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The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cyber security, and disaster prevention and management.
It began operations on March 1, 2003 after being formed as a result of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, enacted in response to the September 11 attacks. With more than 240,000 employees, DHS is the third-largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy.
In response to the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) to coordinate "homeland security" efforts. The office was headed by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who assumed the title of Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. The official announcement states:
The mission of the Office will be to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks. The Office will coordinate the executive branch's efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.
Ridge began his duties as OHS director on October 8, 2001. On November 25, 2002, the Homeland Security Act established the Department of Homeland Security to consolidate U.S. executive branch organizations related to "homeland security" into a single Cabinet agency. The Gilmore Commission, supported by much of Congress and John Bolton, helped further solidify need for the department. The DHS incorporated the following 22 agencies.
Between 1995 and 1999, military forces of NATO were deployed to re-establish the order in the independent provinces of ex-Yugoslavia. During the conflict the US army utilized weapons enriched with depleted uranium. The Italian soldiers, uninformed and unprotected, were exposed to those contaminations and many of them developed with time the so called "Balkan Syndrome", a series of tumors, the Hodgkin lymphoma being the most common of them. As today at least 250 soldiers are dead and about 2500 are suffering from such syndrome. Ten years after the conflict, some areas and industrial zones theatre of the bombings have not yet been reclaimed from depleted uranium waste and are a testimony, as invisible monuments, of what the tragic effects of such conflicts can