Earlier this week, all the talk was earthquakes and hurricanes. It was also the day that The Heritage Foundation released its latest report on how to fix homeland security –“Homeland Security 4.0: Overcoming Centralization, Complacency, and Politics.” It is always nice to have some real world disasters to remind us that the U.S. is still not well prepared for to deal with really big disasters.
This is the third major assessment we have done of the homeland security enterprise, the first two “DHS 2.0” and “HLS 3.0” were done in conjunction with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In those we mainly focused on “inside the Beltway” issues. This report is the product of extensive outreach to the various stakeholders in the homeland security enterprise, particularly state and local officials, law enforcement, and emergency managers. Our visiting fellow Matt Mayer led the effort. The 35 recommendations in the report are meant to capture their aspirations, frustrations, and innovations.
Among the key recommendations in the report are an overhaul of the administration’s immigration enforcement policy, changing the rules on national disaster declarations, FEMA deployments and homeland security grants, and giving state and local officials a “real” seat at the table in developing national policies for the homeland security enterprise.