— Volume II No. 1: April 2006 —

The Disaster after 9/11: The Department of Homeland Security and the Intelligence Reorganization


Stan Balabuszko December 14, 2009 17:19
Thank you so much for this article! It is so clear, even a person off the street like me can understand it and make use of it so as to understand what the Bush presidency did and did not do about the 9/11 attack, before and after. Knowing that it comes from a totally credible source is encouraging.
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Charles Perrow

Charles Perrow is a Research Scholar and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Yale University. The author of several books and many articles on organizations, he is concerned primarily with the impact of large organizations on society (Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of Corporate Capitalism, 2001) and their catastrophic potentials (Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies, 1999). His current interests are in the vulnerabilities of the country's critical infrastructures to natural, industrial, and deliberate disasters.

In reorganizing homeland defense after 9/11, the government had three options: White House control, power sharing between agencies, or congressional control. The option pursued - reorganizing twenty-two separate agencies under a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reporting to Congress - has resulted in a dysfunctional organization that is understaffed and underfunded, while the missions of the agencies involved have been displaced. Many see the biggest failing of DHS as the failure to establish connections within the intelligence agencies. Billions of dollars have been spent to improve intelligence and first responder capabilities, but the most effective measures taken to improve our national security in the event of terrorist attacks have actually occured outside of the DHS reorganization.

Read full article.

Perrow, Charles. “The Disaster after 9/11: The Department of Homeland Security and the Intelligence Reorganization.” Homeland Security Affairs 2, issue 1 (April 2006)