19 July 2015

New Horizons: Commitment to the Long War...

What new technology invention or planetary event will change our way of life forever?  As the sun rises over the water, or the high rise buildings or the dew filled rolling meadows, one can only wonder.  The "New Horizons" streaked past Pluto after nine years from it's launch and 3 billion miles from Earth this week.  What other possible achievement is mankind capable of obtaining, that provides new knowledge and insight about our origins and our future.

Operational Risk Management (ORM) has been at the core of the New Horizons mission from its Genesis, until the day the space probe stops sending us more information.  Over these past nine years the observation and collection of data across our solar system, has provided answers to so many questions as we continue our quest for discovery.

Think about that timeline for a minute.  What has your organization accomplished that requires that kind of commitment to ongoing exploration and data analysis?  How would you keep people focused on continuous learning and problem solving, to gain new understanding and perhaps more empathy in your company.  Patience is often hard to find, when the boss is asking you what you have produced since yesterday.

There are tremendous challenges to keeping the mission focus in mind, even for nine years and beyond.  Maybe that is why there are term limits on some roles in public offices and as a result elections are necessary every two or four years.  Term limits puts priorities in perspective and clarifies what should be accomplished first and foremost.

What if you knew when you were going to die.  You knew exactly what would happen when your life ends.  It is written.  How would your thinking change, about what is important and what needs to be accomplished tomorrow.

How would you change your way of living and the vision to accomplish the promise of the future, if you did believe the stories of how it would all turn out.  Would you change the way you live your life, while you had the confidence that you would reach that promised place.  What if you had been taught this by trusted colleagues, read about it in sacred books or on the Internet and was assured that it was attainable.  If you would only believe:
Chattanooga, Tennessee (CNN)  A day after gunman Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez ended the lives of four Marines and wounded three other people, hundreds in Chattanooga gathered in prayer to mourn their deaths.

There were Christians. There were Muslims. A cross-section of the Tennessee community packed Olivet Baptist Church for the Friday night vigil.

Authorities are trying to figure out why Abdulazeez -- an accomplished student, well-liked peer, mixed martial arts fighter and devout Muslim -- went on the killing spree.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said the shootings are being investigated as an "act of domestic terrorism," but he noted the incident has not yet been classified as terrorism.

Reinhold said there is nothing to connect the attacker to ISIS or other international terror groups. Abdulazeez was not on any U.S. databases of suspected terrorists.

He was not known to have been in trouble with the law except for a DUI arrest in April. He apparently was not active on social media -- one of the common ways police investigate terrorism.
Ones mind has to flashback to the Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath of that act of domestic terrorism in the United States.  Was this act of jihad on our U.S. citizens, the promise to the future, painted by people these terrorists trusted and respected?  Was this horrific act in Chattanooga against our military, just another blueprint for what our future holds for homegrown violent extremism (HVE) in America?  More on this from the New York Times:
Officials said there was no indication so far of any links to terrorist groups, leaving them to wonder how a young man with no known history of violence or radicalism turned up Thursday with several weapons, spraying bullets at Americans in uniform. Some “lone wolf” attacks have been carried out by people who had no direct contact with extremist groups, but they were influenced by messages online, like those from the Islamic State urging Muslims to take up arms and attack American military sites.

“This attack raises several questions about whether he was directed by someone or whether there’s enough propaganda out there to motivate him to do this,” said a senior American intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was still underway.
The Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris again was a location with meaning to the actual terrorism act itself by these two brothers inspired by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  It was a target put on a list by people who have a long-term focus and are able to accomplish their goals, even without a nation states resources.  The priority for any nation is to continue a long-term view, on what domestic terrorism and homegrown violent extremism really means, for a local community, in any country.

What is one of the most rewarding ways to connect with the local First Responder community in your U.S. county?  Look no further than your Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and also your nearest Infragard chapter.  As a new "Citizen Soldier" you will need to learn new skills.  You also have to keep yourself aware of the latest natural or asymmetric threats to your particular community, whether it is a geographical city or a virtual domain in cyberspace.  You can, make a difference.

"Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation”

-Henry Ward Beecher-

It means a renewed commitment to building more resilience into your community.  From the bottom up, at every family household and small business in the town, city or Metroplex.  Operational Risk Management (ORM) doesn't end when you leave your role at the workplace in the warehouse, the cubicle or the executive office of the CSO, CISO or Chief Risk Officer.

Do you remember how you felt on September 12, 2001?  That uncertainty and the feeling you had, about the welfare of your closest loved ones or neighbors.  This was the catalyst for a 14+ year battle.  Just as the "New Horizons" hurtles millions of miles past Pluto, this commitment to the "Long War" is not over, and probably never will be.

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