Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 10, 2012

Sunday Times: How resilient is post-9/11 America?

Filed under: Strategy — by Philip J. Palin on September 10, 2012

Yesterday Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt joined our ongoing conversation.  They write:

Have we become America the brittle?

“Resiliency” has finally entered the lexicon of American political leaders. The military has instituted programs for the fighting force. Officials are looking to the experiences of such countries as Britain and Israel, examples of individual and national resilience earned the hard way.

Federal law enforcement and homeland security experts are advising corporate America to build better security into their business practices — to safeguard their goods and services, to recover from attack and, from the companies’ perspective, to boost their brand…

See their entire essay.


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Comment by William R. Cumming

September 10, 2012 @ 8:30 am

Largely wasted by federal contractors and STATEsand their local governments the real investments in RESILIENCY HAVE ALMOST BEEN NON-EXISTENT since 9/1l!

One example, almost $100 B invested by DHS in non-resilent IT systems.Another almost $50 B in southern Louisiana that were largely of no use at all in fallout from Hurricane Issac.

Let’s make sure that NO LAWYERs are made heads of DHS in the future. That largely defunct profession (it continues to pretend it is not and I was one) does not have the management and administrative skills to run a large federal department.

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 10, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

Another example of STATES and Their Local Governments nonfeasance is the jurisdictions comprimising the METROPOLITAN COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS IN THE NATIONAL CAPITOL REGION wherein over $1B invested in preparedness since 9/11 including EOC upgrades has largely been wasted and ineffective. The transportation and special needs population of the DC Metro area grows rapidly daily and still no coordination on PAR’s and other decision making. Proof? Look at snow evac!

Comment by Arnold Bogis

September 10, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

Thanks for pointing out this piece…but man is it all over the place.

I have to admit it makes me feel a little more confident in my skepticism of using “resilience” as an overall homeland security strategy or relying on it as a strategic driver. Richard Falkenrath’s comment rings true to me:

“Not all security experts are enamored of the “R”-word. Richard A. Falkenrath, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and formerly the New York Police Department’s top counterterrorism official, says it makes sense to examine resilience in a particular region or business sector. For example, as the weather has become increasingly volatile and violent, oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico can now better predict storms and evacuate rigs and shut down pumps more efficiently.

“But resilience as a kind of homeland security equivalent of G.N.P., I’ve never bought it,” he said.”

For a thorough (and realist) rebuttal of the article, see Steve Walt’s blog on Foreign Policy:


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