Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 6, 2009

Editorial note: OCONUS attention

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on April 6, 2009

A couple of readers have expressed concern regarding recent attention to non-US terrorism-related stories.  Readership also dips a bit when the main post has an international focus. 

My contributions to HLSwatch will  focus mostly on CONUS (CONtiguous US) – as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and the terroritories – as opposed to OCONUS (Outside CONtiguous US).

The exception will be when I perceive an OCONUS situation has potential strategic implications for CONUS.  Much as a weather forecaster keeps an eye on Pacific currents or Sahara sandstorms for early signals of problems ahead, I try to be alert to emerging signals OCONUS.  Right now the Horn of Africa, Hindu Kush, Mexico, and Europe seem to be spawning grounds for storms that could sweep into the United States.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 6, 2009 @ 8:54 am

Blair has labeled international economy as top national security threat. Okay agree for the moment. We (you)civil unrest and other factors leading to destablization in emerging nations and elsewhere that impact US national security. Personnaly I believe that the documented unpreparedness of STATE and LOCAL (and FEDERAL) governmental units to handle unplanned large-scale (catastrophic?) incidents/events is both a civil and military preparedness issue for the US. This does NOT have to be but hard work needed NOW to create the necessary systems and commands to have it work smoothly. Just as a teaser, there is complete confusion at the federal level over emergency water provision and services and no dedicated units at either the EPA or USACOE are accountable and have adeqate authority to work on this shortfall. You can live for 3 weeks without food but usally 72 hours without water starts to rapidly increase morbidity . We are NOW in a long term drought even without catatrophic incidents/events. California, e.g. has water facilities for 18 M people, but it has 38 M. WOW! That seems almost a catastrophe to me.

Comment by Charlie

April 6, 2009 @ 9:44 am

Philip – I hope you get more comments of support for the “international” posts that you make. There are a large number of obvious/immediate issues that reinforce the international dimension of homeland security. Shall we discuss (1) Visa Waiver Program negotiations, (2) Container Security Initiative developments, (3) US/EU negotiations on airline passenger data, (4) S&T research agreements with Germany, etc, (5) CBP’s northern & southern border strategies, (6) involvement of NORTHCOM & National Guard in missile defense, Iraq, Afghanistan and NATO, etc., etc.,? So, please keep up your excellent commentary about the international dimension of homeland security!!!

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