The President’s statement on the creation of the new National Security Staff references standing up a White House Resilience Policy Directorate. In their remarks at the Homeland Security Policy Institute the co-chairs of the PSD-1 study identified this Directorate as a potential “center of gravity” for state, local, tribal, and private-sector involvement in homeland security policy.
Next week — and perhaps for a few weeks — I hope we can give this concept some sustained attention and discussion. In his HSPI comments Randy Beardsworth, one of the study’s co-chairs, applied an architectural metaphor. Adapting the metaphor to my purposes, the President’s decision has initiated building of a new policymaking structure. The President’s decision and the PSD-1 Review have identified several functional requirements for the the new structure and offer a rough rendering of an architectural concept for the final structure.
The actual form of the structure is far from finalized. There are no detailed blueprints. But the carpenters are on site and at work even this weekend. You and I — and our neighbors — will reside in whatever structure emerges.
The next few weeks will be the best opportunity we have for offering our thoughts on how the structure is built-out. I expect the property developers (John Brennan, General Jones, President Obama, et al) might appreciate some principled, practical, and considered advice. They clearly listened during the PSD-1 study, they are likely to continue listening if we write with some clarity and insight.
The advice most likely to be considered will reflect the goals set out by the President and reflect prior discussions that produced the current architectural concept. For this purpose here is a reading list. Please review:
The President’s statement on creation of the National Security Staff.
Listen to and watch the PSD-1 briefing at the Homeland Security Policy Institute.
The Reform Institute’s report on Building a Resilient Nation.
The National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard has also explored the key role of leadership — and especially meta-leadership — in the emergence of resilient capabilities and capacity.
Please use the comment function to add to this reading list.
Below Chris Bellavita thinks out loud about how we create the future. He does not say so, but I will add that too often destructive cynicism is mistaken for intelligent commentary. Analysis — the breaking apart of knowledge — can be a first step in the creation of new knowledge. But analysis alone is deadening. Analysis should be the servant of creativity. Please read Chris’ piece on the value of imagination and appreciative inquiry. I hope our consideration of resilience — and the new policymaking structure — will feature analysis, appreciative inquiry, imagination, and creativity.