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Secretary Napolitano just wrapped up a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on preventing terrorism. The Secretary talked about the "challenge of countering the threat of terrorism in our networked world of the 21st century, and what the Department of Homeland Security is doing to meet that challenge."

From her prepared remarks (we'll update from the transcript):

"I will therefore speak candidly about the urgent need to refocus our counter-terror approach to make it a shared endeavor . . . to make it more layered, networked and resilient . . . to make it smarter, and more adaptive.

And to get to a point where we are in a constant state of preparedness, not a
constant state of fear.

The challenge is not just using federal power to protect the country, but also enlisting a much broader societal response to the threat that terrorism poses.

A wise approach to keeping America secure should be rooted in the values that define our nation, values like resilience, shared responsibility, and standing up for what’s right.

These are values that led us to fight and win two world wars, and that were on display in the dark days after the September 11th attacks. We must embrace them again now.

So, how do we secure our homeland and stay true to our values?

With four levels of collective response.

It starts with the American people. From there it extends to local law enforcement, and from there up to the federal government, and then, finally, out beyond our shores, where America’s international allies can serve as partners in our collective fight against terrorism.

In the last four weeks alone, I have traveled nearly 30,000 miles—from Islamabad, Pakistan, to Seattle, Washington, engaging partners at each of those levels.

We’ve brokered international agreements, launched new partnerships, and challenged our citizens to play their part in our common security.

We do face a common threat – and it requires a collective response.

And we must face that threat, and coordinate that response, in an evolving and highly networked world.

This networked world takes on many forms.

The cyber network that runs our power grids, fires our critical infrastructure, and facilitates commerce is now itself a target, and is vulnerable to attack.

This networked climate forces us to rethink how best to protect our values and our security in a world where the tools for creating violence and chaos are as easy to find as the tools for buying music online or re-stocking an inventory.

We also live in a mobile world, with complex networks of people and information.

We can’t forget that the 9/11 attackers conceived of their plans in the Philippines, planned in Malaysia and Germany, recruited from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and carried them out in the United States.

That’s why our homeland security network must be built to leverage “force multipliers”:

  • the cooperation of international allies;
  • the full powers of the United States federal government;
  • the vigilance of police on the beat; and
  • the untapped resourcefulness of millions of our own American citizens.

The Secretary has a full schedule for the rest of the day, with a visit scheduled to Ground Zero, a transportation security announcement at Grand Central Terminal, stops at New York City police and fire stations to meet first responders, and meetings with counterterrorism experts, first responders and law enforcement leaders to discuss homeland security issues related to New York’s state and local agencies.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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