Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 6, 2011

This friday: A discussion of Presidential Policy Directive-8 – National Preparedness

Filed under: Preparedness and Response — by Christopher Bellavita on April 6, 2011

From Homeland Security Policy Institute:

Please join the Homeland Security Policy Institute for a discussion about Presidential Policy Directive – 8: National Preparedness, featuring Brian Kamoie, Senior Director for Preparedness Policy on the White House National Security Staff.

President Barack Obama signed a new Presidential Policy Directive on National Preparedness last week and the Directive will be publicly released at this event.

The new policy outlines the President’s vision for strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for threats to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, pandemics, significant accidents, and catastrophic natural disasters. The Directive follows a comprehensive review of national preparedness policy and replaces Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 (HSPD-8) (2003) and HSPD-8 Annex I (2007).

Featured Speaker: Brian Kamoie; Senior Director for Preparedness Policy; White House National Security Staff

Moderated By: Daniel Kaniewski; Deputy Director; Homeland Security Policy Institute

It looks like the event is scheduled for 10:30 until 12, east coast time, on Friday April 8th.  According to HSIP, it will be webcast.  See the HSPI site for details.



April 8, 2011 will mark the 1,175th day of the (first?) Obama Administration.  That means 80% of the first term is over.  Considering how long it took to develop, socialize, and sign  HSPD 8, one wonder how long it will take to implement.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 7, 2011 @ 5:12 am

Several questions! First is the text available?
Second one of the problems with HSPD-8 and ANNEX was the existence of HSPD-5 and other HSPDs that were inconsistent. Any resolution of duplication, overlaps, inconsistencies in the new Directive? Any mention of FEMA? Or other subcabinent agencies? EPA?

Comment by john comiskey

April 7, 2011 @ 8:01 am

Government is [too] slow to act in the absence of actual emergency. W got a lot done, in part, because Americans and Congress acted [reacted] to [real and perceived -see Maslow] security needs.

O does not have a 9/11-like impetus. Preparedness doctrine and spending is more palatable in post-catastrophic timeframes.

That said, Presidential Policy Directive 8 is late in O’s game [length TBD].

What to do? Wouldn’t US interests and specifically the interest of the American people be served with a list of things that we need and want our government to do.

Alexis De Tocqueville famously said:

Americans of all ages, all stations in life, and all types of dispositions are forever forming associations. There are not only commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but others of a thousand different types—religious, moral, serious, futile, very general and very limited, immensely large and very minute. Americans combine to give fetes, found seminaries, build churches, distribute books, and send missionaries to the antipodes. Hospitals, prisons, and schools take shape in that way. Finally, if they want to proclaim a truth or propagate some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form an association.

How about a national preparedness association, an umbrella like organization, that would solicit input from academia, special interest groups, grassroots movements, and citizens that would summate what we expect of government in terms of preparedness. One caveat, the association would invite and publish dissenting opinions.

That said, I perceive that many more Americans are preparing for summer’s call to beaches, BQs, and baseball [Mets opening day is Friday 4:00 EST] I know only a handful of people including many HLS practitioners who are remotely interested in HLS preparedness. I look forward to the conversation.

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 7, 2011 @ 8:33 am

As readers of this blog know I prefer the terms “resilience” to “preparedness” which I assume subsumed into “resilience”! Also “civil security” as opposed to “Homeland Security”!

It is interesting that those who actually know the least about the federal system now have adopted the paradigm that yes the STATES and their local governments are in fact crucial to “National Preparedness”! This is after the federal government learned hard lessons in the federal civil defense program that ran from 1951-1994 and certain events. Essentially, the President and his minions now rely on a broken reed, broken by them (the minions), constantly erected top down command and control systems and processes into what should be a collaborative and cooperative structure.
This sounds like it should have been an Executive Order but then that would have entailed both formal review by DOJ for legality and form and review and clearance by the entirety of affected Executive Branch organizations. Please note that while I may be out of the loop it will be of great interest to know what kind of intergovernmental review was allowed for this document. Oh that’s right don’t allow review of any documents shifting “blame” accountability to STATES and their local governments. Or will citizen preparedness now be the new paradigm as funds even for emergency kits for families are probably not available for 60 million Americans.

These issues are essential for the world’s oldest and richest democracy to get right to preserve that democracy (Republic) but the corrupt and inefficient and ineffective national security community is now able to impose its will on the Homeland Security functions and probably will again be relying on a disaster supplemental before October 1, 2011 to get its war fighting needs met.

Does the national security apparatus not understand that like Professor Paul Kennedy has suggested the overreach of military imperialism leads eventually to catastrophic impacts on any empire. Hey even the ROMANS lasted a few more years by withdrawing from Britain even though they stayed longer than the US will in the ME and Mahregb. Now I firmly believe water not oil will end the energy paradigm in the ME and Mahgreb for the US and EU. Then that population only hope of survival will be emigration. Hey you can’t drink oil.
Is there any honesty in policy anymore in Washington? I will be looking forwards to closely reviewing this document that has been in draft for several years and analyzing its consistencies and inconsistencies. And always remember these directives are unfunded mandates for those subject to its whims. Probably good since the government is out of money.

Comment by john comiskey

April 7, 2011 @ 9:43 am


I am most interested in your preference for civil security as opposed to homeland security and would appreciate an elaboration on your terminology.


Comment by William R. Cumming

April 7, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

Homeland Security derives from a term used first in the Mid-90’s by the Defense Policy Board of DOD. Once there was a DHS established almost simultaneously DOD established NORTHCOM in the fall of 2002 and an Assitant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense. As all know the DOD does not just engage in defense. But also as evidenced by the folding of the Homeland Security Staff into the NSC STAFF, the NSS, under OBAMA no longer is there a pretension that civil domestic issues for either homeland defense or security are the boundries. NSC in its charter was to protect and defend the National Security of the US by integrating foreign, military, and domestic policy to protect the NS of the US. So nothing illegal about the merger. But also true NSC is dominated by those with active duty military slots or the National Security types that really have no respect for the civil government agencies or domestic emergency management or the STATES and their local government contributions to Homeland Security. I published a WENN diagram in 2004 that I would be glad to send you by contacting me offline at vlg338@yahoo.com That document and graphic was intended to promote discussion of relationships not be THE answer to the line drawing. It just seems that CIVIL SECURITY fulfill my vision that the mission is a domestic civil mission not overlapping with law enforcement or the Armed Forces or the in-mufti types that dominate DOD. Unfortunately DHS adopted wholesale the culture of DOD and its contractors with waste, fraud, and abuse largely the result. In fact DHS cannot audit most of its contractors that is left to DCAA [Defense Contract Audit Agency] well established for its corrupt culture as documented over the last several decades. Hey the corporate world long ago corrupted most of its regulators and auditors so what is new?

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 7, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

And by the way by labeling the new directive a PDD not an HSPD or NSPD perhaps someone thought it important to split the difference.

Any governor who personally reviewed PDD-8 in advance of Presidential signature can contact me and I will give him a reward. A great article on FEDERALISM and HS that I have seen since 9/11. I recently found out the author dissented and resigned from the PNSR final report.

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