—a little more is better than a little less, with 250-300 words per page), up to a maximum of 15 pages, excluding the cover sheet and list of References or Works Cited.Submit the completed exam as a MS Word doc attachment into Assignment folder linked under the Week 12 folder of the Content area in LEO, no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday night, which also marks the end of the semester. Requests for extensions must be approved in advance.
Remember, you may submit drafts and generate Turnitin Originality/Similarity Reports for yourself and make revisions until the final version is due. There is no official UMGC policy on this, but I recommend trying to limit your Similarity score to a range of less than 20%.
The exam will be scored according to the Written Assignments and Final Paper Grading Rubrics attached in the Assignment folder.Your exam is as follows. There are two multi-part questions relating to each of the five weekly sessions in terms of the main topics, assigned readings and discussion forum questions we have covered thus far in each sequential week since the Mid-Term Essay Exam. You may see that some of the questions (but not all) reflect a synthesis or expansion of some of the discussion forum topics. Select and respond to one question per week/session for a total of five questions:Week 7: Agriculture and Food.1.) Protecting the American food supply from terrorist attacks or natural contamination is a difficult task. The FDA and USDA have the primary responsibilities. These two organizations have made significant changes since 9/11 to protect the food supply chain, but we still have experienced major incidents involving the intentional or accidental contamination or adulteration of various food products or ingredients at various points in the supply chain, resulting in recalls, public health harms, regulatory enforcement, litigation, and loss of consumer confidence in various food products or industries. If you were a senior advisor in the Biden Administration, what would you recommend to the president for making these two government agencies more effective and proactive (rather than reactive) in protecting our food system? Should those functions or relevant USDA and FDA units or divisions be merged under DHS, or perhaps CDC, HHS or USDA, or in some other organizational arrangement? Pres. Trump signed the Securing Our Food and Agriculture Act of 2017 to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002, but was that enough? Should Pres. Biden go further and replace HSPD-9 with a new Executive Order or Directive? Provide some research or evidence to support your opinion.2.) What do you think are the most likely or serious threats, risks, hazards or vulnerabilities affecting the Food and Agriculture (FA) sector? Would these be man-made or naturally occurring hazards, and if man-made, who would be the likely aggressors or culprits, and what would their motives be? Does the definition of “Food Defense” included in the FDA’s 2016 rule on Intentional Adulteration for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) adequately address the threats you highlighted, or does it need to be expanded? What strategies or specific measures would you recommend for mitigating, preventing, or protecting against these threats and vulnerabilities, and for responding to any incidents that do occur? What are the major obstacles or challenges that you would anticipate for implementing your recommendations, and how could those be overcome?
Week 8: Information Technology (IT) & Cybersecurity.3.) Conduct brief research online and identify an example of a major cyber attack or IT disruption from any cause (Note: Please use a different example than you did in the Week 8 Discussion Forum). Describe who was the aggressor and their motives, or what was the cause, and the impacts of the event. How could this type of disruption or attack be prevented or mitigated in the future? In your assessment, does the creation of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within DHS (see https://www.dhs.gov/cisa/about-cisa) add value to our national cybersecurity program and protect against threats such as the case you described? What more should Pres. Biden do in in terms of urgent measures, policies, strategies or policies for cybersecurity? Support your arguments with specific examples or evidence from authoritative sources.4.) Considering the concept of the “cybersecurity triad” including intergovernmental relations, public-private relations, and cybersecurity citizens, and the incremental approach to cybersecurity proposed by Harknett and Stever, what approach or measures do you believe are actually required to really engage and prepare all three legs of that triad? Who must lead that effort, and who or what constitutes the “weak link” in cybersecurity? Do previous or historical government measures in response to the nuclear technology revolution during the Cold War have enduring relevance or offer any lessons for cybersecurity today, or was that too long ago or too different in nature or scope to have any value today? Support your arguments with specific examples or evidence.
Week 9: Healthcare and Public Health Preparedness.5.) There has occasionally been friction between public health and law enforcement officials in cases involving suspected food contamination or bioterrorism. The conflict typically arises because public health maintains they are obligated to alert the public immediately with specific details to prevent further illness or fatalities, while law enforcement asserts that some information needs to be suppressed, at least temporarily, so as not to jeopardize their ongoing investigation and eventual criminal prosecution. What is your assessment of this type of conflict, and can you suggest any possible solutions that would meet the needs or interests of both disciplines? Is there a clear priority in terms of which agency or discipline is most urgent or should have ultimate authority?6.) Using the Homeland Security Digital Library COVID-19 Resource Archive (https://www.hsdl.org/a/covidarchive/), conduct research in any one of the topics linked there. Select one document, article, or other resource within that overall topic that relates to apparent impacts of the SARS-CoV-2/Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic on one or more of our national critical infrastructure sectors (e.g., healthcare and public health; food and agriculture; emergency services, etc.), or on one of the national preparedness mission areas or other topics included in that archive. Briefly describe the topic, sector or other issue you selected, and identify the resource you researched. Then, describe the major impacts, implications, or problems caused by the pandemic in relation to your focus area. Finally, what is your evaluation of the effectiveness of the national response to those problem thus far, and what more or different do you think should be done to resolve the problems?Week 10: Emergency Responders.7.) For several decades, official reports or studies and congressional hearings have all agreed that a lack of interoperable public safety communications remains a chronic problem, hampering the effective coordination of emergency response in major incidents. Considering all the advances in IT/communications technology, why do you think this problem has thus far defied resolution? Is there anything currently in progress or on the horizon that seems promising as a solution? Provide three specific recommendations that you believe may help remedy this problem, and support your recommendations with examples or evidence.8.) What is your overall assessment of Presidential Policy Directive #8, the National Preparedness Goal—Second Edition, and National Preparedness System? What are their best elements, and what, if anything, appears to be missing or weak? Do they complement, reinforce and supplement other key guidance documents you were introduced to in this course, such as the National Incident Management System (NIMS)-Third Edition, and 2016/2020 editions of the National Planning Frameworks, or are they in conflict or redundant? Considering that these documents were all developed and published by the White House or DHS/FEMA, how do they affect state/local emergency responders, and what are the proper roles and responsibilities of state/local emergency responders in this national system? Drawing from lessons learned from major disasters in the past decade such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, pandemic diseases, or wildfires, what do you think must be done to further enhance preparedness and response for major disasters here in the United States? Support your answer with specific evidence or examples from authoritative sources.
Week 11: Technology & Homeland Security.9.) Our nation continually engages in research and development for new or better technologies to enhance mitigation, protection, prevention, preparedness and response for terrorist attacks or natural disasters in general, and to protect our CI/KR sectors in particular. The DHS Science & Technology Directorate website describing its mission and organization identifies six main primary focus areas for their overall efforts (see https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/about-st), and several for critical infrastructure protection and resilience in particular (see https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/critical-infrastructure). Given the discussions in this course about leveraging technology research and development, and considering the fact that DHS can’t fund everything in the face of increasing pressure to cut federal spending, what would be the most urgent priorities related to technologies for agriculture & food, water, the IT sector, or emergency responders that you would recommend should be pursued and funded? Provide specifics and the rationale for your choices.10.) Which of the various homeland security technology applications or “gadgets and gizmos” discussed in the overview presentation or any of the assigned readings for Week 11 seem to hold the greatest promise for providing practical solutions for serious homeland security problems or challenges? Which seem most vulnerable, or problematic in terms of privacy and civil liberties protections? Explain and support your choices. Considering your choices in the context of Jackson’s article on coevolution of offense and defense in applying homeland security technologies, what must we do to prevent terrorists from circumventing or disrupting those technologies? Can we realistically stay “one step ahead” of terrorists with proactive technology applications and security measures, or are we doomed to remain forever reactive and wait to address each new technology threat or limitation as it emerges or becomes apparent?