Jane Holl Lute is the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. On December 2, she spoke to the American Bar Association’s 21st Annual Review of the Field of National Security. Her presentation included a perspective about homeland security I had not heard before.
According to Secretary Lute, “National security is strategic… Homeland security is operational….”
From a social construction perspective, this is another claim in a crowded semantic field asserting what homeland security is. I think it’s an innovative construction that deserves discussion.
For that view to persist in the homeland security ecosystem, there needs to be more evidence and more acolytes to support and nurture Secretary Lute’s claim. One also needs to demonstrate what value the perspective contributes to making the nation more secure.
An mp3 podcast of the 30 minute speech can be found here. I do not know if there is an official transcript of her remarks.
A colleage who provided information about the speech shared an unofficial transcript of the relevant portion of the speech, reprinted below. (Thank you for the tip.)
[Starting at the 13:45 mark]
I told you I would give you my reflections on how homeland security differs from national security, and I’ve been doing national security for a long time.
National security is strategic, it’s centralized, it’s top-driven. Homeland security is operational, it’s transactional, it’s decentralized, it’s bottom-driven. It’s driven by the grassroots of this country, by the states, by the municipalities, by the cities and towns that experience these issues first-hand, day to day. It’s driven by the nearly two million people that pass through the TSA systems every day – every day pass through these systems.
We have global connections in this country, and we manage them in a transactional way, in an operational way, in homeland security. So unlike national security – strategic, centralized, top-driven; it’s about all of us – homeland security is operational, decentralized, bottom-driven; it’s about each of us.
The national security culture has very strong influences from the military and the intelligence community. Homeland security, it’s law enforcement, emergency management, and the political environment that is the vibrancy of this country.
In national security there is a culture of confidentiality, the need to protect the nation’s most sensitive information.
In homeland security there’s an expectation of transparency: it’s not a need to know, it’s a duty to share, it’s an expectation to share.
In national security there’s unity of command. In homeland security, it’s a unity of effort.
It’s a different model. It’s a different model. And we need to understand the things that we deal with from the differences that that model represents.
Homeland security of course is a part of national security, but it’s different.
[ Excerpt concluded at the 15:27 mark]