Notes from the Editor (Volume XII)

Download the full issue December 2016 The December 2016 issue contains an essay calling for the creation of an Emergency Management historical archive at FEMA, an essay examining the homeland security threats posed by the advent of 3-D printing technology, and a research article which makes the case for the tiered response pyramid approach to


What Comes Around, Goes Around (and Around and Around): Reviving the Lost History of FEMA and its Importance to Future Disasters

by H. Quinton Lucie Abstract The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lacks a coherent historical record. Often this results in the agency repeating the mistakes of its past. By creating a comprehensive public record of FEMA and national emergency management efforts over the last half century, FEMA can break its cycle of repeating past failures and


When Guns and Drugs are Democratized: Potential Technical Solutions to Counter the Negative Consequences of Three Dimensional Printing

by Jonathan Percy Abstract 3-D printer technology will have negative consequences in the form of weapons that cannot be traced, illicit drug manufacture, sabotage, and intellectual property theft. This article poses the following questions. How will society be affected by these changes? How will border security organizations accomplish their missions when illicit guns and drugs no longer


Tiered Response Pyramid: A System-Wide Approach to Build Response Capability and Surge Capacity

by Joseph W. Pfeifer and Ophelia Roman Abstract Today’s expanding disaster landscape demands crisis managers to configure their organizations to handle a wider range of extreme events. This requires more varied capabilities, capacity and delivery of services. The article proposes that crisis managers must move away from organization-centered planning to a system-wide approach for preparedness.


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


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


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 resulting


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


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


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

by 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


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

by 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


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


Halting Global Pandemics via the Commercial Air Route Network

by 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


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


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

by 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.


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

by Daniel M. Watkins, Leticia Cuéllar, Deborah A. Kubicek, Erick Rodriguez, Phillip D. Stroud Abtract 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


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


To Save Lives and Property: High Threat Response

by 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


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

by 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


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

 by 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


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

by 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


A Cautionary Note on Qualitative Risk Ranking of Homeland Security Threats

by 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


Resilience Redux: Buzzword or Basis for Homeland Security

by 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

Connections Among Communities: Preventing Radicalization and Violent Extremism Through Social Network Analysis (SNA) in the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) Framework

Katrina Woodhams EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since the September 11 attacks, the United States alone has experienced a significant increase in violent extremist attacks motivated through social networks. In this environment of social complexity, we see differences in communities at risk to this threat. This thesis takes a new approach and examines the concept of Social Network

The Impact of ‘Duty to Warn’ on Countering Violent Extremism Diversion and Intervention Programs

Michael Ward EXECUTIVE SUMMARY As the threats of homegrown violent extremists have increasingly become a reality, the federal government has created a countering violent extremism (CVE) program to fill the pre-criminal space. Elements of the CVE program are designed to add the missing preventative pieces to traditional methods. The four main parts of the U.S.

A Business of Security: Applying an Economic Model to Human Trafficking in Oregon

Thanh Vo EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Human trafficking is undoubtedly a horrid, vile crime that exploits vulnerable people into forced sex or labor. Therefore, it is unsurprising that human trafficking is known as modern day slavery. Criminals and crime organizations all over the world are engaged in human trafficking, making it the fastest growing crime worldwide, second

Disaster Threat and the Dunning-Kruger Effect

Jeffrey Siems EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Decision making is a cognitive process of selecting a course of action or belief among multiple alternative choices. Each decision results in a sequence of behaviors or activities the decider deems satisfactory, beneficial, or in her or his best interest.[1] However, disasters can create chaos, wickedness, and pressures of time or