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Are the QHRS Missions and Goals Working to Improve Homeland Security, or Do They Require Revision?

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The Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) is the Department of Homeland Security's capstone strategy document, which is updated every four years as required by law. The report offers recommendations on long-term strategy and priorities for homeland security

Each QHSR cycle entails an extensive three-year-long review process before the report is finalized and submitted to Congress. The Department strives to make the QHSR as thorough and inclusive as possible by working with a wide range of stakeholders inside and outside government, who share responsibility for safeguarding the Homeland. The QHSR will provide the strategic foundation to ensure that the Department is ready to meet future challenges.

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We must also manage those threats and hazards that pose risk to the trade and travel system. We do this by sorting traveler and cargo traffic based on risk and expediting the movement of those found to be low risk. We partner with airlines, cargo carriers, and other relevant organizations to expedite legal flows of people and goods without compromising security. Pre-inspection capabilities, advanced analytics, and mutual recognition agreements with our international partners will further increase the use of traffic segmentation programs. Sorting traffic by risk also helps address terrorism threats, as discussed in the Securing Against the Evolving Terrorism Threat subsection

Partnerships that leverage the overlapping interests, resources, and authorities of our partners in both the public and private sectors are essential to meet mutual safety and security needs while expediting trade and travel. Public-private partnerships are an important but underutilized resource, and we describe how to improve them in the Strengthening the Execution of Our Missions through Public-Private Partnerships subsection.

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On balance, The second edition of the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) was issued in June of this year. A Congressional mandate requires each QHSR to examine the nation’s homeland security strategy and explain how this can lower risks from terrorism, natural hazards, and other challenges

The intended audience is not only Congress and the department of homeland security (DHS), but also the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE) – stakeholders comprising federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private sector partners, as well as communities, families, and individuals. The first QHSR institutionalized homeland security fundamentals and presented a set of missions and goals, but questions have been raised about the strategic benefits of the document and its value to all homeland security stakeholders.

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