Homeland Security: Inside & Out – February 15th, 2009

Few scholars have spent more years focused on homeland security issues than co-hosts, Dave McIntyre and Randy Larsen. This week, Dave and Randy look back at the first seven years of homeland security in the United States, and answer the question: “How did we get here?”

In Part I, they discuss:

  • How homeland security emerged as a line of thought at the federal level prior to the 9/11 attacks.
  • The debate over whether to focus the nation’s resources on high probability/low consequence events (such as car bombs) or low probability/high consequence events (such as nuclear or biological attacks).
  • Their initial reactions to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent anthrax attacks, and their analysis of the investigations that followed.

In Part II, they discuss:

  • The rush after 9/11 to create the Department of Homeland Security, and its long-term implications for the nation.
  • The effects of the Bush administration’s decision to largely ignore the findings of the Hart-Rudman Commission, a bi-partisan panel that studied homeland security issues for three years.
  • Whether the model for counterterrorism should be viewed as law-enforcement, war … or something else.

In Part III, they discuss:

  • Whether Congress should pull FEMA out of DHS.
  • Who should get the blame for what happened — and didn’t happen — during Hurricane Katrina.
  • The need to stop trying to handle emergency management at the federal, state and local levels “on the cheap.”