Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 6, 2009

Homeland security this week

Filed under: Events — by Philip J. Palin on July 6, 2009

Before you start the new week, if you took an early holiday please take some time to read the post and comments generated last Thursday, July 2 on a possible role for accreditation in homeland security education.

Following are a few homeland security events for the coming week.  For more information  access the embedded links.  Please use the comment function to identify other events you would like to bring to readers’ attention.  If you are attending or monitoring any of these events, please use the comment function to report out to the rest of us.

Monday, July 6

12  noon (eastern) Middle East Institute hosts a discussion of the current situation in the Swat Valley and Waziristan.

1:00 pm (eastern) Rockville, Maryland, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards ACRS Subcommittee on Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials.

Tuesday, July 7

10:00 am (eastern) Washington D.C., Senate Committee on Commerce Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard conducts a  hearing on U.S. Coast Guard Oversight.

12:15 (eastern) Washington D.C. , Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a discussion on “Al-Qaeda in Yemen.”

1:30 pm (eastern) Rockville, Maryland, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Future Plant Designs Subcommittee

Wednesday, July 8

Meeting of the full Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, continues through Friday.

9:30 am (eastern) Washington D.C., National Archives and Records Administration; Information Security Oversight Office. Meeting of the Public Interest Declassification Board to solicit public input concerning recommendations and proposed revisions to the classification and declassification policies found in Executive Order 12958.

10:00 am (eastern) Washington D.C., Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs conducts a hearing on the Federal Protective Service.

10:00 am (eastern) Washington D.C., House Committee on Science and Technology conducts a hearing on reauthorization of the FIRE grants program.

10:00 am (eastern)  The House Committee on Homeland Security will hear testimony from the FEMA Administrator and the FEMA IG.

3:30 pm (eastern) Washington D.C., The New America Foundation hosts a discussion on “Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention.”

Thursday, July 9

8:30 am (eastern) Bethesda, Maryland, National Flu Preparedness Summit opens

10:00 am (eastern) Washington D.C., House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform conducts a hearing on Mexican drug cartels and national security.

Friday, July 10

9:00 am (eastern) Washington D.C., The United States Institute of Peace hosts a discussion on “Negotiating with the Taliban: Reconciliation in Afghanistan and Pakistan?”

12 noon (eastern) Washington D.C., The Center for National Policy hosts a discussion on “Guarding the Gateways: Latest in Port Security.”

2:00 pm (eastern) online, Meeting of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.  Will consider  objectives for 2020 to develop  health promotion and disease prevention strategies to improve  health status and reduce health risks. To register log on to http://www.healthypeople.gov/hp2020/advisory/default.asp.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

July 6, 2009 @ 6:34 am

Because of the crowded legislative agenda Congress will be keeping the lights on late during July trying to get to the August recess. Many routine extensions, approps activities, and other interesting pieces of legislative handiwork (sleight of hand by lobbyists?) will appear in July as Congress tries to keep up. This bears watching because if the OBAMA Administration continues its rather passsive stance towards the legislative front then by the end of the year most will look back and wonder what really changed legislatively in the face of a nation threatened as much by Congressional incompetence as any foreign threats. Whatever else, the hour-glass is draining fast on the first year opportunities for real Change (Reform?) for the Administration. Still interesting to me so little real reform legislation has appeared and certainly almost none likely to pass. We now know that the Secretary DHS is using the Quardrennial Homeland Security Review hoping that some new ideas of interest to her might turn up with the result that her first year will have been substantially status quo ante regime at one of the most troubled instituions in Washington. I thought a former hill staffer was going to provide some legislative analysis on DHS budget issues on the blog?
What happened? Again looks like the authorizers almost totatlly irrelevant when it comes to DHS programs, functions, and activities. I now believe a JOINT COMMITTEE on HOMELAND SECURITY is only feasible approach to getting some issues on the table and addressed! First of all a domestic civil crisis management and response system! Second, spin off from DHS important programs that don’t fit the DHS world view–e.g. the National Flood Insurance Program and disaster mitigation efforts! Third, sending disaster housing and long term recovery to HUD! Hey Congress let’s start doing some substance instead of just gathering campaign contributions.

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 6, 2009 @ 6:50 am

The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) is one interesting concept and institution to watch and follow. Glad it turned up on your list of Homeland Security weekly events. Advisory Committees are an interesting Washington phenomenon. A study of the recommendations of the Homeland Security Advisory Committee and it activities and recommendations both before and after moving to become a DHS advisory committee would be of great interest. Hope some reader of this blog has time and money (or seeks a grant to do this) because this is a critical part of the history of how post 9/11 Washington adapted to the threat of terrorism and domestic incidents/events by non-state actors. Probably the best study ever of an Advisory Committee was done by Professor Richard T. Sylves of the Univ. of Delaware entitled “The Nuclear Oracles” “A Study of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission–1947-1977” published in 1987. For example this is where Robert Oppenheimer did some of his most useful work after losing some but not all of his security clearances. A fascinating study and one that should be done for all the long-standing advisory committees. This vehicle could be much more useful to Uncle Sam but often these groups toil in obscurity because the ego and hubris of the appointees means that “Not Invented Here” becomes their watchword. At a recent conference spoke to the theme “Science Informs but does NOT Decide”! Too bad because the level of ignorance on science issues in particular Congress is amazing. Where is OTA (Office of Technology Assessment) when needed so desperately.

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