Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 16, 2008

DOD & DHS Convene 2-Day Workshop on “Jointness”

Filed under: Events,Homeland Defense,Organizational Issues — by Jonah Czerwinski on December 16, 2008

For the next two days I’ll be participating in a conference/workshop hosted by the Army War College’s Center for Strategic Leadership, entitled “DHS and DOD in Review: Ensuring We Ask the Right Questions.” We’ll join in a “strategic review of the foundational concepts of homeland security and homeland defense and validate their applicability to evolving domestic security requirements.” I sort of wish we had more than two days.

But we’ll be in good hands. Alan Cohn, DAS for Strategic Planning at DHS, and Bert Tussing, Director of Homeland Defense and Security Issues at Carlisle, will host the event. Paul McHale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland, Defense, and Americas’ Security Affairs, will join Alan in kicking off the two-day gathering focused on the following key questions:

• What is the relationship and/or distinction between national security and homeland security, and more specifically homeland defense and homeland security?

• Are these concepts complementary, supplementary, and/or contradictory to achieving an optimal and seamless security posture?

• Have these definitions, in their current form, outlived their usefulness?

• How should DHS and DOD pursue joint capabilities?

• What is the best way to ensure coordination and synchronization, where appropriate, between and across the functional areas called out in the Homeland Security Enterprise Architecture and DOD’s Joint Capability Areas?

• How can DHS and DOD pursue interagency jointness at the operational level?

• What models of jointness could/should DHS adopt to ensure integration and coordination internally across its operating components?

• What models provide the best foundation for jointness between DHS and DOD, and with other federal, state, and local agencies?

This is an ambitious agenda for two days of work, but even scratching the surface will be productive. In fact, much of the dialogue may focus on validating or dismissing assumptions we’re all making about the ongoing effort to knit together the homeland security enterprise. Readers are encouraged to respond to these questions in comments below. Bert and Alan do read the blog.

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5 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 16, 2008 @ 4:22 am

All very important topics and might usefully be conducted again early in the Obama Administration. One focus might be how both DHS and DOD actually related to each other over the past eight years and the lessons learned from that experience. What systems and processes were used to train both DOD and DHS together during that period. In my time DOD despite extensive planning and operational experience due simply to rotational policies in DOD seldom had experienced personnel assigned to key civil/military tasks with the exception of the National Guard and some Reserves when events of either a catastrophic nature or large-scale humanitarian deployment domestically occurred. What DOD was always capable of and did do quite skillfully even though often ad hoc (perhaps due to rotations) was deploy active duty forces (technically unarmed because displayed weapons were unloaded under orders) for ostensibly humanitarian purposes when actually they were being utilized as a calming presence to preserve law and order at the request of civil authorities that required law enforcement (not humanitarian) backup. Interesting there is a key missing player in the two day seminar because without the involvement and often official action of the Department of Justice, both DOD and DHS are powerless legally to act. And see below, the Stafford Act is unlikely to be triggered in a law enforcement emergency (see 28 CFR part 65) After 9/11, I personally wrote Attorney General Ashcroft a lengthy letter(and received no response) indicating that DOJ procedures were obsoletete and ineffective for Riots and Civil Disorders requiring DOD assistance. The handbook written by Mary Lawton and published by DOJ in 1980 involving that subject has still not been fully updated or corrdinated with the DOD and certainly not with DHS since its creation. By the way because for public policy reasons going back to the Kerner Commission on the riots of the 60′s no Presidential declaration of disaster or emergency for riot or civil disorder has ever been made (even the 1992 LA riots were declared for the fires and the National Guard was federalized). In a Pandemic or Bioterrorist attack where their is a shortfall in prophylatic pharma that could easily result in civil disturbances over wide spread geographic areas. Good luck with the conference.

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 17, 2008 @ 8:49 am

I should have also added HHS to the Jointness discussion since when either bioterrorism or a pandemic is involved they must closely coordinate with DOD, DHS, and DOJ! Stovepipes, stovepipes, stovepipes. Again demonstrates the need for specific highly competent and knowledgeable White House Domestic Crisis Management Unit ready to go on January 20th at NOON. No current system exists that is anywhere near adeqate and again shows that good staff work and systems and processes and lack of curiousity at the very top are the hallmarks of this Administration now ending. The CEO model is deal on Wall Street and for the Federal Executive Branch.

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 17, 2008 @ 8:49 am

I should have also added HHS to the Jointness discussion since when either bioterrorism or a pandemic is involved they must closely coordinate with DOD, DHS, and DOJ! Stovepipes, stovepipes, stovepipes. Again demonstrates the need for specific highly competent and knowledgeable White House Domestic Crisis Management Unit ready to go on January 20th at NOON. No current system exists that is anywhere near adeqate and again shows that good staff work and systems and processes and lack of curiousity at the very top are the hallmarks of this Administration now ending. The CEO model is dead on Wall Street and for the Federal Executive Branch.

Comment by John

December 28, 2008 @ 9:17 pm

I was tracking your seminar…then noted that it is off the record….hmmm.. the value then will have to come out in blogs and other sources..

I was looking forward to seeing how the relationship between homeland security and defense has changed or evolved and how NSSE’s are becoming part of the POM.

With the publication of the new or changed or evolved NIMS, the idea of jointness may be expanding to become a concept of interagency replacing jointness–a seemingly military term..ah the a cringe is experienced when the word jointness is dropped… afterall the interagency may refer to DOD, DOJ and DHS.

It was a pleasure to see the words “complementary, supplementary, and/or contradictory” used vs a dichotomous situation of either or.

Comment by Jonah Czerwinski

December 31, 2008 @ 11:53 am

John — Check out this article in CQ about the DHS-DOD conference for more details:

CQ HOMELAND SECURITY
Dec. 29, 2008 – 12:59 p.m.
DHS, Pentagon Sharing Thoughts About Upcoming Quadrennial Reviews
By Rob Margetta, CQ Staff
The departments of Homeland Security and Defense aren’t due to release their quadrennial reviews for another year, but they are opening a dialogue about policy and mission crossover as they undertake the preliminary stages of preparing the documents.

In support of a more collaborative process in the creation of the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review — which involve lengthy reviews of strategy and programs at the departments – the Army War College held a two-day workshop last week entitled “DHS and DOD in Review: Ensuring We Ask the Right Questions.”

Described by attendants as a “thinkfest,” the workshop was less a chance to come up with definitive answers about departmental collaboration on the reviews than an opportunity “to just begin a dialogue or formalize a dialogue that can form a baseline as our departments go into our respective reviews,” said Alan Cohn, DHS deputy assistant secretary for strategic planning.

Some of the DHS and DoD officials who attended already talk to each other frequently, Cohn said. Some don’t, and it would not even occur to some to contact staff at the other department. One of the main points about the workshop was to get those officials thinking about opening lines of communications when there is the potential for crossover.

Cohn emphasized that the workshop involving career staff was a first step at communication only — not the shaping of the reviews themselves — which will be up to the Obama administration.

“I think this was kind of born of the fact that both departments are in the preparatory stages for the upcoming quadrennial reviews,” he said. “It will be the new administration and new leadership at each of the departments who decide as to what they want to study in the two respective reviews and how they want to do it. That said, there is an understanding that the defense enterprise and the homeland enterprise are related and there are areas of mutual interest.”

Cohn said the workshop was built on similar efforts that have taken place over the past few years, where DoD has invited DHS to become more familiar with entities such as Northern Command, and the offices of the DoD undersecretaries for policy, acquisition and development and joint capability development. The best takeaway from the workshop was a list of a few of the common areas where the departments cross over, including risk evaluation and mission development.

Learning Lessons
The early emphasis on collaboration should mesh well with what the Obama transition team wants to see from the departments, said Jonah Czerwinski, one of the workshop’s attendants and a senior homeland security fellow at the IBM Global Leadership Initiative.

It shows that the career staffs at the departments are already thinking creatively and reaching out to important partners. A key factor going forward, Czerwinski said, is whether the transition team recognizes that the QDR and QHSR are being set on cooperative trajectories.

“It’s a reflection, I think, of a career leadership that’s on the same page as the transition team,” Czerwinski said. “They just have to make sure that they realize that and get on the same page together. Think about it this way: the transition team is probably thinking that the QHSR should be collaborative. They’re already doing that. The important thing now is that the incoming team links up with those efforts.”

Czerwinski said the workshop had a broad, permissive agenda, intended to rule in more topics than it ruled out. Key questions on the agenda included how defense and homeland security fit into national security together, how the departments should pursue joint capabilities, what the best models are for joint activities and how to ensure coordination, according to Czerwinski’s blog.

The workshop was off the record, so neither Czerwinski or Cohn were able to comment on specifics about the discussion. But Czerwinski did say that the flow of information was mutual. Where the knee-jerk reaction during previous collaborative efforts between the departments was to have the fledgling DHS learn as much from the established Pentagon as possible, that did not occur in this instance, he said.

“I don’t know if it reached the limits of what DoD can teach DHS,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the case. But, I think DoD realizes it can learn from DHS as well.”

Furthermore, he said, with respect to the workshop’s agenda, experience did not matter.

“The fact that DHS is a younger organization than DoD is less important than the fact that the homeland security mission itself is still new to DoD and DHS,” he said. “So in the context that the mission is still fresh for each department, regardless of how long DoD has been around, the information flow at this stage has matured beyond simply taking lessons learned from DoD and applying them to DHS and instead looking at new ways of collaborating on long-range capability building.”

Rob Margetta can be reached at rmargetta@cq.com.

Source: CQ Homeland Security
© 2008 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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