Thursday, Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly discussed his top priorities for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the Aspen Security Forum.
In a discussion with NBC News’ Pete Williams, Secretary Kelly highlighted DHS efforts to confront transnational criminal organizations by reducing drug demand, raise global aviation security standards, and bolster cybersecurity.
(Nearly two decades have passed since 9/11, and today’s terrorist threat environment is much more complicated and menacing than that posed by Al Qaeda back then. The new Secretary of Homeland Security explains how he is grappling with the challenge and the Trump administration’s plans for meeting it. Courtesy of The Aspen Institute and YouTube)
Secretary Kelly on stamping out transnational criminal organizations by reducing drug demand:
“…the profits that come out of that drug market are fantastic and as a result the countries to our south, Mexico and further south, suffer terribly because of the violence and the trafficking, and the production…As Americans we should be ashamed of ourselves that we have done almost nothing to get our arms around drug demand…to try to influence the lives of folks who live in places like Central America, we work very very hard to inject investment, certainly U.S. help…”
Secretary Kelly on raising global aviation security standards:
“We can actually use this crisis as a way to raise global aviation security …In my view globally, at least of those final points of departure…we are raising aviation security as opposed to just going after one single threat.”
Secretary Kelly on bolstering cybersecurity:
“…The name of the game is coordination within our government at every level… and then fantastic partnerships with the commercial tech industry…”
Secretary Kelly on the DHS reauthorization:
“…I truly believe that it’s time to do this. One of the things I am hoping for is that we can really start looking at the efficiencies in the department…”
Secretary Kelly on the DHS workforce:
“ …For 45 years I benefited from serving under men and women who are the most amazing people in our society, the 1% as we say that serve in the U.S. military…when I came to this job I was really really pleasantly surprised at all of the patriotism, all of the dedication, all of the focus on protecting the nation is not just in the U.S. military…the men and women, particularly the law enforcement organizations…are incredibly dedicated people doing incredibly dangerous things and every one of them loves their job.”