Changing Homeland Security: What Should Homeland Security Leaders Be Talking About?
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There is little political will to substantially alter the organizational and programmatic system that characterizes U.S. homeland security. The system we have is the one we have to work with, at least until something significant happens: another attack, a catastrophic natural disaster, a national public health emergency, or a new political administration. If the country is not attacked again, if there are no more national traumas, then incrementalism is a cautious and appropriate way to improve homeland security. The next serious national incident will create an environment that supports, if not demands, substantial change. What should or could those changes be? Responses to this question will emerge from conversations among people who care about homeland security when it is not at the top of the nation's policy agenda -- people like those who read Homeland Security Affairs. This article invites readers to participate in an experiment to answer the question: What should future-thinking homeland security leaders be talking about now, and why? To initiate the conversation, this article offers readers a basic homeland security literacy test and outlines three big-picture perspectives that can frame conversations about the future of homeland security: strict constructionism, middle-of-the-road moderation, and radical reconstructionism.
This article appeared in Homeland Security Affairs (July 2006), v.2 no.2
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