On January 8, the White House made a long-overdue call to Silicon Valley. The topic: to meet and collaborate on how extremist groups are using social media platforms in recruiting followers and encouraging violence.
The recent House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on the threat from bioterrorism raised the troubling threat that drones could be used to deliver deadly pathogens. Do we have the tools to detect biological agents and the drones that might carry them? Nope.
On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced steps to enhance security at more than 9,500 U.S. federal buildings amid the ongoing threat of attacks from extremist groups. The Federal Protective Service is challenged to secure thousands of buildings where some 1.4 million people pass through each day, and the new steps highlight growing public concern over how ready the United States is to halt threats large and small – and in what way.
The Administration is preparing for cyberwar, but its plans are incomplete. Presidential Policy Directive 20 concerning U.S. cyber operations does not specifically address the important relationship between transportation safety and security. This glaring gap leads one to question the Administration’s understanding of the economic importance of transportation systems and the significant damage that can occur if a transportation system is successfully attacked by hackers.
How hard is it for migrants to cross the southwest border illegally and enter into the United States? That question has long been difficult to answer, but it is one that has become more urgent as Congress prepares once again to consider a broader immigration reform. A new report from the Government Accountability Office gives a surprising assessment – that it appears to have become far more difficult than most Americans realize.
The radical ideology that attracts people to sympathize with and engage in Islamist terrorism is all-too-often not given the weight it deserves. Two recent separate articulations on the vital need to do more to counter and actually triumph over extremist Islamist ideology deserve a close look, those of former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith at the Aspen Security Forum and HSPI Director Frank Cilluffo speaking before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs.
By David Trulio
Close partnerships and trust built over time – within the U.S. Government and with foreign partners – were key themes as Admiral William McRaven, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, kicked off this year’s Aspen Security Forum this week here in Aspen, Colorado. Consideration of security matters can often quickly gravitate toward such specifics as personnel, budgets, and weapons systems, but McRaven emphasized what are sometimes overlooked fundamentals to an audience of homeland security and counterterrorism professionals, as well as interested citizens.