Public Health and Emergency Management: Challenges and Opportunities

Events of the past decade—including 9/11, the anthrax attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic—have shown that public health and emergency management efforts are interconnected and often overlap in time of crisis. In a report just released by our Preparedness, Response, and Resilience Task Force, we believe that the legacy missions of public health and emergency management must be synchronized for disaster preparedness and response efforts to be effective.

Time to Measure Progress at the Border With Mexico

After two decades of pouring resources and technology into patrolling the U.S. border with Mexico, there are encouraging signs that Congress is about to start asking the right question: what exactly have we bought for all that money? But the administration is continuing to drag its heels. A May 8 hearing of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on border and maritime security was intended to provide some answers to the critical question of how to assess progress along the border.

All-Threats Approach to Terrorism Is Wise

Last week, five individuals were arrested in a plot to blow up a bridge near Cleveland. Like other similar stings by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement, sharing threat information and using key tools provided by the Patriot Act kept the public from harm. Though a great deal of attention is rightly paid to Islamist-inspired terrorism, they comprise a minority of attacks in the past decade, and a new Heritage Foundation report finds that an all-threats approach to security offers the best defense against terrorist threats.

Bin Laden Dead but Homegrown Terror Threat Remains

It has been almost a year since the death of Osama bin Laden. Though we are right to be proud in dispensing justice to the terrorist mastermind, it is no time to rest on our laurels. Al-Qaeda is weakened and scattered, but this has only led them to adjust their tactics. A particularly worrisome trend is al-Qaeda’s shift toward recruiting homegrown terrorists.

Planning for the Next Generation of Protests – May Day and Beyond

Don’t be fooled; last year’s ‘Occupy’ was a peaceful protest movement. Under-planning for the coming protests based on the Occupy Movement would be naïve, but overcompensating and overspending would be similarly foolish. In short, know the threat. Here are primary actions for countering company threats from protests.

Learning from Catastrophe – Lessons in Disaster Recovery

It is always difficult to fully absorb the lessons from wide-scale crises in the wake of the catastrophe. Information is often incomplete or contradictory, or still evolving. Learning these lessons, however, provides an opportunity to address the shortfalls of catastrophic disaster response.

HSPI Conversation with Former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley

The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute welcomes you to join an HSPI Policy and Research Forum event featuring Kip Hawley, Former Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and author of “Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security.”

U.S., Brazil to Consider Visa Waiver

President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who is in Washington for a two-day visit, announced yesterday that they would begin work on bringing Brazil into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The expansion of Brazilian tourism that would result would be a big economic boost for the United States. While security screening for the VWP is now as good or better than that for visa applicants, Congress remains reluctant to authorize an expansion of the program.

Watch Out for Growing Terrorist Threats

We need to pay more attention to small but growing Islamist terrorist groups, such as the Caucasus Emirate and Boko Haram. Both organizations are threats to the United States, even if only indirectly at the moment. They seek to attack and weaken our allies, enlist many for their cause, and create fertile breeding grounds for the training of terrorists.