Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 14, 2010

Where is the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review?

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on January 14, 2010

The first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) was supposed to be delivered to Congress on December 31, 2009.

The QHSR is a comprehensive review of homeland security that “will guide the Department for the next four years and inform the nation’s homeland security policies, programs, and missions.”

Unless it was delivered in secret, the QHSR appears to be a bit late.

The potential significance of the QHSR might be evidenced by the national outrage over the Obama Administration’s failure to deliver the report on New Year’s Eve.

There is no telling how many New Year’s Eve parties were ruined because the report was not available.

I know instead of reviewing the QHSR — as we planned — my family was forced to go to Plan B, watching Ice Age 3: The Dawn Of the Dinosaurs.

My children only started talking to me again yesterday.


A  reliable source told me the report is being reviewed by the White House, and will go to Congress on Friday, January 15th (probably around 6 pm, when Friday things happen in Washington).

I also heard two rumors too good not to pass along:

One rumor said that the Department of Defense wants the QHSR to be coordinated with the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).  The QDR is due on February 1, 2010.

There is a certain sense in that, especially since in Presidential Study Directive 1, the president (or someone who works for the president) wrote:

“I believe that Homeland Security is indistinguishable from National Security — conceptually and functionally, they should be thought of together rather than separately.  Instead of separating these issues, we must create an integrated, effective, and efficient approach to enhance the national security of the United States.”

Another rumor said the Department of Justice wanted a hold placed on the QHSR.  I have no clue why.


I am guessing the final touches were being put on the QHSR when the Northwest Flight 253 incident happened.  I figure someone wanted to make sure the Review covered the hornets released from Abdulmutallab’s underwear.

Better to get the Review turned over to Congress late — but complete —  than meet the New Year’s Eve deadline — but with truck sized holes in it.

Whatever the reason, once the report is released, I can only imagine how carefully the Commentariat will review it to prove:

1. The Obama Administration is ignoring terrorism, and

2. The Obama Adminsitration is over-reacting to terrorism.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

January 14, 2010 @ 8:18 am

Statutory mandates mean little to any recent administration. Hey, like the Chinese say Crisis equals Opportunity.

No one is going to pay any attention to the Quadrennial Review! Why? IMO the event in Haiti is the largest natural disaster event impacting mankind in the Western Hemisphere since the arrival of Columbus. The real test is performance of the US only 700 miles offshore. Science cannot always get the probabilty right but the US is lucky the event was not the domestic “big one” long anticipated in earthquake prone areas of the US. So this will prove or disprove whether all those arguing for improvements since Katrina are real! This event will severely impact not just the US but the entirety of the Western Hemisphere. The history of Haiti is inextricably linked with the US as the Southern Slave-holding Aristocracy long feared the victory of the Haitians in gaining freedom and defeating (along with yellow fever) Napoleon’s finest soldiers was a telltale of slave revolt in the south. Now again the racial antipathies and prejudices of the US will be put to a test for all the world to review. By the way normally 100,000 tourists are in Haiti in January and will be interesting to see whether that largely white population will get priority for medical care and other basic necessities. Personally, I think 2 million Haitians at the minimum should be allowed to immediately immigrate to othe Western Hemisphere countries! Also the Haiti even will destroy any attempts at immigration reform for the Obama Administration, again IMO. And why is DOD just preparing and not moving ships and relief supplies already? Could it be the cupboard is bare? This is actually an event more likely to directly impact US HOMELAND DEFENSE and HOMELAND SECURITY than Iraq or AF-PAK! Don’t forget Haitians are willing to migrate as evidenced in 1980 under President Carter, so the Mass Immigration Emergency Plan previously know as Distant Shore needs to be brought to readiness. This will be ugly and only question in my mind are there enough “Ugly Americans” willing to help. The co-author of the book by that name issued in 1958 just passed away recently at age 97. Those who can speak French and Creole need to make their services available. My great fear is that deep deep radicalization and further criminal penetration of Haitian society can be an outcome unless the US is skillful in its hopefully deep and sustained help in this event. US policy has shown a willingness to drown Haitians and welcome Cubans and that dichotomy may be evident also. Watching the performance of other western hemisphere countries will also be of great interest. This is a “Come as you are” event and let’s see what the nation’s of the world can provide. Already rumors that Israeli assistance has arrived. Also Chinese assistance. This could be a really interesting test and clearly the saving factor for relief is it is geographically limited so far, whatever the human impacts.

Comment by Cosmo deMedici

January 14, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

QHSR will be a strategy and context document with overarching goals and missions. The Department is working on a bottom up review (BUR) that will link the QHSR strategy to programs and in turn the BUR will inform building of the FY2012 budget submission.

Comment by Chris Dreibelbis

January 17, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

Thanks for asking a key question that seems to have evaded everyone else. I believe that a related question as we await the QHSR is: Whither resilience?

Based on the online National Dialogue for the QHSR, it seemed as though resilience was poised to become central to U.S. homeland security policy. Has the Detroit airline bomb attempt caused a rethinking of this? Is the administration afraid that calling for an enhanced focus on resilience now would open itself to more criticism that it isn’t doing enough on the terrorism front?

If so, I think that would be tragic. More at http://policydaddy.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/whither-resilience/.

Comment by Graham Sekula

August 6, 2010 @ 12:20 am

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Comment by Brazoria County, TX Defense Lawyer

December 20, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

Useful. I agree.

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