Monday, September 22, 2008

The Future of Homeland Security

Louis Chunovic writes on

The future of homeland security – the concept rather than the huge government agency – was on the mind of DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff when he spoke recently at the Brookings Institution, the well-known Washington think tank. And while it was billed as one of a series of speeches marking DHS’s fifth anniversary, focusing on the vulnerabilities of the nation’s critical infrastructure, it had the feeling both of a valedictory and a defense of the Bush Administration’s free market oriented guiding philosophy.

Chertoff characterized "two very different views" of how to protect crucial national infrastructure. One he called the "government-centric model…Under this view, homeland security is essentially a government function in all respects."

Not surprisingly, Chertoff rejected this approach, saying the "approach we take is not this 20th century command-and-control approach. It’s rather a 21st century partnership approach." That view "involves business input into how to design a system to reduce vulnerability, and…relies upon business to do a great deal of the security checking itself."

According to Chertoff, the partnership model "also acknowledges the reality that it’s simply impossible -- and impossibly expensive -- for the government to handle 100 percent of Homeland Security preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery responsibilities in the 21st century."

More here.


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