providers for incidents of catastrophic magnitude and catering for adequate reserves of medicines and vaccines.
• Citizen Participation: Participation of citizens including organising and training citizens’ bodies in vigilance, relief and rehabilitation actions would be a key element of such plan.
Critical Success Factors In the under-mentioned paragraphs, I have analysed the critical success factors (CSFs) for HLS. Technology Intervention is a recurring theme – today technology can be leveraged in significant ways to add teeth to HLS – prevention, response as well as investigation. CSFs include:
• Proactive Stance: Terrorists draw their strength from surprise and its antidote is proactive intelligence. Criminals operate with impunity in areas where lines of authority criss-cross, or where governance is weak or where no one is in charge. Security against crime and terror is therefore more about prevention, preemption, deterrence and mitigation rather than containment and restoration. This can be achieved by seeking actionable intelligence – technology can help in preventive surveillance, data collection, collation and synthesis, working out actionable intelligence and initiating proper response.
• Inter-Agency Collaboration: Sound HLS delivery involves close integration nd coordination among plethora of agencies with complex functional and reporting structures and relationships. Effective collaboration between them is essential and requires strong policy framework, as well as clearly articulated processes and protocols. Technology intervention to transform the collaborative framework from being ‘policy driven’ to ‘process driven’ is an idea worth exploring.
• Force Modernisation: Safety and security in this context requires a ‘lean and mean’ force, with agility, surgical precision and optimum lethality – these should be the key drivers for force structuring and equipment philosophy.
• Citizen Participation: Active involvement and participation of citizens serves as a ‘force multiplier’ owing to its potential for supporting the key elements of security management (protection and prevention, situational awareness, decision making and response). Imaginative and effective exploitation of tools of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for education and awareness, information exchange, dissemination and opinion moderation will be a key factor in achieving the desired end state.
• Private-Public Participation: The corporate sector owing to its vast potential and resources in terms of technology, innovation and expertise is a key partner in this endeavour. The policy framework must encourage greater public-private participation, allowing access to and adoption of latest technologies as well as leveraging global expertise in securing our societies.
• Policy Review and Coordination: Drivers of threat evolution and technology innovation would demand agility of management systems requiring periodic policy reviews. These reviews shall require effective coordination across participating agencies and wings of government to retain strategic alignment and coherence, and application of automation and IT would be the key to achieving this.
Conclusion Homeland Security Management is a complex and challenging endeavour. The threats, vulnerabilities and risks continue to evolve and grow – so does the task of agencies charged with the duties of protecting people and critical national assets.
The need for a comprehensive, integrated HLS management is well understood. It would involve a clear articulation of an overall strategy, policy and framework for intelligence, security, safety and emergency management as well as detailed execution plan, earmarking of forces and providing them with resources and capabilities to execute the tasks. Modern technology offers means and opportunities for overcoming traditional impediments and barriers to efficiency and synergy, and must be exploited to the maximum for achievement of envisaged objectives. Participation of corporate sector as well as citizens must be encouraged. Finally, in view of the ever-evolving scenarios, HLS policies, processes, execution plans and capabilities must be reviewed periodically and in light of incidents/ emergencies to remain relevant.
Colonel Amit Pandey (Retd) is the Director Risk Management at MitKat Advisory Services. An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, he is an acknowledged thought leader, author and speaker.