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  • Special Report posted February 29, 2008 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Andrew Gudgel, Alane Kochems Competitive Technologies for National Security: Review and Recommendations

    Introduction Technology does not win wars or make nations safe. The search for security is shaped by larger cultural, eco­nomic, and political factors and strategic choices. On the other hand, technology has always been the handmaiden of national security. Nations always look for innovations that can offer them competitive advantages over their adversaries.…

  • Backgrounder posted June 27, 2006 by Alane Kochems, Laura Keith Successfully Securing Identity Documents: A Primer on Preventive Technologies and ID Theft

    Identity theft has become a hot topic in today's society, with television commercials oversimplifying and trivializing the threat by focusing on the potential financial consequences. Identity theft is a more seri­ous threat than someone draining a grandmother's bank account. False or fraudulent documents could help terrorists enter the United States and establish…

  • Backgrounder posted May 19, 2006 by Alane Kochems When Should the Government Use Contractors to Support Military Operations?

    Military contractors are currently assisting militar­ies around the world with missions that range from training and supply chain management to fighting in battles. Military contractors are seen as having inher­ent advantages over militaries in resource constraints, manpower, and flexibility. Yet relying on military con­tractors has its share of risks, including…

  • WebMemo posted May 5, 2006 by Alane Kochems, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. One Hundred Percent Cargo Scanning and Cargo Seals: Wasteful and Unproductive Proposals

    The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently approved a major maritime security bill that would start the Department of Homeland Security down the road to 100 percent scanning of cargo containers. There have also been attempts in the House to add requirements for radiation scanning and the use of seals on all containers before they enter…

  • Backgrounder posted April 28, 2006 by Alane Kochems, Andrew Gudgel The Viability of Directed-Energy Weapons

    When directed-energy weapons are mentioned, most people think of "death rays" or Hollywood's lat­est science fiction movie. However, directed-energy weapons (DEWs) are a reality, and several have already been tested under battlefield conditions.[1] They may begin to appear on the battlefield within the next decade, bringing a revolution in weapons and how war is…

  • WebMemo posted April 18, 2006 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Alane Kochems, David Gentilli Avoiding the Hollow Force: Maintaining a Trained and Ready Military

    "Hollow force," a term coined in the post-Vietnam War era, describes a military force that lacks the resources to field trained and ready forces, to support ongoing operations, and to modernize. With mandatory spending in the U.S. budget projected to increase significantly in the coming years, the armed forces may well face a tightening budget. The concern at hand…

  • Executive Memorandum posted April 3, 2006 by Alane Kochems, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Complete Cargo Inspection and Port Security Grants Do Not Promote Homeland Security

    Homeland security efforts that waste scarce resources by focusing on the least likely maritime threats do not further homeland security. Since 9/11, some analysts have raised concerns about terrorists smuggling a nuclear weapon into the U.S. inside a shipping con­tainer or simply detonating a liquid natural gas tanker in a U.S. harbor. Congress should reject the…

  • Backgrounder posted March 10, 2006 by Alane Kochems House Border Security Bill Falls Short

    The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437) is the House of Representatives' effort to create a border security strategy. The bill's 13 titles deal with every­thing from securing the border and minimizing cor­ruption and fraud to increasing penalties for being unlawfully present in the country to tightening the rules…

  • WebMemo posted February 22, 2006 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Alane Kochems Security and the Sale of Port Facilities: Facts and Recommendations

    The sale of facilities at six U.S ports by a British-based company to Dubai Ports World, a government-owned company in the United Arab Emirates, has raised concerns among many in the homeland security community. While a review of the facts suggest no apparent security issues, these concerns do reflect the importance of ensuring that the system created by Congress to…

  • Executive Memorandum posted February 14, 2006 by Alane Kochems EU Privacy Directive Could Prohibit Information Sharing with U.S. Law Enforcement

    In October 2005, the European Commission released a proposed Framework Decision to protect personal data used in criminal matters. The proposed directive's goals include (1) improv­ing cooperation among European Union countries, especially in pre­venting and combating terrorism; (2) ensuring that EU states respect fundamental privacy rights; and (3) ensuring smooth…

  • WebMemo posted February 10, 2006 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Baker Spring, Alane Kochems The Quadrennial Defense Review: Satisfactory but Not Sufficient

    Last week the Department of Defense (DOD) released its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The QDR reviews DOD's forces, resources, and programs. It outlines the strategy for addressing critical issues like budget and acquisition priorities, emerging threats, and necessary military capabilities. While the QDR offers a satisfactory strategy to meet the nation's…

  • WebMemo posted January 27, 2006 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Alane Kochems, David D. Gentilli The Hollow Force: Background and Issues

    "Hollow force" is a term that observers use to describe the United States' Armed Forces when military readiness declines and the services lack the resources to provide trained and ready forces, support ongoing operations, and modernize. It was first used after the Vietnam War. The concern today is whether defense funding for the future will be adequate to prevent…

  • Executive Memorandum posted January 26, 2006 by Alane Kochems GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act: A Good First Attempt

    The GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act (S. 2008), recently introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Patty Murray (D-WA), has numerous laudable objectives. These include increasing security for cargo and seaports, minimizing closures of U.S. seaports in case of an accident or attack, providing layered secu­rity in the supply chain, "pushing out" U.S.…

  • WebMemo posted December 21, 2005 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Todd F. Gaziano, Alane Kochems Domestic Surveillance: Dual Priorities, National Security and Civil Liberties, Must Be Met

    Wars cannot be won by sacrificing national security or fundamental civil liberties. The war against terrorism is no exception. Our national leaders must protect both equally well.   Recent reports in the press of presidential authorization for the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept international communications between foreign powers hostile to the…

  • WebMemo posted December 15, 2005 by Alane Kochems The Defense Base Act and Contractor Liability: Give Federal Courts Exclusive Jurisdiction

    Before it adjourns for the year, Congress should address liability issues that have been dogging military contractors that have employees working in foreign theaters. Contractors perform needed services abroad, but if they continue to face unmanageable liability risks, many could leave the United States' employ, diminishing the nation's base of responsible and…