The Journal of the NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security

Volume XII - 2016

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Volume XI - 2015

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The Ultra-Marathoners of Human Smuggling: How to Combat the Dark Networks that Can Move Terrorists over American Land Borders

Todd Bensman Abstract National legislation requires America’s homeland security agencies to disrupt transnational human smuggling organizations capable of transporting terrorist travelers to all U.S. borders. Federal agencies have responded with programs targeting extreme-distance human smuggling networks that transport higher-risk immigrants known as special interest aliens (SIAs) from some 35 “countries of interest” in the Middle […]

What is NORAD’s Role in Military Cyber Attack Warning?

Randall DeGering Abstract For more than fifty years, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been responsible for conducting aerospace warning and control missions for the defense of North America. In accomplishing those operations, Commander NORAD is responsible for making the official warning to both the president of the United States and the prime minister […]

Questioning the Criticality of Critical Infrastructure: A Case Study Analysis

David Riedman Abstract The Department of Homeland Security holds the statutory mission to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure which is composed of nationally significant systems and assets. The loss of this infrastructure would result in debilitating consequences to the safety and security of the United States. Based on a meta-analysis of government policies, the current […]

Applying the Economic, Homeland and National Security Analysis Framework

Bijan Karimi Abstract In “Security and Prosperity: Reexamining the Relationship between Economic, Homeland and National Security” I used an analytical framework to identify key components of the Economic, Homeland and National Security relationship, explore their connection in the literature and the real world, and then identify the impact of ‘metamorphic forces’ that further shaped the […]

The Fortress Problem

Jack Sheldon Anderson Abstract Fortresses do not usually fail well. When they rely on robustness or complication, positions of strength are only tolerant of stress up to a defined point or of a certain character. For a fortification that fails to adapt, centralization—even of strength—presents a surprising liability. Fortresses concentrate risk. This paper considers the […]

Opportunities in Crisis and Catastrophe: The Issue-Attention Cycle and Political Reality

Christopher M. Kimrey Abstract Emerging problems often surprise lawmakers and agency officials and result in rapid, reactive governance. The political attention an issue does receive may or may not be sufficient to resolve the emergent problem, and in many cases may be an overreactive auto-response dictated by public opinion and issue salience. This study examines […]

Notes from the Editor (Volume XII)

February 2016 The February 2016 issue features a research article which develops a methodology for containing the spread of pandemic viruses via international air travel. In Halting Global Pandemics via the Commercial Air Route Network, Ted Lewis uses network science to create a blocking strategy for preventing the transmission of pandemics through the global air […]

Halting Global Pandemics via the Commercial Air Route Network

Ted G. Lewis ABSTRACT: How can a pandemic like SARS be halted in the modern age of air travel? This article argues that the classical mathematical models of epidemics are inadequate for describing the impact of air travel on the spread of contagions like SARS. Instead, the author proposes a modern model that incorporates air travel […]

Assessing Homeland Security Risks: A Comparative Risk Assessment of 10 Hazards

Russell Lundberg and Henry Willis ABSTRACT:  The National Academy of Sciences recommended that the Department of Homeland Security use methods of qualitative comparative risk assessment as part of its approach to strategic planning. To provide insight into how this can be done, this paper examines a set of ten homeland security risks– including natural disasters, terrorist […]

Surviving the ‘Storm’: Expanding Public Health’s Capabilities in Response to the Increasing Threats Posed by Novel, Pandemic Strain Viruses

Daniel P. Mackie and Anke Richter ABSTRACT:  The recent emergence of two separate outbreaks of two new viruses has generated renewed interest in the threat of pandemics. For a significant portion of the total fatalities associated with these infections the cause of death was due to an over-reaction of an infected body’s immune system. This research […]

Identifying Security Checkpoint Locations to Protect the Major U.S. Urban Areas

Daniel M. Watkins, Leticia Cuéllar, Deborah A. Kubicek, Erick Rodriguez, Phillip D. Stroud ABSTRACT: Transit networks are integral to the economy and to society, but at the same time they could allow terrorists to transport weapons of mass destruction into any city. Road networks are especially vulnerable, because they lack natural checkpoints unlike air networks […]

Book Review: A Practitioner’s Way Forward: Terrorism Analysis by David Brannan, Kristin Darken, and Anders Strindberg (Salinas, CA: Agile Press, 2014)

Reviewed by Erik J. Dahl SUGGESTED CITATION: Dahl, Erik. “Book Review: A Practitioner’s Way Forward: Terrorism Analysis” by David Brannan, Kristen Darken, and Anders Strindberg. (Salinas: Agile Press,  2014).  Homeland Security Affairs 11, Article 9 (September 2015).  https://www.hsaj.org/articles/6317 This short (141 pages) and very readable book is a good introduction to some of the most useful concepts […]

To Save Lives and Property: High Threat Response

Michael Marino, John Delaney, Paul Atwater, Reed Smith ABSTRACT:  The emergency services community must recognize that the world is constantly changing and adjust accordingly. It will have to be more nimble and proactive with its capabilities if it wants to prepare effectively for future threats and respond to atypical emergencies. Over the past several years, […]

UAS on Main Street: Policy and Enforcement at the Local Level

Alison Yakabe DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office or the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC). ABSTRACT: Due to increasing system sophistication and affordability, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are becoming more popular […]

The Continued Relevance of the November, 2008 Mumbai Terrorist Attack: Countering New Attacks With Old Lessons

 Shahrzad Rizvi and Joshua L. Kelly ABSTRACT: The 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai was characterized by a sense of public confusion and frustration. Throughout the event, the attackers were able to avoid an operationally superior counterterrorism force and for four consecutive days managed to spread terror in India’s most populous city. One of the main […]

Measuring the Deterrence Value of Securing Maritime Supply Chains against WMD Transfer and Measuring Subsequent WMD Risk Reduction

Eric Taquechel, Ian Hollan, and Ted Lewis ABSTRACT:  We propose a methodology to analyze the risk of an adversary exploiting the maritime supply chain by smuggling a WMD in a container. We call this risk “WMD transfer risk”. We describe an extension of an existing modeling/simulation tool wherein we show how to quantify the deterrence […]

A Cautionary Note on Qualitative Risk Ranking of Homeland Security Threats

Daniel J. Rozell ABSTRACT: Qualitative risk ranking systems are often used to assess homeland security threats due to their simplicity and intuitive nature. However, their appropriate use is limited by subtle common underlying difficulties that render them inconsistent with quantitative risk assessments. A better way to assess homeland security threats is to use simple fully quantitative […]

Resilience Redux: Buzzword or Basis for Homeland Security

Jerome H. Kahan ABSTRACT: Since 9/11, resilience, a term used widely in many disciplines, has occupied a place in homeland security policy and programs. Peaking in importance as the last decade ended, resilience has begun to retreat as an official driver of U.S. homeland security strategy. Preparedness, which can yield resilience as one of its outcomes, […]

Notes from the Editor (Vol. X)

June 2014 Two essays publishing this month expand the debate over the emergency response aspect of homeland security. Mac Kemp argues that emergency medical services are a vital component of homeland security and as such the role of EMS needs to be expanded. In “EMS and Homeland Security” he recommends five ways in which EMS […]

Book Review: The Siege of Mecca by Yaroslav Trofimov (New York: Doubleday, 2007)

Matthew Magolan ABSTRACT: Matthew Magolan reviews the book, The Siege of Mecca, by Yaroslav Trofimov (New York: Doubleday, 2007) SUGGESTED CITATION: Magolan, Matthew. “Book Review: The Siege of Mecca by Yaroslav Trofimov (New York: Doubleday, 2007).” Homeland Security Affairs 10, Article 7 (June 2014).  https://www.hsaj.org/articles/265 The terrorist siege of the Grand Mosque at Mecca in […]

Book Review: James Phelps, Jeff Dailey, and Monica Koenigsberg, Border Security (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014)

Robert J. Bunker ABSTRACT: Robert J. Bunker reviews the book, Border Security, by James Phelps, Jeff Dailey, and Monica Koenigsberg. (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014) SUGGESTED CITATION: Bunker, Robert J.. “Book Review: James Phelps, Jeff Dailey, and Monica Koenigsberg, Border Security (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014).” Homeland Security Affairs 10, Article 6 (June […]

EMS and Homeland Security

Mac Kemp ABSTRACT: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a vital partner in everyday emergency response and in homeland security. To date EMS has not been included in most homeland security activities and EMS needs to expand its role in this enterprise. EMS should play a greater role in disaster response, recovery, intelligence gathering, fusion centers, […]

Leveraging Emergency Notification Alerts

Michael Leiva ABSTRACT: This essay argues for the importance of either creating a new alert system or changing the criteria of the current Emergency Alert System. Such an alert system is critical in assisting emergency managers and law enforcement personnel with communicating safety and security concerns. To use the current system, local and state government […]

Preparedness Revisited: W(h)ither PPD-8?

Jerome H. Kahan ABSTRACT: The most important purpose of Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-8) on national preparedness is to establish a foundation that can be adapted to and utilized by stakeholders of all kinds and at all public and private levels. PPD-8 appeared somewhat abruptly on the scene, essentially replacing Homeland Security Policy Directive (HSPD-8), which […]

Hybrid Targeted Violence: Challenging Conventional “Active Shooter” Response Strategies

Tracy L. Frazzano and G. Matthew Snyder ABSTRACT: Hybrid Targeted Violence (HTV) is defined as an intentional use of force to cause physical injury or death to a specifically identified population using multifaceted conventional weapons and tactics. This article introduces the HTV concept to challenge first responders to prepare for violent “hybrid” multi-threat incidents. These […]

Towards a Unified Homeland Security Strategy: An Asset Vulnerability Model

Richard White ABSTRACT: The 2013 National Infrastructure Protection Plan represents the latest attempt to rectify a faltering program that has suffered from the absence of a viable risk measure. This article introduces an Asset Vulnerability Model (AVM) to overcome recognized challenges and provide strategic direction in the form of (1) baseline analysis, (2) cost-benefit analysis, […]

Web Tutorial: Risk Methods and Models

Dr. Ted Lewis gives a Web Tutorial on Risk Methods and Models.  See the entire Tutorial or first watch the introduction.

Notes from the Editor (Volume XI)

December 2015 The December 2015 issue of Homeland Security Affairs features an essay which develops a methodology for the comparative assessment of homeland security risks and hazards. In “Assessing Homeland Security Risks: A Comparative Assessment of 10 Hazards”, Russell Lundberg and Henry Willis examine the challenges associated with comparative risk assessment in homeland security. In […]

Learning to See the Opportunities in Crises and Catastrophe: A Decision Maker’s Guide to the Issue-Attention Cycle

Christopher Kimrey EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Emerging problems often surprise lawmakers and agency officials and result in rapid, reactive governance. Stakeholders and special interest groups, galvanized by widespread concern and common purpose hasten policy—such was the case in the creation of a homeland security organization after September 11, 2001. In other cases, such emerging problems only […]

Increasing Efficiency and Effectiveness through Risk-based Deployments

Thomas Cotten EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Over the past several years, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun shifting away from a “one-size-fit-all” approach to security and towards risk-based security principles “based on the understanding that the vast majority of people traveling pose little to no threat to aviation.”[1] The TSA has the opportunity to continue this […]

What Can History Teach Us: A Comparative Historical Analysis on The Reserve Officer Training Corps and The Department of Homeland Security

Thomas Banker EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is one of the largest governmental entities formed within the United States in nearly 100 years. This effort came on the heels of the September 11 attacks and ultimately brought 22 agencies under one, unified department. Like any new corporate or governmental formation, the […]

Killing Barney Fife: Law Enforcement’s Socially Constructed Perception of Violence and Its Influence on Police Militarization

Matthew Hanley EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   At various times in American history, the topic of police militarization has surfaced. The most recent event to spark debate about the issue was the August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The media portrayal of the aggressive police response to the civil disobedience and rioting that […]

Solving Homeland Security’s Wicked Problems: a Design Thinking Approach

Kristin Wyckoff EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) requires a consistent yet flexible approach to address wicked problems. While design thinking can be applied to any problem, it lends itself to “wicked problems” that cannot be definitively described or solved.[1] Wicked problems require a multidisciplinary approach and […]

“Sensing Disaster”: The Use of Wearable Sensor Technology to Decrease Firefighter Line-of-Duty-Deaths

John Payne EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   The purpose of this research was to determine how the fire service could create and implement a policy that leverages the capabilities of wearable sensor technology (WST) to reduce cardiac related firefighter line-of-duty deaths (LODDs). This thesis research used policy analysis methodology to explore the factors that have led to […]

Assessing Grant Allocation Methods For Federal Homeland Security Urban Area Assistance Funding

Craig Mohar EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Federal grant assistance from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is critical for building and sustaining preparedness in urban areas.[1] The top funded homeland security grant program for state and local government is the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which allocates funding to the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. […]

How Critical is Critical Infrastructure?

David Riedman Executive Summary     Origin of the Research Question The owner of a commercial office building can contact the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and request that a federal representative tour the building to identify vulnerabilities from terrorism. Information about the physical attributes of the facility is entered into a computer program to […]

Intelligence-Driven Border Security: A Promethean View of U.S. Border Patrol Intelligence Operations

Gloria Chavez EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   United States Border Patrol (USBP) operations are dynamic. They encompass everything from static line-watch operations and narcotics seizures to serving high-risk warrants; yet, the most important mission of the USBP is preventing the entry of terrorist and terrorist weapons between U.S. ports of entry. This research provides an understanding of […]

Advance of the Black Flags: Symbolism, Social Identity, and Psychological Operations in Violent Conflict

Christopher Milburn EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   The United States is involved in an ambiguous and amorphous conflict. Violent extremist groups direct honor challenges at the United States, exhibiting a particularly sophisticated command of psychological warfare tools. These extremists utilize symbolism and rituals to announce their adherence to an exclusive, violent ideology. Their distribution of video executions […]

DHS’s Pursuit of Data-Driven Decision Making

Robert King EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   In God we trust, all others must bring data.   – KT Waxman[1]   Certain industries have excelled at collecting data, transforming it into information, and then positioning it back into our lives to influence our decision-making processes. For example, the retail corporation Target “knew” a teenaged girl was pregnant […]

What’s In A Name: A Comparative Analysis of the United States REAL ID Act and The United Kingdom National Identity Scheme

Karrie Anne Jefferson EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Since September 11, 2001, many governments have considered developing national identity management systems. Beyond identification, politicians and proponents of these systems have touted such benefits as combating terrorism, preventing identity theft, facilitating travel, and combating illegal work and benefit fraud. For these reasons, the United States and United Kingdom […]

Implementation of Policies to Bridge the Gap Between Police Officer Line of Duty Deaths and Agency Resiliency

Patrice Hubbard EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Law enforcement officer line of duty deaths are an unfortunate part of contemporary society. The untimely death of an officer killed in the line of duty affects family, coworkers, friends, and even extends into the community. Many law enforcement agencies around the nation have effective and thorough line of duty […]

The Homeland Security Enterprise and Public Works: Improving the Relationship

Jason Lappin Executive Summary The homeland security enterprise (HSE) is a comparatively new term added to the government’s list of acronyms following the attacks on 9/11. In broad terms, the HSE is comprised of many institutions and agencies that attempt to support the United States through numerous national mission spaces. These mission spaces are found […]

Comparative Analysis of Fusion Center Interaction to Fire & EMS Agencies

Scott Goldstein EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Across the United States nearly two million fire and EMS personnel provide emergency services to the just over 322 million residents.[1] Their role in our communities has expanded to include response to chemical, biological, and radiological attacks/threats, as well as attacks inspired by radical Islamic jihadism. This expansion of duties is […]

Do You Know What’s In Your Community? A Strategic Risk Management Approach to Better Prepare for Chemical Emergencies.

Vickie Furnish EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Risk, in the context of homeland security, combines likelihood and consequences associated with a hazard. Though it might not be possible to reduce every hazard, once one is identified, appropriate safeguards can be implemented and the risk from the hazard can be reduced. Once a hazard is identified, decisions must […]

The Millennial Generation as an Insider Threat: High Risk or Over Hyped?

David Fisher EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   This thesis asks if a specific generation, Millennials, is collectively more likely to possess the characteristics and traits of an insider threat than the Baby Boomers or Generation X (Gen X) generations. For the purposes of this study, insider threat it is defined as “people who maliciously and deliberately used […]

The Buck Stops Where? Centralization of Decision-Making Examined

Brent Swearingen EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In a speech to the American Bar Association in 2011, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute said, “National security is centralized, it’s top-driven. Homeland security is operational, it’s transactional, it’s decentralized, it’s bottom driven.”[1] Despite this acknowledgement that homeland security starts and ends at the street level, the organizations […]

Stemming the Growth: Exploring the Risk Factors in Group Membership in Domestic Street Gangs and Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Daniel Dooley EXECUTIVE SUMMARY One way to avoid terrorist attacks is to prevent individuals from joining terrorist organizations in the first place. Yet, despite law enforcement’s best efforts, people continue to join terrorist organizations at alarming rates. A new deterrence strategy is sorely needed. In 2015, the U.S. government convened for a three-day summit at […]

Team Communication: The Social Identity Approach to Collaboration

Michael Sedam EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   This research applies sociology to leadership in the homeland security profession. Communication and collaboration are significant considerations for leaders throughout the homeland security enterprise. Communication allows leaders to give clear direction, reduce confusion, and build a vision people can support. Collaboration is valuable because multiple stakeholders can resolve difficult homeland […]