Joint Problem Solving: Bridging the Cross-Agency Counterterrorism Gap

Joint Problem Solving: Bridging the Cross-Agency Counterterrorism Gap

Joint Problem Solving: Bridging the Cross-Agency Counterterrorism Gap

In 2004, the 9/11 Commission published a report that identified communication and intelligence failures leading up to the September 11th attacks. The Commission determined there was a significant disconnect between intelligence agencies and their ability to work together in counterterrorism efforts and empathize across agencies and missions.

Since the attacks, Federal agencies have enhanced counterterrorism strategies to address the numerous evolving threats. Despite these advances, a gap remains in cross-agency problem solving for counterterrorism.

Each agency with a counterterrorism element has a set of specialized skills that range in coverage of responsibility. For example, agencies like DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis focus on the analytical approach to counterterrorism strategy by assessing threats and drafting intelligence products that are used to make strategic decisions. Other agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations focus on the tactical approach that address operational goals. While specialized approaches are important, without a broader integrated approach, they also can hinder the ability of counterterrorism agencies to implement other tactics that may address multi-faceted terrorism issues.

To bridge the cross-agency counterterrorism gap, the Government should re-commit to a mission-focused working group with members from all agencies that play a role in that area. The current border joint task forces are a great start. To offer a solution, the group must understand how each agency approaches the mission, using empathy as a key tool. The ability to be more empathetic fosters an environment that inspires collaboration and partnership. 

Some important topics to consider include:

  • Increasing collaboration between agencies, such as HSI’s collaboration and support of FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces
  • Expanding counterterrorism efforts against immediate and evolving threats. For example, DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate focuses on upholding critical infrastructure against cyber attacks
  • Including appropriate partner agencies that support the mission, such as National Counterterrorism Center outreach efforts at the local, state, and Federal level

With expert guidance from counterterrorism representatives, a cross-agency working group can focus on common solutions. From there, the group can draft tangible solutions that include best practices from each agency to provide proper guidance and delegation of responsibilities with a fixed goal in mind.

Ultimately, each agency that has a stake in counterterrorism maintains the same goal – successfully preventing the next terrorist attack. Each agency provides a set of skills that can make significant contributions to improve our nation’s counterterrorism efforts. Given the ever-evolving nature of this threat, Federal agencies must integrate and collaborate on strategy by communicating and empathizing with each approach to better thwart terrorism on all fronts.

About Arc Aspicio

Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Contributors

* Arc Aspicio |

Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Lynn Ann Casey / Chief Executive Officer
info@arcaspicio.com
703.465.2060

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Design Thinking is on the rise in the business world. Design Thinking leaders focus on creating the best product for their clients and working with the experiences and insight of fellow coworkers. Some of the key characteristics of Design Thinking leaders present themselves in individuals who are open and subject themselves to vulnerability with clients and coworkers. These qualities help leaders to connect and build relationships with others. They also create an open flow of communication that allows for others to better share their knowledge to align with and understand the company's mission.

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

I spent the early years of my career in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Command and Control platform. The various missions of the aircraft demand that aircrew monitor up to ten radio frequencies, and actively speak on three or four of those, at any given moment in flight.

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

Communities are often the foundation for an expedited recovery following major events. But how can communities strengthen their response to, for example, a major cyber-attack or natural event, such as an Electronic Magnetic Pulse solar flare? A United States electrical grid failure could destroy a number of the nation’s high voltage transformers causing widespread outages for several weeks, even months. A public health emergency could quickly ensue particularly among the vulnerable as the ripple effects cause significant societal disruption. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) strategic plan encourages and empowers communities to prepare for the inevitable impacts of future disasters. How can communities prime for major events?

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

I’ll admit it, I was a little smug. After more than 20 years in the consulting business helping clients develop, implement, and integrate their strategies, I thought… “how hard could it be to do the same things for my own company – a company of consultants?” I had the commitment of my leadership, a group of talented people, and a plan and resources to grow the company. We had energy and we had a great process and tools to successful. What could go wrong?

Exploring Trends in Strategic Workforce Planning (Attract, Engage, and Retain)

Exploring Trends in Strategic Workforce Planning (Attract, Engage, and Retain)

Federal agencies have been undergoing significant transformation, requiring effective workforce strategies that can assist them in facing increasing challenges. As government leaders look for and implement initiatives to improve performance, Strategic Workforce Planning, (SWP) has become instrumental in assisting organizations to focus on their most important resource: their people

#Innovate Your Heart Out: We See an Innovation Day in Your Future

#Innovate Your Heart Out: We See an Innovation Day in Your Future

Innovation is difficult to harness for organizations of all sizes (Government and private sector alike). Replicating a process to encourage and produce innovation is even more challenging. Innovating in a structured space and time seems counter-intuitive, and begs the question: can thinking outside the box be a structured activity? Arc Aspicio recently held an Innovation Day to answer this question.

A Unified Brand Helps Serve a Complex Mission

A Unified Brand Helps Serve a Complex Mission

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), created in 2003, undertook the most significant reorganization of federal agencies since the Cold War. It brought together federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies with a focus on securing the U.S. from threats in a collaborative way. DHS pulls together five complex mission areas: preventing terrorism and enhancing security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience.