CQ Homeland Security asked homeland experts about lessons learned in 2011 and the challenges for the next year. Catalyst Principal David Olive offered his insight.
With the new year beginning, CQ has asked dozens of homeland security experts in the public, private and academic sectors to weigh in on the lessons of 2011 and what 2012 holds in store. In this first installment of a three-part series, respondents answered the question “After the deaths of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, what group poses the greatest threat to America?”
David Olive: It is my belief that the greatest threat to America no longer comes from a global jihadist group, although al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb will still pose significant problems. Rather, lone-wolf actors, jihadist sympathizers and so-called “wannabe” terrorists will pose the greatest threat of a physical attack on America. Chinese-backed hackers pose the greatest threat for an economic attack on America. The U.S. Congress’ inability to reach consensus on major policy issues affecting the organization, structure, priorities and personnel actions of homeland security and homeland defense pose the greatest danger in allowing America to mitigate the impacts of a catastrophic incident, whether man-made or an act of nature.