This blog was co-written with Dr. Michael O. Adams and Professor Carroll Robinson, who are also faculty members of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.
Since 9/11 terrorism has become a major public safety issue for local law enforcement and elected officials.
Local law enforcement officials are now the first responders on the front line of homeland security.
In this age of globalism and terrorism there is really no longer a true distinction between foreign and domestic affairs. "Foreign Affairs" now impact our domestic economy and local/"homeland" security.
Local elected officials have to care about and understand the impact of foreign affairs and global issues on their local economy, local businesses, local law enforcement training, equipment requirement and preparation, and public health prevention, preparation and response. (Remember Ebola in Dallas and the Bird Flu just to name two recent examples?)
In light of this reality, Congress needs to approve funding for the Department of Homeland Security and under the Constitution of the United States it is Congress' responsibility to declare war.
If Congress agrees that our nation is at war with ISIS/ISIL then they should declare war and give the Commander in Chief and our military the authority and resources they need to win this next phase in "the war on terror."
A war is here and we have to decide how we are going to fight it and win because the enemy has made it clear they are willing to bring the fight to our shores and those of our allies, especially those of us who are willing to educate and empower women, accept diversity and protect freedom of religion.
It is never too early to be prepared. "Hope for the best but plan for the worst."
*Dr. Michael O. Adams and Professor Carroll Robinson are also faculty members of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University and co-authors of this blog post.