Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 12, 2009

Monday fifth quarter play-by-play

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on May 12, 2009

“We (DHS) will become, in effect, the non-DoD locus for cyber security,” Napolitano said. “It makes sense to have a DoD focus and a non-DoD focus, and I think that’s functionally where it’s going.” (More from the Washington Post) The Post is also reporting that the Cybersecurity Review is still being reviewed and may not be released until next week.

Today’s Washington Times headlines, China blocks US from cyber warfare.  While Global Security Newswire quotes the head of the US Strategic Command as saying a cyber attack could justify nuclear retaliation. “I think you don’t take any response options off the table from an attack on the United States of America,” he told reporters during a Defense Writers Group breakfast… “Why would we constrain ourselves on how we respond?”

Secretary Napolitano’s prepared budget testimony to the the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is available from the DHS website. UPDATE: Prepared testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee is now available.

Senator Vitter has released his hold on the nomination of Craig Fugate, reports the Associated PressUPDATE: Fugate was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday night.

Reuters is reporting from the afternoon CDC brief a total of 3009 cases of H1N1 across forty-five states.  This afternoon Talk of the Nation featured Dr. Anne Shuchat (CDC) and Dr. Howard Market (U of Michigan) in what NPR tried to make into an after-game show, but the guests insisted the game was still in the first quarter.  You can listen to the 30 minute call-in program at the NPR website

A respected scientist has speculated about the possibility of H1N1 emerging from a “laboratory escape,” Bloomberg is reporting.

A high wind watch has been posted for the Santa Barbara area beginning at 6:00 pm local time. Severe storms are forecast for the Midwest and South for Wednesday and Wednesday night.

A Miami jury has convicted five of six accused of plotting terrorist attacks on the Sears Tower and other locations.

Please check out a fine piece of reporting – and use of the web to enhance original reporting – by Robert Mackey in the New York Times, “A Grand Conspiracy Theory from Pakistan.”

The May issue of Homeland Security Affairs is available online.

In this morning’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Paul Stockton as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, ranking member Senator McCain raised a concern.  While praising Dr. Stockton’s background in homeland security and homeland defense, the Senator noted that the nominee’s background in the “equally important” area of Latin American defense policy “appears to be lacking.”  There is a rumor that the ranking member announced his opposition to the Stockton nomination. That is not what was said.  This blog will provide more on this hearing  and related Homeland Defense issues on Thursday morning.

I am in California client meetings all this week.  Given the nature of the meetings and the time differences, posts will be early or late, but seldom in-between.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

May 12, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

If your in CA then will postpone the “Big One” until next week!

As just as Dr. Jacques Gansler has always said there is only one economy and not a defense and/or civilian economy the split with DOD and DHS makes no sense! It is just that DOD will never trust a civil agency farther than it can through it and of course much more willing to trust non-performing DOD contractors that DCAA seems unable to produce audits showing even rudimentary financial controls. Maybe its time for a hybrid civil agency with a DOD client and a civil agency client. What DOD does not and never will understant is that all creativity and competence is drained out of the civil agencies by DOD dominance financially resulting in neither DOD or the Civil agencies getting what’s needed.
It will be interesting to watch Fugate operate after the Vitter hold. Hope no promises to open ended disaster relief with no mitigation, no prevention, no resiliency, and no hope of survival of the assistance lasting through the next large-scale hurricane. In Cameron Parish and Grand Isle the federal highways are the high ground–good for evacuation if executed timely and you have a car–but these areas have been underwater almost as much as their are above high tide. Oh well climate change and melting of the West Antarctic and Greenland glaciers will provide an interesting redesign of houses into boats.

Comment by Arnold

May 13, 2009 @ 10:37 am

Just some homeland security-related nominations courtesy of the Washington Post’s Al Kamen:

“Nicole Lurie, now at the Rand Corp., is to be nominated as assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, and retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Dennis McCarthy was tapped to be assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs.”

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