Issue Brief Series

Issue Briefs are intended to promote better policy by providing context and evidence to help assess current, past, and potential future approaches to issues of ongoing strategic and tactical significance.  Designed to be timely and relevant, Issue Briefs aim to help leading policymakers, academics, and observers better understand important debates, frame key questions, and challenge underpinning assumptions. Comments should be directed to cchs@gwu.edu.

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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.”

Risk-Based Security and the Aviation System: Operational Objectives and Policy Challenges

January 27, 2015

Risk-based security has been the primary strategic imperative for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the past three and a half years, as a focused effort to move beyond a one-size

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