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Tag: Chris Battle

Column: Homeland Security Falling Behind By Resisting Social Media

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief
WASHINGTON — I just returned from a fantastic briefing by Price Floyd, the principal deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Defense.

Under his guidance, DoD has recently launched a new website — Defense.gov — that integrates all of the latest social media tools into DoD’s website and overall communications strategies.

More on that insightful presentation soon, but I wanted to comment on something that really stood out — just how far behind the Department of Homeland Security is falling in the public affairs arena by resisting the inevitable need to engage the social media landscape.

To Read More

Column: Department of Homeland Security Still Misunderstood

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief
WASHINGTON — I am still a bit surprised when I hear this question: How many terrorists has the Department of Homeland Security caught? Probably for most employees at DHS, it’s an odd question. Which is why it’s a critical public relations matter. Most Americans still don’t understand the mission of DHS.

Why is it an odd question? It’s not DHS’s job to catch terrorists, per se.

Yes, DHS has as its mission the goal of preventing another terrorist attack on American soil. So catching terrorists would seem like an obvious part of that.

Except it’s not. Prevention is the key word. The job of the folks at DHS is not so much to catch terrorists but to prevent them from successfully implementing a terrorist operation. Catching and preventing may at times overlap, but more often than not, for the majority of cases, they do not.

The FBI is the primary agency responsible for investigating and bringing individual terrorists to justice.

To Read the Rest

They’re Baaack! The Folks From the 9/11 Commission Are Back to Nudge Congress and Obama

The 9/11 report was an important document which laid out a lot constructive ideas. Someone needs to keep hammering away and reminding the administration how important it is to implement those recommendations. Let’s not wait for the next disaster.

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief Blog

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

WASHINGTON — Just as they did under the old and more urgent-sounding moniker of the “9/11 Commission,” and then again under the less-urgent and more bureaucratic-sounding “9/11 Public Discourse Project,” Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean are back on the national scene, beating the drums to make sure that the nation continues to maintain a focus on homeland security and evolve it security capabilities.

Today, they are doing it under the auspices of the “National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG).” Which kind of sounds like some internal working group at the Chamber of Commerce or a new lobbying firm in Washington. No matter, it’s an important job, and since the White House and Congress aren’t doing it, somebody has to keep an eye on domestic security.

The 9/11 Commission was the most venerable of various independent and bipartisan ad hoc groups put together to assess what went wrong in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

To Read More

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

With All the Trouble at the Mexico Border, What’s the Holdup For a New DEA Chief?

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief

WASHINGTON — There has been quite a bit of discussion about the surge of drug-related violence on the Mexican border, rightly so.

There has also been quite a bit of discussion lately, thanks to a recent GAO study and congressional hearings, about whether the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are allowing turf issues to interfere with an effective U.S. response to that increased violence. Also an appropriate topic of inquiry.

Is anyone else, though, wondering why – if the narco-violence on our southern border is indeed so important (and it is) – why the Administration has yet to announce a nominee to lead the DEA?

The DEA is a rare government bird; it has only one focus. That focus is to combat the large-scale trafficking of illegal narcotics. If you ask anyone at the FBI, he or she will inform you that The Bureau does it all. You got a crime? They got a jurisdiction. They do drugs. They do white collar. They do terrorism. They’d do circus clowns if circus clowning were a federal crime (which, by the way, I am actively lobbying for). Which is why they can sometimes come off as disorganized and thinly stretched.

Read more »

Sec. Napolitano Exudes Confidence By Keeping Old Hands at Homeland Security

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief

WASHINGTON–Secretary Napolitano has decided to keep a number of DHS non-career employees on board at the Department through an extended transition phase. It’s a wise move, and one that highlights the confidence the former Arizona Governor brings to her role. As Washington Post writer Spencer Hsu points out, Napolitano’s decision runs contrary to typical approaches.
The attempt at continuity is unusual in presidential transitions between parties, which typically lead to wholesale purging of politically appointed personnel. At the Justice Department, for example, almost no Bush holdovers remain beyond Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip, who is acting as attorney general pending confirmation of Obama nominee Eric H. Holder Jr., and Filip’s two top aides.
By contrast, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has retained the department’s second-ranking official, Deputy Secretary Paul A. Schneider, and its top border security official, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham, as well as its operations director and the assistant secretaries responsible for policy and private sector coordination. The heads of the Coast Guard and Secret Service, who are not political appointees, and DHS Undersecretary for Management Elaine C. Duke, whose tenure is set by law, also remain.

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Terrorists Get It: The Government Should too When it Comes to Using the “New Media”

The terrorists get it. The U.S. government should too. The author insists the government needs to take advantage of the New Media for “emergency response, open-source intelligence gathering and the ideological struggle for hearts and minds”.

By Chris Battle
Foreign Policy Journal
WASHINGTON — Talk to some in the national and homeland security environment, and they will tell you — perhaps a bit defensively but usually with a false sense of authority — that they cannot leverage the powerful tools of New Media because to do so might threaten their internal security.
Others simply give you a puzzled look, as if you are asking them whether they go online and share pictures of their families with anonymous college kids. Meanwhile, the world of communications and intelligence — not to mention history’s most deadly generation of terrorists — is passing them by.
Al Qaeda’s propaganda and recruiting capability has obtained an almost mythical status. The group communicates worldwide via the Internet with a miniscule budget and deprived of the complex IT infrastructure available to the United States.

For Full Story