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Countering the ISIS Narrative…With Cartoons

The fight against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) is, in part, a war of ideas. ISIS pushes a radical ideology that claims to justify murder, rape and other atrocities. In the United States, we must counter this narrative. As a part of that effort, fellow Security Debrief contributor Erroll Southers and I have been working on a Countering Violent Extremism project in Minneapolis.

Islam and the West – Where Do We Go From Here?

By Dr. Doron Pely
In the wake of the recent wave of Islamists-led terror attacks around the world, there is a palpable sense of despair amongst Western experts and citizens who are all asking: “Where do we go from here in our relations with Islam?” It seems that we are running out of options, and the only way forward is outright conflict, but before we cross that Sambation, here is an alternative proposal that may show some promise.

After DC Metro Fire, Questions About Interoperability

The recent fire in the Washington, DC, subway system that killed one passenger and injured more than 80 others reveals ominous signs for the Nation’s Capitol. Most concerning are reports that the Fire & Rescue Services radios did not work and did not allow them to communicate with one another and other emergency services. This is an outrage.

Obama MIA as Leaders Gather in Paris

On Sunday, after a terrorist attack that murdered a dozen French citizens, 4 million people gathered in Paris to stand together and say they would not be afraid. While leaders from around the world came to Paris to join in the rally, noticeably absent was a recognizable face from the United States. For reasons I don’t understand, President Obama was not there.

How TSA Changed its Public Reputation, Enhanced Security and Improved Employee Morale

By Chris Schmidt
In 2010, the Transportation Security Administration’s public image was getting worse by the day. There were stories about long lines and less-than-professional interaction between agent and airline passenger. It was then that Administrator John Pistole came to TSA with a clear idea of how to make an organizational change.

DHS Inspector General Says CBP Drone Program is of “Dubious” Benefit

DHS Inspector General John Roth dropped a powerful present on the front doorstep of Customs and Border Protection on Christmas Eve. News of the report is just coming out this week. It is about time a DHS official questioned the outrageous cost of the Office of Air & Marine’s (OAM) use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Looking Back and Looking Forward – DHS Moves into 2015 Amid Uncertainty and Hope

By most objective measures, 2014 was not a good year for the Department of Homeland Security. As we enter 2015, I sense there is a slight bit of subjective optimism that, under the leadership of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, things are getting better. Here are the opportunities (and potential challenges) for the Department in 2015.

Anniversaries are More Than Just Days to Remember

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.

Know When to Fold ‘Em, Ms. Hickox

By Robert Connors
Kaci Hickox – you should have called me. We could have chatted about your situation: how you feel and how unfair it is to be in quarantine when you aren’t sick. After you got everything off your chest, I’d point out that there is a legitimate fear of Ebola, and that counts for something.

DHS Orders Increased Security at Federal Buildings

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.