Domestic Preparedness’ John Morton met with R. James Woolsey, Vice President, Global Resilience, Booz Allen Hamilton. The former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) provides his insights into why first responders must be constantly aware of the limitations of intelligence and information-sharing – and, consequently, on the need to emphasize resilience, particularly in the area of command and control, over pure prevention.
First responders must be aware of the limitations of intelligence if they are to be able to give a heads-up on potential terrorist attacks. The importance of having resilient communications available to ensure continuity in command and control in the event of an incident. How broad intel sharing is not always, or necessarily, desirable.
Relating Risk Assessment and Critical Infrastructure Protection
Intel cannot translate terrorist intentions into programs for pure prevention. What is needed instead is to build programs into critical infrastructure that will ensure resilience and mitigate the effects of a catastrophic incident. Also, the need for continual “crisis gaming” to improve response.
Reducing Vulnerability in the Oil Sector
The mid-term solution is to work with governments of the Middle East to reduce vulnerabilities in their oil infrastructures. The need to move to high-grade diesel, bio-mass/cellulose ethanol, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid automotive engine technologies.
Homeland Security Reorganization
A coherent DHS reorganization will be dependent on, among other changes, the reorganization and consolidation of congressional committee oversight in both authorization and appropriations. How some Army Reserve and National Guard units should be reconfigured specifically for civil support, given that so much in the field of critical infrastructure involves increasingly vulnerable networks that require a rapid national, federal response if they go down.
Local Preparedness for Catastrophic Threats
How the local preparedness for continuity of operations in and/or following a catastrophic incident should emphasize communications, particularly by using new technologies such as wireless mesh and voice-over-Internet, as was demonstrated in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. Philadelphia and San Francisco have been leading the way in this area. Perhaps the most important intel collection change in this era involves domestic mechanism for collection vs. satellite collection, for example. National-level intel is focused more on coordinating and routing intel within the country.
R. James Woolsey
R. James Woolsey, a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton in the firm's Global Assurance practice, received presidential appointments in two Democratic and two Republican administrations, and served for twelve years in the federal government. He was director of central intelligence in 1993-95, under secretary of the Navy 1977-79, and general counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services 1970-73, and also served in several other high-level government positions.
John F. Morton
John F. Morton is the Strategic Advisor for DomPrep. He is also the Homeland Security Team Lead for the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR). A member of the DomPrep team since its founding, he has served as managing editor for writer assignments and interviewer for scores of DomPrep audio interviews.