Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 31, 2014

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on January 31, 2014

On this day in 1953 the North Sea Floods results in the death of 1800 Dutch and 300 British residents.

On this day in 2009 at least 113 were killed and more than 200 injured when an oil tanker overturned and its contents caught fire in Molo, Kenya.

On this day in 1996 a large truck-bomb crashed the gates of the Sri Lankan central bank killing at least 86 and injuring more than 1400.

What’s on your mind related to homeland security?

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30 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 31, 2014 @ 12:40 am

With a decade of experience behind US I would argue DHS has imported most of the weaknesses of DoD management and none of its strengths. I wonder if a recent report on abusive leadership in DoD, both civilian and military, has revelence in DHS.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 31, 2014 @ 12:42 am

Although she successfully avoided colliding with immigration reform both as Governor of Arizona and Secretary DHS, apparently she will not be able to duck as Chancellor of the UC system.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 31, 2014 @ 12:47 am

Between now and November 2016 immigration reform appears as both tar baby and problem child for both parties.

IMO many political careers will end over immigration reform in this period.

The key problem remains border crossings and long time residents of the USA, many paying taxes, that have no legal status in the USA.

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 31, 2014 @ 12:50 am

What is the impact of the Nobel Peace Prize nomination on the USA and even more what if he gets it?

Comment by John Comiskey

January 31, 2014 @ 5:24 am

HLS 2014: Super Bowl XLVIII a- HLS collaboration exemplar?

Still waiting for the 2014 QHSR, this blogger is exploring the meaning of HLS.

This blogger senses that HLS is about inter-jurisdictional-interagency public-private-citizen collaboration that helps prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from intentional, natural, and accidental threats.

Securing the Super Bowl is about all of that. XVLVII is a large iconic national event in a dual-state venue. Intentional threats from terrorists and criminals of all levels abound. Winter weather storms threatened the time and date and still threaten a less than pleasant day. Accidents of all kinds are always a threat. At least one person suggested that the Super Bowl XLVII blackout was not an accident. See http://nfl.si.com/2013/08/31/ray-lewis-you-cannot-tell-me-super-bowl-blackout-was-an-accident/

Super Bowl XVLVIII Incident Commander NJ State Police Colonel Ed Cetnar seems to be implementing now NYPD Bill Bratton’s Collaborate or Perish mantra. “We’ve been coordinating, exercising, and now we’re executing our plans and putting everything in place,” Cetnar said. See: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/super-bowl-xlviii-security-inside-the-events-secret-command-center/ and http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/21446/collaborate_or_perish_reaching_across_boundaries_in_a_networked_world.html and http://www.cbsnews.com/news/massive-security-operation-under-way-for-super-bowl/

How else might Super Bowl XVLVII help explain HLS?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 31, 2014 @ 6:50 am

Friday Free Forum:

Executive Order – Executive Order and with pen and phone in hand and a system of checks and balances which is certainly not as obviously restrictive as it should be, the populace must decide in the ’14 an ’16 elections as to what course this nation must plot out, however in the interim, let’s enjoy the super bowl and then let’s begin to address our cybersecurity real threats and firm up the electric grid system and decide how we here on “Main Street USA” will survive if at all possible the ramifications of a failed government so partisan and self-serving and so willing to compromise our Judeo-Christian values and oath to protect the Constitution while this nation is so, so weakened from within with massive debt being amassed and in the not-too-distant future, anguish and suffering on our streets from such short-sighted politicians lusting for the corrupt power which has now compromised the only hope that the oppressed once looked to!

w/regard to the next Presidency, “Is this nation so corrupt that it must continue to promote the families of Clinton/Bush or can we now be introduced to an individual far removed from this ongoing charade which has left us so weakened, so vulnerable and testosterone free!

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645
chris.tingus@gmail.com

Comment by Ashley Koch

January 31, 2014 @ 10:54 am

John: Super Bowl XLVIII can help explain HLS in many different ways. I recently read an article from ESPN – New York that “the stadium has been locked down since last Sunday. There will 10,000 stadium workers on game day, 4,000 security personnel and 700 New Jersey State Troopers.” http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/10371531/super-bowl-no-security-threats-super-bowl-xlviii-nfl-says The collaboration of all of these people shows the ‘inter-jurisdictional-interagency public-private-citizen collaboration’ that you have talked about.

Also see: http://www.govtech.com/security/Securing-Super-Bowl-XLVIII.html This article also states how many different agency’s such as the US Customs SWAT and many different Law Enforcement agency’s have been securing the MetLife Stadium for many months.

Comment by Meredith

January 31, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

John: Super Bowl XLVIII is absolutely a HLS collaboration example. An article I read from CNN noted the “Homeland Security details of the Super Bowl safety plan.” http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/27/homeland-security-details-super-bowl-safety-plan/ These plans included the collaboration of the FBI, New York Police Department, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, NJ Transit, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, etc.

However, securing the Super Bowl is not only a private collaboration like you noted. Another article I read from the Department of Homeland Security stressed the importance that “securing an event like the Super Bowl is a shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play.” https://www.dhs.gov/blog/2014/01/29/securing-super-bowl-xlviii Therefore it’s critical that the public does their part to help ensure the security of everyone by using the see something, say something campaign. I am interesting to see how Sunday turns out!

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 31, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

And the cost of Superbowl security?

Comment by Justin Blake

January 31, 2014 @ 2:21 pm

John, the Super Bowl is a major concern for all agencies involved, especially HLS organizations. One of the biggest threats to that security is not actually at the stadium itself, but rather the transportation hubs. In a NBC news article it is stated that “officials have sharply limited parking at MetLife Stadium, where Sunday’s game will be played, and expect as many as 30,000 people to arrive by bus or rail.” This does not mention other commuters for the big game. It is much easier to infiltrate one of these transportation modes than the actual stadium. However, the NYPD Commissioner William Bratton has stated that the HLS organizations are “keeping an eye on activities around the world, but certainly at this time there are no threats directed at this event that we’re aware of.”
In order to combat this threat the TSA, HLS, NJ/NY State Police, NYPD, and other organizations have stepped up security and detection measures. In a news article by King5 news “bags will be checked before fans board trains headed to Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. Earlier this week TSA agent patrolled New York and New Jersey train stations with radiological and nuclear weapon detectors.” These measures will continue through game-day and intensify the day of the actual event.
These new technologies will allow HLS agencies to identify and protect against unseen threats of the CBRNE nature. Recent detection technologies have been utilized with great success. The use of the specialized detection equipment in conjunction with the increased law enforcement presence will be a huge deterrent to anyone planning any kind of attack on the event activities.

http://www.king5.com/sports/seahawks/features/TSA-gearing-up-for-mass-transit-Super-Bowl-242861311.html

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/29/22498205-mass-transit-attack-seen-as-top-super-bowl-security-risk

Comment by Christopher Tingus

January 31, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/11137.30721.160.0/united-states/what-happens-after-a-superpower-dies

Germany Weighs Stronger Military Role
sPieGel oNliNe | January 28
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and De- fense Minister Ursula von der Leyen want Germany to assume a greater role in world affairs, including military missions abroad. Their stance marks a break with Angela
Merkel’s policy of restraint. Last Tuesday’s meeting between German Foreign Min-
ister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius could hardly have been more harmonious. Dark-gray suits, white shirts, blue ties—the two looked as if they had even coordinated their clothing as they faced the press. Steinmeier said he already felt at home after visiting the French Foreign Ministry for the third time in two weeks. Fabius politely praised his friendship with dear
“Frank-Walter.” Relations between Berlin and Paris are better than
they’ve been in a long time, and that’s evident not just in the effusive exchanges of pleasantries. The French now want to follow the German example in economic policy, af- ter two years of resisting it. Berlin in turn wants to provide Paris with stronger support in military missions in Africa in future. “Europe can’t leave France on its own,” said Steinmeier.
That’s a big step not just for France, but for Germany as well. The new German government, inaugurated just a month ago, is charting a new course in foreign policy. …
Now, two ministers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new coalition … believe that an economic powerhouse like Germany can’t continue to stand on the sidelines. They want to show Germany’s allies that the country can be relied
upon. “We can’t look away when murder and rape are tak- ing place daily,” von der Leyen told Spiegel in an interview. The new approach has already led to concrete policy
changes. Germany plans to dispatch more troops to sup- port France’s campaign against Islamists in Mali. The gov- ernment is also considering providing military aircraft for transport and medical evacuation in the Central African Republic. …
“We want to reactivate the Foreign Ministry,” State Sec- retary Markus Ederer, a close confidante of Steinmeier, said last week. Another high-ranking official in the ministry put it even more clearly: “It’s getting harder each month to justify a policy of military restraint.”
Von der Leyen agrees. She wants to use the Defense Ministry to forge a common European security policy, and to put Germany … at the forefront of this development. But the project will only be credible if Germany really does sign up to dangerous deployments.
The position adopted by the two ministers runs counter to the policy Merkel has pursued over the last four years. …
The key question remains, however, whether von der Leyen and Steinmeier can jointly make inroads on the foreign policy domain of Merkel’s Chancellery. The fact that the two have similar ideas about Germany’s role in the world will certainly help. Steinmeier would like to strengthen European institutions while von der Leyen, in her previ- ous role as labor minister, voiced her support for a “United States of Europe.” Merkel, on the other hand, has little time for such musings. She has enough on her plate. .

Comment by David Gomez

January 31, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

John. Great post and a great question: Is the Super Bowl an HLS collaboration exemplar?

From my (contrarian) perspective the Super Bowl is a microcosm of what’s wrong with HLS as a discipline today. The focus is always on the big and spectacular, while the real work is done in the shadows. The Super Bowl is only a further example of the “theater of the absurd” that airport security has become.

For benefit of your students who are unaware of who I am and our relationship, I am a 28 year retired FBI executive, the counterterrorism program manager in Seattle, and a former LAPD detective, who attended the Naval Postgraduate School with John. We wrote similar but also divergent MA theses on the role of police intelligence in HLS prevention. John has asked me to pop in here at Homeland Security Watch and comment on Fridays.

The reason I say that the Super Bowl is a microcosm of what is wrong with HLS, is that while tremendous effort is being directed towards security at the Super Bowl, the hardening of the target is creating opportunity for terrorist in other venues. A similar situation is occurring at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. Olympic venues have become such a hard target that terrorist groups will be looking to attack secondary targets, away from the main venue.

Why is the idea that the LE collaboration at the Super Bowl is wrong? From my perspective as a long-time CT practitioner, not an academic, the collaboration that is being touted as model example of cooperation among Federal, state and local law enforcement is meant to provide a public perception that everything possible is being done to prevent a terrorist incident at the Super Bowl. And while that may be true, what about the rest of the United States? It is the focus on the Super Bowl to which I object to, not the collaboration. Collaboration across the nation is taking place on a daily basis by men and women working in the trenches with little note by the main-stream media or the public. Homeland Security is an enterprise that functions 24/7 and the collaboration that is represented at the Super Bowl needs to be replicated across the country. On any day there are hundreds of public events that set a potential terrorist’s mouth to water: A public Christmas tree lighting ceremony; a winter beer festival and public market; a Super Bowl rally in Seattle or Denver; or even a public protest about U.S. immigration policy. All of these are potential targets, but do they get the same level of public support and collaboration as the Super Bowl itself? I think not.

Lets just remember, that while we hope that the Super Bowl is catastrophe free, Homeland Security is a full-time responsibility. The collaboration that we are extolling at the Super Bowl is something that we have to replicate Every.Single.Day.
Across the country in towns big and small.

Be safe out there people!

Comment by E. Earhart

January 31, 2014 @ 8:24 pm

HLS article today that caught my eye, confessions of a TSA Agent:

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/tsa-screener-confession-102912.html#.UuxJhPu1vsY

Do you think Aviation Security is an inherently governmental function? Two weeks ago, a TSA executive gave testimony regarding the private screening program. Initially, a small number of airports were set aside to be run by private companies as comparators to be evaluated against the federalized security apparatus.

a link to the video:
http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/tsa-oversight-examining-screening-partnership-program/

or the prepared statement:
http://www.dhs.gov/news/2014/01/14/written-testimony-tsa-house-oversight-and-government-reform-subcommittee-government

The issue to date, as is often the case in HLS, has been useful metrics to measure success and compare the different models.

Is aviation security inherently governmental? and does it even matter?

Comment by E. Earhart

January 31, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

Bruce Schneier while interviewing former TSA head Kip Hawley,”I’ve read repeated calls to privatize airport security: to return it to the way it was pre-9/11. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea, but I’d like your opinion on the question. And regardless of what you think should happen, do you think it will happen?

https://www.schneier.com/interview-hawley.html

Kip Hawley last summer indicated, “We need to allow real private-sector innovation to compete and play a more meaningful role in security. Today, a fig leaf system is in place that calls itself “private sector” but is in reality just personnel outsourcing. These outsourced employees have to follow the TSA process exactly — the only difference is that they get to charge an 8% markup on all their expenses. We need to get new ideas from outside the TSA that can be tested at our checkpoints.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/06/opinion/hawley-tsa/index.html

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 1, 2014 @ 6:28 am

Two points! First we [the USA] should have gone for airport security not airplane security. Second, as a specialist in targeting both nukes and conventional weaponry, the USA is a target rich environment.

And regulated entities are still by far the best targets.

Retired General Clapper, DNI, stated on the record again in the hearing Arnold provided last week that cyber security [meaning lack thereof] was the greatest threat to USA national security. And I claim no expertise on cyber threats or targeting except for SCADA control systems.

Comment by E. Earhart

February 1, 2014 @ 8:27 am

Mr. Cumming, thanks as always for the education . . . could you explain your idea that regulated entities are still by far the best targets. Is it that we only tend to regulate “vital” industries or, is it that we do such a poor job in regulating that we actually create more vulnerabilities and weaken resiliance with the regulations we create?

Comment by John Comiskey

February 1, 2014 @ 10:11 am

David,

Agreed. The collaboration extolled at the Super Bowl must be scaled and replicated 24/7 in every hometown to secure the homeland.

What I have seen and lamented is HLS collaboration at events such as the U.N. general assembly and U.S. Open not always being replicated at smaller scale events.

Comment by E. Earhart

February 1, 2014 @ 10:21 am

John,

Are the UN GA and Open designated as NSEs? Without such designation, feds for many reasons less likely/able to assist/collaborate? If so, is the needed designation a vestige of the old way of doing business?

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 1, 2014 @ 11:01 am

EE! A little of both! Usually economic regulation is for one of two reasons. Price controls and antitrust. Or for reasons of Public Safety. Take FERC for example! Grid security really not their problem. But still a huge problem. Electric grid vulnerabilty identified as huge issue almost 50 years ago when NYC blackout occurred [again in 1977]!

FERC = Federal Energy Regulatory Commission housed in DoE!

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 1, 2014 @ 11:10 am

BTW UN HQ security very expensive and largely born first by NYC with reimbursement. Functionally obsolescent that structure badly in need of replacement. I would suggest relocation out of USA! It is a terrific target.

Comment by John Comiskey

February 1, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

E. Earhart

Both UNGA and US Open qualify as NSSEs but UNGA more so. Money brings people to the table. Categorical aid and grant funding helps. See: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS22754.pdf

Bill,

Returning to my affirmation of NYC as a Global City, the UN adds greatly to NY’s “globalism.” Added to that is NY’s financial, entertainment, and medical (hospitals)prominence. As you indicated, NYC is reimbursed for its UNGA expenditures.

BTW, this blogger criticizes the UN for its ineffectiveness. HOWEVER, there is NOTHING in the way of a suitable replacement.

One exception is the International Maritime Organization (part of UN) that has overseen effective and enforceable maritime regulations. This of course is attributed to IMO’s facilitation of safe and secure commerce. Those regulated have a vested interest in complying with IMO regulations.

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 1, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

John C! And LORAN no more?

Comment by E. Earhart

February 1, 2014 @ 3:47 pm

LORAN, another case of lack of transparency and politics impacting policy.

On 12 May 2009 the March 2007 Independent Assessment Team (IAT) report on LORAN was released to the public. It “unanimously recommends that the U.S. government complete the eLORAN upgrade and commit to eLORAN as the national backup to GPS for 20 years.” The release of the report followed an extensive Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) battle waged by industry representatives against the federal government. Originally completed 20 March 2007 and presented to the co-sponsoring Department of Transportation and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Executive Committees, the report carefully considered existing navigation systems, including GPS. The unanimous recommendation for keeping the LORAN system and upgrading to eLORAN was based on the team’s conclusion that LORAN is operational, deployed and sufficiently accurate to supplement GPS. The team also concluded that the cost to decommission the LORAN system would exceed the cost of deploying eLORAN, thus negating any stated savings as offered by the Obama administration and revealing the vulnerability of the U.S. to GPS disruption.

http://sidt.gpsworld.com/gpssidt/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=597861

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 1, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

Thanks Double E!

This reminds me of the elimination of the RADEF program in FEMA over the objections of the NSC staff. About 1995.

Comment by E. Earhart

February 1, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

John C.

NYC’s “globalism” also contributes to it’s resilience.

Comment by E. Earhart

February 1, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist GS-1035-15

Department:

Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Job Announcement Number:

FEMA-14-BLG-6370-DEU

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/360477400

OPEN PERIOD:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 to Wednesday, February 12, 2014

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-1035-15

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time – Permanent

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy – Washington DC, DC

DUTIES:

In this position, you will have the responsibility of designing, developing and leading the outreach program for FEMA. Typical assignments include:

Serves as the Director of the Private Sector Division, responsible for designing, developing and implementing a national External Affairs outreach and engagement program that develops functional relationships with major companies and universities across the United States to facilitate public information in support of the FEMA mission and goals in steady state and in crisis operations.
Formulates, directs, manages, coordinates and implements plans to include mission, goals, objectives and implementation strategies to provide this critical outreach to the nation’s private sector and cultivates a public-private partnership.
Contacts, advises, and collaborates with high-ranking officials such as corporate executives and their staff, association staff, university and college leadership, other agency leaders and program officials, congressional staff, state/corporate emergency managers, and White House staff to include providing leadership and representation at top level inter/intra-agency planning groups.
Develops a multi-pronged approach for private sector engagement (to include training sessions, attendance at company meetings, industry tradeshows, executive roundtables, association meetings, conference calls, newsletters, etc.) using various communications tools, techniques and protocols to reach and maintain regular contact with the private sector,
Performs the administrative and human management functions; establishes guidelines and performance expectations for staff members, to include observing and documenting worker’s performance; providing informal feedback and periodically evaluates employee performance.

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 2, 2014 @ 1:02 am

Hoping all understand the difference between Public Affairs [counter-propaganda?] and Emergency Public Information [issuance of PARs e.g. (Protective Action Recommendations etc.]! The latter a highly technical subject. Experts on the distinction–Morrie Goodman [lives in Florida] and Phil Conklin ? [lives in Arizona[!

Best blog on Crisis Communications Gerald Baron’s CRISIS BLOGGER!

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 2, 2014 @ 10:25 am

Double E! May be of interest!

Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities, January 3, 2014

Comment by JD

February 2, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

Great posts all.

Superbowl and Olympic security certainly getting a lot of press. Whether a National Special Security Event (NSSE, led by the Secret Service) or just a big event with a lot of folks showing up, it seems to me that we could use a mechanism or template to use the one-time security money, surge of equipment, planning, and training and exercising that goes along with these events to make permanent the institutional relationships between the various agencies involved. In doing that, we will advance homeland security.

There are enough of these events that I would think each major city or region in the U.S. would get its chance to build (or re-built) this every few years, thereby testing, improving, and evolving our approach.

It seems now that the security coordination network is just temporal, so we should look for ways to make it last, which would be a great benefit from the money spent on these events.

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 4, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

Double E!

EPA regulated entities fall in the following sectors and all of these contain potential targets:

Table 2. EPA Industry and Government Sectors
Available Sector Notebooks
Aerospace Health Care Prisons and Correctional Institutions
Agriculture Local Government Operations Pulp/Paper/Lumber
Automotive Marinas Ready Mix/Crushed Stone/Sand and Gravel
Chemicals Metals Retail
Computers/Electronics Minerals/Mining/Processing Rubber/Plastics
Construction Paints and Coatings Shipbuilding and Repair
Dry Cleaning Petroleum Textiles
Education Pharmaceuticals Transportation
Federal Facilities Ports Tribal
Food Processing Power Generators
Furniture Printing
Source: Table generated by CRS with information from EPA’s Sector Compliance Assistance and Sector
Notebooks website, http://www.epa.gov/compliance/assistance/sectors/index.html.
Enforcement

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