About the project

The Future of DHS Project is a project of Forward Defense within the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. The project develops recommendations for how to improve the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

We released our foundational report on the future of DHS in September 2020, with executive-level recommendations to inform White House decisionmakers, as well as our recommendations for congressional oversight in December 2020.

Read our key findings and recommendations:

latest analysis



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Meet our experts

Forward Defense

Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, generates ideas and connects stakeholders in the defense ecosystem to promote an enduring military advantage for the United States, its allies, and partners. Our work identifies the defense strategies, capabilities, and resources the United States needs to deter and, if necessary, prevail in future conflict.


Future of DHS

Jan 7, 2021

Warrick quoted in CBS News on Capitol insurrection

By Atlantic Council

On January 7, Forward Defense nonresident senior fellow Thomas Warrick was quoted in an article by CBS News titled “Fears of new attacks after pro-Trump rioters breach Capitol.”

Extremism National Security

Issue Brief

Dec 29, 2020

The Future of DHS Project: Key Findings and Recommendations: Congressional Oversight

By Thomas Warrick & Mark J. Massa

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is overseen by more than ninety committees and subcommittees--an oversight burden far greater than any other cabinet department. This issue brief proposes that Congress streamline its oversight of DHS to increase its effectiveness as a department with national security responsibilities.

Defense Policy Infrastructure Protection

Future of DHS

Dec 17, 2020

Warrick on Newsy Tonight on SolarWinds hack

By Atlantic Council

Forward Defense non-resident senior fellow and Future of DHS Project Director Thomas Warrick was interviewed on Newsy Tonight on the implications of the SolarWinds hack of the US government. Warrick commented on the gravity of the cyber espionage and the actions that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, was taking to mitigate the intrusion.

Cybersecurity Defense Technologies

Future of DHS

Nov 24, 2020

Six former and acting secretaries of Homeland Security sign open letter on consolidating Congressional oversight of DHS

By Atlantic Council

On November 4, six former and acting secretaries of Homeland Security signed an open letter to Congressional leadership calling for action to consolidate and strengthen oversight of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prior to the convening of the 117th Congress.

China Coronavirus

Future of DHS

Nov 12, 2020

Warrick mentioned in Politico article on election transition

By Atlantic Council

On November 12, Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow Thomas Warrick was mentioned in a Politico article highlighting a letter signed by over 150 former national security officials warning the government of the serious national security risk posed by the delay in recognizing President-Elect Biden.

Democratic Transitions Disinformation

Future of DHS

Oct 26, 2020

Warrick featured on the Burn Bag Podcast

By Atlantic Council

On October 26, Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow Thomas S. Warrick spoke on an episode of the Burn Bag Podcast titled “Defending the Homeland: Crises, Controversies, and Successes at the Department of Homeland Security.” In the episode, Mr. Warrick discussed findings of the Future of DHS Report, highlighting the changing threat environment facing DHS.

Cybersecurity Infrastructure Protection

Event Recap

Oct 9, 2020

Future of DHS Project identifies new threats to the homeland

By Julia Siegel

On Wednesday, September 9, the Scowcroft Center’s Forward Defense practice launched the Future of DHS Project Final Report, building on its Key Findings and Recommendations released in August. Following the report release, Forward Defense hosted three panels of distinguished speakers to discuss the future of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a changing threat landscape.

China Coronavirus

Future of DHS

Oct 1, 2020

Future of DHS Report quoted in Chairman Thompson’s remarks at House Rules Committee hearing

By Atlantic Council

On October 1, Chairman Thompson of the House Committee on Homeland Security spoke on a panel before the House Rules Committee. In his remarks, he mentioned a recommendation from the Future of DHS Report, expressing his agreement.

Cybersecurity Disinformation

Future of DHS

Sep 21, 2020

Warrick calls for DHS reform in letter to Houston Chronicle

By Atlantic Council

In response to an article in the Houston Chronicle advocating for the dismantlement of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Forward Defense Non-Resident Senior Fellow Thomas Warrick writes that DHS can be reformed, including through the recommendations of the Atlantic Council’s Future of DHS Project. More about our experts:

China Coronavirus


Sep 9, 2020

Future of DHS Project: Full report

By Thomas Warrick & Caitlin Durkovich

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to refocus its mission to lead the defense of the United States against major nonmilitary threats.

China Coronavirus