A nation as vital and thriving as ours cannotbecome hermetically sealed. Even less can we afford to be overwhelmedby fear or paralyzed by the existence of threats.
That’s why we need to adopt a risk-basedapproach in both our operations and our philosophy. Risk management isfundamental to managing the threat, while retaining our quality of lifeand living in freedom. Risk management must guide our decisionmaking aswe examine how we can best organize to prevent, respond and recoverfrom an attack. For that reason, the Department of Homeland Security isworking with state, local, and private sector partners on a NationalPreparedness Plan to target resources where the risk is greatest. …
We must manage risk at the homeland securitylevel. That means developing plans and allocating resources in a waythat balances security and freedom when calculating risks andimplementing protections.
The most effective way, I believe, to applythis risk-based approach is by using the trio of threat, vulnerabilityand consequence as a general model for assessing risk and deciding onthe protective measures we undertake. …
Each threat must be weighed, therefore, along with consequence and vulnerabilities.
As consequence increases, we respondaccording to the nature and credibility of the threat and any existingstate of vulnerabilities.
Our strategy is, in essence, to manage riskin terms of these three variables—threat, vulnerability, consequence.We seek to prioritize according to these variables, to fashion a seriesof preventive and protective steps that increase security at multiplelevels.
Review of DHS
What about other areas where we need torespond not only to past events but also prepare for future dangers?How do we avoid becoming beguiled by the risks we have alreadyexperienced, and distracted from those that our enemy might be planningin the future?
The first thing we have to do is examine themission and work of all elements of DHS through the template ofconsequence, vulnerability and threat. Have we fully defined ourmissions? How far have we gone in carrying them out? What more needs tobe done?
To answer these and other questions, I haveinitiated a comprehensive review of the organization, operations andpolicies of the Department as a whole.
Over the course of the next 60 to 90 days,this comprehensive review will examine what we need to do and what weare doing without regard to component structures and programmaticcategories.
Old categories, old jurisdictions, old turfwill not define our objectives or the measure of ourachievements—because bureaucratic structures and categories exist toserve our mission, not to drive it.
What should drive our policies and operationsand the way we are organized is this strategic matrix of threat,vulnerability and consequence. And so, we’ll be looking ateverythingthrough that prism and adjusting structure, operations and policies toexecute this strategy.
State and local partners
For two years now, it has been theresponsibility of Homeland Security to lead the unified national effortto daily and consistently improve our security and preparednessmeasures. The federal government has unique access to intelligence,powerful investigative tools, strong resources. But the federalgovernment cannot fund or address all of the risks involved withterrorism on its own. To complete our mission, we must and do countheavily on partnerships with our state and local governments and theprivate sector.
The kind of true partnership that protectingthe homeland requires means that we not only share information but alsoresponsibility. It means that we not only exchange expertise but alsoexpect accountability. It means that our partners must bear a part ofthe security burden as well as become part of the security solution.
Partnership occurs not only here at home. Wealso want to look more closely at how we can align with ourinternational allies to build common security plans. It’s in our mutualinterest to strengthen relationships with other countries so thattogether we continue to find common ground in areas such as security,intelligence sharing and other issues of shared concern….
In all these exchanges, I offer thisassurance to our international partners: From day one, this Departmenthas looked to create a complementary, mutually reinforcing system ofsecurity for international travel and trade. Like you, we believe thatwe cannot live in liberty without security, but we would not want tolive in security without liberty.
This Department will continue to workcollaboratively with our friends and allies around the globe inpursuing these shared goals.
Finally, the individual citizen has to be asignificant part of our overall security approach. Managing riskrequires managing expectations. That means we must engage the public ina thoughtful and serious national discussion. We cannot pretend thatnothing bad can ever happen and that perfect safety is within reach.The American people understand this; we must respect thatunderstanding….
We win the war against terrorism by rejectingterror as a tool of intimidation. We triumph when we take account ofreal threats and risks but do not become hypersensitive or overlyresponsive to them. We want to live mindfully but not fearfully. HST