Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 21, 2010

Growing ideas in homeland security

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on September 21, 2010

On Friday, the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security — sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security — will graduate its 27th and 28th master’s degree class.

I am posting the titles of their master’s degree theses to illustrate the range of topics covered.

Many of the theses — adding to what we know, think, and believe about homeland security — will be available through the NPS Dudley Knox library in a few weeks.

  1. The Significance Of The Fire Service Culture As An Impediment To Effective Leadership In The Homeland Security Environment.
  2. National Guard Civil Support Teams: Success, Sustainment And The Challenges In Between.
  3. Identifying Best Practices In The Dissemination Of Intelligence To First Responders In The Fire And EMS Services.
  4. Countering Violent Extremism, The Use Of Non-Governmental Organizations.
  5. Creating Unity Of Effort In The Maritime Domain: The Case For The Maritime Operational Threat Response (MOTR) Plan.
  6. Toward A Common Standard For Law Enforcement Response To WMD Hazmat Incidents.
  7. Emerging Threat To America: Non-State Entities Fighting Fourth Generation Warfare In Mexico.
  8. Homeland Security Within State Departments Of Agriculture: Success Factors And Barriers To An Effective Security Program.
  9. Where Do I Start? Decision-Making in Complex Novel Environments.
  10. State And Local Homeland Security Professionals: Who Are They And What Do They Do?
  11. Improving Disaster Emergency Communication.
  12. Can Local Police And Sheriff Departments Provide A Higher Rate Of Homeland Security Coordination And Collaboration Through Consolidation Of Police Services?
  13. Alternate Care Sites For The Management Of Medical Surge In Disasters.
  14. Medicine For The Masses: Strategies To Minimize The Consequences Of A Terrorist Attack During Mass Gatherings.
  15. Formal Critiques And After Action Reports From Conventional Emergencies: Tools For Homeland Security Training And Education.
  16. Filling Gaps In Interconnected Passenger Rail Security.
  17. Arctic Region Policy: Information Sharing Model Options.
  18. The Engaged And Empowered Community: An Essential Ingredient Of Homeland Security.
  19. Before The Emergency: A Framework For Evaluating Emergency Preparedness Alternatives At Higher Education Institutions.
  20. Striking The Right Balance: Fusion Centers And Privacy.
  21. Impact Of Incentives And Requirements On Collaborative Groups.
  22. Strategic Policy For Pandemic Vaccine Distribution.
  23. Making Sense In The Edge Of Chaos: A Framework For Effective Initial Response Efforts To Large-Scale Incidents.
  24. Measuring Disaster Preparedness In Emergency Medical Services.
  25. Filling The Gap Between NIMS And The Initial Law Enforcement Response In The Age Of The Urban Jihad.
  26. Enhancing FBI Terrorism And Homeland Security Information Sharing With State, Local And Tribal Agencies.
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20 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 21, 2010 @ 2:55 am

Helpful post and helpful topics. The list looks like all dealt with important topics in their thesis.

You indicate funding for this program is through DHS! Does DOD also support this effort? I wonder how different this program might be if housed elsewhere for example in a civilian institution or institution of higher learning? 28 sets of graduates in a relative short time. Any studies of what these people did after graduation? How did they utilize their degrees or enhanced knowlege? All this time and effort and yet most HS and EM types and many public saftety types don’t have a clue unless prior military on how the military civil interface actually works. I realize now over 5 years after Hurricane Katrina how garbled the issues of military civil interface have been recorded and acknowledged from that large event. A recent advisory body to the SECDEF has released a report on MSCA and also its coverage of WMD or CBRNE issues and hoping their recommendations become the basis for analysis.

WEll as always hoping that support, funding and staffing of HS and EM and public safety come to be viewed as primarily a civil function of government. But it sure is tough to figure out why this country resorts to military norms so fast as the solution to complex, collaborative and cooperative problems. Are we just too lazy to be a democracy (Republic) or just too corrupt? The later term refers not to financial issues although that is a problem, but rather the tendency to regard those in uniform as “knowing” of what needs to be done and theirfore their commands make sense. A close examination of a wide spread geographic event known as Hurricane Katrina would show that expert for deployment and logistics covering as humanitarian assistance even though largely law enforcement would indicate the massive failures in the DOD setup for civil support and also DHS and its military interface and law enforcement interface. Some very complex and highly technical issues are generated by modern natural and technological catastrophes, intended or unintended consequences yet multiple disciplines that could assist in the face of this complexity are largely shut out of providing their knowledge base to the system. Despite spending a lifetime arguing that “who is in charge” is the wrong paradigm I continually find most don’t want to adopt my paradigm of “who can do it and do it competently and not make the situation worse”! Well perhaps others will have to carry the torch. It is appalling that NO single military civil text exists to be utilized at any level in the higher ed curriculum even the service academies. I guess the small amount of funding necessary to do this does not comport with DOD needs to keep its large contractors happy. Or DHS? What could have the money employed at the NPGS-Center bought for nationwide upgrading knowledge of civil military issues? All of these thesis produced to date could be an interesting source for examination of how those elites had to compromise their beliefs in civil government to get their topics approved and written about. Self censorship is what often destroyes modern institutions and that is because curiosity is not allowed to be freely engaged. Well that freedom is rejected by most of the world so perhap I am trying to roll back the tide.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 21, 2010 @ 4:54 am

Running Moon Mission and Operation Hopewell kind of busy with TNT Sears and fuses here. Got plenty of firewood ready for winter. She’s growing kids and I got the heat on me. This job doesn’t work well with domestic situations and you’ll always have those problems. Women and children first. Every day could be my last and lasting things last. I’m living two lives and the security lasts forever. It’s rough. Looks like the chimney needs cleaned again. The kids need shoes and the Ram needs shocks. Keep them shielded.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 21, 2010 @ 6:37 am

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania ran defective gas lines to thousands of buildings. Recalled after defect noticed. Thin wall pipe. Gas is shut down here. 12-12=0 12+12=24 and eternal security is a 24 hour a day job for heavens sake. Looks like jails could get colder this winter. I’ll be keep the home fires burning in Hopewell God willing. Lot of chopping and splitting ahead. Keep the faith.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

September 21, 2010 @ 8:40 am

Bill, a couple of comments on your comments. Chris is unlikely, given his role, to respond.

The vast majority of students at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security — and therefore graduates — are civilians who are engaged at the state and local level. They almost always return to state and local service. (In the last few years a program for federal civilian employees has been started, but I am pretty sure state/local continues to be the center of gravity.)

I was involved in the early days of CHDS and occasionally since. It is my judgment that the military aspects of the program are modest and focused mostly on the civil-military interface. The Naval Postgraduate School is unique among DoD higher education institutions and, among these institutions, NPS is an especially appropriate host. This is a homeland security centric, state and local leaning program that just happens to be at a DOD institution. There are organizational and financial benefits of the connection and a few substantive benefits as well. The disadvantages are, in my experience, mostly the sort related to being part of any large bureaucracy… and as such places go DoD and Department of the Navy are better than most.

In terms of your concerns related to academic freedom and freedom of thought by the students: In this particular case I am confident your concerns are misplaced. If anything — especially with the encouragement of Chris Bellavita — the Masters candidates are encouraged to critical thinking, creative thinking, self-criticism, and a disciplined skepticism regarding official doctrine. There is a CHDS ethos especially sensitive to anything redolent of bullshit.

I have had my own criticisms of CHDS over the years, but it has clearly emerged as one of the few substantive successes in making sense of homeland security.

Pingback by List of Master’s thesis titles from DHS-sponsored Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security - Dateline Zero

September 21, 2010 @ 9:10 am

[...] is the sort of material that can really get the mind of a thriller writer thinking. Read more Homeland Security Watch, where you can browse a list of 26 titles. Related [...]

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 21, 2010 @ 10:41 am

Phil! You know I agree with some of your point of view because what can be done should be done. Yet the choice of milieu is fascinating to me by DHS in particular. Guess some transferred DOD Naval person knew that academic institution needed a new role or would be out of business. So now the setting for “learning” is a military complex and not a civil complex as if the civil sector could not do it. Fort Ord became in part a college campus and perhaps the “Jewel in the Crown” duplicated elsewhere in DOD several times over could have been a transfer to State of California for its purposes. FEMA was housed beautifully but unsafely for many years in the PRESIDIO where the view was terrific even if earthquake risk was very high and could not operate under most risk scenarios. My point is simple. With many many facilities to choose from and paths to do it why is the choice often a military setting and operation? The real reason is that Armed Services Appropriators and Authorizers never look at costs but only benefits. Tell me exactly what the number of peer reviewed articles not sponsored by federal monies are that have utilized these Master’s thesis and products and tell me why or why not you think that is the case? Acutally have read a few and many of high quality but not all. And of course a review of the TITLE 10 academics and their own scholarship would be of great interest. Well the Chinese are rapidly buying up US academic talent in the fields of HS and EM so I guess the transfer over to the People’s Republic of China doctrinal production could be one of the most interesting items to watch over the next two decades. Of course once the Chinese moon colonization is in full swing two decades down the road other concerns may dominate. After all demographics still favor the HAN Chinese and perhaps all those millionaire single men will find attractive US chinese females raised in the US during the period of massive private adoption of Chinese babies and females that has now ended.
What exactly are the academic credentials of the faculty? I know Chris’ and he is extremely well qualified (I wish I was half as smart) yet do the others measure up? Although deceased Lacey Suiter of former independent FEMA fame was my first insight to the Monterrey Naval post-grad school operation. He was hired several years into the Bush administration when he had qualified for retirement, again since a retired NG officer and STATE of Tennessee EM director to work on the briefing program for mayors and chief executives on the terrorist threat. Lacey’s career in FEMA was an interesting one but he had strong bias in favor of certain things about which he knew little. His devastating briefing [devastating to FEMA’s independence} to the Hart-Rudman Commission led to FEMA’s rap up into DHS. No record of that briefing exists but I was back briefed by several in the briefing. Why do I mention this? Because Lacey was a good briefer but not decider or reader. Thus, he failed to understand the dynamics of the Executive Branch effort on terrorism and terribly mislead Director James Lee Witt several times about a Washington Scene of which he was largel ignorant. Yet of course had good points also including not wearing his ego on his sleeve except once to James Lee Witt’s dismay when he announced publically that he was the only EM type in FEMA with an international reputation. Yet he projected competence.

So now my question is more specific? Exactly how are student and faculty selected and what after the years of operation is the independent evidence of the impact of this organization on HS? I am not a book burner and so desperate t see talent from any source would be sorry to see this effort end yet as a society we must make choices given limited funds? F-22 and F-35 or education? Perhaps unfair but DOD is largely a training organization and why has its training and education become so huge? In part because it can hand out doctrine to the uniformed and because its own operations in training and educations make paltry the private sector non-profit colleges and universities that now are in a desperate struggle against the largely US funded profit making colleges and universities (by student loans) that do so little on R&D or academic freedom and research. Thus the DOD efforts make it obvious that “captured” talent is continuously deprived the civil sector because only DOD had funds. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king seems an apt metaphor. FEMA for years survived bureacratically by paying out huge overhead on disaster mission assignments to other agencies and even contractors without much review or oversigh so the end result in a mindless ATM that because it lackws brainpower becomes a de facto leader whether or not it deserves that status. How many courses on the Constitution and federalism issues are taught at Monterrey? What members of the faculty understand the problems of STATE and local governments? Or the depth of the financial crisis facing that governmental sector? Or the NGO sector and its role in HS and EM? Or the efforts deliberate and otherwise of many profit making organizations to shift their security costs to the federal fisc? Or how does Monterrey discuss and provide analysis and first principles of HS and EM? After all all those first responders are largely STATE and LOCALS. Did you know that DOD has over 50,000 civilian firefighters? How are they trained? Do they fear technological change like much of the FIRE SERVICE? Are they used to assist the FIRE SERVICE elsewhere? I use that as an example just because a study of the FIRE SERVICE culture was a topic for a least one thesis! And with up to 20% of STATE and LOCAL public safety being former military what is the impact of that dual role when they are in reserves and NG? What is that culture? Questions questions, I know! Yet the basics continue to be ignored. Deep in their hearts do the Monterrey faculty and students believe that like 95% of the world the military should be running disaster relief? Hey efficency and effectiveness always a good argument for most anything. But as Winston Churchill is reputed to have said “democracy is the worst form of government in the entire world, but for all the rest!” Sorry to be so hortatory on the blog but note that the civil sector is almost looked at by the military and civilian DOD types through their contractor culture! Hey did Rome fall in part once they contracted out their defense? The GAIAN reforms of the 1st Century may have caused the long term problems of the 3rd and 4th CE Roman Empire. But hey it was a pretty good run. Looking like 80 years is about the limit of the US empire to me but others may disagree. Why? No one else’s ideas were tolerated as making any sense and of course we “deserved” to be the world’s leaders because of our brilliance. Time will certainly tell.
This blog has largely become philosphical but there is still plenty of detail work to be done. So hey post a thesis of each class to the blog and see what commentary it draws? What are its reflections and paradigms on the culture of HS and other competing systems? When reading academic pieces the first thing I read is the footnotes, so perhaps that is error but I find it instructive as to whether I think the individual has conducted origianl research or just answered the basic need for a paper. But of course I am not an academic but a practioner retired hoping to learn more and seeing a mountain of unanswered research needs that none seem willing to attack? I find it interesting that evidence mounts the Chinese willing to do so? How are there HS/EM types trained? We do know that a significant portion of the Chinese economy is in the hands of the miliatary! What implications does that have for the US?

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 21, 2010 @ 11:37 pm

Operation Hopewell. Water valve malfunction. Water Authority wants 50 bucks to come out for emergency. Guy at water authority says nobody works for nothing. Local VFD is all over the place working on the drive home. Have VFD run water company. Water authorities next to useless. Sports and Exhibition Authority worse than useless. Shields up.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 21, 2010 @ 11:47 pm

Got a dry defective Chinese faucet bill. Two dirty white boys and the woman can’t draw a bath. I’m just a dirty white boy. No hot water at Moon Mission because the gas line problem went from bad to worse. Columbia gas wants hole dug. Suspect new Chinese pipe won’t be any better than Chinese drywall. The walls are thin and break and rot pipes. Send Bill. We’ll need to send military sooner or later. Put them out of our misery. Dictatorships fail from the start. History is 3,000 years of civil liberties so history always wins over the future.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 21, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

Habeas corpus beats habeas cadaver based on secret police and firing squads. He was funny edition. Creeps with flag pins and ties and endless teleprompt gags. American Hussein Teleban with Chinese donors. Never heard of Liberty? First am God, Second am shotgun. All ams are important. Upsetting?

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 22, 2010 @ 12:04 am

Make more money as a butcher, waste more time in Washington as an empty suit. Everybody got a beef and it’s flooding down in Texas. All the lines are down. Hell logic is down. Heaven is up fellow shields.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 22, 2010 @ 12:19 am

Churchill claimed politics is more dangerous than war. In war you can only get killed once. Thanks for giving me back my bullets G.I. Joe. Hope is well Troopers. They got a mission to nowhere. I’d send them to hell, except I’m busy on a Moon Mission here. Don’t shut off the Internet. It won’t help you. You get to the point where there’s No Point in America. Eat a peach. Some beach somewhere. A lot of history and a little future. It’s the present that counts and soon it’s Christmas again. What else is news?

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 22, 2010 @ 12:24 am

Eat a beach for all I care and become a sandman. You can live in a white castle and have a burger summit on the highway to hell. Watch for Bears in the air. Duty calls and never ends.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 22, 2010 @ 12:30 am

Get a lot done if you don’t care who gets credit. Can get more done with cash and TNT with a battering ram. Did you get pictures of eggs inside of icebox? That’s evidence. They’re building a case for God or else. Watch for pigs on hogs. Sometimes you can’t patch it up. Keep the kids shielded.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 22, 2010 @ 12:41 am

Besieged with computer problems. Back when situation warrants. They’re really not going to like it. Resign, I’m having ice cream with or without U-2.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 22, 2010 @ 12:47 am

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday told a U.N. General Assembly session on poverty that capitalism was on the verge of death and that it was time for a new economic system.”

The people murdering the public design new economic system with their picture on all the money and in hussein we trust too. Morons.

Comment by HISTORY DETECTIVE

September 22, 2010 @ 1:34 am

Need more capital. Less crime a lot more punishment. Growing capital is security. The others are patriot actors. The band plays on. The politician plays the sewer pipes. Stay safe out there guys. We love you.

Comment by Andrew

October 1, 2010 @ 9:30 am

I Particularly Like The Use Of Capatalisation. Is This Normal For Theses (Thesi?) Titles?

Comment by Josef Yughashvili

October 3, 2010 @ 4:36 am

You are missing #27:

27. The Importance of HS Presence in All Points of Authority

Comment by freedom

October 3, 2010 @ 7:15 am

Not even one word on threat of Chinese Communists. Interesting….

Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Growing more homeland security ideas

December 14, 2010 @ 1:21 am

[...] Another list (for the previous graduating class) was published in homeland security watch last September. [...]

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