Twelve years ago last week, President Bush signed the act creating the Department of Homeland Security. It came into formal existence on March 1, 2003. Anniversaries are days to reflect on broader issues, and it is a good time to reflect on what has occurred since DHS was created – and what that means for the Department’s current and future missions and challenges.
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.
Obama Administration’s fumbled response to the Ebola threat has both political parties giving the President’s team a resounding thumbs down. To calm an anxious public, the President decided to tap a veteran Washington political insider, Ron Klain, to coordinate the messaging and response going forward. This is a suspect decision with hints of politics where there should be none.
UAVs for commercial use are a source of important public debate. Some companies have weighed in with innovative ideas, which hold additional marketing benefits. I don’t take issue with that. What I do take issue with is when a company, under the guise of public health and altruism, capitalizes on an important national issue to line their pockets. b condoms, prophylactic manufacturer and ostensibly pro-social health company, I’m talking about you.
By David Z. Bodenheimer
The U.S. federal government’s acquisition rules and buying practices have a direct impact upon major segments of the U.S. and global marketplaces. Cybersecurity Executive Order 13636 and Presidential Policy Directive 21 both recognize that the federal acquisition process must be addressed as part of the overall federal strategy for enhancing cybersecurity. It is time to harmonize the cyber acquisition regulations.
There are thousands of stories passed down from one generation to the next. As the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, it is time to share stories of that day so we can continue the mosaic collection that forms the picture of our lives today in a post-9/11 world.
By Kevin McCarthy
Less then a month ago, a second massive tragedy struck Malaysia Airlines – the shoot down of MH17 over Ukraine. Was MH17 targeted specifically, an indiscriminate act of violence, or a major tactical error with global consequences? Is this a new global threat that should keep us up at night?
If being a “good listener” is a trait of being a good leader, then Dr. Reginald Brothers, the relatively new DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology, is well on his way to being the type of leader that DHS S&T needs. Now that he has been in his position for several months, there are no longer any outside restrictions on structural or personnel changes he can make, should he choose to do so. But will he?
There are no words to describe the horror of the video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS. Today, radicalization is spreading, and religious, civic, and cultural leaders on every continent have a responsibility to step forward to address it. Sadly, those voices don’t seem to be as loud or as savvy as the video we all saw last week.