What are your thoughts on the belief that FEMA should be removed from DHS and returned to its original cabinet-level status?

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FEMA should stand: Terrorism Vulnerability

FEMA should stand: Terrorism Vulnerability

What are your thoughts on the belief that FEMA should be removed from DHS and returned to its original cabinet-level status? List some reasons why this would make sense or why you disagree with this change. At least one reference to this question.

FEMA should stand

Terrorism Vulnerability

The last two presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and the current U.K. Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, all had to deal with a

24 Government Accountability Office, Letter to Congressional Requesters, Actions Taken to Implement the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (GAO-09-59R), November 21, 2008.

major terrorist attack in their respective countries during their first year in office. While there have been no recent reports of a specific imminent threat, some argue that the United States faces an increased risk of a terrorist event during the first year of the new presidency.25 In November 2008, shortly before the Presidential election, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told intelligence officials that the new administration might be tested by a terrorist attack during its first year, citing, “the World Trade Center was attacked in the first year of President Clinton, and the second attack was in the first year of President Bush.”26 President-elect Barack Obama made a statement to this effect during a recent interview, saying that it was “important to get a national security team in place, because transition periods are potentially times of vulnerability to a terrorist attack,”27 and Vice President-elect Joe Biden warned that “it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.”28

We simply cannot predict whether there will be a terrorist attack in this country in the next year. Given that there is an elevated risk of this happening, however, we must consider whether it makes sense to make major changes to our homeland security apparatus during this period. It is critical to note here that the talk of removing FEMA from DHS generally focuses on the perceived benefits to FEMA-on which not all sides agree. What is not always included in the debate is consideration of the effect that FEMA’s removal would have on the department.

Since 2003, a number of support functions for the different components of DHS have been interwoven. A reorganization would impact not only FEMA, which would have to reconstitute itself as a stand-alone agency, but also DHS as a whole, which would have to adjust to losing an important component. Don Kettl warns that “FEMA has gone through a long and wrenching series of reorganizations…. Change for the sake of change could simply induce organizational whiplash and further destabilize an already unstable organization.”29 John Harrald warns that pulling FEMA

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