1 Homeland Security: The Difference between a Vision and a Wish Author(s): Michael B. Donley and Neal A. Pollard Source: Public Administration Review, Vol. 62, Special Issue: Democratic Governance in the Aftermath of September 11, 2001 (Sep., 2002), pp Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration Stable URL: Accessed: 18/10/ :07 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact Blackwell Publishing and American Society for Public Administration are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Public Administration Review.
2 Michael B. Donley Neal A. Pollard Hicks and Associates Homeland Security: The Difference between a Vision and a Wish The U.S. government is considering how it should reorganize for homeland security. Consequently, attention has focused on the new Office of Homeland Security (OHS). Much debate focuses on two issues related to OHS: (1) whether the OHS should be a separate executive agency; and (2) whether the OHS director has sufficient authority to direct changes in policies and resource allocation of other departments and agencies. The authors believe the emphasis on these areas of interest is misplaced as measures of the eventual success of the OHS. Rather than focusing on these political issues, this article outlines several questions about how the OHS might approach its complex mission and highlights some organizational and bureaucratic realities that are likely to survive the debate over placement of the OHS within the executive branch and the authorities of the OHS director. This article concludes with a discussion of some organizational tools that the OHS or any coordinating office will require to fulfill its mandate. "It is 'obvious and unarguable' that no government interest is more compelling than the security of the Nation." -U.S. Supreme Court, Haig v. Agee (1981) Introduction The mission of the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) is "to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks."' With this deceivingly simple mandate, the OHS embraces a broad, complex charge. The U.S. government's task of ensuring homeland security and its recent evolution toward such a goal is presenting an indisputable need for a series of bureaucratic reorganizations. Aside from the formation of the OHS itself, a wave of change is building in the executive branch to include everything from new homeland security positions (and budgets) in virtually every federal department agency to plans for a new unified Northern Command for the Defense Department. During this process of organizational change, the administration, Congress, and innumerable commissions and studies will continue to dissect the U.S. counterterrorism community for structural weaknesses that could have al- lowed for vulnerability to the September 11th attacks. It is to be expected that some of the recommendations proposed by these entities might be approved in executive orders or be reflected in statutes following this year's congressional authorization and appropriations process. These proposals likely will affect the organization and policies of an entire range of activities for preventing, preempting, and responding to terrorism. This includes, among other activities, intelligence, law enforcement, military operations and procurement, diplomacy, public health and safety, financial enforcement, border security, immigration control, aviation security, and federal disaster assistance to state and local authorities. Michael B. Donley is the vice president of Hicks and Associates and has more than 24 years of experience in the national security community. He was an assistant secretary of the Air Force during and served as acting secretary in He also has held senior staff positions at the National Security Council and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mr. Donley was the author of a February 2001 study for the Defense Department that focused on reorganizing the Unified Command Plan for homeland security. NealA. Pollard is the senior director for emerging threats and capabilities at Hicks and Associates. In 1996, Mr. Pollard cofounded the Terrorism Research Center, the first "virtual" institute dedicated to research and analysis of terrorism, where he continues to serve on the board of directors. Mr. Pollard is the director of "Project Responder," an effort that is under way to produce a national technology plan and a knowledge base for terrorism response Public Administration Review * September 2002, Vol. 62, Special Issue
3 At this writing, Congress remains focused on two broad issues related to the OHS: (1) whether the OHS should be a separate executive department or agency; and (2) whether Governor Ridge, as the director of the OHS, has sufficient authority to direct changes in the policies and resource allocation of other departments and agencies. A lesser but nonetheless highly charged issue has been whether Governor Ridge should be compelled to testify before congressional committees. As a matter of longstanding executive branch practice and the assertion of executive privilege, members of the president's immediate staff often have declined to testify before congressional committees. Governor Ridge (as well as other current and former assistants to the president) has routinely made himself available to Congress for informal briefings and discussion, though some influential members of Congress continue to make their case for formal testimony before committees. We consider this a lesser issue, mainly for three reasons: because presidential assertion of executive privilege of this nature (that is, protection of the confidentiality of presidential advice and decision making in matters not involving the conduct of criminal justice) is well established in practice and has not been successfully challenged by Congress; because information is being provided to Congress through other means-further weakening any potential congressional argument for relief if a case were brought before the Supreme Court; and because the issue would disappear if, at some point in the future, Governor Ridge were confirmed by the Senate as head of an executive department or agency.2 The authors believe that emphasis on these areas of congressional interest is misplaced as measures of the likely effectiveness or success of the OHS. Rather than focusing on these current political issues, this article outlines a number of questions that focus on how the OHS might approach its complex mission and highlights some organizational and bureaucratic realities we believe are likely to survive the current debate over the placement of the OHS within the executive branch and the authorities of the OHS director. Organizing for Homeland Security At the beginning, it is important to define the term "homeland security" and to determine with greater specificity the scope of activities that it includes. As table 1 sug- gests, homeland security should be regarded as an umbrella concept, incorporating a range of goals and objectives, missions, means, components, and threats related to the security of the United States. Many of these activities, some of which are also outlined in the president's executive order of October 8, 2001,3 have been in place for years. What is new is the focus on potentially catastrophic threats aimed directly at U.S. territory, infrastructure, and population, and the establishment of a bureaucratic entity (that is, the OHS) as a national focal point for coordination. However, while it has new and important responsibilities, the establishment of the OHS "does not alter the existing authorities of U.S. government departments and agencies."4 With the significant number of agencies and comple- mentary missions required in the war on terrorism, a nearly insurmountable obstacle of bureaucratic and organizational complexity is introduced. On September 11th alone, the response involved diverse jurisdictions, agencies, and capabilities from the Arlington County Fire Department to the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs. Thus, the Office of Homeland Security is tasked as much with an interagency coordination role as it is making sense of the term "homeland security." And because the primary modality of these threats appears to be terrorism, one of the primary questions facing the OHS is the role it should play in coordinating counterterrorism policies, programs, and activities that have long been assigned to other federal departments and agencies. Table 1 Elements of Homeland Security Goals and objectives Missions Tools and means Components Threats Sources Deterrence and prevention Protection Response and recovery Counterterrorism Aerospace defense Air sovereignty Missile defense Land defense Maritime security Border security, immigration, and customs Critical infrastructure protection Energy Transportation (airports, seaports, rail) Information and communications networks Water and vital human services Banking and finance Public health Consequence management Antiterrorism and preparedness Coordinated policy planning and strategy development Diplomacy Military operations and supporto civil authorities Intelligence Law enforcement Financial oversight and controls Resource allocation Training and exercises Material and technology Federal departments and agencies Congressional oversight and appropriation Courts State departments and agencies Local government and first responders Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and highexplosive weapons and weapons of mass destruction Multiple delivery systems Natural disasters Sovereign governments and rogue states Terrorist organizations Foreign Domestic Homeland Security: The Difference between a Vision and a Wish 139
4 In addition to defining the scope of the term "homeland security," applying a broad definition of "organization" for homeland security is not only useful, it is an essential point of departure. In dealing with national security clients across the federal bureaucracy, we often find the "Seven-S" analytic framework developed by McKinsey and Company in the late 1970s to be helpful (Waterman 1979). Addressing structure, strategy, systems, skill, staff, style, and shared values, the Seven-S framework challenges the conventional view of organizational issues as considering only the rearrangement of lines and boxes and replaces it with a more rational framework incorporating the multiple factors that contribute to organizational success. In this case, introducing the McKinsey framework is a reminder that there is and will be much to do to ensure the effectiveness of the government's homeland security efforts. Critical issues will extend beyond deciding whether Governor Ridge will function within the Executive Office of the President or as an independent agency or cabinet department, or whether certain agencies will be rearranged or combined. One of the first requirements for Governor Ridge will be to make sense of these activities and to determine how best to organize and coordinate them. A list of questions will need to be addressed: How should the OHS organize its work? Around major goals and objectives? Around major missions, as a coordinator of tools and means? Evaluating current threats, coordinating U.S. capabilities, and managing risk, the OHS must choose the most important problems to focus on. It must determine where federal leadership is most needed and can make the biggest difference. It must determine what areas are "on track" or do not need immediate intervention from Governor Ridge's office. The OHS also must determine which missions and components require close, operational coordination; deconflict its responsibilities from those of the National Security Council; and develop an inclusive oversight process that can effectively handle more than one issue at a time. Where to Start? The OHS has declared that one of its first substantive products will be a comprehensive national strategy for homeland security, to be delivered in the summer of The Executive Office of the President seems to be the proper place for developing interagency strategy, and this office is probably the right place to craft policy and policy objectives, integrate them with other related polices to combat terrorism, and develop a plan to achieve those policy objectives. However, a "strategy" for homeland security will be meaningless without an understanding of goals, capabilities, and requirements. In the course of developing strat- 140 Public Administration Review * September 2002, Vol. 62, Special Issue egy, the OHS needs to have assessed the threats to the United States and developed a strong sense of visionthat is, the national goals and objectives that need to be accomplished to meet the threat. And these goals and objectives need to be measured against the current programs and capabilities-what we refer to in table 1 as "tools and means"--of existing departments and agencies to determine the distance between where we are and where we want to go. The distance between the two-whether it is measured in terms of policy and resources, or perhaps the McKinsey framework-constitutes the national-level requirements that need to be filled to meet the stated goals and objectives. Only then, in the context of current capabilities, requirements, and resources, will the OHS be ready to talk strategy. Strategy is about crafting and coordinating courses of action that are judged most likely to support defined goals or end states. Once a strategic approach has been chosen, then specific tasks such as new initiatives or changes in policies, resources, and operations can be developed to support and implement the strategy. This discussion highlights one of the most significant challenges facing the OHS: its ability to develop a management process that can perform the kind of planning, programming, and budgeting process outlined above. Policy and strategy are only reflections of vision and still require management processes to aid in assessing alternative courses of action and decision making and to convert decisions into implementation. These processes should aid policy makers in understanding the future value of current decisions; what strategic objectives merit the highest priority; how far away from those objectives we currently are; and what capabilities are available or still required to achieve those objectives. Doing this requires a kind of planning, programming, and budgeting process that is unknown in many federal departments and agencies.5 And this process depends on databases that are capable of accurately relating policies to programs and programs to resources. A related concern is the OHS's true understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the departments and agencies it seeks to coordinate and oversee. For example, the OHS needs to understand what technologies and systems are in the field or under development, which departments and agencies are best able to develop and field additional systems and technologies, and how these capabilities and technologies should be orchestrated. Until the OHS is capable of making independent judgments on these matters, it will remain beholden to the inputs and advice from the departments and agencies themselves, and its ability to persuade the president concerning alternatives with which senior cabinet officials do not concur will remain limited.
5 Another issue that has been raised is the perceived need for the OHS to have some kind of budgetary approval authority, to assure agencies are spending appropriated money consistent with overall strategic goals. From past experience, such as the creation of the national "drug czar," it has long been recognized that funding drives policy, and agencies often are reluctant to spend their own resources executing someone else's priorities. Several public officials and private studies have recognized this, and they have suggested the need to provide Governor Ridge's position with real budgetary authority (including certification and "passback"6 duties), with the implication that this would require Governor Ridge to hold Cabinet rank, subject to Senate confirmation. But such budgetary authority is meaningless and invites a false sense of security without the analytical tools necessary to understand what capabilities agencies are already developing or procuring, what requirements are not being met by agencies, which agencies are institutionally most competent to develop high-priority capabilities and manage the associated risk, and how agencies' budgets need to be altered to reflect these priorities. This kind of analysis requires expertise that is independent from where an agency sits in the executive branch bureaucracy, and it also may be independent of assigned authorities. It requires a disciplined planning process that joins policies, strategy, programs, and resources. The OHS must develop and institute such a process if any prospective budgetary authority is to have any meaning or benefit. For example, each agency participating in homeland security currently weighs its expenditures against other priorities within its overall budget, rather than against its role in a broader homeland security strategy. Furthermore, most agencies do not have separate budget line items for critical infrastructure protection or terrorism-related activities. The National Security Council and the FBI still coordinate counterterrorism policy issues, and the Office of Management and Budget assesses competing funding demands. The OHS needs an internal management process, supported by interagency participation, that integrates these tasks with others related to homeland security in order to establish funding priorities for terrorism-related programs across agencies' budgets, and to ensure that individual agencies' stated requirements have been validated against threat and risk criteria. Otherwise, budget requests will reflect only priorities within the individual budget allocation of each agency, rather than that of a coordinated set of homeland security strategies. Without such a management and resource allocation process, neither Governor Ridge nor Congress would have any assurance that homeland security investments were being made on the basis of overall national needs, that the highest priorities are being met, that departmental activities and capabilities were not unnecessarily duplicative or redundant, and that no seams or gaps existed in responsibilities and coverage. Under normal circumstances, these kinds of management processes, databases, and staff expertise take years to develop and refine. At the OHS, they are probably still works in progress, and the lack of such processes and/or their immaturity may affect the quality of the office's initial products. Enduring Conditions and Outcomes While there are many alternative courses of action or end states that Governor Ridge might pursue, we think it is equally important to focus on certain conditions and outcomes that are likely to endure no matter which policies, strategies, or organizational approaches are chosen by Governor Ridge, the president, or Congress. There are at least three realities that will remain long after the cur- rent policy and bureaucratic debates are over. First, there will be no single strategy best suited to accomplishing all of the missions, goals, and objectives of homeland security. Neither the president nor Congress should expect to see "a strategy for homeland security," even narrowed to the OHS's primary focus of terrorism. The reason is that the subject matter of homeland security is so broad that national goals and objectives-and the value and utility of various missions and meanswill in fact compete with each other and/or find themselves in conflict. The U.S. experience with the formulation and execution of national security strategy helps to demonstrate this point. In international affairs, bilateral relationships between major powers often carry with them a full agenda of foreign policy issues from political matters to security, trade, human rights, the environment, and others. In each of these areas, an administration develops separate policies and objectives that it attempts to advance within the interational community. However, applying these policies concurrently in a bilateral relationship is a complicated endeavor. Advancing U.S. trade interests with China, for example, may come into conflict with U.S. goals in human rights if certain Chinese exports are manufactured with illegal child labor. Likewise, exclusive U.S. focus on human rights matters in China can impair political relations if the United States wants and needs Chinese support in the war against terrorism. The general rule in politics that "you can't have it all" certainly applies in international affairs. For this reason, national security strategy actually involves a set of strategies within which policy priorities and the value of individual political, economic, or military tools, will ebb and Homeland Security: The Difference between a Vision and a Wish 141
6 flow depending on the real world circumstances-both foreign and domestic-at hand. Similar circumstances seem to apply in homeland security. Developing military and intelligence resources and capabilities to do battle with terrorists abroad will compete with military resources for missile defense. The war against terrorism as it is being fought in Afghanistan will not get the same policy emphasis in the Middle East; the desire for greater border, aviation, and transportation se- curity will run up against not just budgetary considerations, but also broad economic, trade, and quality-of-life interests that are likely to push back. The strategy for deterring terrorists abroad may bear little resemblance to (and will not involve the same players) as the strategy for consequence management and recovery at home. Moreover, critical infrastructure protection involves significant participation from the private sector, which owns most of the assets and has distinctly different risk priorities than the government. Bring into the mix agencies with little experience in national security activities, states and municipalities, and a private sector that is reluctant to ad- dress its own critical infrastructure vulnerabilities in a public forum, and the degree of complexity and conflict becomes evident. With this experience, and for these reasons, we conclude that "the strategy" for homeland security is more likely to resemble a set of strategies. Second, no matter how the president and Congress choose to organize federal activities, it will not be feasible to capture all of the missions, tools, and components related to homeland security in a single department or agency. At this writing, congressional consideration is being given to the establishment of a new agency combining the U.S. Border Patrol, Customs Service, and parts of the Immigration and Naturalization Service into a single agency. This proposal may have merit; however, if it is implemented, this new agency still would not include the counterterrorism activities of the intelligence services-activities that should remain within the broader responsibility of the intelligence community, but are nevertheless critical to informing and making effective the border security mission. Such divisions apply-practically and legally-even within the domain of the federal intelligence community. For example, there are signifi- cant bureaucratic, institutional, and philosophical differences between the FBI (a law enforcement and domestic intelligence agency) and the CIA (a foreign intelligence agency)-and there are very good constitutional reasons to retain some of these differences. No matter how hard the president or Congress may try to combine, integrate, meld together, or otherwise unify the disparate activities related to homeland security, the tools and means for carrying out major homeland security 142 Public Administration Review * September 2002, Vol. 62, Special Issue missions are likely to remain within existing organizational lanes: federal law enforcement at the Justice Department; diplomacy at the State Department; military operations at the Defense Department; and intelligence functions under the director of central intelligence. Finally, this means that the homeland security challenge is primarily a challenge of interagency and intergovernmental affairs. In this instance, the concept of putting a single official in charge of homeland security and holding him or her accountable is a management and organizational pipe dream. The federal government does not need Governor Ridge or his office to become the expert on inhalation anthrax, or border security, or counterterrorism, or immigration, or any other specific matter pertaining to homeland security. Instead, Governor Ridge is needed to identify the national goals and objectives for homeland security; to develop a set of strategies by which these goals can be met; to assess national capabilities and identify national requirements to support the strategies; to help articulate and deconflict roles and functions across federal, state, and local lines; and to ensure the necessary connections between departments and agencies that depend on each other's work, and whose collective efforts are required to meet national goals. To facilitate this work, Governor Ridge needs an inclusive interagency and intergovernmental management process that will systematically address these matters and produce decisions. We believe these are the kinds of executive-level functions assigned to the president that could not be delegated easily to any cabinet official or executive agent. Assigning and deconflicting agency responsibilities, providing policy guidance, and making executive branch decisions about resource allocation are presidential functions-this is what we task presidents to do. As an assistant to the president operating within the Executive Office of the President, Governor Ridge is well positioned to produce decisions in the form of presidential directives on policy, resource allocation, and interagency coordination and (when appropriate) to propose legislation for consideration by Congress. Over both the near and longer term, there may be difficulties in "institutionalizing" this position and in deconflicting its roles from those of the National Security Council.7 Personal relationships with the president and among cabinet principals will ebb and flow, regardless of who is or is not confirmed by the Senate. However, those who would prefer the establishment of a new executive department or agency as a single-point solution to the multiple challenges facing the OHS, or the only path to institutionalization, must ask, how would Congress write the law giving the head of such an agency what amounts to presidential authority to direct the activities of or realign the resources of other cabinet departments? Would other
7 powerful cabinet secretaries acquiesce in this arrangement? And would it be within the power of Congress to insist on this approach? In the hierarchy of the executive branch, how could one department function as primus inter pares? How would one cabinet department report to the president through another? Conclusions and Recommendations One might reasonably ask, if homeland security is truly an innovative concept, what has the Defense Department been doing all these years? National security-the primary mission of the Defense Department-has been regarded as the defense of America's territory, people, forces, and diplomatic representatives, resources, and even ideals, from all threats, foreign and domestic (Moore, Tipson, and Turner 1990, 11). But national security means something different to America than it does to Belgium, Russia, or India. For nearly two centuries, America has enjoyed a certain geographic and political distance from the world's trouble spots and troublemakers. During the Cold War, national security planners assumed that intercontinental ballistic missiles would change this fact. Instead, with the success of nuclear deterrence at the nation-state level, it is terrorism that has brought threats of physical destruction to U.S. territory. As a result, Governor Ridge has a difficult job: He must negotiate a very difficult set of policy issues that affect individual freedom, privacy, and economic growth, as well as national security. On one hand, better awareness of existing vulnerabilities to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, critical infrastructures that depend on information technologies, and the role of state and local emergency response are the stated goals of this administration. In this regard, Governor Ridge is poised for success. On the other hand, the OHS must establish coordinating mechanisms in order to capitalize on this awareness and to implement the directives of its constitutive executive order. It is important for the OHS and Congress to recognize that meeting the homeland security challenge is fundamentally a matter of interagency and intergovernmental cooperation and coordination. No single federal entity alone would be capable of this task. This cooperation goes beyond federal agencies and includes the millions of "emergency responders"-state and local law enforcement, firefighters, and medical personnel-who serve as the first line of defense in homeland security. Governor Ridge's most important role may turn out to be the job of coordinating federal, state, and local responses to terrorism. He already has recognized that it might be the people on the front line, such as the local police officer, who will "sniff something suspicious and stymie a terrorist attack" (McLaughlin 2002). Thus, a federal coordinator should spend as much time fostering bottom-up capabilities at the state and local level as he or she spends developing and deploying federal capabilities to span the nation. These capabilities go beyond simple response by firefighters and hazmat crews and include state and local intelligence assessments. Capabilities such as Los Angeles County's Terrorism Early Warning Group are an example of the contribution that state and local officials can make to forming a holistic national intelligence picture of the threat. All terrorism is local, and when a citizen dials 911, he or she reaches not the Washington office of the FBI, but rather a local capability. It is critical that the OHS serve as a coordinator to foster and bring to bear all "homeland capabilities"-federal, state, and local, from law enforcemento medical-under a comprehensive set of strategies for homeland security. There are a number of other important strategic issues and management factors beyond the organizational placement of the OHS or its budgetary authority that will determine its success. All of them are likely to require the OHS to lean heavily on presidential powers to accomplish its mission. Governor Ridge does not need the executive authority that would accrue to him as head of an executive department or agency; arguably, he is better off near the president, who has the constitutional authority, subject to congressional oversight, to direct the affairs and resources of multiple departments and agencies. Has the National Security Council system suffered because the national security advisor is not confirmed by the Senate? We think not. Like the national security advisor, Governor Ridge has no authority of his own, but he writes the directives through which the president makes things happen. And like the national security advisor, facing a range of complex matters and changing priorities that would defy description in permanent statute, Governor Ridge should be free to perform this job as a privileged presidential advisor. How then to bridge this gap between congressional and presidential interests? Looking ahead, perhaps the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provides an example for the OHS to emulate. The OMB is an agency with some of its responsibilities defined by Congress in statute, and it has a director, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, who is obliged to testify before congressional committees. However, the OMB still functions effectively within the Executive Office of the President, and the director wields his sensitive, cross-agency budgeting and oversight responsibilities under the president's direct supervision. Applying this OMB model to the OHS could satisfy the president's need for a close advisor and executive branch coordinator with the congres- sional desire to promote the institutionalization of the OHS and to have a director who is required to testify before its Homeland Security: The Difference between a Vision and a Wish 143