State of National Security Address

Rep. McCaul

On February 5, 2018, the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security hosted Chairman Michael McCaul’s State of National Security Address. Following Chairman McCaul’s address, Director of the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security Frank Cilluffo moderated a panel discussion examining evolving threats to the US. The panel was composed of Representatives John Katko (NY-24), Will Hurd (TX-23), and Mike Gallagher (WI-8) who also serve on the House Homeland Security Committee.

In his address, Chairman McCaul (TX-10) highlighted several thematic and regional threats and stressed that global engagement is necessary to US national security. Regarding border security, Chairman McCaul advocated for a plan that included stronger entry and exit tracking to enforce overstayed visas. The Chairman also stressed the need to enhance aviation security, citing a surge in threats against commercial aviation targets by al Qaeda and ISIS. He advocated for a House bill that would establish a cybersecurity agency within DHS. Chairman McCaul concluded his remarks by identifying state actors that pose a threat to the US, noting the expansion and aggression of Chinese influence and cyber espionage, Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, and the growth of North Korean and Iranian nuclear and missile capabilities.

Following his address, Representatives Katko, Hurd, and Gallagher analyzed current US national security. The three representatives showed optimism regarding US progress in combating terrorism in the Middle East. They pointed toward the Trump administration’s tougher stance toward Iran and Pakistan as a sign of progress in the region but expressed uncertainty for the future of the Middle East following a US withdrawal. Concluding their discussion on the topic of cybersecurity, the panelists also agreed there is a national need to establish cybersecurity norms and a national deterrence strategy.