If you want to have a successful relationship in anything, communications are critical. I have to wonder if DHS really cares about its relationships with anyone. The department’s communications with just about everyone are lacking of late, and this is seen most clearly in the way DHS recently rolled out its newest budget submission. It seems like DHS has little-to-no interest in telling the public how they want to spend taxpayer dollars.
Management and Administration
April 12th, 2013 - by Rich Cooper
April 1st, 2013 -
In Security Debrief’s fourth annual April Fools coverage, we’ve collected some stories the rest of the media somehow missed.
March 7th, 2013 - by David Olive
This past Monday, Politico hosted a Playbook breakfast conversation with the three individuals who have served as DHS Secretary since its inception – Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano. Former Governor Ridge who addressed why America needs a cabinet-level agency to address homeland security issues. While I am a firm believer that America needs a Department of Homeland Security, I am also a believer in continuous improvement, and in that respect, congressional oversight should rightfully be focused on asking questions about DHS as it starts its second decade.
March 1st, 2013 - by Rich Cooper
A lot can change in a decade, but as the Department of Homeland Security celebrates its 10th anniversary, its unchanging mission is something that should be applauded, but in other ways should be of even greater concern. Along the way there have been problems, but lessons have been public, have been learned, and have been applied, at some times better than at others. Tom Ridge’s original credo of “You cannot protect the country from inside the Beltway,” remains true today.
March 1st, 2013 - by Justin Hienz
The sequester has nearly arrived with little sign officials in Washington will reach an agreement to amend the billions in spending cuts. While both sides of the aisle have speculated on how these cuts will impact the U.S. economy, TSA Administrator John Pistole recently testified about how the sequester will impact airport security, echoing a warning from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano that security lines at airports will grow longer post-sequester. Yet, the length of airport security lines are a result of TSA’s screening methodology, not its budget and staff.
Ten years ago this month, NASA and the world lost seven brave explorers when the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart during re-entry. While the Department of Homeland Security was not stood up until a month later, the Columbia disaster was the first event to which the fledgling agency responded. I recently spoke with the first DHS Secretary, Tom Ridge, about lessons learned from the Columbia accident and what it taught him about how the nation responds to unforeseen circumstances.
Almost as soon as the 2012 presidential election wrapped up, pundits and reporters began speculating about likely candidates for the White House in 2016. Among the names tossed around inside and outside the Beltway is Janet Napolitano, the current DHS Secretary. Sec. Napolitano may at first glance seem an unlikely choice for the presidency, but in fact, her past work makes her a strong candidate for the highest office in the land.
Ten years can go by in a blink. A decade ago, a man who resigned the governorship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a certainly safe and stable position) raised his right hand and swore an oath to lead and assemble a confederation of singular government units with separate missions to serve a singular one – protect the homeland. His name was Tom Ridge.
In the old adage, “the only constant is change,” the word “change” could very easily be substituted with: “Congressional excoriation of TSA.” As the 112th Congress drew to a close, I imagine some at the Transportation Security Administration – those who have been there since the beginning – anticipated an end. Not of the Mayan variety, but of the Mica variety. Congressman John Mica may have finished his term as Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, but sorry TSA, this may only be the beginning again.
In this morning’s Roll Call, incoming Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Mike McCaul (R-TX) has an op-ed admonishing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to “fix” its management problems. Chairman McCaul’s commentary would have more credibility if his top order of business had been to “fix” the dysfunctional congressional management of DHS. What we should all take away from his op-ed is that the new chairman has missed a real opportunity to show leadership and tackle the oversight problem.
December 10th, 2012 - by Ronald Marks
There are few spots left around the world without Internet access, and few people who cannot reach out to access it. It has been relatively free of state interference and American dominated. However, the Net has had mounting problems, and 2012 has marked the end of the old Internet as we knew it. The days of an American-controlled freewheeling Internet with unlimited access and relatively cost-free access are over.
December 5th, 2012 - by Guest Contributor
By Michael Beland
With Election Day behind us, Washington is engaging in the Potomac Two-Step that is the Interregnum—with one foot dancing to the tune of the 112th Congress and the other to the potential activities of the 113th. There are areas, especially in the homeland security arena, where the Executive and Legislative Branches should plan to work together to make significant progress for the country in the next Congress.
November 28th, 2012 - by David Olive
On Tuesday morning, the White House issued a new fact sheet and posted a blog on the President’s blog site concerning the newly created White House Homeland Security Partnership Council. Both documents go a long way toward answering some of the questions raised over the origin and purpose of the new Council. Is this a serious effort? If the nomination process is still going on in six months, the answer will be in the negative.
Whether or not President Barack Obama gets another term or Gov. Mitt Romney pulls out a victory, it can be anticipated that after four years, current DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano will move on. So who is in the wings to take her spot? Listed below are some of the names of people that I think would be on a short list of a second term Obama White House or a new Romney White House.
August 31st, 2012 - by Steven Bucci
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 2012 presidential campaigns are heating up, with taxes and economic growth dominating the debate. One issue that is just as important but somewhat less present in the ongoing discussion is homeland security. Here is a piece I wrote for Defense Media Network about how homeland security fits into the race for the presidency.
July 27th, 2012 -
Rich Cooper formerly served as the Business Liaison Director for the Department of Homeland Security. While proud of this service, he is also realistic about the many challenges that can make DHS a difficult place of employment. CQ Homeland Security’s Lauren Helper spoke with Cooper to discuss some of the points he raises in his ongoing six-part series – “Why Is DHS a Crappy Place to Work?”
In the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to protect the nation, finding and hiring the right people for important jobs can be a laborious task. In this third installment of my series for Defense Media Network, I consider how the department’s personnel system, the pay and the confirmation process contribute to making DHS a crappy place to work.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) performs a critical role protecting the country. The mission is challenging, but just as difficult is working within the department itself. There are several reasons for this, some of which include how elected officials place political appointees within the department. Here is the second installment in my series about why DHS is a crappy place to work.
May 3rd, 2012 - by Rich Cooper
Since the Obama campaign’s commercial heralding the President’s decision to launch the Bin Laden mission, people from all political corners have either cheered or jeered it. His detractors accuse the President of “spiking the football” and over-politicizing a decision that he said he himself said should not be politicized. For as honorable as the President’s spoken intentions may have been after Bin Laden’s termination a year ago, they have been abandoned for the very real, pragmatic electoral politics – when you have an advantage in anything, you take it and use it to its utmost.