Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 6, 2010

Homeland Security Presidential Directives: affirm and adapt, delegate and revise, or abrogate with simple elegance

Filed under: Strategy — by Philip J. Palin on September 6, 2010

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post.  The following is taken from a late 2008 memorandum recommending how to effectively treat the 24 Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPDs) that were extant in December 2008.   There is a rumor circulating that the National Security Staff will shift its focus from substantive re-writes of HSPDs to concise clarification of policy and strategy.  This was also a recommendation of this memorandum (see yesterday’s post).

The recommendations made below emerged from a consultation with several State homeland security leaders following Mr. Obama’s election.

Recommended Action for Specific HSPDs

HSPD – 1: Organization and Operation of the Homeland Security Council
Abrogate and replace (see annex for draft)

HSPD – 2: Combating Terrorism Through Immigration Policies
Delegate and Revise

HSPD – 3: Homeland Security Advisory System
Delegate and Revise.  This is a notorious system that undermines public confidence in Homeland Security.  But sudden abrogation would complicate several current procedures for jurisdictional alert and response.

HSPD – 4: National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction
This is classified and outside the purview of this report.  A non-classified version exists that does a good job of communicating strategic intent.

HSPD – 5: Management of Domestic Incidents
Affirm and Adapt.  This is foundational to several other HSPDs.  The current HSPD needs much more attention to resilience, mitigation, the role of State partners, key issues of civil-military relations, and de-conflicting White House leadership roles.

HSPD – 6: Integration and Use of Screening Information
Delegate and Revise

HSPD – 7: Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection
Delegate and Revise. It is possible that an outcome of the review and revision process may be a new Presidential strategy statement related to this issue.  But, if so, the strategy statement should be disentangled from the significant operational and even tactical scope of the current HSPD.

HSPD – 8: National Preparedness
Affirm and Adapt.  Given both its content and relationship with other HSPDs this is among the most important HSPDs.  But it will require very substantial adjustments.  It may be the worst written and most confusing of all existing HSPDs.
 
HSPD – 9: Defense of United States Agriculture and Food
Delegate and Revise

HSPD – 10: Biodefense for the 21st Century
This is classified and outside the purview of this report.  A non-classified version exists that does a good job of communicating strategic intent.

HSPD – 11: Comprehensive Terrorist-Related Screening Procedures
Delegate and Revise (in tandem with HSPD 6)

HSPD – 12: Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors
Delegate and Revise

HSPD – 13: Maritime Security Policy
Affirm and Adapt.  This may be the most thoughtfully constructed of the current HSPDs and offers – in contrast with the other documents – the distinction between policy/strategy and operations/management as the goal of White House direction.

HSPD – 14: Domestic Nuclear Detection
Delegate and Revise

HSPD – 15: U.S. Strategy and Policy in the War on Terror
This is classified and outside the purview of this report.  A non-classified version has not been developed.  The lack of a non-classified overview lessens the likelihood of a layered and networked strategy of prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.

HSPD – 16: National Strategy for Aviation Strategy
Delegate and Revise.  It is possible that an outcome of the review and revision process may be a new Presidential strategy statement related to this issue.  But, if so, the strategy statement should be disentangled from the significant operational and even tactical scope of the current HSPD.

HSPD – 17: Nuclear Materials Information Program
This is classified and outside the purview of this report.  A non-classified version has not been developed.  The lack of a non-classified overview lessens the likelihood of a layered and networked strategy of prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.

HSPD – 18: Medical Countermeasures against Weapons of Mass Destruction
Affirm and Adapt. There is a need for more robust attention to the role of the States, private sector, and public education in developing core resilience.

HSPD – 19: Combating Terrorist Use of Explosives in the United States
Delegate and Revise

HSPD – 20: National Continuity Policy
Affirm and Adapt.  Careful review of possible second and third order effects should be undertaken in the process of adaptation.

HSPD – 21: Public Health and Medical Preparedness
Affirm and Adapt. As with most of the current HSPDs the document focuses so much attention on how that why is obscured. It has now been 12 months since promulgation.  Adaptation could provide for more focus on the strategic rationale and outcome.

HSPD-22: Domestic Chemical Defense
This is classified and outside the purview of this report.  A non-classified version has not been developed.  The lack of a non-classified overview lessens the likelihood of a layered and networked strategy of prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.

HSPD-23: Computer Network Monitoring and Cyber-Security
This is classified and outside the purview of this report.  A non-classified version has not been developed.  The lack of a non-classified overview lessens the likelihood of a layered and networked strategy of prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.

HSPD-24: Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security
Delegate and Revise (in tandem with HSPD 6 and HSPD 11)

(End of the original 2008 memorandum)

In my experience the most effective written guidance on policy or strategy is concise — even simple — and reinforced through constant communication and engagement.  In my world policy explains the goal and why it has been selected. Strategy explains broadly how the goal will be advanced.  A Presidential statement should usually attend to both policy and strategy.   As the National Security Staff considers how to translate the HSPDs into more effective forms, here are some key characteristics of effective strategic guidance.  (I think these are derived from someone else, but I don’t remember who):

How-to rules: They spell out key features of how a process is executed,
 
Boundary rules: They focus on which opportunities can be pursued and which cannot,
 
Priority rules: They help decisionmakers rank the accepted opportunities/problems,
 
Timing rules: They synchronize how one opportunity/problem is paced with other parts of the enterprise,
 
Exit rules: They help decisionmakers when to pull out of yesterday’s opportunities/problems.
 
Developing strategy as simple rules is not simple.  It takes hard thinking, testing, revising, and experience.  But in the end the simple rules provide effective guidance in a way a whole library of specific-use strategies cannot.  Best wishes in your important work.
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14 Comments »

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 6, 2010 @ 8:21 am

Use your own best judgment. No funds…keep covert and upset your enemy if superior. Getting rich is easier than staying rich. It’s three generations from shirt sleeves to shirtless. Hope she looks good without a shirt. Keep your pants on!

The kids need shoes…Horse needs shoes…Back in the saddle! Back to the future. Heavy bombing is heavy lifting and somebody has to do it. I got a hangover. Simple black coffee here and now.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 6, 2010 @ 8:43 am

I invaded Canada and there was a Post strike. I was advised, don’t send postcards. I used postcard cash for a cheap bottle of wine in New York and did wine-cask geometry with the indivisible method. One nation under the influence, with liberty and justice for all. The Peace Bridge was falling to pieces. A dangerous kind of ride and I’m out of beer agin. Time for a beer run.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 6, 2010 @ 9:38 am

“Frankly, the 24-hour brainwashing network, CNN, has gone over the edge. The terror-bombing and mass-killing have pushed CNN, and many others into state of mind of the man, who, returning home to find his house has been robbed, takes out a shotgun and obliterates the neighbor’s cat. Indeed if his wife had said, “Henry, it’s just the neighbor’s cat,” the maddened fellow would have threatened her, “Don’t get in my way, or I might have to kill you, too!”

The United States has been surprised by a mass-murderous attack from rogue forces deployed from within the U.S.A. itself. Since no foreign power has the ability to do to us what was done this past Tuesday, some rogue element operating within our military-security establishment is the only possible principal author of what has just occurred. That mass-murderous rogue is the burglar, who is presently lurking from within the U.S.A., preparing for his next strike, which he certainly intends to deliver soon.” 9-15-01

They are not just brainwashed, they are heart and soul washed too. Reality is we got rats in the area and I ain’t got my shotgun. A guy in a Buick hit one crossing the street awhile back. The rat was as big as a cat and injured. It turned around and stumbled away. Put out rat traps I figure. Get off my lawn. Cats can trespass. They can’t read signs, you know. Watch out for speeding Buicks rats. Bomb US and we’ll heavy bomb you. My other car is an old bomb. It’s heavy with no computers.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 6, 2010 @ 9:48 am

No funds…Covert operation and longbow time. It’s quiet at least and sporty. No report, no problem. Budget, what budget? Simplify simplify!

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 6, 2010 @ 10:04 am

We’ll have to string ‘em up and we’ll do it for free. I deal in ammo and you have an empty gun. I have arrows for sale. Get your own targets. It’s a bulls eye market. Just another economic hit to me. Build bear traps with your scrap metals.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 6, 2010 @ 10:17 am

“Traps were set in forests of large estates in England for poachers hunting on the land without permission. Soon after land had to be posted with signs warning men of such traps being set.” Watch for signs, as any judge can tell you. Your case can get tossed out of court. You can get yourselves and partners killed too. Use common sense.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 6, 2010 @ 10:28 am

Aug 30, 2010 … Josephine County Circuit Judge Pat Wolke ruled that police violated the rights of 52-year-old William T. Roper of Selma.
http://www.oregonlive.com/…/drug_evidence_tossed_by_oregon_judge.html

Missed the signs. I guess it’s circuit court or circus clowns. We’re real good at it. Better than you might think. Keep safe out there.

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 6, 2010 @ 11:36 am

Apparently Executive Order 12656 is under consideration for revocation or supercession by a revised order. The element of HSPD-5 and 8 should be incorporated into a new version of EO 12656 together with a mobilization strategy such as encompassed for all hazards in NSDD-47 (1982) which should also be included. This will lend more permanence to the strategy, options, delegations, etc. incorporated into the revisions. This would make for the first truly all-hazards executive order but Executive Orders implementing stratedgies for other statutory schemes should be cross-refernceed and requiring construction and interpretation so as to not conflict with the new Executive Order, but if their is a conflict then the new order would be controlling. Thus the key order adopting the concept of National Security Emergency Preparedness would become the implementing order for National All-Hazards Emergency Preparedness.

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 6, 2010 @ 11:45 am

By the way the new paradigm for Homeland Security should include addressing protection, prevention, mitigation, preparedness (including logistics and mobilization and surge), response and recovery. Then overlaps and cross-references can be utilized. Why now is a clear and present danger is that stovepipes unforseen in the past, such as those between public health and HS/EM are rapidly building with no emphasis on the colloborative and cooperative aspects of these disciplines, and no real effort being made to integrate different disciplines. An example, aeriel atomospheric dispersion models developed by various federal entities for various purposes have never been reconciled as to which is preferable under what circumstances. This key preparedness and response mechnism needs to become an integrated system not various “smoke” detection systems with no common understanding as their usage. Just ask Valdimar Putin?

Comment by John Comiskey

September 6, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

William,

The stovepipe between public health and HS/EM is an abomination. The facts and circumstances of the 2009-pandemic threat to the nation and the world are a lesson-not-learned.

Public health must be engaged by HS/EM forthwith. The nation is woefully unprepared for pandemics and other disasters. I believe this and other issues are symptomatic of HS/EM and might be resolved by your and others’ proposed National All-Hazards Emergency Preparedness.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 7, 2010 @ 2:39 am

When body armor isn’t enough. Wishing you were alive does not make you any less dead. Use your own best judgment.

There can be no Happiness without Justice.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 7, 2010 @ 3:11 am

At times it’s put in vinegar or PIV. Then there are situations that justice requires an IV. Pickle Factory keeps running 24/7. Dumb still gets you the same outcome. Deader than a door nail and up in smoke. They have little physical cause for complaint. She’s an old maid. She knows what she wants, just doesn’t know how to get it. The only way to stop the next war comes down to one thing. The impossible and mission impossible never ends. Weapons are really never enough. No satisfaction for fools. No fooling, the wise just continue on forever and ever. Rest in vinegar or RIV as it were, it was and it shall always be. Hook them up to a VIV and monitor conditions. I’m having a pickle here.

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 7, 2010 @ 9:01 am

Thanks for the comment John C. Also should have added the word “resilence” to the overarching penumbra of “all-hazards” approach.

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August 5, 2011 @ 12:07 am

[...] have been an advocate of concisely strategic Presidential directives focused more on principles than tactical implementation.  This is an effective outline of [...]

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