Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 19, 2008

Roadmap for Homeland Security Enterprise Released

Filed under: General Homeland Security,Strategy — by Jonah Czerwinski on September 19, 2008

A new analysis and set of recommendations entitled Homeland Security 3.0 rolled out yesterday at the National Press Club. James Carafano and David Heyman, co-chairs of the task force that wrote HLS 3.0, were joined by John Hamre, president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to introduce the new report as the work of twenty five experts in the fields of national and homeland security, counterterrorism, political science, intelligence, law, international affairs, and civil liberties. This range of expertise represents the core thrust of the report: homeland security is bigger than any single department.

Indeed, the article that ran this morning in Congressional Quarterly by Dan Fowler captures this thrust with the report’s subtitle taking front and center: “Building a National Enterprise To Keep America Free, Safe, and Prosperous.” [Full disclosure: I served on the task force and participated in the international affairs group.]

The methodology for this report was smart in its simplicity: Assemble a broad cross-section of relevant experts, organize them into basic groups of discipline, and ask them to answer to two questions: (1) What are five of the most important problems that need to be solved in the homeland security mission space? (2) What are the corresponding practical responses to those problems?

The outcome is an actionable set of recommendations that look across the strategic challenge of securing the homeland without focusing on one department or competency.

What emerges is a useful definition of the goal, too: Establishing America’s homeland security enterprise. Such an enterprise involves more than managing DHS. It demands executive leadership across the federal government that can understand the best role for our state and local partners and the enormous opportunities on the international level. As such, the report breaks down the challenge into five groups:

1. Empowering a National Culture of Preparedness
2. Shifting to a Strategy Focused on Sustaining a Resilient National Infrastructure
3. Expanding International Cooperation
4. Developing a Framework for Domestic Intelligence
5. Establishing National Programs for Professional Development

We are seeing the beginning of what will become a significant contribution from the policy community on the next phase of governance in keeping America free, safe, and prosperous. Look for additional contributions from the Center for American Progress, the Homeland Security Policy Institute, and others. Combined with the work of the National Academy of Public Administration and the Council for Excellence in Government, the next Administration will have a wealth of intellectual support in assuming leadership.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

September 19, 2008 @ 10:33 am

Let’s talk about item #1 since we all know that the real history of the US is lack of preparedness or even waste, fraud, abuse, and poor organization, staffing, funding, and logistics, training and exercising for preparedness. As a percentage of expenditures (after all money talks) preparedness is a step-child. A recent GAO report below identifies inability to get preparedness funding as being a critical failure for NGO’s that truly are part of the preparedness capability of the nation.

Voluntary Organizations: FEMA Should More Fully Assess Organizations’ Mass Care Capabilities and Update the Red Cross Role in Catastrophic Events. GAO-08-823, September 18.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d08823high.pdf

So where does that leave us. Time for hard thinking not generalities. For example, should the fire service in the 150 largest communities be considered for federalization of standards, training and management. We need professionals in the fire service in large metro areas, because as able and willing as volunteers are, the are professionals better. On that thread local police and fire should be considered critical and not allowed in the National Guard or Reserves. They do it for the money and in reality the fire service should all be given raises and standardized for professional development. Note that if we can bail out Wall Street it is certainly more of a priority to have highly qualified fire service, EMT’s, and HAZMATS pros operating in the 150 largest cities. I have picked just this one area because it reflects on several of the findings. Another might be to reallly focus on whether all homeland security funding through grants really needs to go to the states with their enormous overhead rates, all subject to OMB Circular A-87, and allowing only a trickle through to the major metro areas. Another example would be the underfunding of EPA for emergency response and monitoring, decontaimination of various toxic substances, including USER fees on the Chemical Industry for preparedness at the local level. Part of the Cost of Doing Business. Let’s face it most of the really tough decisions are being avoided in the Homeland Security arena while DODizing (an invented word) of DHS continues with billions in wasted contract money spent with no product.Look at DHS’s largest contractors and how they are audited and supervised and you can see that virtually no one is accountable to make the contractors accountable. Has anyone ever really examined how inherently governmental functions are examined, researched, developed, and operated in DHS. An interesting analytic piece would be to see how other Executive Branch organizations view DHS and its real capabilities. A cap on political appointees in DHS might be a starter. And speaking of preparedness, the COOP/COG EO issued by President Bush on September 11th is almost exactly like the one submitted to OMB and DOJ under EO 11030 almost 25 years ago by FEMA. Oh well, nice to have it reach the sunshine.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

September 20, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

So profound an insight and oh…so appreciated by those of us who have been proponents of further support of the local metropolitan communities and their dedicated commitment requiring full funding and training of our very respected first responders.

Thank you for your continuing enlightened conveyance that someone truly depicts the prerequisite leadership decision-making which is necessary in affording us – the public – the best protection possible.

We have so many brilliant individuals with dedicated commitment to public service and we should be making every effort to equip and train those we call when in desperate need.

We are at war with fundamentalists who seek our demise and we as the good people of this great nation expect both sides of the aisle to stop this same ‘ol, same ‘ol politicizing and portray the bipartisan diligence we have entrusted elected officials.

Christopher Tingus
Harwich, MA 02645

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