The Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise at 15

Looking Back and Assessing Future Challenges

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The first National Strategy for Homeland Security, released in July 2002, promoted the strategic concept of Homeland Security Intelligence and Information Analysis, an idea that that was established in law in the Homeland Security Act, signed by President George W. Bush in December 2002.  Intelligence activities at the Department of Homeland Security were initially led by the new Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) Directorate, then moved into a separate Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) pursuant to the 2005 Second-Stage Review and the 2007 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act.

On October 13, 2017, nearly fifteen years after the Homeland Security Act was signed into law, the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security convened an event to reflect on the progress that has been made to establish a homeland security intelligence enterprise and to assess the challenges associated with developing and maturing it.  Given the state of cyber-related terrorism and other national security threats to the homeland, it is critically important that the Department of Homeland Security have an effective and well-integrated intelligence capability that leverages the full capabilities of the Department's operating components; works closely with the FBI and other federal partners; and, utilizes its relationships with state, local and tribal law enforcement and public safety agencies, including state and local fusion centers.


Keynote Remarks by David Glawe, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security

With the theme of intelligence serving as the leading indicator to prevent violent acts against persons and property by cyber threats, illegal drugs, terrorist groups, and transnational criminal organizations, the Honorable David Glawe focused his keynote remarks on posturing the intelligence community to strategically and tactically respond to, and mitigate, threats. Reflecting on his experiences in law enforcement and border security, the Under Secretary placed particular emphasis was placed on providing timely and relevant information regarding foreign and domestic threats to the Department’s operational partners at various levels, including local and state, in order to more effectively put intelligence into action. The Honorable David Glawe also discussed the ever-evolving fundamentals of terrorism, including the increasing sophistication of terrorist networks and the use of internet to disseminate propaganda and recruit potential fighters, and the capabilities of the intelligence community to respond to these transnational threats in a timely manner.


Panel Discussion with Former Leaders of the DHS Office of Intelligence & Analysis

Panelists: Gen. Patrick Hughes; Charlie Allen; Caryn Wagner; and Gen. Frank Taylor.

Moderated by: Roger Mason, Senior Vice President of National Security and Intelligence at Noblis.

Following the theme of examining DHS’s first 15 years, the discussion reflected back on the tenures of the four former Under Secretaries for Intelligence and Analysis and the progress made as well as the challenges faced by each panelist in establishing a new intelligence agency. The Under Secretaries primarily identified the chronic issues of implementing effective intelligence analysis training for DHS analysts, utilizing the data available to Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) through DHS’s other agencies, and sharing DHS’s intelligence with other intelligence agencies. The Under Secretaries then went on to address ways that chronic problems I&A faces could be mitigate or resolved. Specifically focusing on intelligence collection and sharing, former Under Secretary Allen and Taylor both stressed that DHS components and fusion centers already collect important domestic intelligence. However, both went on to underscore the need to integrate the data into a single stream to effectively analyze and share information with DHS subcomponents as well as federal, state, and local partners.


Panel Discussion on Policy and Stakeholder Perspectives

Panelists: Walter Haydock, former Professional Staff Member, House Committee on Homeland Security; Dawn Scalici, former National Intelligence Manager for Western Hemisphere and Deputy Under Secretary for Analysis at I&A; Christopher Geldart, former Director of D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency; and, Christian Beckner, Deputy Director of CCHS and former Senior Senate Staff on Homeland Security issues.  

Moderated by: Jordin Cohen, Director at Noblis

The discussion commenced with panelists addressing several issues concerning homeland security and intelligence policy, including the need to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security, further define intelligence program missions within the Department, and establish a more unified I&A intelligence doctrine. Emphasis was also placed on the importance of improving I&A culture of intelligence and response timeline in order to meet evolving security threats. Improvements to I&A and the Department’s role in intelligence over the past fifteen years was also discussed. Panelists noted the positive impact Director of National Intelligence Clapper made in improving homeland security-related intelligence by outlining its responsibilities and integrating non-intelligence agencies and partners, which has allowed I&A components to better identify and respond to foreign threats to homeland security. Echoing Under Secretary of Intelligence and Analysis David Glawe’s keynote remarks, the panelists also reinforced the importance of providing timely and relevant intelligence at various levels of government in order to improve national security and defense responses to various foreign threats.