This time next week Washington will be agog with the Administration’s newly released proposed budget for FY 2012. Of course we don’t know yet exactly how much departments and agencies will have to cover the remainder of FY 2011 after the Continuing Resolution expires March 4, 2011. Or whether the Debt Ceiling will be lifted in April. I doubt a shutdown of the Executive Branch but as we all know strange things can happen in Washington.
The purpose of this post is to remind all that DHS has stated that its failure to comply with the statutory requirements of the mandate for the QHSR [Quadrennial Homeland Security Review] will in fact occur with the submission of the budget by the President this month. What was the critical deficiency?
DHS was supposed to have conducted a bottom up review of all of its programs, functions, and activities indicating how much they cost and how they were operated and whether they met the priorities of DHS as to its mission assignment. That analysis was NOT done and I suspect it won’t be done to accompany the budget submission either.
My independent analysis indicates that the priority missions of WMD prevention and protection and response and recovery, Criticial Infrastructuer Protection including Cyber Security, and collection, dessemination, and analysis of Domestic Intel will not even be discussed in detail since DHS clearly cannot, does not, or for whatever reason want to document those priority areas and their successes and failures.
But I also estimate that up to 40% of the total budget either by obligations or whatever of DHS has absolutely nothing to do with Homeland Security or as I prefer Civil Security. Thus, that 40% will not be defended or analyzed in any way shape or form by DHS senior management to protect from the ravages of the budget cutters in the various Committees on the HILL, most important the appropriations committee.
Thus, the Golden Age for DHS is about to end. That age was marked by DHS having its own appropriation, not being under any CR, and with annual budget increases across the board.
Well it all had to end sometime. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. And the worst screwing of all is the magnificant men and women of the US Coast Guard which came into DHS without opposition on the basis of the DEEPWATER PROJECT and now that dream from any realistic sense has ended or will have as of the end of next week.
Perhaps as Senator Rand Paul has suggested it is time for the Coast Guard to be transferred to DOD even in peacetime not just wartime. Otherwise that magnificant organization is going to be dangerously understaffed, underfunded, and under equipped.