Fortifying the Future: Assessing the Homeland Security Mission in the Decade Ahead
A discussion between Representative John Katko (R-NY) and Wilson Center President Emerita Jane Harman on how threats to our homeland have evolved since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in response to the attacks on 9/11.
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Representative John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, joined Wilson Center President Emerita and former Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment Jane Harman to discuss his vision and priorities to advance the homeland security mission and why it is critical to take a bipartisan approach.
The conversation reflected on how threats to our homeland have evolved since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in response to the attacks on 9/11.
“The issue is the same no matter what in law enforcement, it’s making sure you exchange information in a timely manner and effective manner, and then you act upon that information. You can only do that when working across lines and working different agencies and getting things done.”
“There’s no question that we’re a much safer country than we were before 9/11. I think the 9/11 commission was wildly successful, the recommendations were excellent, and the exchange of information and the flow of information is much, much better than it was […] January 6th was definitely a breakdown in communications but it wasn’t from a lack of developing that information […] I think we need—for January 6th—is another 9/11-style commission to go back and see from the Capitol standpoint, how did we fail, what can we do better, and how can we make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
“People always think about foreign incursions as someone coming into this country —spies or terrorists or whatever—but they’re able to do that from the strength and comfort of their own homes, own offices, their own places around the world. Losing our strategic advantage in that regard—from a geographic standpoint—is very important. Our borders make us a relatively safe country compared to the rest of the world just because we have oceans on both sides and friendly countries to our north and south, but now people don’t need to travel here to make their incursions.”