Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Community of Professionals and the Long War

The recent failed bombing of Northwest Flight 253 highlights an emerging reality that was documented in the book by James Carafano and Paul Rosenweig, Winning the Long War. We are in a long global war with transnational terrorists that is not going away regardless of our routine changes in political leadership. http://www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandDefense/the-long-war.cfm

This year alone we have experienced successful terror attacks in Arkansas and Fort Hood and several foiled plots in Dallas, Illinois, and New York.

We must continue to focus on the long term development of our Homeland Security and Emergency Management community to keep pace with the circumstances that face us.

The fact is that in the Department of Defense military planning and readiness is a process that has at least a decade long horizon. The development of people is done in career long cycles that span 20-30 years. Changes in political leadership do not change the underlying capability of our defense infrastructure easily.

Long term issues like Critical infrastructure resilience and the radicalization of our youth are just two examples of the challenge we face in domestic security.

If a flight were to break up over a major metropolitan area it would be a nightmare for emergency management professionals. Securing the debris field and managing collateral casualties on the ground are just two issues that must be imagined and planned out.

The role of English speaking clerics educated in the United States like Anwar al-Awlaki who was a trained engineer at Colorado State University creates a radicalization problem we have to confront.

Since the early 1990's and the first world trade center bombing, front line professionals have been developing their understanding of the evolving domestic security challenge.

Developing the career path for tomorrow's interdisciplinary senior leaders and executives is more important than ever.

Thanks for Checking in.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Career Development and the Future of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

I recently wrote about the emerging Community of Professionals for Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Domestic Preparedness Journal. The article is available at my website or on the DomPrep website. http://www.domesticpreparedness.com/Training/

Last week, the annual meeting for The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) was a great example of this professional development paradigm.

TISP is a forum for engineers to be engaged with other professionals in this national security issue.

I'm convinced that engineers and law enforcement professionals should be collaborating on critical infrastructure protection and resilience.

Albert Romano, a Michael Baker., Jr, Inc. Senior VP is the new Chairman of TISP taking over from Ed Hecker of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The engineering community must be more involved in the public policy development for critical infrastructure resilience and there should be more engineering influence in the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection.

The efforts of TISP and the ASCE Guiding principles that I wrote about last week are opportunities to evolve the Community of Professionals over the next decade. I'm encouraged that this will happen.

Thanks for checking in.



Saturday, December 5, 2009

Guiding Principles for the Nation's Infrastructure

The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) is holding their Annual Infrastructure and Regional Resilience 2009 Conference on December 9th and 10 at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas. http://www.tisp.org/index.cfm

William B. Anderson, TISP Director has worked hard to pull this together.

Joe Manous, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is moderating a panel with David Pezza (USACE) and myself to continue the process of communicating the American Sociey of Civil Engineers (ASCE) new Guiding Principles for the Nation's Infrastructure. http://ciasce.asce.org/

Also this past week; the Chair of the ASCE, Committee on Critical Infrastructure (CCI), Karen Moran, PE and VP at Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP held the quarterly meeting and set direction for the committee's work to develop a roadmap to implement the Guiding Principles. I've agreed to play a leadship role on the subcommittee to move this initiative ahead. More to come on this initiative.

Lastly see my latest article on the recovery and resilience convergence. Check my wesite or go to DomPrep Journal direct. http://www.domesticpreparedness.com/

Thanks for checking in.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Disaster Recovery and National Resilience

This is the first posting for a weekly blog that discusses current issues that I am encountering in my work around the country.

I plan to keep it short and to the point and refer you to other references or articles where appropriate. I will also be writing more in-depth analysis on these topics for other publications like the Domestic Preparedness Journal.

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking on a panel at the Heritage Foundation for the Fourth Annual Consortium for Homeland Defense and Security in America that examined Homeland Security’s Wicked Problems.

Mark Debosier from the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Division and myself were on a panel moderated by Matt Mayer from Ohio's Buckeye Institute dealing with Disaster Recovery.

I touched on three themes in my talk:

1. National Recovery Doctrine is a major gap for large scale disaster recovery.

2. States must reassert their responsibility for recovery and empower the private sector to help them.

3. There is a strong linkage between disaster recovery and infrastructure resilience.

Since my May 2009 lecture at Heritage, which focused on Recovery as a key piece of Unfinished Preparedness Business at FEMA and an August 2009 article in Domestic Preparedness Journal about a lack of Recovery Doctrine, there has been an encouraging public process launched by the White House and DHS/FEMA to develop a National Disaster Recovery Framework. The details are available at http://www.disasterrecoveryworkinggroup.gov/ along with 16 probing questions for public input.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that my speaking about it influenced the process, I'm just glad it is happening.

I also advocated that Governors must reassert their authority and take charge of recovery and pre-incident recovery planning. In addition, each state should have a State Disaster Housing Plan that would be a requirement to receive HUD-Community Development Block Grants.

Finally, I spoke about the groundbreaking work that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is doing on Infrastructure Resilience. It has published a set of Guiding Principles for National Infrastructure that is now a companion to its Infrastructure Report Card. The ASCE has a speakers bureau to get the word out on the Principles and there will be more to follow.

I'll have a lot more to say on this topic in future weeks.

Thanks for checking in.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Website Coming Soon

I plan to launch my blog soon after my website in the next several days.

Stay tuned.