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Notes from the Editor (Volume XII)

August 2016 The September 2016 issue of Homeland Security Affairs features an essay which provides an historical analytical overview of terror attacks in New York City, an essay which examines the relevance of the Department of Homeland Security’s Risk Analysis and Management for Critical Asset Protection (RAMCAP) for emerging threats, and a research article which

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Apples to Apples: RAMCAP and Emerging Threats to Lifeline Infrastructure

by Richard White, Randy George, Terrance Boult, and C. Edward Chow Abstract The search for a uniform risk analysis for critical infrastructure protection prompted a look at RAMCAP to see if it accommodates emerging threats from climate change, aging infrastructure, and cybersecurity. This article examines the role of Reference Scenarios in guiding RAMCAP estimations of

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A History of Violence: A Quantitative Analysis of the History of Terrorism in New York City

By Matthew Quinn Abstract In a recent quantitative analysis of the past 40 years of terrorist activity in New York City, the FDNY’s Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness identified several trends in terrorist activity that may have value to future policy formation, both in New York City and in similar municipalities elsewhere. This article

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More Options for Quantifying Deterrence and Reducing Critical Infrastructure Risk: Cognitive Biases

By Eric F. Taquechel & Ted G. Lewis   Abstract We expand on the application of quantifiable deterrence to critical infrastructure/key resource protection by considering cognitive biases. These biases include what we call “information obfuscation bias” and “prospect bias”, the latter inspired by Kahneman and Tversky’s Prospect Theory. We show how quantifiable deterrence effectiveness and

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Notes from the Editor (Volume XI)

Download the full issue. 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

Note from the Editor: Reflections on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11

To mark the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Center for Homeland Defense and Security is publishing three reflective essays by distinguished affiliated practitioners and academics.  Joe Pfeifer is a graduate of the CHDS master’s degree program and is an Assistant Chief at FDNY.  Cathy Lanier is also a graduate of the CHDS master’s degree

Reflections of a Veteran Major City Police Chief

Chief Cathy Lanier, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Chief Lanier wrote the following essay as she prepares to step down after almost ten years as police chief and a distinguished 26 year career in policing. I, like many Americans, remember the horrors of September 11, 2001 as if it were yesterday.  While we all quickly realized the enormity

A Director of the Present? Nowcasting Homeland Security’s Challenges

Rodrigo Nieto-Gomez, PhD; Research Professor, Naval Postgraduate School. Dr. Nieto-Gomez is a strategist and futurist focused on the consequences of the accelerating pace of change in homeland security and policing environments. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld got in trouble in 2002, when he said this to justify the U.S. intervention in Iraq: “Reports that say that

Reducing the Use of Force: De-escalation Training for Police Officers

Eric Dayley EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Beginning in 2014, there has been a fevered national conversation about the use of force by police officers. The ubiquity of public and private video cameras has flooded social and traditional media with recordings of officers using force against citizens. The wide dissemination of video recordings that cast law enforcement in

Securing Healthcare’s Quantified-Self Data: A Comparative Analysis Versus Personal Financial Account Aggregators Based on Porter’s Five Forces Framework for Competitive Forces

Catherine Chiang EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Healthcare industry’s quantified-self movement empowers individuals via active self-tracking. This movement describes individuals’ use of applications and devices, such as Fitbit, to monitor and manage their health. Most importantly, the granularity of quantified-self data holds the potential to truly personalize healthcare. However, this consolidation of detailed personal data also exponentially increases

Social Networks and High Healthcare Utilization: Building Resilience Through Analysis

Michael D. Baker EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A group of unique patients exists within the United States healthcare system—a group that finds managing health and wellbeing difficult despite receiving quality care from leading physicians and modern hospitals. This relatively small group of Americans accounts for approximately half of the annual Medicare and Medicaid spending.[1] Known as superusers,

Lighting a Fire Under Public Health and Safety Education: Influence through Rational Choice, Reasoned Behavior, and Behavioral Economics

timothy mcnamara EXECUTIVE SUMMARY BACKGROUND The mission of public health and safety education is administered through interventions that attempt to influence individuals to perform beneficial practices. Interventions employ a variety of methods in their efforts to effect change within a number of health and safety fields. Fire and life safety education is one of the

States of Terror: Understanding Evolving Islamist Terrorist Organizations and the Threat They Pose

Dylan Mccully EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In the early 21st century, Islamist militant organizations are abandoning al-Qaeda’s organizational model of disassociated networks operating around the world and turning toward a centralized regional-power approach. The intent of these organizations appears to be to build national governments that function under their interpretation of Islam and Sharia law. A comparative

Terrorism-Related Loss of Citizenship – A Policy Review

James martin EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The momentous and tragic events of September 11, 2001 altered the course of our nation.  Terrorism, and particularly terrorist violence perpetrated by Islamist groups, became the motivating force for a series of enormously consequential legislative, policy, and procedural changes reflecting the perception that a new and persistent threat to Americans at

Developing a Shared Service Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Capability for Regional Emergency Services

Thomas Lakamp EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have evolved over the last century from rudimentary tethered balloons to electronically advanced aircraft that can be piloted using a cellular telephone. As a result of this evolution, the UAV has found its way into the field of emergency services and has proven itself as an advantageous

Mindfulness Training: Worthwhile as a Means to Enhance First-Responder Crisis Decision Making?

JOHN Flynn EXECUTIVE SUMMARY It has been said, “a warrior’s most formidable weapon is his mind. It follows then that the sharper the commanders mind, the sounder the decisions.”[1] The primary aim of this thesis was to examine the potential for mindfulness training (MT) to be worthwhile as a means to enhance first responder crisis

Blueprints for Disaster: Balancing Secrecy and Transparency of Government Continuity Plans

Stephen Vollbrecht EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Focusing primarily on succession planning and continuity of government in the event of a catastrophe, continuity planning has been a part of the preparedness landscape since at least the Cold War.[1] After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the government specifically mandated that all federal agencies have a continuity of

Your Criminal FICO Score

Michelle Tonelli EXECUTIVE SUMMARY To use big data analytics effectively in predictive policing, a program must meet what has become known as the “four Vs”—volume, velocity, variety, and veracity.[1] Volume requires a large amount of data, velocity requires that the data be added and processed at high speeds, and variety requires that the data come

Assessing Resilience: How Plans, Strategies and After Action Reports Can Improve Our Understanding of Organizational Preparedness

Melissa Nussbaum EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Resilience has emerged as a prominent term throughout homeland security and emergency preparedness doctrine. The National Preparedness Goal, the United States Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) guiding strategic document, defines success as “having a secure and resilient Nation.”[1] State public safety agencies have also incorporated resilience into their lexicon. For example,

Hacking your ride: Is Web 2.0 creating vulnerabilities to surface transportation?

Cedric Novenario EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Traffic congestion during commuting hours (7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.) is as much a guarantee as death and taxes. Sitting in traffic gridlock consumes valuable free time, adds pollutants to the air, and reduces overall quality of life.[1] Developers from the mobile application (app) world

Protecting Networks via Automated Defense of Cyber Systems

Matthew Morin EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This thesis examined if automated cyber defense promises to be more effective than current models to cope with the results of vulnerabilities introduced by the projected increase in Internet-enabled devices. The question was scoped to foresee cyberspace landscape evolution over the next 10 to 15 years. In particular, the author claims

Ethics on the Fly: Toward a Drone-Specific Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement

Brian Smith EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   This thesis examines the issue of law enforcement’s use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) from an ethical perspective. It describes ethics as rules governing individual conduct that are functionally specific, relating to the role one plays in society. The role police play in U.S. communities and the ethical frameworks they

Winning the War at Home: Stability Operations Strategy for Homeland Security

Joshua Shaughnessy EXECUTIVE SUMMARY State and local jurisdictions have been challenged to develop comprehensive homeland security strategies. While progress has been made since 9/​11, many improvements have centered on disaster prevention and response. Other areas of homeland security lack consensus in methodology, and leaders employ a wide variety of methods to protect citizens. Perhaps homeland