National Security

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Mental-Health.aspxBook Review: Mental HealthGP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652018-02-01T05:00:00ZBrian Flynn and Ronald Sherman; Reviewed by Yan Byalik, CPP<p>​Butterworth-Heinemann; elsevier.com; 370 pages; $125.</p><p>Following a disaster, the issues surrounding the mental health issues affecting both rescuers and survivors are frequently overlooked. <em>Integrating Emergency Management and Disaster Behavioral Health </em>is an excellent exploration of the topic, written by multiple contributors. Looking at mental health from both emergency management and behavioral health perspectives allows the authors to seamlessly transition between these two disciplines and make a convincing argument that both need to be considered throughout each stage of disaster management.  </p><p>While the book sometimes reads like a research paper, the topic is fascinating. The chapters include ample references and diagrams to convey both the seriousness and credibility of the material. Real-world examples illuminate the text. </p><p>Some chapters explore topics in a depth that may be too advanced for general security practitioners, especially those not involved with planning or coordinating emergency response efforts.</p><p>The ideal audience for this book would be emergency managers and those seeking to learn more about this discipline. The book would be a great addition to training courses on the National Incident Management System because those learning about emergency management for the first time would be exposed to the behavioral health implications following a disaster. Individuals working with or studying human behavior, such as clinical psychologists, mental health counselors, and aid workers, will also find value in understanding how people individually and collectively react to the stress of major disasters.</p><p>Overall, this book presents a unique and desperately needed argument for integrating two vital but sometimes distant disciplines. At a time when factions debate over what constitutes mental illness and what such a diagnosis means, this book becomes a timely resource.</p><p><em><strong>Reviewer: Yan Byalik, CPP, </strong>is the security administrator for the City of Newport News, Virginia. He has 16 years of security experience in multiple industries, managing security officers, campus security officers, and special conservators of the peace. Byalik is the assistant regional vice president for ASIS Region 5A in Southeast Virginia. ​</em></p>

 

 

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Disaster-Dominoes.aspxDisaster Dominoes<p>​"I've been doing this close to 40 years, and there has not, in my career, been a hurricane season anything like this," disaster response expert Jerome Hauer explains in a recent interview regarding the unprecedented 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.  </p><p>Given his experience base, that is saying something. Hauer has led the homeland security and emergency services department for the state of New York, the office of emergency management in New York City, and Indiana's department of emergency management. On the federal level, he has served as assistant secretary for the U.S. Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (OPHEP). He is also a longtime member of ASIS International, and is now a professor at Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies. </p><p>But despite all those years in the field, Hauer cannot recall a storm season like the one that just passed. Starting with Hurricane Franklin and ending with Hurricane Ophelia, the 2017 season featured 10 consecutive hurricanes—the greatest number in the satellite era, all of which were marked by winds of at least 75 miles per hour. It may also have been the costliest season on record, with a preliminary total of more than $186 billion in damages, nearly all of which resulted from the three most devastating hurricanes: Harvey, Irma, and Maria. </p><p>Each of these massive hurricanes had its own profile. Harvey, for example, came with flooding of biblical proportions, and Irma devastated portions of Florida's power grid. Experts like Hauer say that these two hurricanes illustrated some lessons for emergency preparedness and response. (Experts interviewed for this article did not focus on Hurricane Maria, because the response to that storm was complicated by political and geographic factors.) </p><p>For example, while emergency management leaders in localities and states understand the importance of planning, they do not have the time nor resources to plan for every possible scenario, and so they normally do not plan for the unprecedented—such as three Category 4 hurricanes that make landfall within the span of four weeks. </p><p>"This many hurricanes that impact the United States and its territories in a single year is something that you couldn't contemplate," Hauer says. "Particularly since the hurricanes were catastrophic. The strength of the hurricanes, the volume of rain in some areas—we haven't seen anything like this that I can remember."</p><p>And even if a sole visionary emergency manager formulated a plan to protect all affected places from an unprecedented hurricane season, in the real world no jurisdiction or state government would have the billions needed to actually implement and fund the required costs of reinforcing, rebuilding, or replacing the various infrastructure systems that would be affected, says emergency management expert Harry Rhulen. Rhulen is CEO of the crisis management firm Firestorm and a member of the ASIS International Crisis Management and Business Continuity Council.</p><p>Nonetheless, the series of devastating hurricanes did illustrate another emergency management lesson, Rhulen says: proper disaster preparedness and response means planning for multiple disasters, not just one. "It's one of the most important things to account for—when you are doing business continuity and disaster planning, in general, you should assume multiple events," Rhulen says.  </p><p>Indeed, Hauer says that's a critical element of disaster response management—planning for the potential second- and third-level disasters. "We did that on a regular basis, both when I was in federal government and on the city level," Hauer says. "You can't just say we have flooding, and say how you deal with the flooding, but also how you will deal with the secondary effects, such as the health effects." </p><p>For example, during Hurricane Sandy, mosquitoes used overflowing reservoirs as a breeding ground, running the risk of the spread of West Nile virus. Similarly, after Hurricane Harvey, flooding in Houston raised the risk of health issues stemming from human contact with floodwater, which can harbor bacteria, viruses, and fungi.</p><p>Potential health risks like this mean that environmental experts from groups like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should be "part of the process" in disaster preparation, Hauer says. It is also important that hospitals take seriously the requirement to hold emergency exercises and drills. "Some take it seriously, but some don't, and they just go through the motions," he explains. And whether it be a locality or a state, drills by emergency personnel should be critiqued by elected officials who should ask some "tough questions" afterward, he adds.  </p><p>Another challenge in dealing with cascading disasters is that "the first crisis lowers your ability to perform all of the functions that you normally perform," Rhulen says. For example, a fire that destroys some computer hardware can hinder a company's efforts to protect itself from cyberattacks. And storm damage can increase vulnerability to thievery or other types of criminal activity. "You automatically have to bump up security," Rhulen says. </p><p>In addition, resources are finite, so in the case of responding to Hurricane Harvey's effects in Texas, "it stretches resources to the point where you are way behind, and near the breaking point," Rhulen explains. This could hamper the response to any disaster that happens in the near future. "It makes their overall exposure for the next year go up dramatically," he says.   </p><p>Given that government resources were stretched thin by the double blow of Harvey and Irma, the active volunteer response during the storms was especially critical and "really impressive," Rhulen says. These volunteers, ranging in scope from formal groups to neighbors helping neighbors, beefed up a responder workforce that would have been inadequate without them. "People need to understand—you're really your own first responder," he says.  </p><p>In the future, the unprecedented hurricane season of 2017 may be looked upon for another historically significant feature. It elicited an unusual type of response—and one that may serve as a closely watched model of resiliency planning in the future—by the island nation of Dominica.</p><p>Maria was the worst natural disaster in the country's recorded history. With sustained winds of nearly 160 miles per hour, the storm made landfall on September 19, 2017, as a Category 5 hurricane, forcing the majority of the country's 72,000 residents into homelessness and leaving the island without communication for more than 30 hours. More than 90 percent of the population was left without food, power, or shelter.</p><p>In the wake of this devastation, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that he does not want to build on old vulnerabilities, but instead develop a targeted resilience strategy so that Dominica becomes the first "climate resilient" nation. "Our desire [is] to be the captains of our fate, and to choose the shape of our recovery," Skerrit said in a statement after the storm.  </p><p>To do so, Dominica would have to rebuild so that its infrastructure could withstand the type of extreme weather events that may become more common due to climate change. Exactly how the country would do that, and how it could fund such an undertaking, is not yet clear. But Dominican officials are appealing to global organizations for future assistance, and they say that they may have some international partners in their venture. </p><p>"The World Bank and European Development Agency have pledged considerable sums to back our vision as the first climate resilient nation of the climate change era," Skerrit said in a recent address to the United Nations General Assembly. "To deny climate change is to procrastinate while the earth sinks." ​ ​</p>GP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Blurred-Lines.aspxBlurred Lines<p>​As Americans tried to make sense of the worst mass shooting in recent history, the Islamic State saw an opportunity. After a shooter opened fire from a high-rise hotel in Las Vegas upon a crowd of concertgoers below, killing at least 58 before ending his own life, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The Amaq News Agency, an outlet linked to ISIS, reported that the shooter had converted to Islam a few months prior and followed instructions to carry out an attack on the Las Vegas Strip. So far, however, authorities say there is no connection between the shooter and the international terrorist organization—although his motive for the shooting remains unclear.</p><p>This is a common move by ISIS, especially while the organization continues to lose territory in Iraq. The extremist organization has claimed responsibility for several deadly incidents this year—including the killing of 37 at a Manila casino in June, the August vehicle attack in Barcelona, and the attempted London subway bombing in September—but authorities say there were no concrete connections between ISIS and the perpetrators of those events.</p><p>And even after events where there is a discernable link between the attacker and a terrorist organization, the verbiage surrounding the motive can be confusing—phrases like "inspired by," "affiliated with," or "radicalized by" can create more questions than answers. </p><p>"The sorts of attacks ISIS has claimed responsibility for are all over the place in terms of the accuracy of those claims," says Peter Mandaville, a George Mason University professor and senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. "It's a strategic communications or political calculation on its part for it to step forward and claim an attack, whether or not it had anything to do with it at all."</p><p>The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)—a leading resource for global terrorism research and attack data—has designated four classifications for ISIS-related terrorism. ISIS predecessors are organizations that were part of ISIS prior to adoption of its name in 2013; affiliated attacks are conducted by organizations that have declared allegiance to ISIS; inspired attacks are by individuals who have indicated that they were motivated by allegiance to ISIS; and an attack by ISIS itself is carried out by operatives of the core of the organization, primarily based in Iraq and Syria. </p><p>In its recent overview of terrorism in 2016, START researchers note that classifying predecessors and affiliates was a difficult process. "Perhaps the most significant challenge is the fact that links between these groups exist on a continuum ranging from formally established, operational coordination and cooperation to more abstract, ideological support," a methodological note in the report states. "Further complicating matters is the fact that often little detail about the exact nature of these relationships is available in open source materials, and the terminology used by both the media and the group leaders is extremely imprecise. Terms such as 'link,' 'allegiance,' 'alliance,' 'support,' 'loyalty,' and 'endorse' are used interchangeably."</p><p>Additionally, researchers must conduct a thorough review of direct evidence from an attack—such as statements to authorities from the perpetrator or their postings on social media—to accurately classify individual attackers as inspired by, but not linked to, ISIS. </p><p>But in the immediate aftermath of a crisis, trying to classify an attacker's relationship—if any—with an extremist group can feel frivolous. During an investigation, as with the Las Vegas shooter, initial links with extremists that are later disproved can spark government coverup conspiracy theories. And if ISIS is increasingly falsely claiming responsibility for incidents, how much attention should be paid to its claims?</p><p>"It matters from the point of view of how you assess the level of risk that the attacker represents and how you deal with it," Mandaville says. "If someone is a lone wolf attacker who is operating in an inspired mode and carries out a low-tech attack, and otherwise has no operational connections to one of these movements, then you deal with that person in a different way than someone who is actually a figure within a network of operatives present in your country that has actual organizational connections to one of these groups. In that case, that suggests evidence of a more systematic threat that law enforcement and security services need to respond to in a more thorough way."</p><p>START researchers' exhaustive analysis of each attacker's motives for some 1,400 terrorist incidents in 2016 also helps provide a bigger-picture understanding of the threat. For example, START's 2016 terrorism overview report maps out attacks by the four categories of ISIS attackers. The graph shows a rapid leap in ISIS-affiliated attacks in early 2015 but a gradual decline over 2016, signaling Boko Haram's rise and fall as an ISIS affiliate. </p><p>The data can help point counterterrorism and investigation efforts in the right direction, as well as illustrate to researchers the aims—and struggles—of extremist organizations.</p><p>"In a sense, we're dealing with what you might call the human resources problem that these groups face," Mandaville explains. "It's a calculus of the cost and risks associated with training and directly deploying operatives in an operational way, versus achieving their goals by trying to inspire individuals that otherwise have no connection to them to try to undertake these kinds of attacks."</p><p>Mandaville, who was born in the Middle East and advised various government agencies following 9/11, says the struggle of recruiting versus inspiring attackers is not new—and cites al Qaeda as an example.</p><p>When the global jihadist movement first started to come together in Afghanistan in the 1980s, al Qaeda operated in a classic guerilla warfare style with a clear command structure. However, the 9/11 attacks were divisive among the jihadist movement, creating a shake-up in the structure of the extremist organization, Mandaville says.</p><p>"Al Qaeda lost a lot of its best trained followers, people who disagreed with the attacks, and it had to rely on amateur jihadis, self-starters, and people it couldn't directly reach but only inspire and provide minimal direction," Mandaville tells Security Management. "That element of needing to take what it could get is certainly very relevant here."</p><p>After ISIS recently lost control of Mosul—which it took over and declared a caliphate three years ago—experts say they are seeing more desperation from the extremist group, including laying claim to attacks that had nothing to do with it. </p><p>"Where this goes in the next phase of the counter-ISIS strategy really depends on what sorts of calculations ISIS makes as the current operations against it really seem to get close to its core areas of control in Syria," Mandaville explains. "It could voluntarily give up territory and simply revert to a more conventional insurgency guerilla mode in order to continue surviving. We maybe regain the territory it controls, but ISIS continues to exist in some form." </p><p>Mandaville notes that as ISIS continues to lose physical ground, more foreign recruits are going to be displaced, potentially creating a new type of terrorist that defies existing categorization.</p><p>"No matter how this goes in the next few months, one of the key questions facing the national security community right now is what happens to the thousands of foreign fighters who went to Syria to work with them?" Mandaville says. "While regaining ISIS-controlled territories is certainly a positive development, it's actually going to also confront us with new risks and new sorts of policy conundrums."</p><p>Another uncategorized extremist player that often flies under the radar is what Mandaville calls the online fanboy—the person who has no interest in carrying out attacks in the name of ISIS, but contributes to the cause by retweeting extremist propaganda and amplifying its message.</p><p>"The various roles that people can play in helping these groups reach other people, including potential recruits for violent or kinetic activity—you have to understand there's an ecosystem that's much broader than just the people who carry out the attacks themselves, or the people who represent the jihadi groups that try to recruit them," Mandaville says. </p>GP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Q-and-A-Event-Security.aspxQ&A: Event Security<p>​The ASIS 2017 Book of the Year is <em>Managing Critical Incidents and Large-Scale Event Security</em> by Eloy Nuñez and Ernest G. Vendrell. The authors spoke to <em>Security Management </em>about security trends and challenges in the event industry.</p><p><em><strong>Q. </strong>What are some of the biggest challenges facing the event security industry today?</em></p><p><strong>A. </strong>An overreliance on technology is a major challenge. We tend to think that a wall or a fence will keep the bad guys out, and it does help a lot, but in and of itself it's not going to solve our problems. We know that every fence and wall can be breached, and every technology that one can think of can be counteracted. It takes an active observation of the technology and how it's working. Another challenge is a sense of complacency–the idea that someone else is watching. That tends to make us less alert. Communication also becomes so important, especially when you're dealing with a variety of participants. It's essentially impossible to achieve requisite levels of coordination and collaboration without that effective communication.</p><p><em><strong>Q. </strong>How has the event security space evolved over the last few decades?</em> </p><p><strong>A. </strong>Three factors have made us more effective and efficient than in the past: computer processing speed, the miniaturization of technology, and the interconnectedness of people via devices. The improvements to technology have been outstanding. We're now able to process information more quickly. The interconnectedness allows us to communicate, collaborate, and crowdsource for information. There are so many different people from disparate backgrounds and agencies. We all get together and plan things out, and the byproduct is that we learn from each other.</p><p><em><strong>Q. </strong>Your book draws on lessons learned from past events. What are some of the overarching themes in those lessons?</em></p><p><strong>A.</strong> Given the complexities of critical incident management and large-scale event planning, we try to simplify things as best we can so that everyone is able to execute those plans. It takes a well-trained, diversified, and committed team that has clear goals and objectives. Have the team that you put in place practice as much as possible, and institute training that's relevant, realistic, and replicates the environment that you're working in. </p><p><em><strong>Q. </strong>Given the range of threats to the live event industry, how can security professionals share information to help mitigate those challenges?</em></p><p>A. Networking is so critical. One thing we wrote about was that, in the public safety arena, we were great at identifying lessons learned, but the problem was that we weren't applying those lessons. Conferences like the ASIS annual seminar and exhibits), where you have professionals sharing lessons learned and how they applied them, are so important in terms of professionalization and collectively doing a better job moving forward. Identifying contacts ahead of time and getting to know them before there's a problem is critical. That way when an unforeseen incident occurs, you have the right parties on speed-dial.</p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465