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The Business of Counterterrorism

Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security


Nathan E. Busch and Austen D. Givens

The Business of Counterterrorism focuses on the opportunities and challenges that public-private partnerships (PPPs) face in the post-9/11 world. Although these partnerships are a major topic of discussion and study among businesses and government agencies involved in homeland security efforts, they have received a much less thorough analysis by scholars. The Business of Counterterrorism identifies the essential role that PPPs are now taking in homeland security and explores the implications of this transformative shift in the field. In its discussion, it focuses on five areas in homeland security – critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, information sharing, security at U.S. ports of entry, and disaster recovery.
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Foreword by ADM James Loy (USCG, Ret.)


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When I encountered audiences in the first year or so after the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, the question I was most often asked was: “When are we going to get back to ‘normal’?” By “normal,” the questioner was referring to the life we knew before 9/11. The answer to the question was self-evident: NEVER! Instead, there was a “new normal,” and our challenge was first to understand it and then to do the learning necessary to secure our homeland in the face of this “new normal.”

Long before PPP was a recognizable acronym for public-private partnerships, it became clear to many leaders in the stand-up process of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that we could accomplish more—and do so more swiftly, efficiently, and effectively—if we reached out to the private sector for assistance. Authors Nathan Busch and Austen Givens have now inventoried and documented for the first time many of the elements that comprise one of the key pathways to what I believe will be a critical tool in securing our homeland.

Over this first decade in the “new normal” we have learned many lessons. Busch and Givens document many of them—especially those learned in the aftermath of natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina or man-made failures such as the Strategic Border Initiative (SBInet). Dozens of commissions and lessons learned studies have helped to shape our understanding of and design efforts toward solving the challenges...

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