Changing Homeland Security: The Year in Review 2007
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As New York City and the nation prepared to remember the sixth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, the talk started about September 11th fatigue: 'a weariness of reliving a day that everyone wishes had never happened.' 'I may sound callous, but doesn'۪t grieving have a shelf life?' one person asked. 'We'۪re very sorry and mournful that people died, but there are living people. Let'۪s wind it down.' That gets my vote for 2007's most startling homeland security story. One gets startled when something happens one was not expecting. Perhaps I should not have been so surprised. I spoke with a lot of thoughtful homeland security professionals last year. [''_] Their responses present a snapshot of Homeland Security 2007 as captured by people who work with and think about these issues all year. Their ideas remind us of the continuing debate about the meaning, scope, and effect of homeland security. Not every important topic or trend is mentioned. What is cited, however, outlines the still emerging terrain of homeland security. Intelligence-arguably the core of preventing another major attack-was a significant issue in 2007. Several national intelligence estimates and related products revealed more information about 'the threat' and about how the intelligence community does its work. Unsurprisingly, the more one knows about this element of the nation's security, the more questions are raised. Can we rely on the accuracy and objectivity of intelligence generated by government? How does intelligence actually help the nation be better prepared?
This article appeared in Homeland Security Affairs (January 2008), v.4 no.1
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