Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 5, 2014

DHS Mission Creep

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on May 5, 2014

An attentive reader sent along this feature story from the Albuquerque Journal, Mission Creep: Homeland Security a “run-away train.”  It is the first in a series of three reports on the Department.

The following paragraph suggests the tone of the front page piece published Sunday, April 27

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service last year found that more than a decade after the Department of Homeland Security’s creation – and despite the specific language in the law that created it – the sprawling agency still didn’t have a clear definition for “homeland security,” or a strategy for integrating the divergent missions that are supposed to achieve it. The report suggested the uncertainty could actually be compromising national security.

Look carefully under “Suggested Reading” at the close of this first piece for two follow-on reports.

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Comment by Donald Quixote

May 5, 2014 @ 9:57 am

This important article brings back the many critical and painful thoughts, conversations and disputes of 2001 and 2002 within the NCR regarding the agencies merged into the DHS Frankenstein concept. If DHS was to truly (initially) focus on:

“The primary mission of the department is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism; minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States”,

several questions remain for contemplation:

• Why were CIA and FBI allegedly, repeatedly removed from the draft DHS organizational chart on the White House basement white board if the focus was terrorism in 2001 and 2002?

• What should the merged DHS agencies do with their many existing statutory required non-terrorism authorities and duties after merger, which are some of the issues in this article?

• What do we do if terrorism is not our nation’s largest and most significant threat in the next one, five, ten or fifty years as compared to other threats? Can we ask this question out loud?

• At what point will natural and man-made (non-terrorism) disasters and homeland security grants be more costly than the 9-11 terrorist attacks in lives, funding and other critical resources?

• Should we just go along to get along – it does pay on many levels and does not require great thought? Serious conversations can be difficult and uncomfortable.

The DHS mission has evolved over the years and will likely continue to so it can meet the evolving threats and political priorities.

I look forward to the next in the series. I hope it dives a little deeper, beyond the obvious and easy questions.

Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » A Déjà vu debate about DHS

May 6, 2014 @ 12:10 am

[…] Berra, the recent series of articles in the Albuquerque Journal about homeland security — as Phil Palin noted on Monday – should not surprise  anyone.  In the main article, MISSION CREEP: Homeland Security a […]

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