The Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (CCHS) at the George Washington University is a nonpartisan “think and do” tank whose mission is to carry out policy-relevant research and analysis on homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity issues.  By convening domestic and international policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and academia, CCHS develops innovative strategies to address and confront current and future threats.

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Center Announces New Project on Active Defense Against Cyber Threats

The Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (CCHS) at the George Washington University is pleased to announce that it has launched a new project looking at the issue of active defense by the private sector against cyber threats. The Center has established a high-level task force that is examining these issues and will release a major report later this year.  The project is being carried out by the Center thanks to the financial support provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation.
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Issue Brief Series

Evaluating Intelligence and Information Sharing Networks: Examples from a Study of the National Network of Fusion Centers

October 01, 2015

In the weeks and months following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Congress and the media asked why the intelligence and law enforcement communities had failed to intercept the Tsarnaev brothers, who were known to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) prior to the attack. The national conversation also focused on the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), the city’s fusion center. In general this coverage was fraught with common misconceptions, including that fusion centers are owned and operated by DHS. Even local Boston
news outlets questioned the return on investment in Boston and elsewhere. One report hastily labeled fusion centers a “flop.”

Commentary Series

Homeland Defense: Policy Judgments and Lessons Learned

December 17, 2015

After twenty-seven years of federal service, including the last six as a senior official at the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, I am now able to reflect and offer lessons learned from the experience. It is daunting to help lead complex national efforts on homeland security, homeland defense, and defense support of civil authorities – issues that are central to central to national security. My experiences also provide examples of how disparate groups can come together in defense of the nation.

Time for the United States and Russia to Take on ISIS Together in Syria

November 13, 2015

The conflict zone that is Syria continues to fester to the benefit of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). As evidence mounts suggesting the Russian-operated Airbus A321M was brought down in Egypt by an explosion possibly planted by the Sinai affiliate of ISIS—and as a recent Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) report suggests the use of mustard gas by ISIS in August near Aleppo, we seem to be moving into an even more dangerous phase of ISIS capability to conduct terror and combat operations.

How California’s Drought Exacerbates the Terrorism Threat

May 12, 2015

Terrorist organizations including ISIS, Hezbollah, and al‐Qa’ida have openly promulgated a strategy of ecological jihad. In contrast to other methods employed by terrorists, environmental tactics, such as contaminating water supplies or starting fires, can be quickly planned, require little technical expertise to execute, and have lower risk of detection. Water shortages due to drought increase vulnerability to these terror methods with significant consequences for people, infrastructure, and the economy.

ISIS in America: From Retweets to Raqqa

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CCHS Twitter Feed

Op-Eds & Commentaries

Russia's aggressive power is resurgent, online and off

August 25, 2016

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NATO After Brexit

July 04, 2016

Commentators have rushed to weigh in on the political and economic implications of the Brexit referendum. But the potential security effects are just as important. At risk are operational matters such as data and intelligence sharing. But also in question is something more fundamental: the relationships that allow security services to live and breathe. The United Kingdom, EU, and other partners will now have to redefine their security and intelligence relationships.

A Cyber JSOC Could Help the US Strike Harder and Faster

April 25, 2016

A network-attack analogue to the manhunting Joint Special Operations Command would allow cyber warriors to decide, deconflict, and execute more effectively.