Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 21, 2013

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on June 21, 2013

Today is the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.  Wildfire season has had a strong start.  Despite an above-average prediction for hurricane season, there are no significant energy pulses currently off North Africa. Floods are receding in Central Europe and rising in Western Canada.  The MERS coronavirus continues to emerge. Violence in Syria, Turkey, Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria and elsewhere suggest, if anything, increasing opportunity for phase transitions in sectarian conflicts.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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Comment by William R. Cumming

June 21, 2013 @ 1:43 am

Several months ago I was asked through this blog’s comments or offline [I don’t remember which] whether FEMA early in its existence had adopted a definition of the term EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. I length search revealed no such adoption even in FEMA’s Title 44 of the CFR.
There is however now a statutory definition of EM from PKEMRA 2006, Title VI of Public Law 106-295 enacted October 6th, 2006 and fully effective March 31, 2007. That definition seems to parallel one I have used for a long time and long posted on my website at http://www.vacationlanegrp.com.

The definition follows:

“(7) the term ‘‘emergency management’’ means the governmental function that coordinates and integrates all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, or mitigate
against threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism,or other man-made disasters;”!

Hopefully others will post comments on this definition and its application.

This comment feeds into my next post on PREVENTION AND PROTECTION!

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 21, 2013 @ 1:54 am

I have posted comments here and elsewhere that the term PREVENTION was added to the dialectic of EM by PLEMRA 2006. I may have been wrong. I cannot find that term, even in PKEMRA 2006. Perhaps just losing it. What does exist in PKEMRA 2006 is many usages [also undefined] is the term PROTECTION.

And now as of May 2013 we have the DHS/FEMA Framework on PROTECTION. This document defines both terms.

Perhaps this history is important or perhaps not. It does seem to have some organizational significance for DHS and FEMA separately.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 21, 2013 @ 2:05 am


On the FAS/FEMA page thanks to Steve Aftergood is a document I overlooked from last year:

Recommendations to Prevent Catastrophic Threats, Federation of American Scientists, November 9, 2012

The DHS/FEMA PREVENTION FRAMEWORK OF MAY 2012 does not mention this or any other external document if memorary serves correctly. It would be of interest to know what the leadership of DHS and FEMA thinks of this document and in particular as those go about implementing the PREVENTION and PROTECTION paradigms now part of the dialectic.

Comments on the FAS document by posters and readers here might be of interest and wondering if the FAS report which is excellent IMO has been reported or commented upon elsewhere in the HS and EM community?

The PREVENTION FRAMEWORK is also on the FAS/FEMA page at:


NO PROTECTION FRAMEWORK exists to my knowledge.

Any books, articles, or other analysis of these basic terms would be of interest if they exist!

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 21, 2013 @ 2:11 am

I note again that the word “catastrophic+ appears in PKEMRA 2006 defined in part for the first time in that statute.

PKEMRA 2006 is available under the Key Statutes section of the Vacation Lane Blog homepage at http://www.vlg338@blogspot.com

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 21, 2013 @ 2:15 am

Correction: http://vlg338.blogspot.com

Comment by Dan O'Connor

June 21, 2013 @ 9:58 am

Tá Sábháilteacht agus slándáil freagracht phearsanta agus a dhéanann do dhaoine teacht aniar

I was recently in Ireland. Drove over 700 miles over a 6 day period and never saw Law Enforcement. I was in Galway and Dublin on a Friday and Saturday night. Streets packed with revelers, tourists, and partyers. It was loud and jam packed. No Law enforcement. Was on the Cliffs of Moher. Narrow walkways and sometimes tenuous footing. No overt safety and security there. Security was very light in the airport too. My wife and I discussed the disposition.

We came to the conclusion that the Irish, with the appearance of carefree attitudes and no real worries had a more vested personal responsibility in their safety and security instead of having it provided for them. Personal responsibility for their choices, behaviors, and subsequent outcomes…sounds a lot like resilience.

Now, it’s clearly not the United States but I think there’s something to be said for being responsible for oneself in most instances in lieu of depending on the Government at any level to provide excessive oversight, safety, and security.

It may have been there and I didn’t see it…but I looked. Good lesson and reminder of the many variables of what homeland security is. We might be able to learn something about personal responsibility and accountability as a populace and an accounting of our own hands and behaviors in the discussion of homeland security.

The Irish above says; Safety and security are a personal responsibility and makes for resilient people.

That is my thought for the day.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 21, 2013 @ 11:26 am

So DAN what exactly are Ireland’s threats and vulnerability in your opinion and status of HS and EM?

And I understand export of Nursing grads to US and Dominion countries still the leading export?

Comment by Dan O'Connor

June 21, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

That was one of the interesting observations Bill.

What does Ireland worry about? I think they have two real threats and they’re not too dissimilar from ours; continued economic turndown and a re-emergence of terrorism between the factions if the economy continues to tank. That’s my observation anyway.

The boom of the Celtic Tiger is long over. Their GDP has contracted quite a bit and they are considered one of the PIIGS. There is not a lot of relief in their future. Some have speculated that we will begin to see more activity out of Belfast with regard to criminal/terrorist activity because of the extended recession there.

There remains significant challenges as they relate to unemployment, inflation, and increased public spending in addition to continued poor policy decisions. It is also a difficult place to emigrate to if looking for work. So there is not a tremendous sense of opportunity there. And I think they would prefer to outsource in lieu of grow talent…that could also be an outcropping of economic realities.

They also don’t have any really robust industry to claim as significant. Tourism is obviously one of their ballast tanks so to speak but in terms of a truly indigenous and robust economic industry I don’t think they are competitive.

So if you combine their at best average to below average economic engines with their debt to growth ratio, their EU relationship and their importing in excess of 80% of their energy requirements I would say they’re in a “not great place”.

They certainly have some capability with regard to wind and ocean current electricity generation, but again their debt, lack of venture capital and infrastructure currently do not support their initiatives.

I am not sure about the nursing export issue you speak of but as far as I am aware they have an import crisis;


And according to trading economics (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/ireland/exports) exports remain the primary engine for Ireland’s growth. The country is one of the biggest exporters of pharmaceuticals in the world (28 percent of total exports). Others include: organic chemicals (21 percent), data processing equipment and software (12 percent) and food (8 percent).

Ireland routinely outscores the United States for quality of life. At least the Economist says so.

The United States has dropped from first to 16th in the last 20 or so years


But International Living rates US the place to be;


All that said, the Irish still very much love America, Americans, and their link to us. It was verbalized many times in different parts of the country.

I would suppose if one were to examine their social identity and disposition generationally, Ireland is a Nation that has overcome quite a bit in terms of oppression, geographical shortcomings, and challenges and that disposition whether real or emboldened with folklore and tradition see themselves as pretty robust and more fated to their existence than great expectations.

Hence, not a lot of worry about institutional safety and security but a more laissez faire approach to same.

That’s my take anyway. Hope I answered your question.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 22, 2013 @ 8:16 am

Thanks DAN and as always you comment very comprehensive and helpful.

In the 1918 flu epidemic in the USA estimated that 65% of professional medical personnel lost. One impact the ARC [American Red Cross] gave up all but first aid in its shelters. Even today ARC cutbacks continue to threaten its participation in response.

In the USA qualified travel nurses get $3000 per week plus all expenses including travel.

Australia opened a special window for the IRISH trades of 100K in last year. Most of the Polish Plumbers in Ireland and Britain long since gone home.

Ireland is not a huge country by population or geography. A small island at the end of a significant pennisula off the European/Asian land mass. But it is clear like so many countries the banksters were successful in crippling the economy for years to come.

Pharma exports and tax haven status seem to help keep Ireland afloat but basically property prices continue to rise as othe EU and US 1% continue to buy Irish property in particular the Germans.

And DAN if you ever find info on current and former FI [foreign direct investment] in Ireland please provide.

The UN has just released an impressive report on internal nation-state refugees and inter-state refugee status. Clearly movement of peoples worldwide very significant.

Note that the House of Representatives majority wants 40K border patrol on Mecian border. Full militarization of relations with Mexico seems to appeal to some.

I mention this because a complete seal of that border has unknown consequences for USA IMO. And Cuban political change now clearly on horizon.

What is of most interest is that DHS with over 1000 policy analysts has almost none expert on immigration issues or reform. Proof is almost total asbsence of DHS input on immigration since the departure of Secretary Chertoff.

Perhaps just too too difficult for current DHS appointees. And Jane Lute’s departure deprives the DHS of most of its expertise on refugee issues.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

June 23, 2013 @ 8:52 am

Dan, first I (we) hope that you and family had a wonderful trip throughout Ireland. A simply beautiful place to visit and yes, very resilient folks for certain!

– My recent trip to Washington DC for meeting(s) went quite well, though certainly wish I were in Dublin! –

For most of us, when we hear Bill reference someone who he obviously holds in much esteem, I had heard about Jane, however share an article so we can all be more familiar….

Jane Holl Lute, Deputy Secretary Of Homeland Security, Quitting To Work On Civilian Internet Issues

By Joseph Menn

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9 (Reuters) – The second-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said she will resign shortly, ending four years as a champion of a civilian-controlled Internet.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Jane Holl Lute, the sole deputy secretary at Homeland Security, said on Monday she would give notice this week and leave to pursue a role in international Internet affairs.

Lute said that she was leaving with the department on a strong footing in Internet matters, with its central role cemented by an executive order on cybersecurity issued by President Barack Obama in February.

The order directs the civilian Department of Homeland Security to steer improvements in protections for private industry, instead of giving the lead to the military’s National Security Agency.

The preeminence of Homeland Security in patrolling the Internet is a big change from when Lute arrived there.

“The national narrative on cyber has evolved,” she said. “It’s not a war zone, and we certainly cannot manage it as if were a war zone. We’re not going to manage it as if it were an intelligence program or one big law-enforcement operation.”

The participation of the military and intelligence agencies in monitoring the Internet has not been definitively resolved.

The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee plans to consider a bill on Wednesday that critics say would allow direct sharing of company data with the NSA.

Lute’s planned exit follows the recent retirement of deputy under secretary for cybersecurity Mark Weatherford and others with expertise.

“Jane Lute was a relentless voice of clarity in helping to define the proper purpose and role of government in securing the Internet,” said Google executive Vint Cerf, a founder of the Internet and co-author of the core protocols for Internet transmission.

“DHS can take advantage of some extraordinary talent at NSA, but it’s wise for us to keep that under civilian management. That’s the way our Constitution says it’s supposed to work.”

Lute came to the department under Secretary Janet Napolitano from the United Nations, where she served as an assistant secretary-general supporting peacekeeping missions. She worked at the National Security Council under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton and before that in signals intelligence in the U.S. Army.

Colleagues said her military background helped her stand up against defense officials, including NSA Director Keith Alexander, as they pushed for a greater role.

Speaking privately, these colleagues recalled a meeting in 2011 about expanding a Pentagon pilot program for sharing classified threat information among defense contractors and federal agencies. Lute would not allow it to be expanded unless Homeland Security took control, aides said, and ultimately she prevailed.

“We needed to find a way to share information with the private sector” while preserving civil liberties, Lute said.

Obama’s executive order creates similar networks between the government and critical industries beyond defense, and the Department of Homeland Security again is in charge.

Lute’s supporters outside the government said they hoped her successor at the department also would make fighting for the agency’s role in the Internet a priority.

The 200,000-employee department also is responsible for customs enforcement, immigration services, emergency management and transportation safety.

Lute said countries around the world are still grappling with how the Internet should be treated. Though the Pentagon once spoke of cyberspace as a domain to be “dominated,” its language is more muted now.

She said Homeland Security needs to attract and retain more highly skilled security experts. Its recruitment efforts have lagged behind those at the NSA, which has more cachet and a stronger reputation for technical ability.

And she said it was “incomprehensible” that Congress has not yet passed broad legislation that would do more on cybersecurity than Obama’s executive order. Recent Senate bills would give companies legal protection for sharing threat data with each other and with DHS.

“We want to build the most secure cyber-economy on Earth,” Lute said. “We know what we need to do for that to happen, and the inability of legislation to pass to this point is inexplicable.”

Lute said she was encouraged by some movement in the Congress in the past few months and is now more optimistic that a law would pass this year. (Reporting by Joseph Menn in San Francisco; editing by Christopher Wilson)

Comment by Christopher Tingus

June 23, 2013 @ 9:09 am

Friday Free Forum:

– Open The White House Doors Now – Our Kids Deserve Better –

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
– Open teh White House Doors Now – Our Kids Deserve Better –
PO Box 1612
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645 USA
skype: christopher.tingus

*On another note, keep a weary eye on the Germans….the manufacture of all sorts of weapons and support vehicles and even new naval vessels directed to the Middle East with intent to surround Tehran, however while Islam will meet a very powerful challenge, the Germans will leave their 4,000+ troops in Afghanistan and just to the north, in Uzbekistan, strengthening its air base in Termez as the Germans dig their boots in and once again, as Germany has 1890, 1913, 1939 and today, German militarism is again to jeopardize and peace process and while eventually an arch enemy of the US and applauding this past week in Berlin’s Barry Obama’s half-hearted speech, may even dupe the Israelis as well when they eventually seek help from the Germans which they will and the Israeli keeping their WMD’s close to their vest! Jerusalem is the trophy being sought by the Vatican and Middle East control in a new Confederate of Middle East States in ally a real threat to peace to again bring us to calamity! see: Luke 21:20; Daniel 11:40; Daniel 11:45.

God Bless us all!

Comment by Dan O'Connor

June 23, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

“…We want to build the most secure cyber-economy on Earth…”.

There is a bit of irony with the statement of secure and economy. There on the one hand needs to be a certain openness with regard to an emergent and robust global internet activity. On the other hand confidence in using that system may come from a secure cyber domain. I am not sure they peacefully coexist. The disposition does superimpose itself on the current discussion with regard to the NSA, IRS, and other technology interfaces as they relate to a variety of privacy and commerce issues.

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 24, 2013 @ 2:09 am

Yes Chris! Jane Hull Lute will be missed at DHS!

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