President Trump must appoint a Senate-confirmed secretary of homeland security, and soon. Particularly in the current threat environment, our nation cannot afford a continued string of temporary, acting secretaries promoted from within the ranks of DHS to, as some would have it, simply receive and transmit orders from the White House. The job is one of the most complex and critical in the U.S. government.
If I were still in that office, two current threats would keep me up at night: the recent release of Islamic State fighters from captivity in Syria and the possibility that some may seek to travel here; and the ongoing Russian campaign to influence our elections. Public sources indicate the Russians are undeterred; the presidential election season is underway and, in many states, the cybersecurity of our election infrastructure is still a work in progress. The secretary of homeland security is the Cabinet-level official of our government principally responsible for confronting both these threats.
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