Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 5, 2013

Some new homeland security reading about education, epidemiology, medical needs, and energy insecurity

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on February 5, 2013

Homeland Security Affairs recently published 4 articles.

The first one is called “Homeland Security Education: A Way Forward.” The authors (William Pelfrey and William Kelley) ask what should homeland security education entail and who will best benefit from such an education? The article summarizes research conducted to arrive at answers to these questions, through surveys of three distinct groups: (1) graduates of the master of arts degree program in National Security Affairs, Homeland Security and Defense, at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS); (2) faculty teaching in the NPS program; and (3) subject matter experts outside of the NPS graduate degree program. The authors found that strategic collaboration, critical thinking and decision-making, the foundations of homeland security, and analytical capabilities are the most important attributes of a graduate level homeland security education. The research found that graduate level homeland security education is most effective in preparing homeland security practitioners in leadership positions to perform complex, cognitive tasks, in ambiguous environments.

The second article highlights a very different homeland security concern. In “Operational Epidemiological Modeling: A Proposed National Process,” Brienne Lenart et al. describe work conducted to determine the requirements of a national operational epidemiological modeling process designed to integrate modelers with operational decision makers during an infectious disease event of national significance. The proposed process is based on research and consultation with a workgroup of interagency and organizational stakeholders.

The response community is concerned about evacuating people with special medical needs. According to Petter Risoe, Jeffrey Schlegelmilch, and James Paturas, targeted planning for this group is hampered by substantial knowledge deficits in defining the population and the potential resource requirements in a disaster. In “Evacuation and Sheltering of People with Medical Dependencies” the authors discuss the knowledge gaps in preparing for this population and propose solutions to fill these gaps to facilitate enhanced preparedness.

Fred Stein proposes a solution to a different kind of dependency in “Ending America’s Energy Insecurity: Why Electric Vehicles Should Drive the United States to Energy Independence.” Arguing that dependence on foreign oil weakens the nation’s security, Stein demonstrates how switching to electric automobiles could eliminate the need for imported oil. Through careful analysis and calculation, he describes a program of taxes, rebates, and incentives that could improve infrastructure and make the United States energy independent in a few short years.

These articles are available to download in a variety of formats at Homeland Security Affairs.

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 5, 2013 @ 3:04 am

Thanks Chris for this useful heads up! As to the first item, perhaps if there were more of a consencus base of understanding of the current system and its deficiencies we would be better able to understand why the items focused upon were badly needed.

“The authors found that strategic collaboration, critical thinking and decision-making, the foundations of homeland security, and analytical capabilities are the most important attributes of a graduate level homeland security education.”

At least several components of DHS for example discourage almost all critical thinking and analystical capabilities. Do I need to give examples of how often DHS has asked contractors for example to design or redesign some system only to have the contractors end up asking DHS what it wants or needs?
In other words the contractor interface is likely to destroy critical thinking in DHS and instead of furnishing analytical capability instead the political ends justify the means prevents exactly that from occurring.

There is no concensus on first principles of HS or even what the current system consists of often resulting in ad hoc on the fly exercise of judgment
since real expertise not welcome here in DHS.

Is HS really law enforcement in disguise? Or is it a scientific, technically driven expertise driven by a world increasing complex due to demographics, technology, and fracturing of consencus

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