“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” — John Buchan
Homeland Security Research Corp. (HSRC) describes itself as “a Washington, DC-based international market research and strategic consulting firm serving the homeland security community.”
Two years ago, it projected that
Over the next four years: the U.S. HLS-HLD (i.e. federal, state and local governments, and the private sector) funding will grow from $184 billion in 2011 to $205 billion by 2014. The market will grow from $73 billion in 2011 to $86 billion by 2014.
In another 2010 report– about the private sector’s role in homeland security — HSRC notes:
The private sector procurement of homeland security related products and services represents 15-16% of the total US Homeland Security market. The US private sector HLS market is larger than the combined federal aviation, maritime and land transportation HLS markets. Over the next five years, the US private sector HLS market is forecasted to grow … from $7.7 billion in 2010 to $11.2 billion by 2014.
(To digress, this report contributed to my personal collection of favorite homeland security facts by pointing out “The US private sector controls 86% of the nation high-priority infrastructure sites.” The usual estimates typically cite an 85% figure. Since the 85% number has no basis in anything beyond rhetoric, I admire the attention to precision suggested by 86%. I also respect the creative addition of “high priority” to the otherwise mundane term, “critical infrastructure.”)
A third HSRC 2010 report points out that DHS is just part of the homeland security enterprise:
While the DHS plays a key role in homeland security, it does not dominate the US counter terror … market. The combined state and local markets, which employ more than 2.2 million first responders, totaled $15.8 billion (2009), whereas the DHS HLS market totaled $13.1 billion. …In spite of the fact that nine years passed since 9/11 with no successful terror attack on the continental USA, periodic, multi-year Harris polls, reveal consistent growth of public concern about another major terrorist attack.
That concern suggests opportunity:
Future small scale terror attacks (successful or not) will maintain this trend in the future. [sic] For example, the failed 2009 Christmas attack aboard a flight bound for Detroit and the attempted car-bombing in New York’s Time Square (February 2010) resulted in immediate White House intervention, Congressional hearings and a radical air passengers screening upgrade program costing over $1.6 billion.
But even if the federal budget does not come through, there’s still state and local government.
Most analysts overlook the fact that the OMB federal rules demand that state and local HLS activities must be financed at the state, county and city level. Annually, all the states and over 40,000 counties and cities fund $53-$62 billion of their HLS activities, while the federal government supplements this spending with grants valued at $3-5 billion annually.
“Fishing is a delusion entirely surrounded by liars in old clothes.” — Don Marquis
A recent two-day Counter Terror Expo was sparsely attended, writes Andrea Stone in Huffington Post.
“This is probably one of the worst I’ve been to in years,” said Jason Henry of Field Forensics, a Florida manufacturer of explosives and hazardous-material-detection devices that was incorporated in September 2001. “Nobody’s walking the show.”
“It was not as well attended as we expected,” said Mark Anderson, a representative of FLIR, which manufactures sophisticated thermal imaging equipment for police and the military and was an event cosponsor. …
“Unless a war pops up somewhere else, the homeland security mission will become much more important [compared with a declining DoD mission],” said John Gritschke, a manager for Laser Shot, a Texas-based maker of training videos.
… Despite the low attendance at the expo, most exhibitors said business was good.
That bothered Benjamin Friedman, a Cato Institute analyst.
“Our panicked response to 9/11 has made a kind of self-licking ice cream that tries to keep us worrying about terrorism and sells us defenses against it,” Friedman stated …. “This conference is a small part of that.”
“The good news is that austerity has meant that there is less money for homeland security, shrinking the homeland security industrial complex and bringing it into increased competition with its far bigger cousin, the military industrial complex,” Friedman added.
But one can always count on human nature’s self destructiveness.
Whether it’s war fighters or cops, Patricia Schmaltz of Virginia-based A-T Solutions sees a vibrant market for her company’s antiterrorism training classes. “I don’t see peace on Earth coming anytime soon,” she said.
“We would definitely support it but we don’t see it,” Schmaltz said. “So long as there are bad guys and nutcakes out there, we’ll be in business.”
Meanwhile, in a completely unrelated story, Rebecca Shlien reports the third annual Homeland Security Bass Tournament took place on Friday, May 18th in Decatur, Alabama.
… [Roughly] 300 current and retired firefighters, police officers, first responders and military troops came to cast a line—and not only from North Alabama.
[The tournament's founder said] “I know we’ve got one [participant] here from Iowa, we’ve got Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi and Florida, so we draw them from quite a ways…. The jobs that these guys have, there’s a lot of tense, a lot of stress involved, and to get out there on the water and go fast in a bass boat, spend a few hours catching some fish, it really helps you unwind.”
If you’re interested, you can watch a video about last year’s Homeland Security Bass Tournament here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtxiA43BrnY
“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” — Henry David Thoreau