Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 24, 2009

New NIPP Now Available

Filed under: General Homeland Security,Infrastructure Protection — by Philip J. Palin on February 24, 2009

A new version of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) has been released. The complete report is available from DHS .

The 188 page report (with appendices) opens with the following purpose statement: Protecting and ensuring the resiliency of the critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) of the United States is essential to the Nation’s security, public health and safety, economic vitality, and way of life. Attacks on CIKR could significantly disrupt the functioning of government and business alike and produce cascading effects far beyond the targeted sector and physical location of the incident. Direct terrorist attacks and natural, manmade, or technological hazards could produce catastrophic losses in terms of human casualties, property destruction, and economic effects, as well as profound damage to public morale and confidence. Attacks using components of the Nation’s CIKR as weapons of mass destruction could have even more devastating physical and psychological consequences.

Some call-outs:

Resilience is an increasingly popular term-of-art. Bad things will happen. How can we bounce-back more quickly and completely? Is resilience the new “robust” – jargon to camouflage lack of thought? Or will the Obama administration be serious in cultivating true resilience?

The risk of catastrophic consequence requires prevention and mitigation. Response, no matter how effective, is insufficient.

CIKR are vulnerable to terrorist, natural, manmade and technological hazards. It not just a war against terrorism, it is a struggle to manage and mitigate risk.

CIKR can be weaponized. CIKR are not just potential targets. Transportation resources, material processing, financial systems and much more can be used to attack other targets.

Elephant, gorilla, or other significant aspect treated as if it were a kitten:

Private sector ownership and control of CIKR is acknowledged but not seriously engaged. The goals and processes of the NIPP will only be meaningful if enthusiastically embraced by the private sector. How this level of collaboration might be cultivated is not given serious attention.

This absence reminds me of Chris Bellavita’s (Director of Programs at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security) fabulous fable of what works and what does not work in planning of every sort. This is available on YouTube (have your audio on).

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 25, 2009 @ 9:32 am

Probably the most interesting thing about the new NIPP (probably contractor prepared and not given internal review or external review of the final product as it should) is the tremendous lact of detail for this now Congressionally mandated report and its updating. Also notable is the complete absence of discussion of cybersecurity as part of critical infrastructure protection. Probably because again bureaucratic stovepipes between NIP (formerly CIP) and the cyber world. The split between physical security and cyber originally developed in the Presidents Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection report issued in the fall of 1997 and even the rudimentary Clinton effort at dealing with that report in PD-63 did not identify the importance of cyber to critical inferstructure protection. With Computer Access Control Systems penetrating deeper and deeper into our economy this is clearly something that needs synchronization. Some fairly elemental legal steps also need to be taken including as I suggested to the group drafting PD-63 updating the definition of “Sabotage” in Title 18 of the US Code.
Fortunately, James Jones as Advisor to the President for National Security has a firm grip on how the next war may be based on cyber attack and this could have huge impacts. Talk to the people of Kentucky and Missouri about their recent ice-related power outages.

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