The Federation of American Scientists website has posted a new homeland security-related report from the Congressional Research Service within the last couple of days:
The report provides the context for three issues that Congress could decide to take up:
- Should DHS certify state and urban area emergency operations and homeland security plans as a condition of assistance?
- Should DHS require specific activities to be part of state and urban area homeland security plans?
- Should DHS require and administer state and urban area homeland security exercises?
My initial reaction to these policy questions is that Congress should be careful about establishing strict mandates, since states face varying degrees of terror threats and heterogenous natural disaster risks. If Congress mandates too many activities, that could leave states with insufficient discretionary funds to be able to carry out other activities that are relevant to their distinct needs.