HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISORY COUNCIL - WEAPONS OF MASS EFFECT TASK FORCE ON Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect Into the United States

HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISORY COUNCIL - WEAPONS OF MASS EFFECT TASK FORCE ON Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect Into the United States


 Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect
              Into the United States

                   January 10, 2006

                                           Page 1 of 39
HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISORY COUNCIL - WEAPONS OF MASS EFFECT TASK FORCE ON Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect Into the United States
Table of Contents
Executive Summary                                                 3

I Introduction                                                    10
       Purpose                                                    10
       Scope and Approach                                         10

II Current State                                                  12
        The Threat                                                12
        General Observations on WME Prevention                    12
        Critical Deficiencies                                     14

III Addressing the Critical Deficiencies                          15
       Conceptual Framework                                       15
       Moving from a Framework to Solutions:
       A Risk Reduction Approach                                  17
       Layered Approach                                           19
       Management Process                                         20

IV Path Forward:
   Developing, Deploying, and Managing A Layered Defense System   21
       Authority, Alignment, and Incentives                       21
       Deterrence                                                 23
       Risk and System Management                                 24
       Innovation                                                 25

Appendix A
Detailed Supporting Actions                                       27

Appendix B
Member Biographies                                                35

Glossary                                                          39

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Throughout history societies have been                    and limits of acceptability since restrictions
threatened by enemies willing to attack ci-               on the movement of cargo and people ulti-
vilian targets with weapons of catastrophic               mately pose a risk to the flow of commerce
impact. As the weapons and the people who                 and to personal freedom. Despite these lim-
would use them have changed over time,                    its, the country can and should be better pro-
defensive strategies and systems have                     tected from the threat posed by the entry of
evolved as well. A central tenet of Cold War              WME.
strategy was to deter first use of nuclear
weapons by the Soviet Union. The vast de-                 Charge to the Task Force
structive potential of such weapons made a                The Homeland Security Advisory Council,
nuclear exchange totally unacceptable; every              an independent advisory body offering ad-
possible measure was taken to avoid nuclear               vice, analysis and recommendations to the
war including massive investments in capa-                Secretary of Homeland Security, charged a
bilities to detect weapon launch and assure               Task Force composed of Council members,
retaliatory capability. With the demise of the            Senior Advisory Council members and gov-
Soviet Union, the nature of the threat has                ernment representatives with recommending
changed but the danger has not necessarily                specific steps the nation can take to prevent
diminished. We still face the potential for               the entry into the country of weapons of
hundreds of thousands of casualties and                   mass effect and the people who would use
massive economic disruption from attacks                  them. Preventing the entry of the people
on our homeland.                                          who would use such weapons is of great im-
                                                          portance in that WME and components of
The United States is vulnerable to massive                WME as defined in this study are found
loss of life and economic devastation from                within the United States. Preventing the use
the covert or terrorist delivery of a weapon              of WME by individuals who may already be
of mass effect (WME). 1 This is an unac-                  in the U.S. is not within the scope of the
ceptable condition. As an open society, the               charge.
U.S. will never be able to construct impene-
trable defenses to the entry of such weapons              The Task Force decided that a systematic
or the people who would use them. Attempts                approach must guide its work and the rec-
to “seal off” the borders to such entry have              ommendations it provides to the secretary.
limits—physical limits in our ability to de-              The Task Force met with experts from in-
tect weapons or people entering the country               side and outside of government at all levels
                                                          to understand current plans, systems and
  Weapons of mass effect, or WME, are weapons             practices in WME prevention and receive
capable of inflicting grave destructive, psychological    input on how to improve upon current capa-
and/or economic damage to the United States. These        bilities. The Task Force developed a systems
include chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological, or
explosive weapons. While the Task Force recognizes        view of WME prevention, assessed the gap
the significant differences in the nature of these        between the current fragmented system and
weapons, they share many common elements in               a more unified approach, and made recom-
terms of the requirements for preventing entry into       mendations to close the gaps.
the U.S. For the purposes of this study, cyber threats
are not considered since cyber attacks can be
launched from outside the country.

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Findings                                           range of potential threat scenarios com-
The Threat                                         pound the complexity.
An attack on our country by a WME is ar-
guably the gravest danger to American na-          Critical Deficiencies
tional security. Different WME scenarios—          The Task Force identified critical deficien-
use of nuclear, biological, chemical, radio-       cies in the current state of WME prevention:
logical, or conventional weapons against           the absence of a systematic, risk-based ap-
U.S. targets—have different likelihoods and        proach to investment; dispersed capabilities,
impacts, including civilian casualties in the      leadership and decision making; inadequate
hundreds of thousands. Regardless of the           attention to engaging foreign partners; deter-
scenario, the consequences are almost uni-         rence concepts in need of updating; need for
maginable. Preventing WME use on U.S.              greater urgency and priority for investments
soil must become our most urgent priority          in technological innovation; and lack of citi-
and the subject of focused and integrated          zen engagement.
effort. That it isn’t today is a grave concern.
                                                   Addressing Critical Deficiencies
Determining the magnitude of resources that        Conceptual framework. To decrease the risk
should be devoted to negating WME threats          of a successful WME penetration of U.S.
is greatly complicated by the fact that such       borders, the WME prevention system should
threats (hopefully) have a very low probabil-      be designed to address WME threats as
ity of occurrence, at least at the present time,   close to the point of origin as possible. To
but have extremely significant conse-              achieve that objective, the U.S. should im-
quences. In addition, the probability of at-       plement a WME prevention strategy and
tacks of the type discussed in this report is      system which has the following three
never likely to be reduced to zero. Nonethe-       thrusts:
less, the likelihood that a specific attack can
be prevented is significantly enhanced if the      •   Neutralize known terrorists
country is willing to invest precious re-          •   Secure or eliminate sources of WME
sources on WME prevention.                             and/or critical components
                                                   •   Detect and interdict WME in transit
General Observations
WME prevention is a daunting management,           The first thrust, neutralizing terrorists, is
technical, operational, and systems chal-          primarily a responsibility of the military and
lenge and although significant progress has        the intelligence community. The second
been made in recent years, much remains to         thrust, securing or eliminating sources of
be done. Authority, decision making, and           WME, is also a joint responsibility of sev-
operational control are distributed across         eral government agencies, with the newly-
individuals and organizations at multiple          established National Counterproliferation
levels. The multiple participants involved in      Center (NCPC) in a coordinating role.
WME prevention share a common focus on
security yet are diverse in mandates, mem-         This report focuses primarily on the third
berships, capabilities, cultures, and motiva-      thrust, detecting and interdicting WME in
tions. This diversity is an advantage only if      transit, while recognizing that the first two
it is managed systematically; it is not today.     are essential, interrelated, and ultimately
The uncertainty over the threat and the wide       preferable elements of a prevention strategy
                                                   and that a systems view of the problem and

                                                                                   Page 4 of 39
an integrated effort across all three thrusts is   Based on historical success in other complex
critical.                                          systems, the Task Force believes that “layer-
                                                   ing” defensive capabilities would provide
The Task Force found it useful to conceive         the necessary redundancy, flexibility, and
of the WME prevention problem as consist-          robustness so that failure of any one element
ing of three dimensions: 1) how WME mate-          of the system is not catastrophic, and the
riel or people move across international bor-      protective effect of individual elements is
ders toward a location in the United States—       cumulative or multiplicative. In the case of
the geographical or spatial dimension; 2)          WME prevention, a “layer” is any combina-
what can be done along the path from source        tion of the above three dimensions that re-
to target—the functional dimension; and 3)         duces the risk of entry of WME capability.
how the functions are carried out and by
whom—the operational dimension.                    Management process. An integrated, sys-
                                                   tem-wide WME prevention management
Risk reduction and layered approach. Re-           process must be established as the basis for
ducing or minimizing the risk of a WME             subsequent system design and implementa-
entering the U.S. should be the central deci-      tion decisions. Through an architecturally-
sion-making criterion for designing, devel-        driven system definition, design, and man-
oping, deploying, and operating a WME              agement process, decision makers can per-
prevention system. Risk reduction analyses         form risk assessments and determine the
should be structured to address the funda-         value of different components of a system
mental choices available to the country in         by seeing their functions, costs and interac-
confronting the WME prevention challenge.          tions in broader context rather than in isola-
With a broad systems view, fundamental             tion. Gaps in capability can be more readily
questions can be asked and answered, such          identified along with alternative pathways
as:                                                for filling those gaps and reducing risk.

•   What should be the relative balance of         Recommendations
    investments for the three basic thrusts:       The Task Force generated many suggestions
    neutralizing terrorists, securing potential    for improving WME defense. Recommenda-
    WME sources, and detecting WME in              tions were organized to address the major
    transit?                                       areas of concern with the current WME pre-
•   Are investments correctly balanced be-         vention system—authority, alignment and
    tween air, land and sea corridors as a         incentives, deterrence, risk and system man-
    function of threat and risk?                   agement, and innovation. Specific support-
•   How should investments in alternative          ing implementation actions are offered in
    detection technologies be balanced in re-      each of these areas.
    lation to the threat?
•   What interfaces must exist between dif-        Leadership
    ferent entities with complementary func-
    tions?                                         Recommendations
                                                   Strengthen leadership structures. Clarify
Resource allocation decisions must be based        lines of authority and control by having the
on the greatest security impact rather than        president designate the Secretary of Home-
parochial interests.                               land Security as the lead individual respon-
                                                   sible for preventing WME attacks in the

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United States and strengthen his/her access     in consultation with state governors to re-
to the information and assets needed to carry   spond to terrorist attacks or emergencies that
out this function. The secretary should im-     exceed the states’ resources. Governors and
mediately initiate a risk assessment and sys-   their respective homeland security advisors
tem management effort and adopt a model         should plan more effectively for a wide
such as a Joint Program Office to coordinate    range of contingencies that will inevitably
the program elements and control the inte-      require the unique capabilities of the mili-
grated WME prevention budget. Strengthen        tary.
the White House Homeland Security Coun-
cil (HSC) to make it comparable in authority    Supporting Actions
and responsibility to the National Security     Improve interagency coordination. Develop
Council (NSC).                                  policies, planning, and processes that sup-
                                                port an integrated program budget and facili-
Engage internationally. Better engage for-      tate joint efforts across the federal govern-
eign governments and multilateral organiza-     ment. Develop a government-wide system
tions with more individuals in the diplomatic   that rewards interagency cooperation and
corps responsible for WME prevention, and       coordination focused on preventing the entry
together focus more effort on developing a      of WME. Institutionalize response organiza-
common understanding of the WME threat          tions such as the Interagency Incident Man-
posed by terrorism, sharing best practices      agement Groups to take on prevention func-
for preventing WME attacks, and develop-        tions during non-emergency periods.
ing the strategic cooperation necessary to
deploy and manage a mutually reinforcing        Eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic re-
layered defense.                                dundancies. De-conflict overlapping or con-
                                                flicting requirements placed on industry,
Require joint effort. Break down organiza-      such as multiple background checks and cer-
tional barriers between the Department of       tifications for cross-border truckers, while
Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies      retaining redundancies that are built into the
by creating incentives and opportunities for    layered defense system.
career advancement based on such joint effort
and cultivating a joint culture through more    Create country or region-specific DHS
cross-training and transfer of personnel be-    portfolios. Provide each U.S. Mis-
tween different agencies involved in WME        sion/Embassy with clear-cut DHS strategic
prevention.                                     guidance. Leverage existing DHS resources
                                                currently assigned to U.S. Mis-
Improve WME intelligence. The traditional       sions/Embassies abroad. Create dedicated
customer set for WME intelligence does not      DHS foreign service attaché positions.
fully accommodate the challenges posed by
today’s WME threat and the role played by       Selectively engage multilateral organiza-
DHS. Include DHS as a principal driver for      tions on homeland security-related issues.
WME intelligence collection and analysis.       Use strategic partnerships as force multipli-
                                                ers and a means to extend reach into regions
Clarify the Department of Defense (DOD)         that are breeding grounds for terrorism.
role in disaster response. At the federal
level, Northern Command, the Pentagon,
and DHS should develop a cohesive strategy

                                                                                Page 6 of 39
Institutionalize DHS participation in             Engage citizens. Bridge the preparedness
NATO through a “reinforced North Atlan-           gap between an overextended National
tic Council (NAC.)” Through NAC pursue            Guard and the crisis management needs of
common objectives, share best practices,          the federal and state level leadership by en-
and develop joint competencies.                   gaging citizen volunteers. Proposals such as
                                                  the non-expeditionary Home Guard, operat-
Participate in joint contact/working groups.      ing under gubernatorial control, and other
Work bilaterally on WME prevention pro-           volunteer-based measures can provide
grams.                                            Americans with a way to contribute to na-
                                                  tional preparedness and demonstrate na-
DHS leadership should actively task WME           tional resilience by assisting law enforce-
intelligence analysis. WME intelligence has       ment and other officials with support such as
traditionally been applied to supporting de-      traffic control and delivery of food and wa-
marches about treaty violations and sanc-         ter during a crisis.
tions. Today, the Weapons of Mass Destruc-
tion (WMD) intelligence consumer should           Supporting Actions
be defined by a broader constellation of au-      Create uncertainty for potential attackers.
thorities, to include DHS, Health and Hu-         Complicate their plans and force them into
man Services, and the Federal Bureau of In-       modes of operation that are more susceptible
vestigation (FBI). Preventing WME attacks         to detection and interdiction.
on the homeland requires a forthright role
for DHS in the consumption of intelligence        Understand and prevent radicalization.
analysis.                                         Target root causes of international terrorism.

Deterrence                                        Build in adaptive capability. Use constant
                                                  change in defensive posture to increase un-
Recommendations                                   certainty for would be attackers and to
Make deterrence policy clear. The president       counter changes in their tactics.
should announce, and the national leadership
should reiterate, a policy of swift, certain,     Adapt or update existing models for mar-
and severe consequences for any nation as-        shalling citizenry. The Civil Air Patrol, the
sociated with a terrorist act using WME.          Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the National De-
                                                  fense Executive Reserve should be adapted
Expand deterrence into the WME context.           and serve as models for a “Home Guard”
Beyond retaliation, which registers little        with specialized skills such as quarantine
with a committed terrorist group, the layered     implementation, vaccine administration, and
defense system increases uncertainty and          crisis communications.
therefore the likelihood of failure for poten-
tial attackers thus diminishing the attractive-   Risk and System Management
ness of WME use in the view of a potential
perpetrator desiring massive effect. When         Recommendations
coupled with resilience in managing the af-       Institute a risk-based process for resource
termath of an attack, this enhanced defen-        allocation. An open transparent process for
sive posture should be a component of ex-         targeting prevention funding should be insti-
panded deterrence.                                tuted. To ensure that investments deal with
                                                  the greatest needs from a national as well as

                                                                                  Page 7 of 39
a local perspective, consider establishing an   Establish joint government/industry work-
independent body, comparable to the Base        ing groups. Pattern the groups after the ex-
Realignment and Closure Commission              isting National Security Telecommunica-
(BRAC) as a check and balance to review         tions Advisory Committee to promote coor-
integrated WME prevention budget alloca-        dinated government/private sector counter-
tions and provide insulation from political     terrorism efforts.
                                                Promote Standards for Products Useful in
Improve private sector contributions to the     the Anti-terrorism Campaign. Through na-
process for risk management. Outside ex-        tional standards, create the potential for a
perts can help design and evaluate the ap-      large enough market to warrant industry in-
proach to managing risk. Public-private         vestment.
partnerships remain a valuable vehicle for
this involvement, but require different ap-     Provide Selective Indemnification. Indem-
proaches for the demands of developing and      nify firms that are seeking to assist in the
managing a layered prevention strategy.         war on terrorism with indemnification
                                                against adverse consequences which they
Initiate a system management effort. The        could not reasonably be expected to have
Secretary of Homeland Security should           foreseen.
adopt one of several architecturally-based
models of integrated systems management         Create a system management board. Since
to help guide and oversee the planning, de-     WME prevention spans multiple organiza-
velopment, and integration of the national      tions, the Board should include representa-
WME prevention system.                          tives of component elements of the WME
                                                prevention system and should meet periodi-
Supporting Actions                              cally with the WME System Manager. The
Help industry make the business case for        Board should be the forum for stakeholder
security and determine if/when government       agencies to participate in risk assessments
should provide assistance. The federal gov-     and decision making on aspects of the WME
ernment should assist the private sector in     prevention system.
making the business case for security by, for
example, developing cost benefit analysis       Appoint a WME system manager. Have
models, creating market-based incentives for    him/her report directly to the secretary and
security investments, and clarifying the di-    have authority to manage investments in
viding line between government and private      system capabilities.
sector responsibilities.
                                                Publish a DHS directive on WME preven-
Study the security risks posed by U.S. com-     tion system management. Specify the roles,
panies operating globally and outsourcing       authorities, and organizational relationships
to foreigners. Security experts throughout      in the system management process, includ-
the private sector are concerned that, due to   ing the DHS role as lead, the system ap-
increased overseas operations, outsourcing      proval processes, national and international
and supply chains, increasing numbers of        relationships, and the role of the system
people from foreign countries now have ac-      management board.
cess to substantial information about U.S.
companies and their business models.

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Innovation                                       and practice and ensuring there is no retribu-
                                                 tion for candid contributions.
Make detection a priority for innovation.        Make “Red Teaming,” the process of gam-
The secretary, the HSC, and the president        ing an adversary’s actions, a more integral
should make it among the highest national        part of training and routine operations.
priorities to bring together elements of the     Purposefully testing a system, people, and
research community to undertake transfor-        equipment to probe for weaknesses can im-
mational research.                               prove their security by mimicking the tech-
                                                 niques the adversary would use to carry out
Encourage and nurture new ideas. Create a        an attack. When done at the system (rather
process that encourages new ideas from           than component) level, management can
people within and external to the department     identify system improvements.
by encouraging out of the box ideas from all
levels across the homeland security and re-      Create a long-range review process akin to
lated communities and providing a clear          the DOD’s “Quadrennial Defense Review”
path for those ideas to gain visibility, be      that takes into account strategy, research
tested, and ultimately be acted upon by deci-    and development, budgeting, and other fac-
sion makers.                                     tors. Investments in infrastructure, science,
                                                 and technology require long-range planning.
Supporting Actions                               Management and operators must systemati-
The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office            cally feed requirements into the research and
(DNDO) model should apply to other WME           system development process and provide
threats such as biological, radiological, and    continuous updates. Such a tool would need
chemical agents and explosives. Rapid pro-       to go beyond DHS and include all relevant
gress can be made by marshaling relevant         agencies to be effective.
assets across the executive branch to focus
efforts on research, development, testing,
and evaluation of transformational detection
capabilities and strategies. Wherever possi-
ble, technologies should be developed that
have dual use benefits (e.g., detecting drug
contraband as well as WME).

Develop and apply performance metrics to
guide organizational behavior toward long-
term goals. When necessary, officials out-
side of the organization that will be assessed
should set performance metrics.

Systematically institute frank and candid
“after action reports.” Management must
value frank and constructive criticism by
and of all parties (supervisors and subordi-
nates) by incorporating input into planning

                                                                                 Page 9 of 39

Purpose                                          Defining the Border
As an independent advisory body, the             The Task Force assumed that the U.S. bor-
Homeland Security Advisory Council               der was the last line of defense. However,
(HSAC) exists to provide advice, analysis,       the term “border” should include the physi-
and recommendations to the Secretary of          cal border, institutional borders such as the
Homeland Security to support the creation        Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ), or
and implementation of actionable policy.         other potential inspection locations such as
The HSAC charged this Task Force to pro-         international airports.
vide a framework and associated recom-
mendations to prevent the introduction of        Non-proliferation
Weapons of Mass Effect (WME) and/or per-         Non-proliferation and the securing of exist-
sons who would use them from reaching            ing weapons, although perhaps the best
U.S. soil. For the purpose of this discussion,   WME defense, are not addressed in detail in
the Task Force defined WME as weapons            this report since there are already several
capable of inflicting grave destructive, psy-    well-studied programs, including those un-
chological, and/or economic damage on our        dertaken by the newly-established National
nation. These include chemical, biological,      Counterproliferation Center (NCPC) and
nuclear, radiological, or explosive weapons.     other agencies. The Task Force stresses the
While the Task Force recognizes the signifi-     importance of aggressively pursuing the
cant differences in the nature of these weap-    very basic nonproliferation goals of securing
ons, they share many common elements in          known sources of nuclear weapons and other
terms of the requirements for preventing en-     WME materiel with significantly greater
try into the U.S. For the purposes of this       financial and political investments.
study, cyber threats are not considered since
cyber attacks can be launched from outside       Minimizing the Consequence of a WME
the country.                                     Attack
                                                 Should prevention systems fail, the conse-
Scope and Approach                               quences of a WME attack can be limited.
The challenge in WME defense is to reduce        The response to Hurricane Katrina demon-
the risk of WME entry, while minimizing          strated how far we must go to have the ca-
impacts on legitimate commerce and pas-          pabilities and the leadership to mitigate the
senger traffic. The Task Force focused on        impact of even foreseen natural disasters.
the introduction of weapons, weapon com-         Reducing the ultimate effect of a WME at-
ponents, and persons into the country. Re-       tack reduces the attractiveness of WME to
lated issues of preventing attacks carried out   an adversary. Reducing the impact of a
by persons already in the United States were     WME attack is addressed only briefly in this
of concern but beyond the scope of this ef-      study as it is, in part, the subject of another
fort.                                            HSAC Task Force on critical infrastructure
Several other considerations impinged on
the scope of this study:                         While the scope of the Task Force’s work
                                                 was limited as described above, the devel-
                                                 opment of a WME prevention system must

                                                                                  Page 10 of 39
be broadly scoped to take into account all      Executive Committee, Lockheed Martin
aspects of the problem.                         Corporation.

Members of the Task Force met on 12 occa-       Supporting official (prior to his departure
sions between March and October of 2005         from the Transportation Security Admini-
and received input from a diverse group of      stration (TSA)). Rear Admiral David M.
experts from within and outside government      Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary,
including presentations on the activities of    TSA, Department of Homeland Security
multiple agencies at all levels of U.S. gov-    (DHS).
ernment, American allies, and the private
sector given by officials and subject matter    Land Domain Subgroup
experts from the strategic, tactical, and op-   Chair. Dr. James Schlesinger, Chairman,
erational levels. The Task Force gathered       Board of Trustees, The MITRE Corporation;
information on current systems, plans, and      former Secretary of Energy, Assistant to the
practices in WME prevention and current         President, Secretary of Defense, and Direc-
understanding of the threat. The elements of    tor of Central Intelligence.
a systems approach to WME prevention
were identified. Requirements to reach a        Supporting official (prior to his departure
more unified, systematic approach to WME        from Customs and Border Protection). Mr.
prevention were defined and the Task Force      Robert Bonner, Customs Commissioner,
developed recommendations on evolving           DHS
national capability toward this goal.
                                                Sea Domain Subgroup
Organized functionally into three intercon-     Chair. Dr. David Abshire, President, Center
nected subgroups, the Task Force examined       for the Study of the Presidency and Presi-
major WME threats, vulnerabilities, and         dent of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation;
cross-cutting factors from the perspectives     former Ambassador to NATO, Counselor to
of the major corridors of WME entry: air,       the President, and co-founder and CEO of
land, and sea. An HSAC or Senior Advisory       the Center for Strategic and International
Council member chaired each subgroup with       Studies.
a senior government representative serving
as a senior subject matter expert. Task Force   Supporting official. Vice Admiral Terry
Chair, Dr. Lydia Thomas, President and          Cross, Vice Commandant, United States
Chief Executive Officer of Mitretek Systems     Coast Guard, DHS.
and Co-Chair of the National Academies
Government-University-Research Roundta-         Primary federal participants included the
ble and Dr. Jared Cohon, Vice Chair, Presi-     HSAC Executive Director, Daniel Oster-
dent of Carnegie Mellon University, pre-        gaard, and two Task Force Directors, Kath-
sided. The following served as Subgroup         ryn Knapp and Richard Davis. Benjamin
Chairs.                                         Gray served as an Associate Director.

Air Domain Subgroup
Chair. Mr. Norman Augustine, Member of
the President’s Council of Advisors on Sci-
ence & Technology; former Chairman of the

                                                                               Page 11 of 39

The Threat                                        and over land. So, despite the technical dif-
An attack on our country by a WME is ar-          ficulty, the threat of terrorist use of nuclear
guably the gravest danger to American na-         weapons is real, as are threats posed by bio-
tional security. Different WME scenarios—         logical, chemical, and other WMEs.
use of nuclear, biological, chemical, radio-
logical, or conventional weapons against          Determining the magnitude of resources that
U.S. targets—have different likelihoods and       should be devoted to negating WME threats
impacts, including civilian casualties in the     is greatly complicated by the fact that such
hundreds of thousands. Regardless of the          threats (hopefully) have a very low probabil-
scenario, the consequences are almost uni-        ity of occurrence, at least at the present time,
maginable. Preventing WME use on U.S.             but have extremely significant conse-
soil must become our most urgent priority         quences. In addition, the probability of at-
and the subject of focused and integrated         tacks of the type discussed in this report is
effort. That it isn’t today is a grave concern.   never likely to be reduced to zero. Nonethe-
                                                  less, the likelihood that a specific attack can
In terms of consequences, if not likelihood,      be prevented is significantly enhanced if the
nuclear weapons comprise the greatest threat      country is willing to invest precious re-
against America by a terrorist organization.      sources on WME prevention.
An explosion of even a low yield device in a
large city such as many of those found on         Preventing an attack with WME should be
both coasts and in the Gulf region would          the highest priority and should receive the
immediately kill hundreds of thousands of         maximum attention from the president, the
people, followed by a comparable number of        secretary, and the Congress, as well as from
deaths as well as economic and psychologi-        within the department. The recommenda-
cal impacts in the lingering aftermath.           tions offered in this report are a first step
                                                  toward what must be a sustained national
Constructing a weapon from nuclear mate-          effort.
rial would be a very difficult undertaking for
a terrorist group, suggesting that it is much     General Observations on WME
more likely that such a group would attempt       Prevention
to buy, steal or be given an existing weapon.     The Task Force is resolved that concerns
Potential sources include the stockpiles of       with the current state of WME prevention
the former Soviet Union, states hostile to the    should be a priority for the nation and must
U.S., such as North Korea and Iran, that cur-     be addressed.
rently possess nuclear devices, and declared
nuclear states, such as Pakistan, that could      The country has multiple, independently de-
lose control of their nuclear arsenal in a po-    veloped systems that constitute the de facto
litical crisis.                                   national defense against entry of WME. (In
                                                  this context and throughout this report, the
A variety of means of introducing such            term “system” includes people, organizations,
weaponry into the U.S. is available, includ-      processes, and technologies that are applied
ing penetrating from the sea, from the air,       together to achieve a common objective.)

                                                                                    Page 12 of 39
Many WME prevention systems seek to detect          share a common focus on security yet are
and interdict the illicit entry of people and ma-   diverse in mandates, memberships, capabili-
teriel of concern. These systems selectively        ties, cultures, and motivations. This diversity
focus on borders, ports of entry, and modes of      is an advantage only if it is managed sys-
transport to varying degrees. In many cases,        tematically. The uncertainty over the threat
there are multiple systems managed by differ-       and the wide range of potential threat sce-
ent organizations to tackle a single problem.       narios compound the complexity.
Preventing entry of WME through seaports for
example is a focus of several programs, in-         In the National Strategy for Homeland Secu-
cluding the Container Security Initiative, op-      rity (March 2002), the Office of Homeland
erated by DHS, and the Megaports Initiative,        Security provided a vision to mobilize and
which is a Department of Energy program.            organize the U.S. to secure the homeland
                                                    from terrorist attacks. The strategy acknowl-
The WME prevention mission is not limited           edges that this is an exceedingly complex
to detection and interdiction. It is wide rang-     mission that requires coordinated and fo-
ing and includes organizations and programs         cused effort from our entire society—the
in intelligence, threat analysis, research and      federal, state, local and tribal governments,
development, technology acquisition, test           the private sector, and the American people.
and evaluation, diplomacy, minimizing con-          This requirement for coordination and focus
sequences, managing recovery, and other             has not been reached with regard to U.S. ef-
functions. The organizations involved span          forts in WME prevention. This Task Force
the federal, state and local levels of govern-      also acknowledges the need to work collabo-
ment, foreign governments and international         ratively with foreign governments and mul-
organizations, research institutions, and pri-      tinational institutions as well.
vate industry. In some agencies, dedicated
internal units are responsible for functions        Vulnerabilities attributable to deficiencies in
such as intelligence and threat analysis. In        the current state of WME prevention are real
other cases those capabilities are a shared         and must be addressed. It is essential that the
function across agency lines. Some func-            distinct entities in WME prevention operate
tions are duplicated in multiple locations          in a unified manner and that resources be
without a rationale other than their legacy         allocated based on relative contribution to
presence. For example, explosives security          risk reduction rather than parochial or legacy
groups in DHS can be found under the Im-            entitlements. Moving to a more effective
migration and Customs Enforcement Federal           WME prevention system requires more than
Air Marshal Service, the Science and Tech-          overhauling strategy. Key investments in
nology Directorate, the Office of Infrastruc-       infrastructure, technology, and long-range
ture Protection, the Office of Domestic Pre-        human resources must match the challenge
paredness, and the TSA. Similar duplica-            at hand. Congress and the Administration
tions are evident in other federal agencies.        must pursue legislative and policy solutions
                                                    that provide consistent support for these ob-
WME prevention is a daunting management,            jectives.
technical, operational, and systems chal-
lenge. Authority, decision making and op-           The Task Force focused its efforts on how to
erational control are distributed across par-       achieve a unified system with risk-based
ticipants at multiple levels. The multiple          management.
participants involved in WME prevention

                                                                                     Page 13 of 39
Critical Deficiencies                                them to share in the responsibility to se-
The WME threat focuses directly on weak-             cure the homeland.
nesses—vulnerabilities and gaps in our de-
fense—not strengths. It adapts and evolves.       With these general and specific concerns in
To combat this threat our critical deficien-      mind, the Task Force developed a systems
cies must be assessed and receive immediate       view to help improve WME prevention, as-
attention from national homeland security         sessed the gap between the current frag-
leadership. The Task Force explored the root      mented WME prevention system and a more
causes of such weaknesses in the current          unified system, and offered specific recom-
WME prevention system. Critical deficien-         mendations to close the gap.
cies in the current state of WME prevention
include the following:

•   There is no systematic, risk-based ap-
    proach to a national investment strategy
    for WME and no unified set of policies,
    procedures, people, and technology.
•   Critical WME prevention capabilities
    and decision making about deploying
    those capabilities are dispersed within
    DHS and across the executive branch
    without a coherent strategy to leveraging
    them in prevention efforts. As a result, it
    is not clear who is in charge of decision
    making for developing, deploying, and
    managing a WME prevention strategy.
•   The WME threat is global in scale which
    requires that DHS engage foreign coun-
    tries and gain their cooperation. The De-
    partment and the Executive Branch are
    not appropriately organized and re-
    sourced to accomplish this task.
•   Today’s concepts of deterrence are too
    reminiscent of the Cold War era and
    must be updated.
•   The government is not investing with
    sufficient urgency and priority in techno-
    logical innovation that could lead to
    breakthrough advances in WME preven-
•   The nation’s armed services, National
    Guard, and Reserve have served repeat
    tours fighting terrorism in Iraq and Af-
    ghanistan but American citizens have
    not been engaged at a level that allows

                                                                                  Page 14 of 39

Conceptual Framework                             This report focuses primarily on the third
To decrease the risk of a successful WME         thrust, detecting and interdicting WME in
penetration of U.S. borders, the WME pre-        transit, while recognizing that the first two
vention system should be designed to ad-         are essential, interrelated and ultimately
dress WME threats as close to the point of       preferable elements of a prevention strategy,
origin as possible. To achieve that objective,   and that a systems view of the problem and
the U.S. should implement a WME preven-          an integrated effort across all three thrusts is
tion strategy and system which has the fol-      critical.
lowing three thrusts:
                                                 WME prevention is a complicated problem,
•   Neutralize known terrorists                  with many interrelated elements and many
•   Secure or eliminate sources of WME           participating agencies, at all levels of gov-
    and/or critical components                   ernment and including foreign governments
•   Detect and interdict WME in transit          and private sector entities. The challenge is
                                                 to coordinate and integrate WME prevention
_________________________________                policies, operations, systems development,
                                                 research, and funding. The Task Force found
  Screening at foreign ports of origin (e.g.,    it useful to conceive of the problem of pre-
    through the Container Security Initia-       venting WME entry into the United States as
  tive) is an example of extending defenses      consisting of three dimensions: 1) how
  closer to the point of origin within a cor-    WME materiel or people move across inter-
   ridor of entry. However, other defenses       national borders toward a location in the
   can be extended to the more easily ma-        United States—the geographical or spatial
  nipulated stages of the supply chain that      dimension; 2) what can be done along the
     occur prior to arrival at the seaport,      path from source to target—the functional
   such as during the phase when shipping        dimension; and 3) how the functions are car-
      containers are packed and sealed.          ried out and by whom—the operational di-
_________________________________                mension.

The first thrust, neutralizing terrorists, is    For the spatial dimension, depicted in Figure
primarily a responsibility of the military and   1, there are three stages of threat—origin
the intelligence community. The second           and movement within a foreign country and
thrust, securing or eliminating sources of       across international borders, international
WME, is also a joint responsibility of sev-      transit, and entry to the United States and
eral government agencies, with the newly-        movement to target. Movement can occur
established NCPC in a coordinating role.         through different combinations of three cor-
Detecting and interdicting WME in transit is     ridors of entry: land, sea, and air, as illus-
similarly a joint effort of multiple entities.   trated by the example path depicted in Fig-
The Task Force believes that DHS should          ure 1.
have the lead responsibility to coordinate
this aspect of the WME prevention system.

                                                                                   Page 15 of 39
Figure 1. The spatial dimension of a WME defense system

Therefore, the system must operate flexibly        ciated with an attack will incur severe con-
at all points across the different corridors of    sequences.
entry and modes of transport. At each transi-
tion point—crossing borders and changing           Detection
transportation modes—there is a greater op-        Identifying the presence of potential perpe-
portunity to interrupt the movement of per-        trators and/or materiel prior to an attack.
sons or WME components.
Along the path from origin to target, the          Preventing access to source materials,
functional dimension includes the following:       knowledge, expertise, a consequence-rich
                                                   target environment, and/or potential recruits.
The effort to de-legitimize violent extrem-        Disruption
ism, radicalization, and terrorist strategies      Creating sufficient confusion or uncertainty
and practices on a moral, cultural, and social     on the part of perpetrators to reduce their
basis.                                             ability to succeed and increase their risk of
                                                   detection and interdiction.
The ability to convince the enemy that an          Interdiction
attack will fail, that perpetrators will be cap-   Capturing elements of the threat—people
tured and prosecuted, and that nations asso-       and/or materiel—before they reach their in-
                                                   tended target.

                                                                                   Page 16 of 39
Elimination                                        explosives detectors, and magnetometers),
Permanent eradication of the threat.               as well as “active interrogation” techniques
                                                   to help identify the presence of shielded nu-
Success in some combination of these func-         clear material. Such tools also complement
tions contributes to the overall objective of      biometric identification systems and data
preventing WME from entering the U.S.              mining systems.

Finally, for each of the above functions,          Strategies, policies, programs, and resource
there is the operational dimension—how the         allocation decisions should be evaluated
above functions are carried out and by             based on how they contribute to minimizing
whom. This third dimension of WME pre-             the risk of WME capability entering the
vention should include combinations of the         country. The remaining challenge is to insti-
following elements:                                tute a mechanism for setting priorities, de-
                                                   termining what capabilities will be imple-
Institutional Elements                             mented, and then allocating resources tar-
Institutions play a role in regulating the         geted toward those ends.
movement of people and materiel. These
institutions include both governmental and         Moving from a Framework to Solu-
private sector entities.                           tions: A Risk Reduction Approach
                                                   Reducing or minimizing the risk of a WME
Tools                                              entering the U.S. (risk reduction) should be
Institutions have various tools at their dis-      the central decision-making criterion for de-
posal to undertake their respective responsi-      signing, developing, deploying, and operat-
bilities. These tools can be categorized as        ing a WME prevention system. The Task
follows:                                           Force recognized however that while a sharp
                                                   focus on risk reduction is essential, there are
Transactional. Transactional tools are proc-       other considerations that can and should en-
esses that intersect with the human and the        ter into decision-making. These include cost,
materiel components of a WME threat.               economic impacts, ancillary or secondary
Processes associated with purchasing, ship-        benefits (e.g., reduction of drug and other
ping, travel, customs, immigration, and            forms of smuggling), availability of technol-
other activities are all potential transactional   ogy, international relations, and contingency
tools.                                             for unpredictable threats such as natural dis-
Informational. Informational tools can be
applied at the earliest stages of intelligence     Risk reduction analyses should be structured
collection and analysis of a threat, or to         to address the fundamental choices available
guide operations in real time. Watch lists         to the country in confronting the WME pre-
and command center situational displays are        vention challenge. Each option, representing
examples of informational tools.                   different combinations of policies, organiza-
                                                   tions, technologies, or processes, should be
Technological. Detecting people and mate-          assessed in terms of its benefits in relation to
riel of concern, for example, is dependent, in     its costs. Ultimately, the benefit in terms of
part on identity management systems and            risk reduction is the most important measure
sensors. These tools include non-invasive          of value.
detection systems (e.g., x-rays, radiation and

                                                                                     Page 17 of 39
Decision makers can determine the value of        net benefit for the nation rather than a nega-
different options, make trade-offs, achieve       tive attribute.
balance in overall capability when they can
see the overall WME prevention system in          The resource allocation process should
broader context rather than the pieces of it in   minimize parochial and political influences
isolation. With a broad systems view, fun-        by incorporating a mechanism for placing
damental questions can be asked and an-           the national interest above parochial inter-
swered, such as:                                  ests. What is needed is a single, integrated
                                                  WME prevention budget which captures all
•   What should be the relative balance of        funds approved for that mission. Further, the
    investments for the three basic thrusts:      creation of that budget should be a result of
    neutralizing terrorists, securing potential   the risk-based analytical approach discussed
    WME sources, and detecting WME in             above with a mechanism similar to that used
    transit?                                      in base closure as a check and balance.
•   Are investments correctly balanced be-        _________________________________
    tween air, land and sea corridors as a
    function of threat and risk?                    Such a mechanism for independently re-
•   How should investments in alternative             viewing resource allocation decisions
    detection technologies be balanced in re-       might be similar to the selection process
    lation to the threat?                            in base closure. The Base Realignment
•   How much of the investment portfolio              and Closure Commission (BRAC) rec-
    should go to longer range technology            ommends which American military bases
    development versus shorter range im-              should be closed after receiving input
    provements?                                     from the Department of Defense and the
•   What combination of approaches should              affected bases and communities. Be-
    be used for WME detection in non-U.S.           cause closing military bases has proven
    controlled areas?                                to be politically difficult if not impossi-
•   What functions should be assigned to            ble, the BRAC process assumes political
    specific government entities?                    liability while preserving legitimacy by
•   What interfaces must exist between dif-         operating independently and submitting
    ferent entities with complementary func-        recommendations through the President
    tions?                                           to Congress for an up or down vote on
                                                       the complete recommendation. This
Although the scope of this study is limited,         model applies to the politically difficult
it is essential that a systems view be adopted      challenge of risk-based investment, par-
by decision makers that embraces all aspects            ticularly when the investments are
of the problem.                                       needed to shore up weaknesses rather
                                                              than reinforce strengths.
A risk-based approach tends to be contro-         _________________________________
versial since by definition some organiza-
tions or programs will “score low” and re-        A risk-based approach identifies strengths in
ceive less funding than they would other-         order to avoid reinforcing them at the expense
wise receive under a different scheme (e.g.,      of known or emerging weaknesses. Investments
per capita funding, or equal share distribu-      informed by this approach seek to “buy down”
tion). This is an expected outcome of a risk-     risk by closing gaps in our defenses that terror-
based approach and should be viewed as a          ists would seek to exploit. Doing so requires

                                                                                    Page 18 of 39
knowledge of the enemy—their motivations,           geographical/spatial, functional, and opera-
capabilities, doctrine, tradecraft, practices,      tional—described above.
movements, targets and identities—knowledge
of our vulnerabilities, and an ability to manage    In the above context a “layer” is a concep-
consequences. This in turn places a premium on      tual designation that nonetheless yields tan-
focused intelligence—dynamic, all-source in-        gible results. A layer adds value when: 1) a
formation processed through an analysis struc-      combination of prevention-related capabili-
ture that produces focused, timely, predictive,     ties are deployed together at some stage of
and actionable products. A risk-based approach      the progression of the threat from attack
also values a strategy for reducing vulnerabili-    planning to entry into the country, and 2)
ties by hardening targets and diminishing con-      that combination of capabilities acts as a
sequences by increasing resilience.                 barrier reducing the risk of entry of a WME.
Such an undertaking should be started immedi-
ately. It is not new or novel to the U.S. as dis-
                                                       In a nuclear power plant, for example,
cussed below.
                                                       the layers include geographical/spatial
                                                       dimensions to include the facility secu-
Layered Approach                                      rity with perimeters and barriers; func-
The nation has a long history of developing             tional dimensions, including identity-
and deploying unprecedented systems to ad-             based access controls to protect the re-
dress complex, variable and evolving                  actor, control room and other location;
threats. These systems have been success-             and operational dimensions such as the
fully applied in both the civilian and military      redundant engineering of reactor control
sectors. Examples include the following:                mechanisms and other safety systems,
                                                      and the screening and training of opera-
•   Conventional warfare                                     tors and maintenance staff.
•   Air defense                                     _________________________________
•   Strategic nuclear defense
•   Crisis management                               The challenge in WME defense is similar in
•   Nuclear power safety                            some respects. Rather than protecting a sin-
•   Controlling infectious diseases                 gle fixed asset from a known threat, WME
•   Preventing entry of foreign animal dis-         defense protects multiple assets and popula-
    eases                                           tions nationwide from multiple, changing
•   Drug interdiction                               threats. Layers help counter uncertainty over
                                                    the exact nature of the risks (targets, weap-
Given the nature of the WME threat, the             ons, and modes of attack) and exactly how
Task Force believes that “layering” our de-         and when the protective system will be chal-
fensive capabilities is an essential character-     lenged.
istic of the architecture and would provide         _________________________________
the necessary redundancy, flexibility, and
robustness so that failure of any one element         Example: The passport control process
of the system is not catastrophic, and the            should be thought of as one layer. It is
protective effect of individual elements is           deployed at several points prior to the
cumulative or multiplicative. In the case of          border and seeks to interdict or disrupt
WME prevention, a “layer” is any combina-             unauthorized entry. The process incor-
tion of the three dimensions—                          porates several of the above tools—

                                                                                    Page 19 of 39
institutional (involving joint effort of     vate sector, with differing cultures, tech-
  various national border control authori-       nologies, missions, and processes. These
   ties), transactional, informational and       entities must act together in a unified and
    technological (use of biometrics and         coordinated fashion with an integrated gov-
  networked databases to match identities        ernment budgeting and management process
                to watch lists).                 that supports such unity of effort. Finally,
_________________________________                the value of a program management process
                                                 is lost without a program manager; one with
The question becomes what set of choices in      the authority and influence to drive change
the layered model provides the greatest risk     across the WME prevention system.
reduction at a reasonable cost.
                                                 Many of the layered defense systems men-
Management Process                               tioned above—air defense, strategic nuclear
A structured risk analysis process, as out-      defense, crisis management—were success-
lined above, will define the fundamental         ful to some degree because the complex
policy direction and operational and techno-     planning, development and implementation
logical components that represent the opti-      was guided by a system architecture process.
mum blend of WME prevention mecha-               Such architecturally-based management
nisms. An integrated, system-wide WME            models should be considered for WME pre-
prevention management process must be            vention, a challenge of comparable if not
established as the basis for subsequent sys-     greater scope and complexity.
tem design and implementation decisions.
These include decisions on budget priorities,
tradeoffs between competing requirements,
and integration of disparate capabilities. In-
stituting a risk management and layered ap-
proach in the absence of an overarching
management process will only yield incre-
mental improvements at best. An effective
WME prevention system will not emerge
from isolated, incremental efforts.

Through an architecturally-driven system
definition, design, and management process,
decision makers can perform risk assess-
ments and determine the value of different
components of a system by seeing their
functions, costs and interactions in broader
context rather than in isolation. Gaps in ca-
pability can be more readily identified along
with alternative pathways for filling those
gaps and reducing risk. WME prevention, as
with homeland security generally, is a
highly federated challenge bringing together
multiple participants across agencies of gov-
ernment, international bodies, and the pri-

                                                                                Page 20 of 39

In its current state, WME prevention is criti-   effort goes beyond coordinating individual
cally flawed and must be improved. The           agency plans to the joint execution of com-
various elements of WME prevention do not        monly held strategies.
work together as an integrated system to
achieve the strategic functions of WME de-       Strengthen Leadership Structures
fense. Resources are not systematically allo-    Clarify lines of authority and control by hav-
cated based on their contribution to risk re-    ing the president designate the Secretary of
duction and there is a lack of sufficient ur-    Homeland Security as the lead individual
gency and priority to technology innovation.     responsible for preventing WME attacks in
                                                 the United States and strengthen his/her ac-
Improvement is urgently needed given the         cess to the information and assets needed to
catastrophic potential of a WME attack.          carry out this function. The secretary should
Considering the deficiencies in current          immediately initiate a risk assessment and
WME defenses and the features of a risk-         system management effort and adopt a
based and layered WME prevention system,         model such as a Joint Program Office to co-
the Task Force identified four areas for im-     ordinate the program elements and control
provement.                                       the integrated WME prevention budget.
                                                 Without becoming overly involved in the
•   Authority, alignment, and incentives         operational dimensions of homeland security
•   Deterrence                                   policy, a strong HSC is important for coor-
•   Risk and system management                   dinating policy, helping to implement re-
•   Innovation                                   source allocation decisions, and getting
                                                 agencies to work together. The president
The Task Force developed recommendations         should give the HSC Director the authority
to move toward the goal of a risk-based,         and influence to build the HSC into a coun-
layered defense system for preventing entry      terpart and complement to the NSC as it was
of WME into the country. The majority of         envisioned in the Homeland Security Act of
recommendations can be acted upon within         2002. If the HSC is not strengthened as rec-
the secretary’s purview; others require Con-     ommended it should be merged with the
gressional and/or presidential action. Spe-      NSC.
cific supporting implementation actions are
summarized below and presented with addi-        Engage Internationally
tional detail in Appendix A.                     Better engage foreign governments and mul-
                                                 tilateral organizations to develop a common
Authority, Alignment, and                        understanding of the WME threat, to share
                                                 best practices for preventing WME attacks,
Incentives                                       and to develop the strategic cooperation
A layered defense system depends on the          necessary to deploy and manage a mutually
joint effort of multiple participants domesti-   reinforcing layered defense. U.S. homeland
cally and internationally, spanning all levels   security objectives increasingly require the
of government and working across lines be-       cooperation of foreign governments, espe-
tween the public and private sectors. This       cially in pursuit of a layered approach to

                                                                                 Page 21 of 39
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