Concerning the current working relationship that exists between the private sector and its homeland security counterparts (which includes government at all levels, non-governmental organizations, the private sector itself, etc.), how would you assess the current model of shared responsibility? Is it sufficient to adequately address future challenges? If not, what specific changes are in order?
The private sector plays an integral role in the overall homeland security efforts. As mentioned time and time again throughout the course, the majority of the nation’s critical infrastructure are owned and/or operated by the private sector; therefore, it is crucial that government agencies at all levels keep them in mind and bring them into the fold when it comes to planning for various emergencies. Private sector entities are wide-ranging and consist of small, locally-owned mom and pop shops to large, publically traded multinational corporations with an abundance of knowledge and expertise in their respective line of work (BENS, 2016, p. 7).
The current model of shared responsibility is adequate, to a degree, in that it recognizes the need to continue to build upon working-relationships and leverage all agencies involved. As for sufficiency to adequately address future challenges, I believe there is a lot of room for improvement. It must continue to adapt and evolve as threats change. Cyber security, for example, is a major threat that continues to plague the entire enterprise. A more robust system for sharing intelligence and other cyber-threat information between government and private sector entities is vital to successful defense against cyber-attacks (Nelson & Wise, 2013). Actionable intelligence received in a timely manner could potentially prevent attacks or mitigate the damages.
Plans are great on paper but it must be put into practice and exercised on a recurring basis to ensure everyone involved are able to perform as expected. Also, said plans should have private sector inputs as they are the subject-matter experts in what they do. Lack of inclusion of the private sector by federal, state, and local government may continue to lead to operational inefficiencies such as those seen during Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
It has been a pleasure learning along side each and everyone of you during the past 8 weeks. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Business Executives for National Security (BENS). (2016). BENS Issue Paper: Private Partnerships, Public Safety. Retrieved from https://www.bens.org/file/PrivatePartnerships_PublicSafety.pdf
Nelson, R. & Wise, R. (2013). Homeland security at a crossroads: Evolving DHS to meet the next generation of threats. Center for Strategic and International Studies.
This week we are asked to examine the shared responsibilities, future challenges, and possible required changes. While reading the provided reading material for the week I kept getting the feeling of frustration from all parties involved as they all appeared to disagree with the quality of information or the level of involvement expected from all (Stockton & Roberts, 2008). I believe every person is responsible for their own actions. As such every organization is as well responsible for their own actions. In this week’s lecture, it was mentioned that some say that “All disasters are local” disasters. If that is the case then state, and local entities, as well as private sector organizations, are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of there area. The current model of share responsibilities as I understand it is a “Top down” hierarchy, where the Federal government implements general policies while not paying enough attention to the needs of the individual organizations (Stockton & Roberts, 2008). If this is the case, it presents a problem as (I believe) it is not possible to prepare or solve a problem when it is not fully understood. The local entities know what their individual issues are. The same goes for private sector organizations.
On the other side of the responsibility coin, I find it not feasible for State, local or private sector organizations to properly secure the homeland if there is no oversight from the Federal Government. Nevertheless, oversight can’t begin until the local issues have been identified and a specific plan of action has been developed to address the issues. I see the Federal Government as an organizer of efforts.
As for future challenges goes, it is no prudent to forget the current or past threats to focus the efforts on future ones. Cybersecurity is definitely a monster of a threat to everyone, not only large organizations. While there still needs to be a plan for old threats, emphasis needs to be directed towards new possible dangers as there is no concrete possibility to know the extent of future hazards.
Stockton, P. N., & Roberts, P. S. (2008). Findings from the Forum on Homeland Security After the Brush Administration: Next Steps in Building Unity of Effort. Stanford University. Retrieved from http://www.hsaj.org/?article=4.2.4