April 23, 2009 By Blake Harris
The Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) has just released its latest Commentary, Canada and the United States: Time for a Joint Threat Assessment?
Founded in 2003, The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) describes itself as a nonpartisan "think and do" tank whose mission is to build bridges between theory and practice through an interdisciplinary approach.
The new commentary -- authored by HSPI's Sharon Cardash, associate director; Frank Cilluffo, director; and James Jay Carafano, senior fellow -- suggests that a joint threat assessment could be "a powerful protective tool" for both countries, which "need not - and should not - diminish sovereign capabilities and capacities ..."
"A joint assessment would go a long way toward building a baseline consensus on the threat climate, which could serve as a foundation for proactive initiatives that would bolster safety and security on both sides of the border," said Cilluffo in a follow-up news statement.
At a minimum, the authors suggest, the scope of such an assessment should include:
- An evaluation of the level and nature of "homegrown" radicalization in the two countries as well as overseas;
- An analysis of concerning strategic and tactical developments and trends in the cyber arena;
- An examination of terrorist, organized crime, and other significant bad actors' travel to and between Canada and the United States (to include watch lists);
- An assessment of these actors' exploitation of and threats to the movement of cargo, mail, and both transnational and domestic supply chains; and
- An evaluation of vulnerabilities in the energy sector and infrastructure shared between the two nations, notably the power grid.
While fashioning such a joint assessment would certainly be a federal government responsibility, local law enforcement nevertheless might be also prompted to expand their own horizons, paying more attention to things happening in Canada that might impact their own regions.
The full article is available on the HSPI website at: http://www.gwumc.edu/hspi/HSPI_Commentary02_USCanadaThreatAssess.pdf
Photo by Jinjian Liang. CC Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic