March 15, 2011 | Testimony on Homeland Security
Committee on Science, Space and Technology
United States House of Representatives
March 15, 2011
My name is James Jay Carafano. I am the Deputy Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and the Director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee today and address this vital subject. In my testimony I will address: (1) the progress the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made in improving the organization and processes for homeland security research; (2) remaining concerns; (3) vital steps to improving the organization of these activities; and (4) priorities for future research.
My responsibilities at The Heritage Foundation comprise supervising all the foundation’s research on public policy concerning foreign policy and national security. Homeland security has been a particular Heritage research priority. The foundation produced the first major assessment of domestic security after 9/11. Over the past nine years we have assembled a robust, talented, and dedicated research team. I have had the honor and privilege of leading this team for many years. Heritage analysts have studied and written authoritatively on virtually every aspect of homeland security and homeland defense. The results of all our research are publicly available on the Heritage Web site at www.heritage.org. We collaborate frequently with the homeland security research community, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Aspen Institute, the Center for National Policy, the Hudson Institute, the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute, and the Strategic Studies Institute and Center for Strategic Leadership at the Army War College. Heritage analysts also serve on a variety of government advisory efforts, including task forces under the Homeland Security Advisory Council and Advisory Panel on Department of Defense Capabilities for Support of Civil Authorities. I also am a member of the National Academies Board on Army Science and Technology and served on the DHS advisory board for the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR). Heritage’s research programs are strictly non-partisan, dedicated to developing policy proposals that will keep the nation safe, free, and prosperous.
Call to Action
From the outset our research has focused on ensuring that the organization and activities of the Department of Homeland Security are as efficient and effective as possible. In 2004 David Heyman, who headed the Homeland Security program at CSIS (and who now is Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security), and I led a research project that produced “DHS 2.0: Rethinking the Department of Homeland Security,” the first comprehensive review of the newly established Department of Homeland Security. When we wrote this initial report, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) did not have enough of a “track record” for the task force to make a detailed assessment. In 2007, however, my colleague at the Hudson Institute, Dr. Richard Weitz, and I published “Rethinking Research, Development, and Acquisition for Homeland Security,” the results of a follow-on research project that specifically focused on the activities of the S&T directorate. The major concerns we identified were:
In response to these challenges among our key recommendations were:
I would like to credit the current leadership of the DHS and the S&T directorate for making a sincere effort to address these shortfalls. In particular:
What has been accomplished is noteworthy, especially for a directorate that in 2006 was criticized in Congress for being a “rudderless ship without a clear way to get back on course.” In contrast, a 2009 report by the National Academy of Public Administration concluded, “S&T has made strides towards becoming a mature and productive research and development organization, particularly during the last three years.” 
Yet, despite this leadership team’s hard work, significant concerns remain.
Moving Forward—The Organization
Organizational and process restructuring bring costs and as well as benefits. That reality is often forgotten when attention is turned to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. Opportunity costs matter. This truism is nowhere more important to remember than when considering the DHS and S&T, which have seen a tsunami of reorganization and restructuring over the department’s short tenure of existence.
That said, while tinkering ought to be kept to a minimum, there are some critical changes that might to be considered.
Today, HSARPA primarily provides an additional layer of management for a broad portfolio of programs and projects. While it is important to reduce the overwhelming number of direct reports to the undersecretary, it is an open question whether HSARPA best fills this role.
Moving Forward—The Mission
It is time for a serious strategic debate on the direction of the department’s homeland security research. We know an awful lot about the competitive environment of ensuring our nation’s security. That should reflect in the department and the nation’s homeland security research agenda.
Transitioning technology outside the department is extremely difficult. Given that reality and all the serious competing priorities for resources(with a very few “strategic” exceptions) it is time for the department to make the tough call and dramatically scale back its efforts in this area.
The department continues to have difficulty putting dollars where they can make a difference. The S&T agenda is still driven too much by stakeholders rather than real strategy. S&T should:
“[B]oth traditional and unorthodox approaches will be necessary. Traditional research is problem-specific, and there are many cybersecurity problems for which good solutions are not known.… Research is and will be needed to address these problems. But problem-by-problem solutions, or even problem-class by problem-class solutions, are highly unlikely to be sufficient to close the gap by themselves. Unorthodox, clean-slate approaches will also be needed to deal with what might be called a structural problem in cybersecurity research now, and these approaches will entail the development of new ideas and new points of view that revisit the basic foundations and implicit assumptions of security research. Addressing both of these reasons for the lack of security in cyberspace is important, but it is the second—closing the knowledge gap—that is the primary goal of cybersecurity research….”
Today, that goal (though admittedly the S&T agenda in this area is much improved) is still not being met.
Finally, while much has been to done to improve “partnerships,” these activities must be further stressed as the highest priority. Some specific initiatives that S&T might consider include:
If other nations adopted similar liability protection regimes they could form a network to promote innovation. One potential source of outreach might be the Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP), an international organization that collaborates in defense-related scientific and technical information exchange and shared research activities with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. TTCP is one of the world's largest collaborative science and technology forums. Outreach might focus initially on U.S. partners in Asia including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Singapore is the United States’ 15th-largest trading partner and ninth-largest export market. Foreign direct investment in Singapore is concentrated largely in technical service sectors; manufacturing; information; and professional scientific knowledge, skills, and processes.
As national liability protection proliferates, new opportunities for international cooperation will emerge. Countries that adopt verifiably similar liability protections should extend reciprocal privileges to one another. An expanding global web of liability protection will facilitate the proliferation of homeland security technologies.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
 L. Paul Bremer III and Edwin Meese III, Defending the American Homeland: A Report of the Heritage Foundation Homeland Security Task Force (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, 2002).
 I testified on the results of the QHSR before the House Homeland Security Committee. See James Jay Carafano, “What Comes After Quadrennial Homeland Security Review?” Testimony before the Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight, United States House of Representatives, April 29, 2010, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Testimony/What-Comes-After-Quadrennial-Homeland-Security-Review#_ftn2.
 James Jay Carafano and David Heyman, “DHS 2.0: Rethinking the Department of Homeland Security,” Heritage Foundation Special Report No. SR-02, December 13, 2004, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2004/12/DHS-20-Rethinking-the-Department-of-Homeland-Security.
 James Jay Carafano and Richard Weitz, “Rethinking Research, Development, and Acquisition for Homeland Security,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2000, January 22, 2007, at http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/11911.pdf.
 See, Office of the Inspector General, “The Science and Technology Directorate’s Process for Funding Research and Development Programs, Department of Homeland Security,” OIG-09-88, July 2009, pp. 24-25.
 Office Inspector General, “DHS’ Domestic Nuclear Detection Office Progress in Integrating Detection Capabilities and Response Protocols, OIG-08-19, December 2007, p. 1.
 Senate Report. 109-273, p. 88.
 National Academy for Public Administration, “Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate: Developing Technology to Protect America,” June 2009, p. ix.
 See, for example, U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Nuclear Detection: Domestic Nuclear Detection Office Should Improve Planning to Better Address Gaps and Vulnerabilities,” GAO-09-257, January 2009.
 Ibid., pp. 42-53.
 For the challenges faced by the DNDO, see, for example, Gene Aloise and Stephen L. Caldwell, “Combating Nuclear Smuggling,” U.S. Government Accountability Office, GAO-10-1041T, September 15, 2010.
 See, National Academy for Public Administration, “Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate,” pp. 11-13.
 As a 2007 Computer Science and Telecommunications Board research report concluded, however, the national research and development program is wholly inadequate. Homeland Security is a vital component of this program. See, James Jay Carafano and Eric Sayers, “Building Cyber Security Leadership for the 21st Century,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2281, December 16, 2008, at
 The resilience of the U.S.–Canadian electrical grid and telecommunications systems, including developing limited redundancy and identifying means for the timely replacement of essential damaged parts or their rapid substitution is vital to ensure national resiliency in the face of catastrophic disasters. See, James Jay Carafano and Richard Weitz, “EMP Attacks—What the U.S. Must Do Now,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2491, November 17, 2010, at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/11/emp-attacks-what-the-us-must-do-now.
 James Carafano, “Homeland Security's blind spot” The Examiner, September 14, 2009, at http://washingtonexaminer.com/op-eds/2009/09/james-carafano-homeland-securitys-blind-spot.
 Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Toward A Safer and More Secure Cyberspace (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2007), p. 61.
Adapted from James Carafano, “U.S. must gird for war in very small places,” The Examiner, December 12, 2010,
 Recommendations are adopted from James Jay Carafano, “Fighting Terrorism, Addressing Liability: A Global Proposal,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2138, May 21, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2008/05/Fighting-Terrorism-Addressing-Liability-A-Global-Proposal.