Policy Reports

Public Health and Emergency Management: Challenges and Opportunities (PDF)

June 07, 2012

The legacy missions of public health and emergency management must be synchronized for disaster preparedness and response efforts to be effective. To achieve this goal, stakeholders within these fields must work together to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to managing manmade and natural disasters.

The Hybrid Threat: Crime, Terrorism and Insurgency in Mexico (PDF)

December 01, 2011

The hybrid threat of crime, terrorism and insurgency is presently understudied as a matter of policy, strategy, and doctrine. As a small step towards remedying this conceptual deficit, and exploring those ideas in the particular context of Mexico, the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) together with the U.S. Army War College’s Center for Strategic Leadership co-convened a symposium in Washington D.C. on October 20, 2011.

Operationalizing Resilience: A Systems-based Approach Emphasizing Risk Management is Required (PDF)

October 13, 2011

A systems-based approach will allow the frameworks to account for the interdependencies among the homeland security mission areas, recognize the relationships between “hard” and “soft” resilience, and drive preparedness investments towards better optimization.

Interim Report on Resilience

May 16, 2011

For the past several years much has been written about the need for resilience in our nation, businesses, and communities. In short, there is general agreement that resilience is a good thing, but we lack a shared vision of how to achieve it.Task Force Co-Chairs: Michael Balboni, Daniel Kaniewski, R. David Paulison

Foreign Fighters: Trends, Trajectories & Conflict Zones (PDF)

September 22, 2010

The United States and the European Union face serious challenges in dealing with the flow of radicalized Westerners travelling into jihadi conflict zones. This report of the Homeland Security Policy Institute and Swedish National Defence College on this subject will be an important contribution to understanding the dimensions of this flow and how the US and EU must further collaborate to confront this increasing threat.

Al-Qaeda Central and the Internet (PDF)

March 16, 2010

Al-Qaeda Central now faces a triple communications challenge: staying prominent in an ever more competitive online environment, explaining how its current entanglement in the Afghanistan-Pakistan nexus makes sense in the global jihadist narrative, and trying to change increasingly negative views of suicide bombing and al-Qaeda itself in the Arab-Muslim world.

The H1N1 Influenza A Virus: A Test Case for a Global Response (PDF)

May 01, 2009

A new strain of an existing influenza virus has appeared, and with it an opportunity to test years of local, state, federal, and international emergency planning. The outcome is likely to have enduring health and economic consequences around the world.

The Homeland Security Council: Considerations for the Future (PDF)

April 01, 2009

There is general agreement that homeland security is a part of national security. The challenge is to create an organizational construct that reflects this reality and manages it most effectively. The key questions for present purposes are: “how can the federal government best manage its role in the homeland security enterprise, and what should be the role of White House staff?"

Thinking Anew—Security Priorities for the Next Administration (PDF)

March 01, 2008

The nation is in the midst of a crossroads in its consideration of a security policy. A coherent strategy to address 21st century threats to the United States, one that treats national and homeland security as a seamless whole, has yet to emerge.

NETworked Radicalization: A Counter-Strategy (PDF)

May 03, 2007

This report focuses on radicalization in the context of the transnational insurgency that is the global extremist “jihadi” Salafist movement. Further, the report explores the relatively delimited question of how to respond to and counter Internet-facilitated radicalization.

Stopping Surprise Attacks: Thinking Smarter About Homeland Security

April 23, 2007

For decades, top Pentagon management has not had the time to think deeply about long-term trends or threats that have not even begun to emerge. Instead, it has relied on a small office to do the job -- the Office of Net Assessment (ONA). The ONA offers senior lead­ers insights and new perspectives on an uncertain future by conducting studies and engaging top intellec­tuals and cutting-edge thinkers in many fields."

Report of the Future of Terrorism Task Force (PDF)

January 25, 2007

Our adversary is proactive, innovative, well networked, flexible, patient, young, technologically savvy, and learns and adapts continuously based upon both successful and failed operations around the globe. We must be and do likewise. Our institutions must be recalibrated to reflect the changing threat environment.

Out of the Shadows: Getting Ahead of Prisoner Radicalization (PDF)

September 19, 2006

Prisons have long been places where extremist ideology and calls to violence could find a willing ear, and conditions are often conducive to radicalization. With the world’s largest prison population and highest incarceration rate, America faces what could be an enormous challenge – every radicalized prisoner becomes a potential terrorist recruit.

Regionalizing Homeland Security: Unifying National Preparedness and Response (PDF)

June 30, 2006

Hurricane Katrina exposed serious flaws in our nation’s capability for responding effectively to catastrophic disasters, whether natural or man made...Preparedness—the realm of activities that must occur before an incident, such as planning, training, exercising, and resourcing—must be integrated at the regional level with response—those activities that must occur as an incident unfolds.

Empowering America: A Proposal for Enhancing Regional Preparedness (PDF)

April 06, 2006

This report, written by a task force of scholars organized by The Heritage Foundation and HSPI, focuses on regional preparedness. Regional preparedness is crucial to building a national response system that allows local communities, states, and the federal government to work together to make sure that the right resources get to the right place at the right time to do the right thing during a catastrophic disaster.