I woke up this morning thinking that it would be nice to write a post looking back on 2014 in terms of homeland security-related events. Then I realized I should have started reviewing posts, news, and other sources days ago to refresh my memory about everything that occurred over the last 12 months.
So instead I am going to take the easy way out and ask a question of you: in your opinion, what was the most significant homeland security-related development of 2014?
It could be positive, negative, or to be determined.
Personally, I’m nominating Ebola’s appearance in the United States – keeping the focus “homeland” related, not neglecting the horrific impact of the disease in West Africa nor the importance of putting an end to the outbreak at its source. I think I think this because of the reaction to the disease, not the direct impact of the organism itself.
Flu has already claimed more lives inside the U.S., as did the recent record breaking snow near Buffalo, New York. What (I hope) Ebola did was bring attention to the importance of public health to a broad range of groups — politicians, policy makers, media, and the general public. Not holding my breath, I can dream that federal monies flow again to public health preparedness and local and state budgets for the same are increased. Again hoping, it may underscore both the degree to which we are interconnected with the rest of the world and the risk that the lack of public health capacity and capability elsewhere poses to us at home. As with illegal immigration, we are long past the point that building higher walls will provide any commensurate increase in security.
But I am more than happy to consider other alternatives.
What do you consider the most significant homeland security-related development of 2014?