Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 30, 2009

Swine flu: interface of strategy and operations

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

Readers of this blog are engaged in an informed and intelligent discussion of how policy can, does — and sometimes does not — influence practice.  Yesterday we began a discussion of how Homeland Security Presidential Directive-21 might be the (a?) strategic framework for response to the H1N1 virus.  I don’t perceive this discussion is completed and hope it will continue — and find new contributors — over today.

I have been given the impression that some of those involved in drafting HSPD-21 are aware of this discussion.  Please help us understand original purpose and intent.  I promise anonymity.   There is an apparent disconnect between this reasonable statement of national strategy and how we have operationalized in response to the current threat.  If this is a mistaken impression, please correct it.  If there is an explanation, it would be great to have it.   The purpose of the discussion is to inform our collective judgment in regard to how — or how not — to develop future policy and strategy.

But whether you have inside information or not, please review the H1N1 related comments made yesterday (and back to Monday).  It might be easiest to continue the discussion by accessing the series of comments already begun at: http://www.hlswatch.com/2009/04/29/swine-flu-strategic-goals-and-operational-plans/#comments

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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 30, 2009 @ 8:02 am

For whatever reason it appears that the last Administration did NOT succeed in meeting the HSPD-21 guidelines. I did mention in an earlier comment that the lack of funding for HSPDs always made them somewhat of an unfunded mandate. Despite tht defect my position to agency officials for NSPD and NSDDs was to request budget execution authority from OMB for each directive even if OMB for whatever reason did not approve such. Hey if we are talking about prosecuting the lawyers in OLC how about a few OMB budget examiners for being hostile to preparedness?

The problem is that this Administration did not conduct an early and expert review of HSPD’s and issue ratification documents or appropriate amendments. Based on the WAPO timeline on events it appears many in the new administration did not bother to read HSPD-21 or if read understand its implications.

Comment by Peter J. Brown

April 30, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

Many in the new adminstration did not bother to read HSPD-21? How would you verify this assertion? I may be wrong but I get the sense that HSPD-21 probably impacts those already in a non-political public health career track and who are working proactively behind the scenes in areas such as public health /biosurveillance — like the members of the National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee (NBAS) — disaster mental health, pandemic countermeasures and information sharing such as PHIN and its spinoffs etc. Again, I may be wrong, but as I said yesterday, i am under the impression that the HSPD-21 focus is not exactly DHS-centric to begin with and is much more in the domain of HHS (ASPR), CDC etc.

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