Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 31, 2014

What was the most significant homeland security development of 2014?

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Arnold Bogis on December 31, 2014

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?

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Comment by William R. Cumming

December 31, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

Unfortunately a negative event! The failure of the Congress to fund DHS through September 30th, 2015!

DHS becoming a pariah among federal departments and agencies and not able to recruit except from retiring military and other veterans.

Close inspection demonstrates DHS has largely failed in meeting goals for which it was established.

To repeat again:

1. WMD protection, prevention and recovery;

2. CIP including cyber security;

3. Leadership in collecting, processing and distribution of domestic INTEL while protecting privacy and civil liberties.

Comment by John Comiskey

January 1, 2015 @ 3:46 pm

Agreed, Ebola Threat was most significant 2015 HLS event/development: renewed HLS enterprise interest in public health (most significant since 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Threat)

Cyber threat awareness a close second and most likely to be 2015-2020 greatest concern

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 1, 2015 @ 9:00 pm

Are the stovepipes between Public Health Preparedness and HS and EM growing or diminishing?

IMO they are growing and DHS and HHS and HHS/CDC need to work on more collaboration/cooperation!

Comment by Tom Russo

January 2, 2015 @ 5:13 pm

My view, after having worked to integrate these three distinct disciplines…is that it is eroding due to primarily the human factor…turnover, evolving state emphasis and lack of training and exercise. We have seen this with Ebola…protocols not sufficiently have had to be revised regarding infectious control and players (EMS, hospitals & public Health) have scrambled to get a handle on ‘who is on first?’

Ebola is a case study to reveal the deficiencies in the “system” due to lack of emphasis. Hospitals are fiefdoms (private sector) and healthcare coalitions have limited capabilities (the partnership between the private sector and public sector). They can plan but for the most part…have minimal response capability.

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