Notes from the Editor (Vol. IX)

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August 2013

Current contributors to Homeland Security Affairs address the intersection of public and private interests and how that intersection can influence homeland security.

Ryan Hallahan and Jon M. Peha look at how commercial broadband networks could be made available to public safety users as a means of increasing the capacity and coverage currently available on dedicated public safety networks. Available technology provides a wide range of capabilities to support priority and roaming without compromising the quality of service for commercial customers. The key, Hallahan and Peha suggest in “Enabling Public Safety Priority Use of Commercial Wireless Networks,” is to establish a single entity with the expertise and authority to bridge public safety stakeholders, commercial carriers, and technical standards bodies.

Philip J. Palin examines the public-private process for considering risks to and cultivating the resilience of supply chains. In “Supply Chain Resilience: Diversity + Self-organization = Adaptation,” Palin argues that supply chains have become a global complex adaptive network in which demand creates supply. As such, they are self-optimizing and not well suited to traditional security mindsets. Because most supply chains are privately owned and operated, the most effective role for government is as a facilitator for supply chain stakeholders. “If supply chain resilience is to be achieved,” Palin claims, “it must remain a matter of policy rather than administration.”

The push-pull between policy and administration is also addressed by Jerome H. Kahan in “The Two Faces of DHS: Balancing the Department’s Responsibilities.” As Kahan points out, the twenty-two agencies combined to create DHS brought with them “a smorgasbord of non-homeland security responsibilities, such as processing legal immigration and enforcing immigration laws.” This has resulted in a split personality that has not yet become an issue – but it could. Kahan sees a growing risk that efforts to manage non-homeland security activities may compromise the department’s main job of protecting against terrorism and responding to terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

The National Guard plays a major role in such response, operating at the intersection of homeland security and national defense. Yet achieving unity of effort in homeland response operations, argues David W. Smith, has proven to be an elusive target. To reach that target, he is suggesting “The Plan, Type, Source, Report Cycle: A Unifying Concept for National Guard Preparedness” as a proactive strategy to improve National Guard operations. “This collaborative system facilitates shared learning among planners and enables us to quantitatively sum national Guard contributions to homeland response.”

How disaster response intersects with public and private interests is at the heart of Ami J. Abou-bakr’s Managing Disasters through Public-Private Partnerships (2013), reviewed here by Austen D. Givens. Abou-bakr’s book, states Givens, “delivers the most compelling analysis yet of how disaster-oriented PPPs [public-private partnerships] can help us to deal with increasingly complex crises.”

As the homeland defense and security community deals with an increasingly complex field, we invite our readers to join the debate at www.hsaj.org.

June 2013

As demonstrated by the articles publishing this month, homeland “security” exhibits many dimensions.

Could we achieve greater security for critical infrastructure by making better use of the free market? This is the question addressed by Shawn Peppers in “Entrepreneurial Security: A Free- market Model for Economic Security.” Peppers argues that the free market is a heterogeneous and dynamic complex adaptive economic system. As such, entrepreneurs who own, operate, and utilize critical infrastructure are in the best position to protect that infrastructure in the course of business. The most financially sustainable and adaptive national critical infrastructure and key resource (CIKR) risk management model will be based on the principles of a free-market system. Spurred by self-interest, the private sector owners and users of CIKR can employ the entrepreneurial security model to address a number of CIKR risk management needs: sharing information, creating partnerships, adapting to changing conditions, and measuring success.

Some of these same management needs are at the heart of James Hernandez’ “Visa Diplomacy vs. Visa Security.” The responsibility for issuing visas is currently split between DHS and the Department of State (DOS), resulting in duplication of effort, unclear responsibilities, an increased need for communication and collaboration between government departments, and a loss of mission focus. The DOS, necessarily, focuses on diplomatic concerns when issuing visas. The process of screening individuals consists of brief interviews conducted by junior Foreign Service officers. Yet determining which individuals should enter the United States is a major security issue. For this reason, Hernandez recommends DHS be in charge of issuing individual visas, leaving DOS to set visa policy with regards to how many visas might be issued from which countries.

A broader definition of security is offered by Jim Ramsay and Terrence O’Sullivan in “There’s a Pattern Here: The Case to Integrate Environmental Security into Homeland Security Strategy.” Environmental security issues, including extreme weather events and resource scarcity issues, will affect global economic and political stability. This will, in turn, affect homeland security. Ramsay and O’Sullivan present their argument in two parts, first examining growing environmental and resource-related security threats, then discussing why environmental security threats must be incorporated into both homeland and national security strategic planning.

Also this month, we publish two Letters to the Editor in response to the article “Homeland Security Education: A Way Forward,” published in February of this year. Michael Collier rebuts that article’s premise that homeland security education is most effective at the graduate level; William Pelfrey and William Kelly (the article’s authors) address Collier’s concerns in their response.

All letters and comments contribute to the homeland security debate. We welcome your input on these and other articles at www.hsaj.org.

February 2013

Four very different articles introduce Volume 9 of Homeland Security Affairs.

In past issues, we’ve examined the role and future of homeland security education. William Pelfrey and William Kelley present their research into this area in “Homeland Security Education: A Way Forward,” which projects a trajectory for the field based on evidence. This research produced findings informed by three groups of homeland security professionals: (1) homeland security leaders and administrators graduating from the master of arts program at the Naval Postgraduate School, (2) faculty teaching in that graduate program, and (3) a subject matter expert panel of national leaders in homeland security. Based on surveys conducted across these groups, the authors found that strategic collaboration, critical thinking and decision-making, the foundations of homeland security, and analytical capabilities are the most important attributes of a graduate level homeland security education.

The study of a very different homeland security concern is the focus of “Operational Epidemiological Modeling: A Proposed National Process” by Brienne Lenart and others. They present research conducted to determine the requirements of a national operational epidemiological modeling process to integrate modelers with operational decision makers during an infectious disease event of national significance. The proposed process is based on research and consultation with a workgroup of interagency and organizational stakeholders.

Also of concern to the response community is the evacuation of people with special medical needs. According to Petter Risoe, Jeffrey Schlegelmilch, and James Paturas, targeted planning for this segment is presently hampered by substantial knowledge deficits in defining this population and the potential resource requirements in a disaster. In “Evacuation and Sheltering of People with Medical Dependencies” the authors discuss the knowledge gaps in preparing for this population and propose solutions to fill these gaps in order to facilitate enhanced preparedness for people with medical dependencies.

Fred Stein proposes a solution to a different kind of dependency in “Ending America’s Energy Insecurity: Why Electric Vehicles Should Drive the United States to Energy Independence.” Arguing that dependence on foreign oil weakens the nation’s security, Stein shows how switching to electric automobiles could eliminate the need for imported oil. Through careful analysis and calculation, he describes a program of taxes, rebates, and incentives that could improve infrastructure and make the United States energy independent in a few short years.

As always, we encourage our readers to comment on these and previously published articles, either by posting a comment to the individual article or directing you comments to hsaj@nps.edu.

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