The Democratic staff of the House Homeland Security Committee released a report today entitled “Leaving the Nation at Risk: 33 Unfulfilled Promises From the Department of Homeland Security.”
Many of the criticisms of DHS in the report are definitely valid, especially those concerning intelligence and state & local information-sharing programs, which need to be strengthened and accelerated. As I wrote in this post, I think there are definitely people in the new team who get this. But it still won’t be easy for DHS to win the turf battles in this area.
But other criticisms in the report I don’t really understand. In several places, the report criticizes DHS for going slow or shutting down cost-ineffective or technologically unproven projects (e.g. going slow on UAVs at the border). From my perspective, this is exactly what DHS should be doing, and not chasing good money after bad or uncertain.
Not every R&D project or technology deployment is going to pan out, due to the limits of technology and the complexity of the homeland security challenge. This fact shouldn’t let DHS off the hook, but I think it needs to be taken into account when people (quite validly) criticize the Department.