Chapter Four

Homeland Security Risk Modeling

Barry C. Ezell

4.1 Introduction and Learning Objectives

This chapter focuses on risk modeling and risk assessment in the U.S. homeland security environment. The philosophy that encapsulates risk modeling is systems thinking. In practice, problem solving, in general, is shaped by the author's experience in using the U.S. Department of Defense's Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) for 24 years. The chapter serves two purposes. First, it introduces key terms and concepts in homeland security risk as well as how the terms and concepts relate to each other. Second, the chapter discusses current modeling, simulation, analysis, and the challenges in assessing homeland security risk. One of the biggest challenges in the discipline of risk analysis is the inconsistency in terms of reference, and there seems to be no solution in sight. As a result of this, fundamental terms such as risk and vulnerability are oftentimes misused or poorly defined. This chapter addresses the problem directly and provides the reader with solid definitions and authoritative sources from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Society for Risk Analysis, and academia. This is extremely important because, practically, anyone can provide a definition for risk, and in the scholarly literature and numerous government reports, this is certainly the case. For risk modeling in the homeland security context, however, a doctrine and a lexicon must be based on ...

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