***REPLY TO EACH POST 100 WORDS MIN EACH***
1. I have chosen Decontamination following an event. One such Event that has happened recently not in the U.S. but on the deck of U.S. Aircraft Carrier was the Fukushima nuclear disaster. After a 9.0 earthquake and Tsunami that followed caused the rod coiling at the Nuclear plant to fail. The Carrier U.S. Ronald Regan is forward deployed to Japan and was sent to the area to provide assistance, while at the time the Navy thought they were at a safe distance and did not take to much radiation, it was later proven that the Carrier had gotten to close to the actual Radiation Cloud and took on more than was thought. The carrier did take emergency actions of turning into the wind and emergency wash down, it was to late as many Sailors took on to much Radiation and are still fighting the after effects to this day. After 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina the U.S. has put billion of dollars into the responding to Natural Disasters and Terrorist attacks. A All the money is being funneled into the initial response and it leaves out many factors like environment, science and technology. While most scholars think that a terrorist dirty bomb will not have the death toll of Katrina but where the problem is, the United States doesn’t have the technology to clean urban areas that is contaminated with Radiation. So if a couple of dirty bombs are released in say Dallas a city of a little over a million people, the initial blast and first wave a radiation is the least of our problems, its the after effects of the lingering radiation. So we have to find a way to fix that rather quickly, because we are living on borrowed time before a terrorist group gets their hand on a RDD and causes havoc in one of our Major Cities.
2. For this week’s discussion, I chose to focus on “Ionizing radiation effects on cells and tissues”. While many people recongnize that radiation is dangerous, most people do not know just how radiation can change and effect the body. Ionizing radiation is most commonly found in medical devices, primarily X-rays. However, the world is bombarded by ionizing radiation on a daily basis, either from radioactive material found in soil, water and rock, to the radiation from the sun (World Health Organization). First, when it comes to the effect radiation has on the body, the first major factor is the amount of radiation that is absorbed by the body. The second major factor is what type of radiation is it. Both factors will influence the amount and type of damage that cells and tissues can experience. The most accurate way for health officials to measure the severity of the radiation is the sievert (Sv), which factors in the sensitivity of tissues and organs and the type of radiation in it’s measurements (World Health Organization 2016). The most basic form of damage that can be done by radiation is increasing the likelihood of cancer. Research has suggested that even lower doses of radiation, 50-100 mSv (millisieverts), can increase a person’s chance of getting cancer. Radiation primarily attacks a cell’s ability to control how and when it replicates. Ionizing radiation can effect the genes of a cell witch in turn can cause cancer. Furthermore, the more radiation that is absorbed by the body, the more danger you are in. In extreme exposure, between 1 sievert to 10 sieverts, many cells can be killed, which in turn can impair how vital organs function (Australian Government, 2001). Symptoms of this level of exposure can cause nausea, burns across the body and a weakened immune system. Due to radiation changing how a cell replicates and controls itself, adults are naturally more resistant to radiation than children. Children’s cells are constantly changing and replicating to accommodate their growing bodies, which in turn makes it easier for radiation to essentially, mess up the cells rhythm.
3. To enable analysts to reduce cognitive and perceptual, I choose Analysis of competing hypotheses (ACH) (Diagnostic), Team A/Team B (Contrarian) and Red Team Analysis (Imaginative). ACH – ACH technique identifies and compare alternative explanations course. Uses analytic methods to evaluate evidence bearing on hypotheses (Chang et al, 2017). Team A/Team B – Identifies, evaluates, and assimilates data and information from separate analytic teams (Chang et al, 2017). I believe it implements analytic techniques throughout the organization to maintain checks and balances on self and others. Red Team Analysis – Red team analysis exercises flexibility, it replicate how an adversary would think about the threat/risk to estimate course of action (Chang et al, 2017). I believe it is vital to understand foreign cultural, religious, and political views. I believe time is one of the key components of intelligence analyst to success; faster decide and quicker movement to execution will generally prevail terrorist threat. Therefore, today, intelligence analyst will require a different set of skills compared to those used by the analyst before 9/11 attacks. According to Hare et al., (2016). “We have envisaged a workflow in which analytical graft (collating, reading, remembering, etc.) is largely outsourced to machinery (p. 868). Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a wide-ranging tool that enables intelligence analyst to rethink how they integrate information, analyze data, and use the resulting insights to improve an assessment for the policymaker. Future analyst will need to understand “how to interact with data tools, what the most effective methods are, and accommodate the limitations of machines, which primarily means being more explicit and formal in their approach to methodology than is necessary today” (Hare et al, 2016, p. 869). However, I still believe intelligence analyst will need to know the human factors and psychological science, so they do not get trapped in analysis paralysis. If intelligence analysts are unaware of or have failed to think through decisions
4. This week we are tasked with choosing three structured analytic techniques (one diagnostic, one contrarian, and one imaginative) that we believe will best enable analysts to reduce cognitive and perceptual biases. The diagnostic technique I think would be best would be a key assumptions check. Key assumptions checks aim to look past biases and look at concrete facts based on past precedents (“A Tradecraft Primer”, 2009). This focus on facts and historical evidence is exactly why I think this technique would be best to mitigate the effects of biases. The scenario used in our reading was of particular interest to me. The example uses the 2002 DC Sniper Case as an example, as it details key assumptions made and the probability and risks involved with each assumption regarding the shooter’s race, gender, and accomplices (“A Tradecraft Primer”, 2009). The contrarian technique I chose is the Devil’s Advocate technique. The reason for this is because the Devil’s Advocate technique requires analysts to observe and strengthen any holes or weak spots in their analysis. To quote our reading, the value here is in challenging assumptions “to see if they will not hold up under some circumstances” (“A Tradecraft Primer”, 2009). I think this is a great technique in preventing problems that arise from biases before they begin. The imaginative technique I have chosen is brainstorming. Brainstorming allows analysts to be creative, and when combined with an outsider (for example, someone from a different culture or educational background) can bean effective way to take multiple points of view into account in order to minimize the effects of biases.As for the future, I do think there will be a different set of skills necessary to do the job. Unfortunately, I think catastrophe drives changes in the approaches intelligence analysts take. Ideally, this will not happen. But realistically, just as Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attacks drove reform and changes within the IC, I think another disaster is sure to occur in the future that restructures the way analysts approach problems.
5. In this week’s lesson, we learned about the importance of sharing information between agencies and partners within the homeland security enterprise. This is made possible and facilitated by fusion centers throughout the country. A fusion center is defined as a collaborative effort between two or more agencies providing resources, expertise, and/or information the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, prevent, apprehend and respond to criminal and terrorist activity (Carter, C. 2009). Its concept is to make it easier to share and disseminate information to those various government and private homeland security enterprises in achieving the goal of protecting the homeland (Carter, C. 2009). The value of these fusion centers to the homeland security concept is that is can be a centralized, organized and known place to seek and input information about various threats that might be relevant to an agencies area of responsibility. The benefit of having on-site representatives that can act as liaisons for their agency and reach out for additional resources if needed is of tremendous value in my eyes. As the lead federal investigative agency for counterterrorism and intelligence collection with the U.S., the FBI has an important role to play within the homeland security enterprise (Kraft, M. 2012). It takes charge during domestic terrorism crisis within the U.S. and takes on role of the on-scene manager for the U.S. government (Kraft, M. 2012). The Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) concept are small cells of locally based investigators, analyst, SWAT experts, and other specialist from other law enforcement and intelligence agencies (Kraft, M. 2012). The JTTF seems to be a fusion center but more for the management and operational side of missions with the FBI and its partners. The JTTF has been successful throughout the years and has grown by over 71 created post 9/11 (Kraft, M. 2012). By being a focal point for the FBI and its partners, the JTTF has shown the value it brings into the homeland security enterprise in keeping it safe.
6. Fist let us say that the DHS believes that homeland security starts with hometown security. It is mainly the work of local police forces that stop potential terrorist plots from happening. However, that does not mean that they can do all the work required. This is where fusion centers come in to play, they are an effort to create a more effective information sharing, training and educational environment. They are supported by the federal government who then provides local police, fire, emergency response, public safety, public health and private security personnel with the necessary tools. Some of these tools include the ability to collaborate across jurisdictional and geographic boundaries. They train and give access to federal systems, credentials and security clearances. The fusion centers are directed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Now, the Joint Terrorism Task force, JTTF. It was founded in New York in 1980 but grew significantly since 9/11. Now there are over 4,000 members nationwide. While the local and state entities are responsible for combating terrorist activities, the JTTF is still an effective force and is comprised of local officers. The National Joint Terrorism Task Force, NJTTF, is in Washington DC and coordinates with the JTTF and the FBI. The FBI views the JTTF as the nations front line on terrorism. The JTTF is an important resource for sharing intelligence developed from FBI-led counterterrorism investigations.