DoD's Rosenblum discusses homeland defense strategy

Todd M. Rosenblum, the Department of Defense's top homeland defense official, said the DoD applied hard lessons it had learned when creating new homeland defense and civil support strategies.

During an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Rosenblum said the new strategy showcases a new operating environment, mainly due to lessons learned from past disasters. These disasters include a lagging response time from Hurricane Katrina through Hurricane Sandy.

The biggest change to the new policy is that the DoD is now required to respond to disasters and provide civil support within 24 to 48 hours of the event having taken place. Rosenblum said this decision stemmed from "the rising expectations from the president and from the secretary, and certainly from the American people." This faster response includes support, not only from the DoD, but also from secondary organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We face new threats, we have new vulnerabilities, we have new dependencies, most importantly we have a new way to do business," Rosenblum said. He also said preparation and being "pre-positioned" to respond to disasters, by means of good communication between response-organizations, is the key to successfully supporting the American public.

The economy does, however, play a role in how this strategy is implemented. The department has already planned to reduce the budget by $487 billion over the next 10 years.

"Sequester has changed the calculus tremendously," Rosenblum said. "But this strategy is not about buying new capabilities: It's about our planning, our processes and our integration."