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Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Critical Homeland Infrastructure Protection

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Final rept.

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In the post 9-11 environment the nation has become much more aware of the potential vulnerabilities, and hence, security needs of many of its critical facilities and infrastructure. A number of important and generally useful efforts have been undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security DHS to help guide the owners of key assets in improving their security posture, and by the Department of Defense DoD for those assets for which it is directly responsible. As initial measures are settling in, leadership at both DHS and DoD is recognizing that assessments are needed to better understand our progress to date and to assure that further investments will be wisely made. Within this larger context, several, more specific observations motivated the efforts of this Task Force. One is that the predominant reliance on guns, guards, and gates for protection of facilities and valuable assets, although expedient, is an expensive approach. Another is that most actions have been taken by individual facility and infrastructure owners in a relative vacuum from others in the same or similar situations. Best practices are not widely known and good enough not well understood. Yet another is the typically limited understanding by facility and infrastructure owners of the assets and infrastructure which they do not own, but on which they are dependent. The security of such assets and infrastructure may be as important as the security of their own. Complicating organizational dimensions of critical facility and infrastructure protection at the national level is the relative lack of maturity of DHS programs and processes, and instability of the leadership and reorganization of the Infrastructure Protection Program. In addition, DoD itself is experiencing its own growing pains with the emergence of Homeland Defense as a major mission.

Subject Categories:

  • Civil Defense
  • Civil Engineering
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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