NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS: Integrating New and Existing Technology and Information Sharing into an Effective Homeland Security Strategy
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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SEE REPORT In brief, there are specific data, information-sharing, and technology challenges facing the country in developing and implementing a national preparedness strategy. The nature of the terrorist threat makes it difficult to identify and differentiate information that can provide an early indication of a terrorist threat from the mass of data available to those in positions of authority responsible for homeland security. We face considerable barriers cultural, legal, and technical--in effectively collecting and sharing information. Many technologies key to addressing threats are not yet available, and many existing technologies have not been effectively adapted for the threats the country now faces. The real challenge, however, is not just to find the right solutions to each of these problems but to weave solutions together in an integrated and intelligent fashion so that they are collectively more than the sum of their parts. At the national level, this will require developing a blueprint, or architectural construct, that defines both the homeland security mission and the information, technologies, and approaches necessary to perform the mission in a way that is divorced from organizational parochialism and cultural differences. Local, state, and federal agencies responsible for homeland security will need to carry out their respective roles under this construct with a great deal of assistance from the private sector. Fortunately, there are starting points for addressing each challenge and actions are being taken to strengthen security in a broad range of areas. But there will still be a need for mechanisms to make sure that things happen as they should.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
- Unconventional Warfare