The Homeland Security Advisory Committee meeting is airing on C-Span 2 this morning. If anything interesting is said, I’ll post it below, and update this post as the meeting progresses.
1. Chertoff announced that the committee has three new members: former Speaker of the House Tom Foley; former TSA Administrator and Secret Service director John Magaw; and Elliott Broidy, the CEO of a private investment firm. (Note: my initial information on this topic was incorrect, based on not hearing it well).
2. The report of the “Prevention of the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect on American Soil Task Force” was given by Lydia Thomas from MitreTek. It criticizes the current broad federal efforts on this issue as being too dispersed, and notes the need for an integrated systems approach to the problem. The final report will be submitted in a couple of weeks.
3. Evidently the Mandarin Oriental has a construction project going on in the conference room next door. So much for being a five-star hotel.
4. Chertoff responded to the first report by noting that DHS has already implemented many of its recommendations, such as utilizing a layered strategy and creating a joint program office for nuclear detection in the form of the DNDO. He asked the group to think about the WMD Commission recommendation of a National Counterproliferation Center in its final report.
5. The second report is by the Critical Infrastructure Task Force. The task force also strongly recommends a systems approach to the issue. The key argument of the report is the need to turn the focus from “critical infrastructure protection” to “critical infrastructure resilience”, because “protection in isolation is a brittle strategy.” The presenter, Ruth David from ANSER, mentions the fact that the concept of resilience is gaining increasing traction on a global basis, and highlights a recent report on the UK financial sector. She also noted the opinion that HSPD-7 (focused on critical infrastructure protection) and HSPD-8 (focused on preparedness) seem misaligned and do not adequately integrate the dual challenges of protecting critical infrastructures and preparedness, and hopes that the new Preparedness Directorate in DHS will help to mitigate this misalignment. The report recommends a series of modest tabletop exercises to bring together key critical infrastructure stakeholders on a regional basis to understand the local implications of the interdependencies of infrastructure.
6. In comments responding to the report, DHS Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson indicated his support for additional focus on the concept of resilience in DHS activities.
7. The report for the Private Sector Information Sharing task force was given by Charlotte mayor Patrick McCrory. The report focuses on the need for new laws and authorities that will facilitate information-sharing with the private sector on matters of homeland security, in both directions.
8. The executive director of the HSAC, Daniel Ostergaard, announced at the end of the meeting that he is leaving the position as of tomorrow. It’s unclear where he is going and who his replacement might be.