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International Engagement Overview

Homeland security has an inherently international dimension.  The activities essential to secure the United States are not limited to the territory of the United States and involve causes and effects generated beyond U.S. borders.   Accordingly, the Department's success requires sustained cooperation with foreign governments, multilateral organizations, and other international partners.

The Office of Policy (PLCY) coordinates DHS's international activities to advance the Department's strategic and policy objectives and raise security standards globally across the full range of the Department's missions, whereas DHS's operational components cooperate with international partners in furtherance of their specific missions.  International engagement entails close cooperation with partners around the world in the areas of counterterrorism and terrorism prevention, law enforcement, information sharing, aviation security, customs regulation and border security operations, cybersecurity, countering violent extremism, humanitarian support related to mass migration, human trafficking, and emergency response.

Working Overseas

DHS has personnel stationed in more than 75 countries, the third-largest civilian footprint of any U.S. agency working overseas.

These men and women work with their international counterparts to identify known or suspected terrorists and cyber threats, take down organized crime rings, and stop the proliferation of dangerous weapons.  They interdict drugs and human smugglers heading to our air, land, and sea borders.

By securing air, land, and sea transport systems, DHS also supports travel and trade that provide millions of American jobs in manufacturing, tourism, and other industries.  We inspect overseas airports with flights to the United States and seaports that ship goods to our shores. We also protect American ideas and legitimate businesses by seizing counterfeit goods and cracking down on intellectual property theft online. 

Collaborating to Improve Security

DHS has successfully partnered with foreign governments, international organizations, and the aviation industry to strengthen the international aviation system and raise aviation security standards across the globe.

DHS and its international partners have strengthened cybersecurity and protected intellectual property rights.  Through this work, we have been able to address cyber threats, including denial of service attacks, attempts to steal intellectual property, and intrusions against government networks and systems that control critical infrastructure.

Our record of enhanced information sharing with internationals partners is further evidenced by dozens of signed international agreements to share information about terrorism, organized crime, smuggling, human trafficking, and science and technology.

Last Published Date: April 24, 2018

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