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Management and Administration

Not What We Need – DHS in Disrepair

A new Washington Post story details lingering problems at DHS in terms of retaining leadership and talent in some of its most critical positions. If you talk to anyone at the Department today, they’ll tell you firsthand how bad things are. Since this is Washington, and we don’t meaningfully address issues to solve them, let’s play the game we’re all really good at – the blame game.

The ISIS Fight – Do We Have Your Attention Yet?

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.

Good Idea, Bad Idea – Bioterrorism and UACs

Good Idea, Bad Idea is a weekly recap of the brilliant and stupid things America’s homeland security community does every day, because sarcasm is good for the soul. This week, a cat catches the tongue of OHA’s Dr. Kathy Brinsfield and Sen. Chuck Schumer gets a paper cut.

Deals with the Devil – The Release of Sgt. Bergdahl

The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American POW in Afghanistan, ends a more than dozen-year American conflict in Afghanistan. The five senior Taliban leaders exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl, however, will continue to set off debates on the left and right sides of the political aisles.

Congress Heal Thyself – New Voices Convey an Old Message

A full page Wall Street Journal ad last week, signed by 61 former elected and administration officials, including all three previous DHS Secretaries, added a number of new voices to the almost decade-old message that Congress needs to “fix” the overlapping committee structure morass it created to oversee homeland security issues.

Homeland Security a ‘Runaway Train’?

Has DHS grown too big? Mark Martinez questions on his blog whether mission creep is turning the Department into a ‘runaway train.’ Check out this interesting infographic showing the growth of DHS’ staff and budget over the last decade.

A Fond Farewell from DHS Assistant Sec for Policy

DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy David Heyman announced in a letter to staff today that after 5 years, he is stepping down in search of other pursuits.

Welcome to the (Internet) Balkans

“Balkanization” is a splitting into many opposed factions closely located in one area. It ain’t good to be Balkanized, but that is what is happening to the Internet, and there is nothing Washington can do about it. The Obama Administration’s move to let go of U.S. government control over the naming rights of Internet sites is being viewed as the latest in a long line of U.S. withdrawals from control of the Internet.

Security Debrief to the Rescue – Advice for DHS in the Years Ahead

As a new DHS Secretary takes the helm, Security Debrief contributors came together for the First Chris Battle Homeland Security Colloquium. In the spirit of the late Chris Battle’s vision for debate and discussion on pressing homeland security matters, contributors weighed a series of important questions about DHS’ future.

DHS Secretary Johnson’s First Time Before House Homeland Security Committee

The House Homeland Security Committee did something yesterday it has not done in the past several years, for anyone: it came out in full force for DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s maiden appearance before the committee. It was a positive performance by the Secretary, who showed himself adept at answering questions, even as his lawyer’s instincts kept him from falling into political traps.