Homeland Security Affairs Journal, Volume IV - 2008: Issue 1, January
Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)
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January 2008. In this edition of Homeland Security Affairs we are pleased to offer articles that demonstrate the increasing depth and breadth of the homeland security discipline. This growth is particularly apparent in “Changing Homeland Security: The Year in Review — 2007,” where Christopher Bellavita asked homeland security professionals to identify what they thought was the discipline’s top issue last year. The responses range from intelligence to ethics and trust, public health, immigration, and the Department of Homeland Security. Each respondent expresses his or her particular viewpoint of what homeland security is and should be. Addressing the question of ethics and homeland security, John Kaag examines the way in which technological progress has altered the rules of military engagement and influenced the implementation of homeland security. In “Another Question Concerning Technology,” Kaag argues that the technology associated with precision guided munitions (PGM) opens the possibility of ethical discrimination and proportionality, but in no way ensures that these possibilities will be actualized. He asks if the technological progress that has come to define homeland security may lead to similar ethical difficulties in fields of domestic intelligence and law enforcement. Finally, Kaag suggests that these ethical questions are neither answered nor obscured by the development of technology. It is only the unreflective use of, and dependence on, these technologies that may be ethically problematic. In “Evaluating the Impact of Contextual Background Fusion on Unclassified Homeland Security Intelligence,” Chuck Eaneff addresses the challenges of providing unclassified intelligence products to homeland security professionals who are considered non-traditional recipients (NTR). Eaneff examines the impact of intelligence contextual background fusion (CBF) through the use of hyperlink technology and evaluates the likelihood of these NTRs accepting this technology. Based on surveys using DHS and FBI customer satisfaction questions in combination with a Technology Acceptance Model, he contends these non-traditional recipients overwhelmingly prefer a contextual background fusion product. Turning to another model of intelligence and collaboration, Larry Irons analyzes significant terrorist plots in the United Kingdom using a heuristic model of prevention – the Prevention Cube. The analysis presented in “Recent Patterns of Terrorism Prevention in the United Kingdom” focuses on the way collaboration and information sharing practices among UK Agencies affected the success of counterterrorism strategy in key successful and preempted attack plots. Irons contends that, historically, the dominant UK strategy has focused on the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and so has employed a primarily hierarchical, rather than a networked, model of risk management in prioritizing surveillance targets. For this reason, the Agencies in the UK failed to take into account the ability of a networked organization, such as al Queda, to direct the harmful actions of home-grown extremists. How the United States prepares for and responds to risk is the topic of Richard A. Posner’s book, Catastrophe: Risk and Response, reviewed by Patrick S. Roberts. Posner analyzes the reasons why the U.S. under-prepares for natural, technological, and terrorist catastrophe. This is, according to Roberts, “a central work in the burgeoning literature on how to deal with rare but high-consequence events.” Posner’s use of cost-benefit analysis, says Roberts, provides a starting point for how the Department of Homeland Security might allocate resources among threats to create an all hazards approach to managing the risk of catastrophe. We hope you find this article in this issue of Homeland Security Affairs informative and thought-provoking and encourage you to contribute your own thoughts on the most important homeland security issues of the past year.
Homeland Security Affairs is the peer-reviewed online journal of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), providing a forum to propose and debate strategies, policies, and organizational arrangements to strengthen U.S. homeland security. The instructors, participants, alumni, and partners of CHDS represent the leading subject matter experts and practitioners in the field of homeland security.
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