Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 31, 2011

Ten Years After: The 9/11 Essays

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on August 31, 2011

Homeland Security Affairs published a collection of essays today in remembrance of the ten-year anniversary of September 11, 2001.

The journal features original articles by Janet Napolitano, Michael Chertoff, Tom Ridge, Paul Stockton, and others.

The essays are available online by clicking on the links, below:

1. Progress Toward a More Secure and Resilient Nation – Janet Napolitano

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano looks at how the past ten years have “made us smarter about the kind of threats we face, and how best to deal with them,” focusing on the strategy of local hometown security as a key to making our communities and the nation safer in the future. She makes the argument that, “…more and more often, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers – and their community partners – are best positioned to uncover the first signs of terrorist activity.”

2. 9/11: Before and After – Michael Chertoff

Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff provides an overview of the “new legal architecture for counterterrorism” which required a refashioning of U.S. laws and processes “focused on three elements of the counterterrorism process: intelligence collection, information integration, and terrorist incapacitation.” His analysis includes observations on the legal challenges that homeland security presents in preventing attacks, sharing information and bringing terrorists to justice.

3. Never Any Doubt: A Resilient America – Tom Ridge

Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge reminds us of the dangers of complacency and that “ten years is enough time to know that in the next ten years, the fight will still be with us.” He also reminds us that as new threats surface our tools, policies and security strategies must continue to evolve. “Because after taking fifty years to win the Cold War, while we emerged as the lone superpower, we were also left with a stockpile of weapons, tactics, and diplomatic relationships that were of little utility in the new security environment.”

4. Ten Years After 9/11: Challenges for the Decade to Come – Paul Stockton

Assistant Secretary Paul Stockton issues an invitation to practitioners and academics to work in partnership with the Department of Defense to build on the far-reaching progress that has already occurred since 9/11. Stockton identifies two areas that require specific attention: defense support to civil authorities and “a little-known but vital realm of preparedness: civil support to defense.”

5. Does Homeland Security Exist Outside the United States? – Nadav Morag

Nadav Morag contends, “Homeland security is a uniquely American concept. It is a product of American geographic isolation and the strong tendency throughout American history to believe that there was a clear divide between events, issues and problems outside US borders and those inside US borders.” In answering the question, “Does Homeland Security Exist Outside the United States?” he examines how other countries have organized their security policies, strategies, and plans.

6. Ten Years After the Terrorist Attacks of 9/11: The Need for a Transnational Approach to Address Risks to US Global Security Interests – John Rollins

John Rollins provides a transnational perspective on how the US approaches homeland security. As US economic, political, social, and environmental interests become more global, so have security threats. Rollins believes “the US no longer has the geographic or economic luxury of approaching security issues from a domestic or international perspective. Regardless of where a threat emanates from, today’s security professionals need to recognize, respond, and appreciate the near- and long-term transnational implications of risks facing the nation.”

7. Domestic Intelligence Today: More Security but Less Liberty? – Erik J. Dahl

Erik Dahl discusses the reshaping of the U.S. intelligence system over the past ten years and argues, “that even though we as a nation decided not to establish a domestic intelligence organization, we have in recent years done just that…” His overview concludes that while progress has been made, “… the development of a vast domestic intelligence structure since 9/11 has moved the balance [between security and liberty] quite firmly in the direction of more security, but less liberty.”

8. Preventing the Next 9/10: The Homeland Security Challenges of Technological Evolution and Convergence in the Next Ten Years – Rodrigo Nieto-Gómez

Rodrigo Nieto-Gómez looks at the innovation process that drives the technology sector and how the convergence of technology made 9/11 possible. He also explores the difficulties that technology convergence poses for homeland security professionals. “This retrospective distortion creates a security ecosystem where homeland security practitioners feel pressured to try to ‘connect the dots’ every time, instead of adapting to an environment of emerging patterns and mutating dots that cannot be connected.”

9. Security Studies: The Homeland Adapts – Stanley Supinski

This essay examines the development of homeland security education since 9/11 and the influences that have helped to shape its evolution. Stanley Supinski highlights some key challenges that remain to be addressed in order for homeland security to achieve academic maturity.

10. Inter-Organizational Collaboration: Addressing the Challenge – Susan Page Hocevar, Erik Jansen, and Gail Fann Thomas

This essay demonstrates how scholars have become engaged in theoretical work that can provide the basis for new homeland security policies, plans and organizational arrangements. The authors’ work focuses on identifying factors that contribute to effective inter-organizational collaboration and the factors that inhibit collaboration. This is an area that has proven to be one of the most critical challenges for the homeland security community.

11. Reflections on 9/11: Looking for a Homeland Security Game Changer – Samuel Clovis Jr.

Sam Clovis brings public education into the homeland security discussion. “My intent is to call the attention of my homeland security colleagues to the idea that public education reform must be part of any serious discussion about national or homeland security.” Clovis argues, “A better-educated citizenry will be less dependent on government and more independent in times of crisis… will be more attentive to issues and challenges at the state and local level and more engaged at the national level… will cost less in public funding and will contribute more to the public coffers.”

12. How Proverbs Damage Homeland Security – Christopher Bellavita

Christopher Bellavita discusses twelve proverbs – accepted truths – that have characterized the homeland security narrative. He contends that in the haste to establish a homeland security enterprise and create new policies and strategies, many homeland security proverbs may be inaccurate; they “distort the homeland security narrative in a way that inhibits the search for more effective ideas to protect the nation.” Bellavita sees an opportunity over the next ten years for academics and strategists “to take another look at the basic assumptions underpinning our homeland security narrative, and identify evidence that supports or refutes the proverbs used to guide strategic direction.”

13. The Post-Tragedy ‘Opportunity-bubble’ and the Prospect of Citizen Engagement – Fathali M. Moghaddam and James N. Breckenridge

Fathali Moghaddam and James Breckenridge examine the “opportunity-bubble” that allows leaders to mobilize the public immediately following a tragic event. “Although great crisis will inevitably invite consideration of many alternatives, leadership must pay special attention to opportunities to engage the public as capable partners in their country’s response to the crisis – calling upon them as citizens with civic duties, as well as rights.”

14. The Last Days of Summer – James J. Wirtz

Future generations of Americans will inevitably view 9/11 as a historical event and time period much like the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Vietnam War era. However, 9/11 brought about significant changes to the country and American’s daily lives. These changes are the subject of this essay. “Instead of remaining an ‘extraordinary’ activity,” author James Wirtz suggests, “homeland security in the United States is becoming part of everyday life because it is slowly but surely improving the ability of federal, state, local and tribal agencies to prevent and respond more quickly and effectively to all sorts of threats and incidents.”




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Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Ten Years After: The 9/11 Essays » Security Ops | We test your lines of defense

September 1, 2011 @ 1:57 am

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Comment by William R. Cumming

September 1, 2011 @ 3:12 am

Great list Chris so many thanks! Item #4 of interest since many would be dumbfounded to find out how much of the civil agencies is designed to support the DOD and the military- start with DOE, DHS, and VA!

Comment by Philip J. Palin

September 1, 2011 @ 5:20 am

Regarding proverbs: As I think is suggested at the close of your essay, the problem is not necessarily with the proverb, parable, fable, analogy, metaphor, or similar device.

All of these are mental tools for dealing with complicated reality. They attempt — roughly or elegantly — to crystallize an insight. The sparkling result is almost always a radical simplification of reality. This can be helpful or dangerous depending on the mindfulness with which the crystallization is used. Hence your call for evidence.

In my experience the very best proverbs and parables are paradoxical. Yet many try to deny the paradox and insist on a clarity that the proverb does not pretend to offer.

Proverbs don’t mislead people, people mislead people; usually themselves.

Comment by mcb

September 1, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

I’ve only read a couple but Chertoff’s was everything I expected it to be.

I am not surprised Chertoff expressed disdain for the rights of criminal suspects guaranteed by the constitution.

I am not surprised he was uncomfortable with the constitutional rules of evidence for criminal suspects.

I am not surprised Chertoff resorted to aphorisms like “refashioning our legal tool set,” “streamline information requests,” “detaining operatives,” “incapacitating terrorists,” “failure to integrate warning information,” and “less than optimal.”

I was a little surprised Chertoff bothered to argue that the FISA Act Amendments created the means to resolve legal issues related to electronic surveillance since he did not bother to mention that the Bush administration frequently chose not to bother with the FISA courts at its discretion.

I am not surprised that , except to complain that criminal courts won’t accept evidence provided by the government in many terrorism cases, Chertoff failed to mention issues arising from the torture of suspects, bizarre attempts to redefine torture, the deaths of accused terrorists in US custody or that of countries to whom the US rendered them.

I am not surprised Chertoff failed to mention the concerns of air travelers subjected to ever more intrusive searches at TSA checkpoints. He mentioned nothing at all about the controversy surrounding the deployment of nude scanners at US airports, devices the sale of which enrich him personally.

I am not surprised that in his closing paragraphs, as though he’d run out of terrorism issues with to be concerned, Chertoff turns his attention to cyber crime and hacktivism in the context of how difficult existing law makes it for the government to monitor the internet in real time.

I am not surprised, but I remain disappointed.

I am not surprised, but I remain fearful for the moral integrity and ethical center of our nation in the hands of unelected officials the likes of Michael Chertoff.

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