Homeland strategy will be starting point

Office of Homeland Security

The Office of Homeland Security's national strategy is due to President Bush at the end of June, and it definitely will be only a first version that does not yet address all the concerns at the federal, state and local levels, according to a senior administration official.

The strategy is organized into several chapters, starting with the principles under which everything must be done, said the official, who requested anonymity. It addresses physical and cyber critical infrastructure protection; focuses on the business areas of homeland security, such as prevention, detection, warning and response; and looks at cross-cutting legal, policy and organizational issues, he said.

Information technology is the enabler for each of those areas, he said.

Underlying all of this is an enterprise architecture for homeland security: a description of the current homeland security status, the goal of where the government needs to be and the migration strategy, or road map, to get from here to there, he said.

The national strategy will include examples of homeland security-related programs and pilots from all levels of government, particularly in intelligence and law enforcement, he said.

Officials within the Office of Homeland Security are traveling across the country, talking to as many people as possible in federal, state and local government and in the private sector to gather information. However, there is no way to talk to and include everyone by the time the national strategy is due, the official said. That is why it primarily will be an internal document to be used to start the discussion for the development of the next version.

"Release 1 serves a slightly different purpose than we'd like it to serve," he said. "It's not going to satisfy all of the requests for participation at this time."

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