Last month the Department of Defense released a new “Strategy for Homeland Defense and Defense of Civil Authorities.”
Like most DOD policy documents, this ain’t short.
Okay, I have to admit I haven’t read it yet and if you plan to, you might want to consider pouring yourself a glass of whatever you prefer, get a bag of snacks, and pick a comfortable chair.
Okay…it’s only 25 pages. But a dense, jargon filled 25 pages. Maybe I’m just getting lazy.
But here are a few interesting points from the sections I’ve read. It is only a coincidence that the first has to do with the blending of national and homeland security:
We are now moving beyond traditional distinctions between homeland and national security.National security draws on the strength and resilience of our citizens, communities, and economy. This includes a determination to prevent terrorist attacks against the American people by fully coordinating the actions that we take abroad with the actions and precautions that we take at home. It must also include a commitment to building a more secure and resilient nation, while maintaining open flows of goods and people. We will continue to develop the capacity to address the threats and hazards that confront us, while redeveloping our infrastructure to secure our people and work cooperatively with other nations.
National Security Strategy May 2010
Phil should be at least intrigued by the following section:
Vulnerabilities: Contemporary threats and hazards are magnified by the vulnerabilities created by the increasingly interconnected nature of information systems, critical infrastructure, and supply chains. The information networks and industrial control systems owned by DoD, and those maintained by commercial service providers and infrastructure operators, are subjected to increasingly sophisticated cyber intrusions and are vulnerable to physical attack and natural and manmade disasters. A targeted cyber or kinetic attack on the nation’s commercial electrical infrastructure would not only degrade DoD mission essential functions but also impact DoD sustainment operations that depend on commercial electricity for fuel distribution, communications, and transportation. In the context of this increasingly interconnected security environment, seemingly isolated or remote incidents cancause substantial physical effects, degrade Defense systems, and quickly be transformed into significant or catastrophic events.
The oft-stated concern that citizens are too reliant on government help after a disaster has seeped into DOD strategies:
Public expectations for a decisive, fast, and effective Federal response to disasters have grown in the past decade, particularly in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Although DoD is always in a support role to civilian authorities (primarily the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA) for disaster response, the capacity, capabilities, training, and professionalism of the Armed Forces mean that DoD is often expected to play a prominent supporting role in response efforts. The prevailing “go big, go early, go fast, be smart” approach to saving lives and protecting property in the homeland – evident during the preparations for and response to Hurricane Irene in August 2011 and particularly Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 – requires DoD to rapidly and effectively harness resources to quickly respond to civil support requests in the homeland.
The full document can be found here: http://www.defense.gov/news/Homelanddefensestrategy.pdf