Issues in Presidential Leadership:


Foundation for International Understanding

Homeland Security

Smuggled Nuclear Weapons

Transatlantic Outreach

National Guard, Reserves and Home Corps

Global Economic Stability

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Presidential Leadership to Improve Homeland Security: CSP’s Homeland Security team has worked with Executive Branch leadership and Congressional members and staff since early 2001. In 2002, CSP began actively advising decision makers via our Homeland Security Roundtable Series with experts from the policy community, academia, national laboratories, and the private sector. The Center also develops issue papers and policy studies. To support the Center's Homeland Security Projects, please click here. Current initiatives include:

  • Combating Nuclear Terrorism

    Beginning in May 2004, the Center began hosting off-the-record roundtables with senior leadership from the White House, the national labs, and the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security to solve a bureaucratic impasse across the executive branch that was stalling a defense against the nation’s single greatest threat – smuggled nuclear weapons.

    Drawing from these meetings, CSP formed its Nuclear Defense Steering Committee, chaired by Norman Augustine. The Steering Committee developed recommendations to create a modern-day “mini Manhattan Project” to marshal the nation’s efforts for defending against smuggled nuclear weapons. After consultations with the Steering Committee, in a January 2005 presentation to the White House Deputies Committee, Deputy Secretary Admiral Loy proposed establishing what is now the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). The office – reporting to Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff – will coordinate nuclear detection R&D, develop deployment strategies, and spearhead next-generation technologies to defend against the smuggled nuclear threat.

  • A Layered Prevention Strategy Against Weapons of Mass Effect

    During his first months at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Secretary Chertoff shifted from a preparedness/response focus to include a strategic emphasis on prevention. In a January 2005 meeting with the Secretary’s Senior Advisory Council director, CSP President David Abshire and Director of Homeland Security Projects Jonah Czerwinski discussed the urgent need to organize the executive branch to defend against smuggled nuclear weapons and other “weapons of mass effect.”

    In a separate effort, Secretary Chertoff’s Homeland Security Advisory Council established a senior-level Task Force on Preventing Weapons of Mass Effect (WME) on American Soil March 2005. The Task Force is charged with developing a layered prevention strategy against WME. Organized into three subgroups, the Task Force is led by CSP President David Abshire (chair of the Sea Domain Group), Norm Augustine (chair of the Air Domain Group), and James Schlesinger (chair of the Land Domain Group).

    Jonah Czerwinski also was asked to serve as a subject matter expert for the Taskforce and as a writer for the final report. The report, which is due before Secretary Chertoff in October 2005, will present a layered defense strategy, analysis of the gaps representing vulnerabilities to the WME threat, and a set of strategic recommendations.

  • Bridging the Transatlantic Divide to Meet Shared 21st Century Threats

In a March 2004 CSP Roundtable, Under Secretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson met with a diverse group of experts to discuss the international challenges facing homeland security. The group discovered a serious disconnect between the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Defense concerning the North Atlantic Council (NAC). It became clear that while State and Defense traditionally share the NATO mission, DHS had yet to define its role there in pursuing U.S. homeland security interests abroad.

This disconnect prompted a Center project to identify how the President could lead NATO more effectively to combat terrorism. A Center team traveled to Paris, Brussels, and London to confer with senior diplomatic and military officials. During meetings with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and several NATO Ambassadors, the Center proposed elevating the NAC as a multilateral venue for sharing homeland security best practices.

These and further consultations helped produce a May 2005 Center report, Maximizing NATO for the War on Terror. An advanced copy of this report accompanied Homeland Security chief Chertoff on his first trip to Europe as Secretary. Building on the Center’s transatlantic work in 2004-05, we begin our new effort, Transatlantic Strategic Dialogue: Strengthening Multilateral Leadership, addressing three primary challenges:

- Unifying Transatlantic Threat Perception and Risk Assessment
- Reconciling America’s “War on Terror” with Europe’s “Fight Against Terrorism”
- Improving Transatlantic Communications

  • The National Guard and Reserves: Strained Support in Need of Reform

In the post 9/11 world and with the war in Iraq, the National Guard and Reserves are being asked to do more than ever before. CSP has partnered with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the American Red Cross, the George Washington University, the Secretary of Defense, and the Reserve Forces Policy Board to explore such reforms.

On 27 July 2005, the Center held the most recent meeting of its Roundtable Series. This session, chaired by CSP president David Abshire, focused on the first ever Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support from the Department of Defense (DOD). Released in July, the strategy creates new guidelines for homeland security and calls for the successful coordination of various executive agencies, state and local authorities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The DOD Strategy is expected to have profound effects on the future strategic missions and operations of the National Guard and Reserves.

This candid, “two-way” dialogue, led by Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul McHale and key representatives from the White House, Department of Homeland Security, policy community, and private sector, covered various aspects of the strategy and highlighted several issues that remain unsolved.


Support The Center:

To support the Center's Homeland Security Projects, please click here.


Maximizing Nato for the War on Terror

A LONG-TERM RESPONSE TO BIOLOGICAL TERRORISM: Homeland Security Leaders Need Shared Intellectual Framework and Greater International Cooperation

Comprehensive Strategic Reform: The Strategic Challenge

Marshalling Science, Bridging the Gap: How to Win the War Against Terrorism and Build a Better Peace

Lessons for the 21st Century: Vulnerability and Surprise December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001


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