I’m seething. For my regular Security Debrief readers that may be nothing new, but after reading today’s front page Washington Post story, “National disaster exercises, called too costly and scripted, may be scaled back,” I’m really torqued. For all of the Administration’s talking points we have heard about the need for enhanced national preparedness and exercises, the prospect of scaling them back because of unrealistic scenarios – they are too big, costly and so forth – gives echo to the word, hypocrisy.
WMD, Chemical and Biological
Inside the Pentagon reports there is an important debate taking place over the Pentagon’s plan to downsize U.S. Northern Command forces that are ready to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) attack on American soil. Rather than prepare brigade-sized CBRNE Consequence Management Response Forces, the Quadrennial Defense Review recommends a larger CCMRF while also moving personnel to ten smaller Homeland Response Forces. Critics argue that full-sized CCMRFs are necessary for a potential WMD event.
Among the many important findings in the Report Card issued by the co-chairs of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Commission, Congress’s failure to consolidate oversight of homeland security received a big fat “F.” The co-chairs, former senators Graham and Talent do not make this finding lightly given their years of elected service on the Hill. It is a bipartisan finding that should get attention, but it appears to keep falling on deaf ears inside the Capitol.
October 20th, 2009 - by Stewart Baker
Is it possible to teach hundreds of cockroaches to swarm TSA checkpoints and laser in on explosives? Might this be the answer to the al Qaeda booty call problem? Read on, Dear Reader.
This past Monday after North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, President Barack Obama said, “North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community” and warranted action by the international community.
Despite the existence of H1N1, you’re going to be OK – really! As of May 5th there were 403 confirmed cases of H1N1 infection in the United States. One of those, my friend’s niece in New York, said the only difference between H1N1 and the ‘regular’ flu is the name. Mexico is reopening restaurants, the World Health Organization has no plans to elevate its alert level, and Joe Biden has stopped scaring us. It seems safe enough to stop giving people with allergies the stink eye for sneezing on the Metro.
April 28th, 2009 -
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a webpage dedicated to the latest information, updates and safety measures the public can take related to Swine Flu.
While I am concerned about the outbreak, I have the comfort of getting to know and study with one of our country’s most impressive leaders. Knowing he’s on the job tells me one of the country’s best doctors and leaders is going to make it right. He will be straightforward; he won’t play games and he will not stop until the situation is addressed completely.
The risk of electromagnetic pulse devastation is greater than ever. Why does Washington dismiss it? That’s the question asked and answered in recent article in the American Legion magazine that highlights the findings of the National Commission chartered by Congress to assess the EMP threat. A nuclear weapon detonated in space could wreck havoc on the electronic components of our national infrastructure.
March 19th, 2009 -
Security Debrief contributor, Ellen Howe, spoke with Randy Larsen and David McIntyre of Homeland Security: Inside & Out, about the need for human intelligence in the fight against explosives in airports.
February 27th, 2009 - by Marty Ficke
Time is running out to address the critical national security issue of Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Even the leading experts on the issue are divided on a solution, and time is running out.
Trying to scan 100 percent of cargo is a bad idea — from a security perspecitve as well as economic perspective
February 18th, 2009 - by Asa Hutchinson
The congressional mandate to scan 100 percent of all cargo coming into the United States has questionable security value and will assuredly disrupt the global supply chain process, further undermining American commerce, jobs and the economy at a time when the U.S. economy is already struggling.
October 30th, 2008 -
A new GAO report titled “Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS’s Phase 3 Test Report on Advanced Portal Monitors Does Not Fully Disclose the Limitations of the Test Results” criticizes DHS for its reporting related to testing radiation detection portal monitors, suggesting the reporting could be “potentially misleading.”
October 14th, 2008 -
Security Debrief contributor Asa Hutchinson joins panel of security experts to provide oversight of Blackwater arms exports.