Okay the last will be first. Of my top three DHS priorities meaning raison d’etre for the Department being established is collection of domestic intelligence. Bureacracies rise and fall in Washington for many reasons. Perhaps the DHS portfolio was just too complex for the lawyers who became the Secretary of DHS. Hey sometimes law profs become President too but does not mean they are ready however willing.
At any rate a new CRS report has been issued on the NCTC and I don’t have a URL yet but will soon. Last years version of the same document is here:
The new document and the old pretty well explain why DHS is behind in being lead in domestic terrorism INTEL. Of course the Fusion Centers now number 56 were given a statutory charter in the 9/11 IMPLEMENTATION ACT in August 2007. DHS also was to be the lead on Privacy and Civil Liberties concerns arising out of domestic INTEL activities. C’est La Vie!
I will hopefully also remember to post on new CRS materials on the other three (3) reasons DHS was created: (1) WMD prevention, protection, and response; (2) CIP-Critical Infrastructure protection and response; and (3) Domestic Intel discussed above. Perhaps I should split up #2 above since in 1997 the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection split off cyber security for all time from physical security. So also TSA in reality seems to be as much about CIP for the airline industry as protection of passengers. But perhaps not. At any rate all these are priorities and must be covered by DHS. While I hope for success it does appear DHS is struggling still to find its feet.