Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 30, 2009

Mr. Brennan discusses virology

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on April 30, 2009


Since Sunday we have seen quite a bit of John Brennan.  In this Tuesday picture he is briefing the spanking-new Secretary of Health and Human Services.  We can guess the topic of conversation.

Mr. Brennan is the Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrrorism.   He also holds the title of Deputy National Security Advisor. Mr. Brennan is a long-time intelligence professional who played a prominent role on candidate Obama’s national security team.

The sudden emergence of the H1N1 virus highlights a security domain distinct from the traditional NSC portfolio.  The hydra-like challenges of recent days have obscured — perhaps delayed — but have certainly informed the final draft of the report ordered by Presidential Study Directive 1. 

I hope Mr. Brennan keeps both of his titles.  As I have argued elsewhere, the lessons of this current challenge should be reflected in a reformed and strengthened HSC staff that is effectively coordinated, but remains helpfully distinct from the NSC.

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 30, 2009 @ 8:10 am

Thoughtful discussion always welcome and even better is thoughtful action! I hope there is a 30-60 day delay in the PSD-1 review process because I think substantial lessons for Homeland Security will be evident by that timeframe. I would announce it now (signed off by the President) as a demonstration that HSC/NSC and the President and other appointees are learning new lessons (hopefully not too harsh).

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