Homeland Security Affairs Journal, Volume IX - February-August 2013
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August 2013. Current contributors to Homeland Security Affairs address the intersection of public and private interests and how that intersection can influence homeland security. Ryan Hallahan and Jon M. Peha look at how commercial broadband networks could be made available to public safety users as a means of increasing the capacity and coverage currently available on dedicated public safety networks. Available technology provides a wide range of capabilities to support priority and roaming without compromising the quality of service for commercial customers. The key, Hallahan and Peha suggest in “Enabling Public Safety Priority Use of Commercial Wireless Networks,” is to establish a single entity with the expertise and authority to bridge public safety stakeholders, commercial carriers, and technical standards bodies. Philip J. Palin examines the public-private process for considering risks to and cultivating the resilience of supply chains. In “Supply Chain Resilience: Diversity + Self-organization = Adaptation,” Palin argues that supply chains have become a global complex adaptive network in which demand creates supply. As such, they are self-optimizing and not well suited to traditional security mindsets. Because most supply chains are privately owned and operated, the most effective role for government is as a facilitator for supply chain stakeholders. “If supply chain resilience is to be achieved,” Palin claims, “it must remain a matter of policy rather than administration.” The push-pull between policy and administration is also addressed by Jerome H. Kahan in “The Two Faces of DHS: Balancing the Department’s Responsibilities.” As Kahan points out, the twenty-two agencies combined to create DHS brought with them “a smorgasbord of non-homeland security responsibilities, such as processing legal immigration and enforcing immigration laws.” This has resulted in a split personality that has not yet become an issue – but it could. Kahan sees a growing risk that efforts to manage non-homeland security activities may compromise the department’s main job of protecting against terrorism and responding to terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The National Guard plays a major role in such response, operating at the intersection of homeland security and national defense. Yet achieving unity of effort in homeland response operations, argues David W. Smith, has proven to be an elusive target. To reach that target, he is suggesting “The Plan, Type, Source, Report Cycle: A Unifying Concept for National Guard Preparedness” as a proactive strategy to improve National Guard operations. “This collaborative system facilitates shared learning among planners and enables us to quantitatively sum national Guard contributions to homeland response.” How disaster response intersects with public and private interests is at the heart of Ami J. Abou-bakr’s Managing Disasters through Public-Private Partnerships (2013), reviewed here by Austen D. Givens. Abou-bakr’s book, states Givens, “delivers the most compelling analysis yet of how disaster-oriented PPPs [public-private partnerships] can help us to deal with increasingly complex crises.” As the homeland defense and security community deals with an increasingly complex field, we invite our readers to join the debate at www.hsaj.org.
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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