Homeland Security 3.0
September 18, 2008
In 2004, a task force chaired by homeland security experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Heritage Foundation (and consisting of representatives from academia, research centers, the private sector, and congressional staffs) presented its conclusions in “DHS 2.0: Rethinking the Department of Homeland Security.” Their report evaluated the capacity of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fulfill its mandate as set out in the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Their evaluation was based on four criteria: management, roles and missions, authorities, and resources. It offered more than 40 major recommendations and made the case for a significant reorganization of the DHS to improve this instrument’s effectiveness and efficiency for preventing and responding to terrorist threats. Many of these proposals in the report were subsequently adopted by Congress and the secretary of homeland security.
Four years later, this follow-up report concludes that, while many still find the department a work in progress, the most pressing needs for enhancing the protection of the country from transnational terrorist threats do not lie in further major reorganization of the DHS or revisiting its roles and missions. Rather Congress and the administration should shift their focus to strengthening the effectiveness of the national homeland security enterprise as a whole. The terrorist threat is nimble and dynamic. It exploits the seams of our society, operating in the gaps between bureaucratic notions of foreign and domestic, state and federal, civil and military. To counter this threat, we must build a national homeland security enterprise that is as agile and seamless as those who seek to harm us. The objective of this report is to highlight the most critical tasks for building such an enterprise.