Center for Strategic and International Studies - Homeland Defense

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The Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies has been and remains proactive in providing information and programs on various aspects of Homeland Defense issues. Although the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has been a foreign policy think tank since its creation in 1964, it initiated its homeland security and counterterrorism program in the late 1990s to analyze how the United States and other countries can "secure their territory from (terrorist) attack and mitigate threats at their source."[1]


Projects

CSIS-Homeland Security and Counterterrorism has sponsored a number of terrorist attack simulations that highlighted (some would say overstated) the U.S. government's inability to deal with potential terrorist threats. It was a sponsoring organization of the 2001 Dark Winter exercise, which portrayed a covert smallpox attack on US citizens; ran the March 2002 Dirty Bomb scenario depicting a radiological device being detonated in Washington DC; and the October 2002 Silent Vector exercise simulating attacks on energy and energy-related infrastructure.


According to CSIS, "past initiatives include studies on “homegrown” extremism in the United States and international approaches to border security. Current projects include studies on the future of al Qaeda and its affiliates; information sharing in law enforcement and counterterrorism; disaster preparation and relief efforts; and U.S.-EU security cooperation."[1]


History

In October 2000, the proceedings of the September 12, 2000, Senior Advisory Group Meeting spelled out the basis for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) homeland defense effort. The on-line proceedings is headlined by the following:

"These problems all stem from the fact that the United States won the Cold War, and they must be understood in that context. Our pre-eminent military status means that enemies know that they cannot attack us directly. No one will do what Saddam Hussein did and line up tanks in the desert to face the fury of the U.S. Armed Forces. Instead, our enemies will attack us where we are weakest: here, in the homeland. These are the sort of challenges that come with being the world's only remaining superpower." - Dick Clarke, National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism

At that time, the study group proposed that the Vice President would chair a National Homeland Defense Emergency Planning Council, "which would include representatives from all departments, agencies, states, and territories, with private sector organizations invited to participate in this nationwide organization ... The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the National Coordinator would be the Council's Vice Chairman. The Vice President and the National Coordinator, in turn, exercise supervisory authority over FEMA." Today, we know that the Department of Homeland Security does, in fact, include a national coordinator (Director, Tom Ridge) who functions in much this same capacity.

The CSIS Homeland Defense project had commenced well in advance of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The work undertaken by CSIS is reflected in the numerous reports generated by Anthony H. Cordesman, Arleigh Burke Chair in Strategy at CSIS, which date from as early as April 2000 and continue throughout the rest of 2000 and into 2001. Updates and new topics continue to be posted on the CSIS web site.

On at least two occasions, the Center applied for and received funding from the Smith Richardson Foundation for two separate grants, the first awarded on January 1, 1998 ($200,000) and the other January 1, 1999 ($284,000). [The substance of the research conducted is reflected in the Homeland Defense reports, all of which are available in .pdf format.]

"This grant will support research and analysis on the legal authorities available to the federal government to respond to national emergencies, particularly those resulting from an attack involving weapons of mass destruction. I. Lewis Libby will research current legal authorities, assess the response requirements for the federal government in the event of an attack utilizing weapons of mass destruction, and analyze whether refinements of current authorities are needed. The project will result in a report that analyzes the adequacy of current law and provides policy recommendations."
"Anthony H. Cordesman and Joseph J. Collins will lead a collaborative effort to produce a series of papers and a report outlining a strategy for the defense of the U.S. homeland against traditional and emerging threats. They will analyze the nature of current threats, potential strategies and policies needed to respond to those threats, and the budgetary implications of meeting homeland defense requirements. The final analysis and recommendations will be reviewed and endorsed by a senior advisory group composed of former policy makers and leading experts."

This particular report can be found in several sections and under various topic headings listed on the web site: "Defending America in the 21st Century" (2000); "Defense of the U.S. Homeland Against Strategic Attack" by Daniel Goure (December 2000); and "Homeland Defense. A Strategic Attack" by Joseph J. Collins and Michael Horowitz (December 2000).

Additionally, a more current report -- "The New American Approach to Defense: The FY2003 Program." Notes on Homeland Defense, Counterterrorism, Asymmetric Warfare, and Force Transformation by Cordesman was published on February 6, 2002. It can also be accessed on the CSIS web site.


Personnel [2]

Rick "Ozzie" Nelson: Director, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program and Senior Fellow, International Security Program Defense and Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security Afghanistan, Asia, Pakistan, South Asia

Philip Anderson: Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Defense and Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security

C. Stewart Verdery Jr.: Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Defense and Security

Brian M. White: Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Defense and Security, Homeland Security

Adam Isles: Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Defense and Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security

Kathy L. Kraninger: Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Defense and Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security

Joshua Kussman Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Defense and Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security

Joseph D. Rozek Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Defense and Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security

Seth M.M. Stodder Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Defense and Security, Terrorism, Homeland Security

Juan Carlos Zarate Senior Adviser, Transnational Threats Project and Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program Terrorism, Homeland Security, Trade and Economics Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East


Related Homeland Defense Resources on SourceWatch

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 CSIS Homeland Security homepage, accessed September 1, 2010
  2. "Experts" page from CSIS-Homeland Security and Counterterrorism website