Confirmation of DHS intelligence head is too important to politicize
Most Americans have never heard of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Yet, in January, acting Under Secretary for I&A David Glawe found himself on national television attempting to explain in less than two minutes what the office he leads will do in the face of the Trump administration’s much-debated “travel ban.”
For the lay viewer with no awareness of I&A, it suggested political participation where there is none. With Glawe’s nomination to permanently lead I&A, there is more politicking on the horizon, but this is a mistake — one that can be avoided if we put security before partisanship.
I&A is the only member of the intelligence community charged with sharing threat intelligence with state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners, as well as receiving information from those partners to share with DHS and the intelligence community. This mission is a direct answer to problems identified in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
After 9/11, it was discovered that the FBI, the CIA and other government organizations individually held information suggesting a plot against the United States, but no single agency had a complete picture of what that plot entailed. Taken together, that intelligence could have allowed us to detect and even prevent the attacks. The creation of DHS was a response to this revelation, pulling together homeland security agencies under one roof. And I&A is at the nexus of the information-sharing solution.