— 10 Years After: The 9/11 Essays —

How Proverbs Damage Homeland Security


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Christopher Bellavita

Christopher Bellavita teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. An instructor with twenty years experience in security planning and operations, he serves as the director of academic programs for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Christopher Bellavita discusses twelve proverbs – accepted truths – that have characterized the homeland security narrative. He contends that in the haste to establish a homeland security enterprise and create new policies and strategies, many homeland security proverbs may be inaccurate; they “distort the homeland security narrative in a way that inhibits the search for more effective ideas to protect the nation.” Bellavita sees an opportunity over the next ten years for academics and strategists “to take another look at the basic assumptions underpinning our homeland security narrative, and identify evidence that supports or refutes the proverbs used to guide strategic direction.”

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Bellavita, Christopher. “How Proverbs Damage Homeland Security.” Homeland Security Affairs 7, 10 Years After: The 9/11 Essays (September 2011)