VT: In 2009, VT investigated the Fort Hood shootings by an Army Psychiatrist named Hasan, now long forgotten but something that should be brought up again.
Why is the Supreme Court moving to execute Tsaranev, the Boston Massacre patsy, another Muslim?
VT deeply regrets having to suggest that the Boulder massacre may well have been a false flag terror act fomented by powerful forces aided by a foreign intelligence agency. Boulder is a natural target, liberal, gun control, then there’s the timing.
When it smells like a rat…
But first let’s look at the 2009 shooting and how VT exposed it and Major Hasan as exactly what it was. Major Hasan’s position as a Bush transition advisor was buried…..
FT. HOOD TERRORIST ON BUSH PRESTIGIOUS HOMELAND SECURITY TRANSITION TEAM
HASAN TIES TO GOP SUBJECT TO MASSIVE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN AND COVERUP
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor (2009)
“Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do.”
The task force at George Washington University designated with establishing transitional procedures in the Global War on Terror included Major Hasan, mass murder and terrorist, and, as we now learn, long time terrorist suspect. Where do we start? Do we wonder why our troops have a psychiatrist who is not only a potential terrorist but known to be extremely mentally unbalanced? Who, in the Bush Administration chose Hasan and helped him pass America’s highest security clearances?
Do any of us wonder why President Bush would have a terrorist helping with his transitional policy? This put Hasan, under investigation for ties to Al Qaeda, at the heart of our government’s counter-terrorist planning organization with full daily access to nearly all major leaders in Homeland Security, Defense, the FBI, CIA, NSA and other key agencies. He was one of them, along with representatives of conservative “think tanks” that advised the Bush Administration on a daily basis. Was he there because he reminded them of an Islamic version of Dick Cheney? Please, someone, let’s hear an explanation for this.
Below is a cutout from the membership roster of those advising the Bush Administration. You will note Hasan’s name among some of the best known security experts in America. We were told he was an Army psychiatrist with severe psychological problems who belonged to a mosque run by terrorists.
Hasan served with these individuals. Why was he here?
Richard V. Allen Former National Security Advisor
Stephen E. Flynn Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism & National Security Studies Council on Foreign Relations
Charles B. Curtis President & Chief Operating Officer Nuclear Threat Initiative
Judge William H.Webster Former Director of Central Intelligence and Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
James Lee Witt Former Director Federal Emergency Management Agency
R. James Woolsey, Former Director Central Intelligence Agency
Edwin Meese, III Former U.S. Attorney General
General Edward “Shy” Meyer Former Chief of Staff U.S. Army
General Edward L. Rowny Former Ambassador and Lt. General USA (Ret.)
Judge William S. Sessions Former Director Federal Bureau of Investigation
Bobbie Greene Kilberg Member President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
E. Floyd Kvamme Former Co-Chair President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Senator Connie Mack (R-FL) Former United States Senator, Florida
Secretary John O. Marsh, Jr. (D-VA) Former Secretary of the Army Former U.S. Congressman
and many others
Major Hasan was briefed by these individuals:
Michael Alexander, Majority Staff Director, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
John Cohen, Senior Advisor, Office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment , Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Rosaline Cohen , Chief Counsel, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives
Beth Grossman, Senior Counsel, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
Alethea Long-Green, Program Area Director, National Academy of Public Administration
Mark Lowenthal, President and CEO of the Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC, Former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production
Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Associate, Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases
Fran Townsend, Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
The question we ask, is why was a simple low ranking military officer with a disastrous career, horrible security baggage and a Palestinian background placed at the center of the decision making apparatus of the Bush presidency?
The entire text of the proceedings report and full membership are listed below. Hasan’s name stands out like a rapper at a Klan rally. It doesn’t take a genius to believe that Hasan had friends in high places, and that, despite every imaginable reason to see he shouldn’t even practice medicine, much less be in the American military or treat troops suffering from combat stress, he was placed among the most influential and powerful Americans.
One could suggest that, since Hasan was in town and had nothing to do for the few months other than to work with thousands of patients returning from Iraq and, in the process, mingle with terrorist sympathizers and prove himself to be dangerously unstable and utterly useless as a physician and psychiatrist, he might as well be included in intelligence planning at the highest levels.
I can see where this could make sense to some, really, I do. After all, if you were choosing the absolute last person on Earth to include in such a group, the last person to expose to that much intelligence planning and the most dangerous individual imaginable to the safety of so many of our leaders, Hasan is a perfect choice.
Why did he choose to kill soldiers at Ft. Hood when so many of the top members of the Bush Administration would have been available to him at any time? If none of this makes any sense to you, I think you are beginning to understand.
Who was Major Hasan? Who was he really?
SOME AREAS OF SPECULATION ABOUT MAJOR HASAN:
Hasan joined the Army at 18, entered and completed, not only college, but medical school and a residency in psychiatry at Walter Reed Hospital. This is an amazing accomplishment.
His attendance at the above mentioned meetings based on a careful analysis of subject matter and the expertise level of everyone involved made the likelihood of a junior officer specializing in combat stress being invited unlikely. Hasan would have to have been an intelligence asset of some kind.
Were this the case, as it most likely is, and taking into account that at least some of the accusations made against him are other than part of a coverup, Hasan was unstable. Stating this about a psychiatrist is not much of a stretch.
His first targets were coworkers. Were Hasan cross trained in intelligence and tasked with communicating with insurgents prior to deployment, the stress could have been enormous. Hasan seems to have responded to having to pretend to be a terrorist by actually becoming one.
The more we read about his attendance at a ‘terrorist Mosque” and connections with Al Qaeda, the more likely our assumptions are the correct ones. It is far more likely that a double agent would become suicidally unbalanced than for a terrorist to, not only be promoted to Major in the US Army, but to be put on a high security intelligence transition team.
There may have been a time when the US Army believed Major Hasan would be of enormous value to them in ways quite unrelated to practicing medicine. The Major Hasan we now know is a terrorist. He may not always have been so.
This evening, the Associated Press states:
“Investigators from the Fort Hood shootings say that Nidal Malik Hasan acted alone and that no evidence supports the theory that Hasan had outside help or orders about the massacre. Though in late 2008 Hasan did communicate with radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni who now lives overseas and has ties to terrorist groups, the messages “did not advocate violence or threaten violence.” Sources say that the communications were consistent with Hasan’s research as an Army psychologist on post-traumatic stress disorder. The FBI has launched an investigation into how it handled, or perhaps mishandled, the information it had on Hasan.”
In a very few hours, the truth has danced like a marionette, across one side of the stage to another. What can we expect? We will get an endless supply of interim stories until a commission is appointed to interview witnesses and come to a convenient conclusion that will best serve political necessity. The same among us will be sickened by the process.
VeteransToday Senior Editor Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.
(full text of report below)
THINKING ANEW-SECURITY PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION
Thinking Anew-Security Priorities for the Next Administration
PROCEEDINGS REPORT OF THE HSPI PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION TASK FORCE
April 2008-January 2009
About the Institute
Founded in 2003, The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) is a nonpartisan “think and do” tank whose mission is to build bridges between theory and practice to advance homeland security through an interdisciplinary approach. By convening domestic and international policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and academia, HSPI creates innovative strategies and solutions to current and future threats to the nation.
For further information, please contact:
Homeland Security Policy Institute
The George Washington University Medical Center
2300 I Street NW, Suite 721
Washington, DC 20037
The Homeland Security Policy Institute Presidential Transition Task Force*
Initiated by HSPI’s Steering Committee in Spring 2008, the Task Force sought to further policy discussions of the top strategic priorities in the area of security in order to generate actionable recommendations, for the Administration taking office in January 2009, designed to effectively meet the most vexing challenges the United States faces today.
- Genieve Abdom, Fellow, The Century Foundation
- Abdullah Ansary, Independent Scholar
- Michael Balboni, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, State of New York
- Seth Carus, Deputy Director, Center for the Study of WMD’s, National Defense University
- Jonah Czerwinski, Senior Fellow, Homeland Security, IBM Global Leadership Initiative
- Stephen E. Flynn, Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism & National Security Studies
Council on Foreign Relations
- George Foresman, Former Under Secretary for National Protection & Programs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- David Heyman, Director, Homeland Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- David B. Low, International Advisory Board, Oxford Analytica
- Ronald Marks, Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Oxford Analytica, Inc.
- Alan McCurry, Former Chief Operating Officer, American Red Cross, The McCurry Group
- Kirstjen Nielsen, Managing Director & General Counsel, Civitas Group, LLC
- Jon Nowick, Course Designer, SAIC
- Dan Prieto, Vice President, Homeland Security & Intelligence, IBM
- Kenneth Rapuano, Former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, The White House
- Marc Sageman, Principal, Sageman Consulting, LLC
- Suzanne Spaulding, Principal, Bingham Consulting Group LLC
- Seth Stodder, Senior Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP
- George Vradenburg, Chairman, Vradenburg Foundation
- Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Political-Military Analysis, Hudson Institute
- Christine Wormuth, Senior Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
* Titles of individuals at the time of initiation of the Task Force.
HSPI TASK FORCE STAFF
- Frank Cilluffo, Director
- Jan Lane, Deputy Director
- Sharon Cardash, Associate Director
- Daniel Kaniewski Counselor
- Reaghan Bik, Executive Associate
- Joseph Clark, Policy Analyst
- Jordan Evert, Presidential Administrative Fellow
- Laura Keith, Policy Analyst
HOMELAND SECURITY POLICY INSTITUTE STEERING COMMITTEE
- Richard V. Allen Former National Security Advisor
- Hal Bruno Former Political Director ABC News
- Gen. Richard A. Chilcoat Dean, Bush School of Government Texas A&M University
- Chief Dennis Compton International Fire Service Training Association
- Colleen Conway-Welch Dean Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
- Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton, Crumpton Group LLC
- Charles B. Curtis President & Chief Operating Officer Nuclear Threat Initiative
- Robert Davi Actor, Spokesperson i-SAFE
- Martin C. Faga Former President and CEO The MITRE Corporation
- Stephen E. Flynn Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism & National Security Studies Council on Foreign Relations
- Rohan Gunaratna Associate Professor Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies Singapore
- Bruce Hoffman, Professor, Security Studies Program Georgetown University
- Ambassador W. Nathaniel Howell Former Ambassador to Kuwait
- Bobbie Greene Kilberg Member President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
- E. Floyd Kvamme Former Co-Chair President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
- Senator Connie Mack (R-FL) Former United States Senator, Florida
- Secretary John O. Marsh, Jr. (D-VA) Former Secretary of the Army, Former U.S. Congressman
- Andrew C. McCarthy Former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney
- Alan McCurry Former Chief Operating Officer American Red Cross, The McCurry Group
- Patricia McGinnis President Emeritus Council for Excellence in Government
- Edwin Meese, III Former U.S. Attorney General
- General Edward “Shy” Meyer Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
- General Edward L. Rowny Former Ambassador and Lt. General USA (Ret.)
- Judge William S. Sessions Former Director Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Michael H. Steinhardt Founder Steinhardt Partners
- Ambassador Richard N. Swett (D-NH) Former U.S. Congressman Former Ambassador to Denmark
- Dr. Lydia W. Thomas President and CEO Noblis
- Jim Turner (D-TX) Former U.S. Congressman
- George Vradenburg Chairman, Vradenburg Foundation
- Judge William H.Webster Former Director of Central Intelligence and Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- James Lee Witt Former Director Federal Emergency Management Agency
- R. James Woolsey Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 1
Chapter 1: Thinking Anew-Security Priorities for the Next Administration 5
Chapter 2: A National Approach to Prevention, Preparedness,
and Response: Shaping Expectations, Enhancing Capabilities 9
Chapter 3: International Strategy: Re-Invigorating Our Role in the World 12
Chapter 4: Citizen Preparedness: Harnessing an Engaged Public 15
Appendix A: Task Force Briefing Participants 18
Appendix B: Task Force Event Media Coverage 19
Appendix C: Task Force Event Participants 21
THINKING ANEW-SECURITY PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION
The nation is in the midst of a crossroads in its consideration of security policy. A coherent strategy to address 21st century threats to the United States, one that treats national and homeland security as a seamless whole, has yet to emerge. Washington is now marked by a new Administration, a new tone, and a new space – offering a rare opportunity to catch our collective breath, to think creatively and anew about the most vexing challenges this country faces, and to put the most powerful of those reasoned ideas into action.
To help fuel this process, in April 2008 The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) established the Presidential Transition Task Force, comprised of national and homeland security experts, policymakers and practitioners. Task Force members included representatives from past Administrations, State government, Fortune 500 companies, academia, research institutions and non-governmental organizations with global reach. The goal was to determine the top strategic priorities to advance the nation’s security in the coming decade and to further policy discussions by identifying the benefits and challenges to achieving these goals, as well as the way forward. Given prevailing fiscal realities, prioritization of security efforts and resources becomes all the more important.
The Task Force held internal deliberations, which included a number of briefings from subject-matter experts at the forefront of their fields.1 From these discussions and debates, four strategic priorities emerged that serve to inform the new Administration:
- development and implementation of a proactive security strategy at the federal level that integrates international and domestic aspects of security, is founded upon the concepts of resilience, and is effectively resourced;
- enhancement of a national approach to preparedness and response through the development of a risk-based homeland security doctrine that effectively draws upon and coordinates all available assets (governments, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and the public);
- realistic public discussion of the threats the nation faces and constructive engagement of the American public in preparedness and response efforts; and
- re-invigoration of the United States’ role in the world, through a recognition that our security and that of our allies depends upon the stability and engagement of other nations.
To further develop and vet these priorities, HSPI and the Presidential Transition Task Force hosted a series of public roundtables titled, Thinking Anew – Security Priorities for the Next Administration, to draw upon the expertise, insights and perspectives of the broader policy community.
1 For a list of briefers, see Appendix A.
The roundtables drew significant audiences and featured respected speakers from a variety of relevant arenas, including policymakers; federal, state and local government officials; concerned and involved citizens; recognized think tank experts and academics in international studies; leaders in the NGO community; and media experts steeped in an understanding of new media and behavioral research. Reports of these proceedings follow; a roster of participants and an overview of media coverage is also included at the end of this document.
The security policy priorities identified by the Task Force, as well as key findings and recommendations, are as follows:
Proactive Strategy and Resilient Foundations: Striking the Right Federal Stance
Challenge and opportunity within the security realm exist for the new Administration. The chance to think creatively and anew accompanies the myriad complex matters on the horizon. The Task Force determined that a coherent strategy to address 21st century threats to the United States requires that national and homeland security be treated as a seamless whole; but that strategy has yet to emerge. To achieve a proactive and resilient posture, U.S. strategy, policy, practice and organizational structures may need to be revised or recalibrated. The following findings and recommendations underscore gaps in the current circumstance, and suggest specific steps for how the new Administration might best meet the challenges ahead.
- The US has adopted reactive rather than proactive strategic approaches to homeland security and national security.
- The US has not built sufficient resilience into its strategic security posture.
- Since 2003, homeland security and national security policy have been treated as separate and distinct enterprises.
- The budgeting process for homeland security investment priorities is opaque and oriented towards the short-term.
Recommendations – The President should:
- more closely align homeland and national security entities within the executive branch of government in order to get ahead of the threat;
- use the forthcoming Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) to leverage long-term planning and budgeting for homeland security and national security priorities; specifically, align the QHSR with the Quadrennial Defense Review;
- streamline congressional oversight of homeland and national security entities by working with Congress to enact Department of Homeland Security authorization legislation;
- embed privacy protections and due respect for civil liberties in homeland and national security program development; and
- invest in education and professional development training, to include rotation details, for the homeland security professional civilian corps.
National Approach to Preparedness and Response: Shaping Expectations, Enhancing Capabilities
A truly national approach to prevention and preparedness for natural and man-made disasters is lacking. A national approach would integrate the capabilities and efforts of all levels of government, the private sector, and the not-for-profit sector. Though a robust regional structure led by the Department of Homeland Security has long been discussed as a means of coordinating federal interagency support, as well as drawing forward State and local government capabilities, current efforts continue to be limited.
Incidents of a catastrophic magnitude that require federal support need a proactive, coordinated federal response. The Task Force noted that the next Administration should consider whether presidential policies and associated plans and frameworks should be adjusted or created anew to provide such a response. In light of how crucial state and local law enforcement efforts are to prevention, preparedness and response, policies should reflect and capitalize on those efforts to successfully adapt to 21st century needs.
- Catastrophic disasters that compel state and local governments to request federal assistance require a proactive, coordinated federal response capability.
- A robust national regional structure for planning and response efforts led by the Department of Homeland Security is necessary, but has thus far been limited in scope.
- Incident management roles and responsibilities at the federal level remain unclear.
- Public and private sector efforts for catastrophic disaster response are not fully integrated.
Recommendations – The President should:
- develop homeland security doctrine that includes a multi-layered approach to threat response-utilizing all aspects of the federal government, to include homeland and national security entities-to improve regional capability;
- incorporate anti-crime and counterterrorism planning, “intelligence-led policing,” and all-hazards preparedness into preparedness planning;
- utilize and foster State and local law enforcement intelligence relationships with DHS via fusion centers;
- continue incorporating the National Guard into Northern Command’s mission; and
- encourage the formulation of strategic relationships with academia and the private sector at the national and regional levels to inform security policy.
Engage and Enlist the American Public: People-Our Greatest Strength
The absence of a sustained “culture of preparedness” has been lamented over the years. The new Administration should foster such a culture, in which individuals take seriously the responsibility of being prepared to survive for three days on their own, create evacuation plans for themselves and their families, and get out of harm’s way when appropriate.
New or bolstered programs to engage the public in preparedness efforts should also harness new communications technologies to enable social networks to act as bases for civic literacy as well as a volunteer response network during crises, incorporate lessons learned from human behavioral studies, and lay guidelines for responding to those with special needs. Moving forward, the Task Force found these to be the channels in which the
Government could enlist the public to be most constructively and meaningfully engaged in these endeavors.
- A culture of preparedness as recommended by congressional and White House reports following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 has yet to prevail in America.
- The American public has yet to be constructively and meaningfully engaged in disaster planning and preparedness efforts.
- New communications technologies give rise to new opportunities to productively engage the American public in preparedness efforts.
- Volunteers have little or no liability coverage in the event that they assist during a crisis.
Recommendations – The President should:
- utilize local opinion leaders to engage the public in preparedness efforts, and to deliver messages in the event of a crisis;
- invest in or leverage existing communications technologies to advance public preparedness initiatives; and
- release area-specific risk-assessment information to enable a local population to prepare more effectively for higher probability events.
International Strategy: Re-Invigorating Our Role in the World
America’s security depends upon the stability and engagement of other nations. Historically, the U.S. has been a good global partner, making full use of the range of tools of statecraft, including humanitarian and development assistance, and trade initiatives. Yet, U.S. standing in the world has suffered for reasons both real and perceived. The current international landscape is marked by a number of complex foreign policy challenges. The Task Force determined that the nation would be well served by efforts to elevate the instrument of diplomacy, and to examine the lessons of post-conflict reconstruction, in part to recapture and reinvigorate key elements of the country’s past which recognized that we cannot go it alone.
- U.S. security depends on the stability and engagement of other nations.
- A coordinated outreach and strategic communications strategy is a necessary, but lacking, precursor to confront radicalization and recruitment by extremist groups in a non-kinetic manner.
Recommendations – The President should:
- employ a strategy that amplifies voices within the Muslim world that seek to counter radicalization and recruitment, and that exercises care regarding the use of lexicon;
- foster respect for and adherence to international law in the form of longstanding, fundamental and widely accepted norms; and
- engage productively with international organizations and institutions to build security abroad
Chapter 1: Proactive Strategy and Resilient Foundations: Striking the Right Federal Stance
On October 15, 2008, The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) launched its Presidential Transition Task Force Roundtable Series titled “Thinking Anew: Security Priorities for the Next Administration.” The panel discussion featured leading experts in the field: P.J. Crowley of the Center for American Progress; Stephen Flynn of the Council on Foreign Relations; and Fran Townsend, former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.
The next Administration will meet both challenge and opportunity in the security realm. The chance to think creatively and anew accompanies the myriad complex matters on the horizon. What should be the top strategic priorities for the next Administration? A proactive and resilient posture is needed, but what is the best way forward to achieve it? To further policy discussions of these and other crucial issues, HSPI’s Presidential Transition Task Force convened the first in a series of forums intended to identify the benefits, challenges, and way forward to achieving objectives critical to our nation’s security in the coming decade.
Townsend began by citing the need to create 21st century structures and strategies to meet 21st century threats. Current threats to U.S. security must be addressed through integrated national and homeland security initiatives. She noted that the tribal areas of Pakistan are the source of the greatest immediate threat originating from outside U.S. borders, along with nuclear terrorism and cyber security.
These threats affect everyday life in America and demand greater focus and coordination across the federal government as well as between the federal and state and local governments. Townsend illustrated how a cyber attack could cause a lack of confidence in e-commerce, undermining local businesses and the economy. To address the cyber security threat as well as many others, the federal government must enlist the help of Americans in academia and the private sector because it lacks the intellectual capital and understanding to address these threats alone.
Asked for guidance that she would share with the incoming Administration, Townsend encouraged the next president to engage the public in a discussion on the necessary balance between security and privacy and civil liberties. The decisions made immediately after 9/11 might not be right for today, and the U.S. requires a national dialogue to bring balance to this issue. Further, Townsend believes the next president can take a lead in improving information sharing across federal, state, and local
levels. Effective information sharing requires a closer alignment of homeland and national security strategy to develop a national approach to preparedness and response.
The civilian side of the national and homeland security structure needs to implement “jointness,” drawing from the benefits that have emerged from the military reforms under the Goldwater-Nichols Act. This not only includes structural reform, but a revised system of education and a new budget process as well. Crowley built upon the issue of integration, by noting that important adjustments need to be made in terms of strategy, priorities, resources, and structure. To this end, he suggested that the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review and the Quadrennial Defense Review “must talk to each other,” meaning that each must acknowledge and take into account the imperatives of the other.
In addition, it is imperative to bind homeland security and national security together because what the U.S. does abroad impacts threats at home. Implications from the national security realm affect the homeland security realm; thus a change in mindset must accompany a change in structure. Crowley also mentioned that the U.S. is not self-sufficient, and it can’t tackle security issues alone. As a result, the concept of homeland security must adjust to consider global security in partnership with other countries.
Elaborating on the concept of strategy, both Crowley and Flynn discussed the importance of prioritizing specific security issues. Crowley pointed out that the 15 threat scenarios determined by DHS should be prioritized. As a result of this lack of prioritization, government officials have taken the worst possible threat-terrorists with nuclear weapons-and made it the standard for which we prepare. The upshot is a lack of preparedness for those disasters we are most likely to confront.
A new national security budget should make some tradeoffs to address issues such as public health and public safety, because these are the bottom line issues where security becomes important. Too much of the current national security budget is on offense, some of which should be recalibrated to defense. Capabilities-based planning should be implemented to prioritize those items that will be vital to preventing an attack, mitigating consequences, and enabling recovery.
Tying strategic priorities to the need for a national approach to preparedness and response, Flynn posited that the most probable and consequential risk to the public in terms of mass casualties and property is likely to arise from natural events, not an attack. Unfortunately, current security spending fails to reflect this reality. Instead, the federal government presently leaves natural disaster management to state and local governments, but appropriates most of the available funds to its own national security programs.
Furthermore, Flynn related strategic priorities to the need to engage the public and bolster resiliency. He asserted that terrorism, while a major hazard, is not an existential threat to the U.S. because it’s too big and too populous. A terrorist’s goal is to cause U.S. leaders and the public to overreact in ways that are incredibly costly and destructive, which is an internal problem, not external. Consequently, the leadership challenge for the next president will be to build a greater level of confidence in American society.
In addition, Flynn argued that a more resilient society has deterrent and economic value. Resiliency erodes the jus-tification for why terrorists will initiate attacks and it also involves ordinary citizens in the national security process. Through public engagement and a holistic approach to national and homeland security, the U.S. can develop a more open and inclusive security apparatus that offers greater support to citizens.
Crowley added that U.S. strategy has to do more to take public expectations into account. If something happens on one particular day, it could mean the “bad guys” were better, but it doesn’t mean the strategy is wrong or the system is broken. The important thing is for the government to communicate with the public to form realistic expectations about the security it can provide.
Finally, all three speakers emphasized the need to revamp U.S. international strategy and re-invigorate our role in the world. Townsend encouraged the next administration to increase foreign assistance and to tie foreign aid to policy goals. In her view, the U.S. fails to take advantage of this critically important measure.
Flynn urged the next administration to identify the things Americans value and to reinvest in them, because these are the same values that the rest of the world admires. Crowley specified, saying it was imperative for the next ad-ministration to practice transparency and the rule of law, which means closing Guantanamo Bay. HSPI Director Frank Cilluffo went further, stating that we ought to abandon the label “Global War on Terror”, which has the effect of elevating our adversaries and isolating our allies. In response, Crowley agreed and suggested the British term, “struggle against violent extremism,” as a more viable
“Fundamentally,” said Flynn, “We must step back and be an open society that engages the world.” The next president must help Americans to exercise greater confidence. When reassessing security strategy, we must think of it not as a cost, but as an investment in our future. Communities that can think anew about security priorities and that can best deal with disruptions-whether natural or man-made-will be more adaptable and viable in the 21st Century.
Chapter 2: National Approach to Preparedness and Response:
Shaping Expectations, Enhancing Capabilities
On October 23, 2008, The George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) hosted the second event in its Presidential Transition Roundtable Series – “A National Approach to Prevention, Preparedness and Response: Shaping Expectations, Enhancing Capabilities.” The panel discussion featured leading experts in the field: Michael Balboni, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety for the State of New York; William Bratton, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; George Foresman, former DHS Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs; and Michael Hickey, Chairman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Security and Emergency Preparedness Task Force.
America has yet to achieve a genuinely national approach to prevention, preparedness and response. The roundtable considered how best to integrate the capabilities and efforts of all levels of government, the private sector, and the not-for-profit sector.
Foresman observed that we are not truly prepared for a catastrophic event in the United States, whether natural, man-made, or cyber. Of the four pillars of preparedness, we are strongest on response and recovery, but need to shore up our prevention and protection capabilities. He noted that the system for managing disasters is broken, and reforming it will be a fundamental challenge for the incoming Administration. The different levels of government in this country were not designed to be interoperable, but rather, are independent levels of government that interoperate. Moving forward, the United States must figure out how best to marry up anti-crime, counter-terrorism and other efforts, so as to achieve a more robust preparedness posture overall.
Foresman emphasized that building a culture of preparedness is crucial, and this means engaging and galvanizing the American public. In response to a question from HSPI Senior Fellow and Task Force Member David Heyman about “engaging the public without scaring the public,” Foresman noted that it is important for the next Administration to “take some time to listen to lessons learned from this Administration” in terms of public messaging. He added that there is at least a 100-day window where the next Administration can help shape expectations for preparedness and response to future national crises.
The private sector is also instrumental to a national approach sustained by enhanced capabilities. Hickey noted that resilience “starts at home” with the individual corporation, and is multi-layered. Looking to the future, he suggested that a wide range of partners should come together, including the National Governors Association and the National Emergency Management Association, in order to take a regional approach that will enable effective response to crises.
Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, an HSPI Steering Committee Member and the lead for the 1980 transition efforts of then President-elect Reagan, raised the issue of the role of the National Guard. In response, Foresman stressed the importance of training and equipping the Guard for its 21st century mission. Balboni noted that New York State now has a rapid reaction force staffed by National Guard troops and based in Hamilton, which will allow for onsite arrival in one hour. In the context of this discussion, HSPI Director Frank Cilluffo cited the need for pre-arranged mutual assistance between, among and across States in the form of emergency management “compacts.”
The panelists offered a few simple, concrete pieces of advice to the next Administration. Bratton suggested that getting the right people in the right positions is of first and foremost importance, while Foresman suggested that incoming individuals with key leadership roles should participate in exercises designed to enhance their crisis decision-making abilities. Balboni accentuated the need to exert real leadership – to make tough decisions in tough times, while Hickey encouraged the next Administration to bring the private sector into prevention, preparedness and response efforts in an ever-more integral man
To meet prevailing challenges, Bratton also called for a “convergent strategy” that weaves together community policing and counterterrorism strategies under the “guiding philosophy” of intelligence-led policing. For maximum operational effectiveness, a supporting culture, capability and awareness of the “first preventer” role of local police must be created. Strategic relationships must be forged and an “international consciousness” attained, with both grounded locally. Collaboration with a wide range of partners, including academia and the private sector, is necessary. Building and leveraging intelligence at the State and local levels also means resourcing their law enforcement authorities.
Balboni, in turn, emphasized that “disconnects” still exist seven years out from 9/11. Spending continues on fusion centers meant to remedy the pre-9/11 failure to “connect the dots,” but creating an infrastructure does not solve the problem. We have yet to define what a “successful” fusion center looks like, and further national discussion is needed with regard to privacy concerns. Intelligence
products and information flows are not yet standardized, and we are still relying on a “leap of faith” that the individual who hands out information actually knows who needs it. In sum, he argued for a homeland security system and strategy that is scaleable and flexible, tailored to current needs (rather than fighting the last war), and that does more with less given the economic constraints that prevail.
An all hazards, all crimes approach is needed. Cilluffo reinforced this idea, observing that fighting terrorism and fighting crime “is not an either/or proposition.”
Chapter 3: International Strategy: Re-Invigorating Our Role in the World
On December 3, 2008, The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) hosted a panel discussion titled “International Strategy: Re-Invigorating Our Role in the World.” This event, the third in HSPI’s Presidential Transition Roundtable Series: “Thinking Anew: Security Priorities for the Next Administration,” featured presentations by leading experts: Kristin Lord, Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution; Karin von Hippel, Codirector, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies; as well as comments by: David Meltzer, Senior Vice President, International Services, American Red Cross; and Jonah Czerwinski, Senior Fellow, Homeland Security, IBM Global Leadership Initiative.
To meet the international security challenges of the twenty-first century, Lord discussed the need for a more robust American public diplomacy strategy, structure and operations, calling U.S. public diplomacy efforts “a multi-disciplinary challenge that needs a multi- disciplinary response.” Globalization and other international changes have made strong public diplomacy “more important than ever” in the face of transnational threats such as terrorism, climate change and trafficking of goods and people that cannot be solved by individual nations alone. Public diplomacy must be an essential non-kinetic resource in an era where many security threats cannot be confronted by military force alone, and where use of such force may actually strengthen adversaries. In the current “information tempest,” America is required to communicate more effectively in a variety of new ways. U.S. public diplomacy must be nimble in an era where winning public support is “increasingly more important.”
Among her recommendations towards that effort, Lord proposed “USA World Trust” a new non-profit organization to complement current U.S. public diplomacy efforts. With a goal of bringing “together new voices and talent,” Lord sees the World Trust as a dynamic agency that could tap into existing expertise and “translate it into useful formats for public diplomacy professionals” in the field. The new organization would also work with the private and non-governmental sector, provide grants and experiment with new media technology, all while bringing together U.S. government, private and foreign “media professionals in a way that is not currently possible.
Von Hippel, in turn, emphasized the challenge of improving the way civilian governments, military forces, NGOs and international organizations alike integrate their foreign operations work in difficult environments such as Afghanistan, the Darfur region of Sudan, post-war Lebanon and throughout United Nations peacekeeping operations. It is vitally important to “translate learning” accomplished in Iraq on issues such as stabilization, nation building and democratization, for example, to existing civilian and military missions in Afghanistan. Von Hippel called current efforts “disappointing.” In Afghanistan in particular, von Hippel noted a “lack of integrated strategies on the ground” between the humanitarian, diplomatic and security communities; between bi-lateral relationships and multi-lateral institutions; and between various U.S. government agencies themselves. This required integration should focus on “forging consensus and figuring our priorities,” while attempting to bring together as many interested actors as possible to find solution sets to ongoing security and humanitarian issues.
In offering comment on the presentations, Meltzer “110 percent” endorsed the strategy of focusing public diplomacy on a variety of concerns to American interests rather than just counterterrorism. While agreeing on the need for more vigorous American public diplomacy capabilities, he questioned whether the stated suggestion of the State Department coordinating an interagency strategy is viable considering the more than 24 different agencies involved in foreign assistance. Meltzer also offered that he is “often struck” at how the defense industry-governmental and private-is “embracing disaster assistance missions and humanitarianism,” and believes these new arenas further their strategic objectives. He noted that the defense industry’s work in the humanitarian field “undermines” the NGO community’s “ability to act as neutral actors and get our work done.” Meltzer did, however, affirm HSPI director and discussion moderator Frank Cilluffo’s point that NGOs operating in dangerous environments such as Afghanistan or Somalia often must rely on militaries for protection, calling it an option of “last resort.”
For his part, Czerwinski noted the positive role private industry has and can continue to play in public diplomacy. We need stable populations that view the U.S. as a stable partner; therefore, the private sector must serve as “more than a vendor for public diplomacy” in order to help create global
partnerships. In many strategic areas of the world such as the Middle East, the private sector is perceived as being “much more legitimate” than the U.S. government, and has more resources at its disposal. Looking toward the future, Czerwinski suggested that much could be gained in terms of
public diplomacy if America concentrates on bringing more than “the U.S. flag” to our current and future prospective partners.
During the question and answer session, a question was raised concerning specific goals of U.S. public diplomacy within larger foreign policy objectives. Lord responded with several suggestions under the
theme that the U.S. can and should legitimately try “to inform and advocate for specific policies overseas.” Her suggestions included “promoting values that are not exclusive to the United States, such as disgust of suicide bombings andpromoting free trade,” helping people overseas better understand America, and incorporating a public diplomacy dimension into all U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives. In response, von Hippel noted that she is “more concerned with America understanding other cultures better, and less concerned with foreigners understanding Americans.”
Chapter 4: Engage and Enlist the American Public: People-Our Greatest Strength
On January 30, 2009, The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) hosted a panel discussion titled “Citizen Preparedness: Harnessing an Engaged Public.” This event, the fourth and final in HSPI’s Presidential Transition Roundtable Series: “Thinking Anew: Security Priorities for the Next Administration,” featured presentations by leading journalists and authors Andy Carvin, Senior Product Manager for Online Communities, National Public Radio; and Amanda Ripley, reporter for TIME Magazine and author of The Unthinkable – Who Survives When Disaster Strikes. Jan Lane, HSPI Deputy Director, and former government relations lead for the American Red Cross, provided comment.
Ripley suggested that the U.S. government writ large tends to attempt to carry the burden of preparedness, response, and recovery during disasters, rather than including ordinary citizens in the process of making and facilitating such policy. However, Ripley notes that “the most important people” that government needs to include are its citizens, those who will be on the scene and responding in their communities. To better involve “regular people”, Ripley suggests that these citizens not only be at the table during policymaking, but that the government should also be specific in directing citizens about what they could be doing to prepare, respond, or recover. Finally, the government should tell the truth, including about the threats for which communities should be preparing. In other words, by being “frank and specific,” the nation as a whole will better understand the nature of the threat, and society will become more resilient. According to Ripley, the federal role in public preparedness efforts is, in short, to “inspire, facilitate, and then get out of the way.”
Carvin presented the evolution of online-mobilization of citizens during crises starting with the earthquake in Los Angeles, California in 1994. As use of the internet has increased over the last 15 years, so has the ability of the public to communicate using new technological tools. In the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., volunteers set up email list-servs to discuss where they could assist; by 2006, citizens on the ground posted information and photos on blogs during the tsunamis that ravaged Southeast Asia, a phenomenon now known as “citizen journalism.” In preparation for Hurricane Gustav in 2008, over 500 volunteers across the globe worked together to build a citizen-coordinated website to provide real-time information.
Carvin noted that through such movement of information, “taken as a whole, you can observe the trends” of what is occurring on the ground-in effect, situational awareness. Carvin suggested that “we need to create various ways of visualizing” how to exploit this mobilization of volunteers online, and “have the infrastructure available” so that next time there will be a portal through which to channel people who wish to assist. An additional challenge is balancing the needs of specific communities in particular geographic locations, while finding ways to take advantage of organized communities online whose members may reside in different parts of the world.
Lane noted the HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force recommendation that active civic engagement underpin the new Administration’s homeland security efforts. She pointed out that President Obama’s calls for public service and personal responsibility provide the opportunity for greater engagement. Noting that there has been a history of government reluctance to bring the public into preparedness planning, Lane said “we need a real discussion with the American people of what the threat is, why it matters to them, and how the public can be effectively involved.” Government officials neeto understand the evolving nature of public preparedness and how tincorporate social media to aid in public safety, situational awareness, and mobilization of resources outside of government control. Civic engagement is vital to rebuilding the public’s trust in governments’ disaster preparedness and response capabilities following Katrina.
In response, Cilluffo proposed that “trust and confidence is crucial” to calibrating the discourse and cementing the bonds between the public and government.
In the discussion that followed, the key themes of education and training arose. During crises, citizens able to overcome the paralysis engendered by such an event are those that in past have been educated and trained to respond, whether on the job or through volunteer organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America. If people know what to do and have practiced it, they are more likely to take action. Many city fire departments have engaged the public on issues including risk assessment (geared to prevention) and have instructed citizens on response techniques. Public outreach, whether in the schools or online, is crucial to effective preparation for disaster.
The Ready.gov campaign is one example of government action; but Ripley and other experts participating in the roundtable discussion posited that government could do more – and better. For example, DHS provides a list of various supplies families might gather in preparation for a disaster.
The lists are not tailored to specific geographic locations, though effective preparation is context-dependent. One suggestion made to improve this list was to add a forum to its online version, in order for the public to give their opinions on what else could be helpful to have on hand. By comparison, the United Kingdom has made baseline thrand risk information available to its citizens, which fapreparedness efforts.
Clearly, the keys to drawing successfully upon volunteers during a disaster include education, training, engagement, and the use of social media tools before, during and after disaster strikes. That said, “you don’t have to wait to have all the pieces right before you act,” as Cilluffo notes, “you just have to act.”
APPENDIX A: TASK FORCE BRIEFERS
- Michael Alexander, Majority Staff Director, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate,
- John Cohen, Senior Advisor, Office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
- Rosaline Cohen, Chief Counsel, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives
- Beth Grossman, Senior Counsel, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- Alethea Long-Green, Program Area Director, National Academy of Public Administration
- Mark Lowenthal, President and CEO of the Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC, Former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production
- Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Associate, Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases
- John Solomon, Author and Blogger, In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog: A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness
- Fran Townsend, Former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
APPENDIX B: Task Force Event Media Coverage
- Next president Must Outline Homeland Security Aims Associated Press October 15, 2008
- Lack of Campaign Focus on Homeland Security Could Leave Winner Unprepared Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security (Registration required) October 15, 2008
- Ex-Bush Adviser Cites Need For New Security Apparatus Congress Daily October 15, 2008
- A National Approach to Prevention, Preparedness, and Response: Shaping Expectations, Enhancing Capabilities October 23, 2008
- LAPD Chief: No more Brownies in New Administration Associated Press October 23, 2008
- L.A. Police Chief Has ‘No Interest At All’ in Top Job at DHS Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security (Registration required) October 23, 2008
- Outlining DHS Priorities: Better Communication, Smarter Hiring, Defining Tasks Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security (Registration required) October 23, 2008
- International Strategy: Re-Invigorating Our Role in the World December 3, 2008
- Report Sees Need for New Independent Voice on Public Diplomacy Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security (Registration required) December 5, 2008
- Time to ‘Reset Our Thinking’ Says HS Policy Institute’s Cilluffo Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security (Registration required) November 24, 2008
- Citizen Preparedness: Harnessing an Engaged Public, January 30, 2009
- Informed Citizenry Is Indispensable in Responding to Disaster, Says Author Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security (Registration required) January 30, 2009
APPENDIX C: Task Force Event Participants*
- Charles Adams, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Michael Alexander, U.S. Senate
- Waleed Alshahari, Embassy of Yemen
- Eric Andersen, U.S. Senate
- Craig Anderson, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Jennifer Arangio, U.S. House of Representatives
- Scott Atack, U.S. of Homeland Security
- Alec Attfield, Embassy of Canada
- Lucy Bannerman, The London Times
- Sharon Barnes, Embassy of Australia
- Meg Bartow, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
- Ann Beauchesne, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Christian Beckner, U.S. Senate
- Francois Begin, Olive, Edwards and Cooper LLC
- Brad Belzak, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Martin Bengtsson, BCI Consulting
- Tim Beres, CNA Corporation
- Stephanie Berrong, Security Management Magazine
- Brian Bettis, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Chris Bigelow, U.S. House of Representatives
- Capt. Charles Blue, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Scott Brenner, O’Neill and Associates
- George Brett, Internet2
- Esther Brimmer, Johns Hopkins University
- Wayne Brown, U.S. Coast Guard
- Tom Brune, Newsday
- Mallory Barg Bulman, Government Accountability Office
- Ben Burdon, Embassy of Australia
- Robert Burke, The George Washington University
- Mark Camillo, Lockheed Martin
- Holly Canevari, U.S. House of Representatives
- Sean Carroll, Congressional Fire Services Institute
- Edward Cash, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Jagdish Chandra, The George Washington University
- Jessica Chasen, U.S. Department of State
- Amanda Christopher, American Red Cross
- Robert Clerman, Noblis
- Andrew Cochran, Gage International
- John Cohen, Information Sharing Environment, ODNI
- Andy Cooke-Welling, UK Serious Organised Crime Agency
- Rich Correll, U.S. Department of Defense
- William Courtney, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)
- Vittorio Daniore, Embassy of Italy
- Erin Daste, U.S. House of Representatives
- Katherine Davies, U.S. Department of State
- Richard Deasy, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement
- Bernd Debusmann, Reuters
- Brandon Declet, U.S. House of Representatives
- Antonio Delgado, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Jen Dimascio, Politico
- Kristina Dorville, U.S. House of Representatives
- Matthew Drane, Gallup Consulting
- Daniel Dreyfus, Booz Allen Hamilton
- Joe Dunn, U.S. House of Representatives
- Lesley Durfee, Homeland Security Institute
- RP Eddy, Ergo
- Patrick Endress, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Steve Etter, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
- Clark Kent Ervin, Aspen Institute
- Richard Esposito. ABC
- George Evans, U.S. Special Operations Command
- Richard Fairbanks, CAN
- Roberto Figueredo, U.S. Department of State
- Patrick Flanagan, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.