Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 19, 2007

A goodbye to Homeland Security Watch

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christian Beckner on January 19, 2007

When I started this blog 14 months ago, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought there was a need for a site like this to bring together different parts of the professional homeland security community. And I had just learned that my employer, IBM, allowed employees to create and develop blogs, consistent with the company’s corporate guidelines. So I dove in, figured out how to create a site (first on blogspot, then directly at hlswatch.com), and started posting.

1,238 posts and 1.3 million hits later, I need to end my active involvement with this site, effective immediately. The reason: I’ve given a notice of separation to IBM and have accepted a job offer to join the Democratic staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), chaired by Sen. Joe Lieberman. I feel honored to have an opportunity to join the staff of this committee, which sets a very high standard for solid work and bipartisan spirit in the U.S. Congress. I’m looking forward to getting into the trenches and working on the same range of critically important homeland security issues that I’ve written about here.

As for this site, I hope that I can pass it off to people who want to carry it forward – ideally multiple contributors – and am working on this already. If anyone reading is interested in this opportunity, drop me a line to hlswatch@gmail.com. I’m also willing to consider other types of proposals regarding the site. In the meantime, the links to other homeland security blogs and sites are still there on the right-hand column.

To my loyal readers, I appreciate your visits and participation at Homeland Security Watch over the past 14 months. If you have any final feedback or comments about the site, or just want to stay in touch, drop me a line. And to those who have supported my efforts by exposing the site to a wider audience (especially Noah) and/or providing me with tips, I owe you a serious debt of gratitude.

Overall, it’s been a rewarding experience to create and develop this blog. I’ve learned a lot in the course of working on it; daily blogging is a powerful form of self-discipline, one that has forced me to stay current and read reports more closely than I had previously. I think, in a small way, it’s played a positive role in homeland security policy, bridging the gap between the political domain and the policy/academic domain. And I’ve tried to adhere to the goals that I set for myself when I created the site – that it be non-partisan, and that its judgments be driven by rigorous, practical assessments of threats, risks, effects, costs, and values – and except for the occasional ill-considered post, I think that by and large I’ve succeeded in achieving these goals.

Thanks for stopping by,

Christian Beckner

Update (1/20): After some recruiting yesterday, I think I have a few solid folks lined up to become occasional contributors. They’ll be introducing themselves in the days and weeks ahead. I still would like to get a few more, however. Bottom line to readers: come back here soon…

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Comment by Robot.Economist

January 19, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

Dude, where will I get my reliable digs on homeland security issues now?!

Good luck Christian, you’ve got quite a career ahead of you!

Comment by AE

January 19, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

Wow, I’m happy for you but am going to miss your excellent work on this site. This has been THE go-to site for me on these issues! I hope you can find the contributors you need. Best of luck on the Hill!

Comment by Neglected Fiancee

January 19, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

Hmmm… leaving the blogosphere? I guess that means that you will have a lot more free time in the evenings now. I heard that there is a big wedding on June 30 that you can help plan. In fact, I’ve got some Save the Date cards that you can start addressing tonight! (j/k)

Comment by Shiftless in Seattle

January 19, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

Now how will I be able to keep track of what I can take through airport security? (Shampoo – not okay; 9 year old boy with no ticket – send him through.)

Though, the site has been somewhat less useful for me ever since the advertising links were taken down.

Comment by Claire Rubin

January 19, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

You have done a great job and I too am grateful.

Glad to hear you will be on the Hill and hopefully can contribute to the legislative process. Improvements in emergency management and homeland security are sorely needed.

Best of luck.

Comment by RS

January 19, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

Congrats, Christian. Am sad to lose your keen eye, but congratulations on getting a power-breakfast job… RS

Comment by L. Skantze

January 19, 2007 @ 5:13 pm

Congratulations on creating such a thoughtful, insightful and useful resource. It is a great contribution to the thinking on key homeland security issues.

Best of luck with the new job. May you bring the same fairness and pragmatism to your work on the Hill.

Comment by Sally Chapman

January 19, 2007 @ 5:56 pm

Congratulations on your new job! Its good to know that we will have you there to keep them honest!

Speaking on behalf of the Librarians at the Homeland Security Digital Library, your indepth analysis will be surely missed. However, please feel free to send us any documents and materials that you think would be a good addition to our library.


Comment by Ryan Erickson

January 19, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

We all wish you the best of luck on your new adventure Christian.

Comment by Phillip

January 20, 2007 @ 12:40 am

Know that your analysis influenced a lot of feds in Frisco. Maybe if you post a few pop-up ads, put civic duty and political fame on the backburner, and let visitors pay the mortgage you can stick around? Just a thought. Good luck on the hill!

Comment by Steve Schippert

January 21, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

Best of luck Christian, and thank you for what you have done in service through this site. The HSGAC just landed a capable, alert and knowledgable resource.

Sincerest thanks and well wishes from all of us at TW.

Comment by Stormwarning

January 28, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

Christian: Wow! Great opportunity. You and I have actually spoken in the past (back in your Civitas days). I’ll track you down and catch up.

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