On February 3, 2011, Dr. Sharon Caudle, Younger-Carter Distinguished Policy Maker in Residence and visiting lecturer at the Bush School, testified before the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management of the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security. Caudle was asked to discuss how effective the Department of Homeland Security has been in implementing a strategy to counter emerging threats. Caudle was invited because of her expertise and publications on international and national homeland security strategies.
There were two panels of witnesses at the hearing. Dr. Caudle joined the Honorable Paul Schneider, principal at The Chertoff Group, on the first panel. The second included David Maurer, director of the Homeland Security and Justice Team at the US Government Accountability Office; Shawn Reese, analyst with the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy of the Congressional Research Service; and Mr. Alan Cohen, deputy assistant secretary, Office of Policy at the Department of Homeland Security.
In her testimony, Dr. Caudle reviewed DHS policies and approaches to preparedness in place after Presidential Policy Directive-8, and then addressed the challenges that should be considered by the subcommittee:
- Should there be a fundamental change in the operational approach to meeting a national preparedness goal?
- Whether implementation of capabilities by the ‘whole of community’ from the federal government to individual citizens to address the ‘maximum of maximums’ threats is pragmatically achievable, and
- Whether DHS should include other longer-term, emerging threats as priorities for action in its near-term strategies.
Caudle urged the subcommittee to consider “…if the current DHS strategies overweigh the opportunity costs in continuing to pursue a comprehensive capabilities approach, insisting on the whole of community being prepared for a maximum of maximum event, and delaying action on confronting longer-term threats.”
The full text of Caudle’s testimony and that of the other witnesses can be viewed at the committee website: http://homeland.house.gov/hearing/subcommitte-hearing-dhs-effectively-implementing-strategy-counter-emerging-threats.