Volume XVI Notes from the Editor

The December 2020 Special COVID Issue of Homeland Security Affairs features eleven essays which chronicle agency and jurisdictional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lessons learned thus far.  The essays focus on how agencies or jurisdictions changed their operations to deal more effectively with the pandemic, as well as how the conditions of the

Warnings Unheeded, Again: What the Intelligence Lessons of 9/11 Tell Us about the Coronavirus Today

By Erik Dahl Abstract This article argues that the coronavirus pandemic represents a global intelligence failure on the part of the traditional intelligence community as well as the national and international medical intelligence and surveillance systems designed to detect and prevent outbreaks just such as this one. Comparing these failures with intelligence failures of the

COVID-19 Effects and Russian Disinformation Campaigns

By Wesley R. Moy and Kacper Gradon Abstract The effects of the novel coronavirus and its related disease COVID-19 have been far reaching, touching American society and its Western partners’ health and mortality, economics, social relationships, and politics. The effects have highlighted longstanding societal divisions, disproportionately harming minority groups and the socioeconomically disadvantaged with Black

COVID-19: Public Health, Privacy, and Law Enforcement, A Precarious Balancing Act

By Christopher Whiting Abstract In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health community faces the delicate balancing act of preserving public health by containing the outbreak, while at the same time insuring that individual health information remains protected. Playing critical roles in both areas during the COVID-19 outbreak are communicable disease reporting systems. Unfortunately,

Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Response vs. Homeland Security Frameworks and Research: Masking the Whole Community

By Alexander Siedschlag Abstract This essay offers an intermediate discussion of select policy, strategic, operational, and tactical issues that demonstrate where and how the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s novel coronavirus response on the one hand, and homeland security frameworks and research on the other, converge or—more often so—diverge, and how to narrow this gap. Although typically

Toward a Science-Based Management Approach to Stealth Threats: A Case Study Using The Novel Coronavirus

By Thomas J. Mackin Abstract The modest early stage impact of slow-moving threats makes it easy to underestimate their impact. These threats grow and evolve unnoticed until reaching dramatic impacts in both scope and scale. Since slow-moving threats can grow to catastrophic magnitudes that threaten our very survival, they are more aptly identified as ‘stealth

Pandemic Policy and the Logistics of COVID-19 Mass Vaccination

By Thomas Russo Abstract The sudden emergence of the H1N1 Pandemic in 2009 tested the nation’s pandemic plans. It was learned that the nation did not have a well-defined, tested and reliable twenty-first century vaccine distribution system. The existing planning model, the public health model of the 1950s and 1960s served as the basis for

Two Transformations In, USCIS Confronts Further Change in Post-Pandemic Future

By Michael S. Locke Abstract The Covid-19 pandemic both upended the day-to-day workings of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and presented an opportunity to reexamine where policy and practice impede future productivity. The agency has already undertaken two transformations in the first two decades of this century, to varying success: its reestablishment as an

Wearables: Useful Sentinels of Our Health?

By Matthew S. Austin Abstract As U.S. Coast Guard units develop strategies and policies aimed at safely reconstituting forces in the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to identify and isolate personnel who may be infected as early as possible is critical to protecting the organization’s most critical resource. Existing wearable technologies provide