Our picksHomeland security strategy; designer bugs; avoiding a World War Web, and more

Published 7 December 2018

·  Why the U.S. needs a homeland security strategy

·  “Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab

·  TSA unveils cybersecurity roadmap

·  Hoarding threat information ‘not a competitive advantage,’ DHS official tells corporate leaders

·  Avoiding a World War Web: The Paris call for trust and security in cyberspace

·  The U.S. got Canada to arrest a top Chinese tech executive

·  Cyber-espionage group uses Chrome extension to infect victims

·  Washington State workers to install equipment to monitor slow-moving landslide

·  A conversation with former DHS official who resigned over family separation

·   DHS wants a custom cyberthreat warning network

Why the U.S. needs a homeland security strategy (Matthew Wein, Just Security)
The last time the U.S. government published a National Homeland Security Strategy, Osama bin Laden was still alive, Twitter was barely a year old, and only one Transformers movie had made it to theaters. Needless to say, the world today is a very different place than it was in 2007, and an updated strategy is overdue. With the multitude of threats we read about in the news or hear about from our elected officials and public servants, the American public needs to know the changes and advances that have been made and the new approaches developed to protect them. Drafting a strategy document would give the government an opportunity to tackle these important problems with clear objectives and supportive partners.
The White House has not published a National Strategy for Homeland Security since the administration of President George W. Bush. While a national strategy is not congressionally mandated, Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson, who both served as secretary of homeland security under President Barack Obama, each published a department-level strategic document, labeled the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review or QHSR. These were important documents that enumerated the threats America faced and how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intended to mitigate them. They were forward-looking roadmaps that were informed by past events. More importantly, for a department whose mandates are as wide-ranging as DHS’s, the QHSR defined the department’s mission areas, goals and objectives for the next four years.
While the QHSR took important steps to better position DHS to achieve its mission, it was not a whole-of-government national strategy. Not only has DHS matured and evolved since 2007, but so have other agencies who play important roles in securing our homeland. While the QHSRs released by Napolitano and Johnson set forth a vision for DHS, a national strategy would include important objectives and policy prescriptions for departments and agencies with equities in mission areas like cybersecurity, human trafficking, money laundering and migrant flows. The two QHSRs outlined some of this work, but a national strategy would be broader in scope and should involve the agencies who collaborate with and support DHS’s important work – like Treasury, State, Justice and Commerce.