On Thursday, September 6, The Heritage Foundation will host a showing of the film “The Horse Soldiers of 9/11”, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker, Ms. Alex Quade. This important film is NOT a recapitulation of the events that made America’s brave warriors some of the first heroes of the post-9/11 conflict. This film is about what happened after the smoke had cleared.
In a recent op-ed, Christine Todd Whitman, the former head of the EPA, proposed greater regulation of the U.S. chemical sector because the current regulations aren’t working. Gov. Whitman is right on one thing: the current system isn’t working, but it is not because of a lack of regulation. Chemical companies have tried, but DHS isn’t keeping up
The Smart Grid is the way of the future in electricity management, but it also presents cybersecurity challenges. A recent report on Smart Grid Cyber Security from the Government Accountability Office cautioned against using regulation to bolster security. There is a “default setting” on businesses and government entities that seems to drive them toward regulatory solutions. It is a harmful tendency in our modern world, and it is not the right approach for improving U.S. cybersecurity.
There is a great concern over the effect the cuts pending from sequestration will have on our defense readiness. That concern is justified, but there is an ancillary effect that is being overlooked. How will these cuts affect our wider homeland security posture? Will the Department of Defense’s losses hinder its ability to support the Department of Homeland Security and other civilian entities? To address these and other questions, The Heritage Foundation is hosting a series of events this week to focus on major issues facing the nation in the homeland security/defense realm.
On Monday, Federal authorities released the names of four fugitives tied to the death of Agent Brian Terry and the failed operation “Fast and Furious.” Charged with the murder of Agent Terry and the assault of several other officers at the scene, these men have evaded U.S. and Mexican authorities for 18 months. The timing of this decision strikes me as odd; politics are masquerading as policy.
A recent Twitter exchange between the Taliban and the U.S. military shows how social media is evolving and how its current stage of development involves the use of Twitter to wage war on an ideological level. Over the past several years, social networking sites have become a catalyst for users to achieve political objectives. The U.S. Government and its security forces need to be constantly aware of how the enemy’s use of social media is evolving and proactively plan for ways to win the social networking battle.
This past weekend, I participated in an educational experience that was exceptional in many ways, but was also typical of many programs ongoing in the Washington area. The class I attended was part of the Intelligence Analysis Course run by Johns Hopkins University. The students were a pretty exceptional group. They were interested, engaged, challenging, and open to learn. Watching these fine young men and women give up their precious free time to better prepare themselves for their jobs was a bit awe inspiring.
On June 1, 2012, The Heritage Foundation and Security Debrief will bring together a selected group of experts to discuss the greater homeland security / homeland defense issue set. Continuing to build on the momentum begun in previous years, some of the best thinkers in this important area will gather for a roundtable discussion. The collaboration of Heritage and Security Debrief is a healthy and fruitful one that has at its heart a mutual desire to protect this Nation and to ensure that security dollars are spent wisely.
A panel at the MilBloggers Conference provided a very interesting discussion earlier this month. The main point of the meeting is that the news media covers the military differently. Social media is driving fast reporting online and has created a constant drumbeat for information NOW. The panel was asked if this effect has created a tabloid-type, low quality product today. The reporters agreed blogs add a valuable corrective and much positive context to the media landscape.