The September 11 attacks forcefully brought home the need to better protect the U.S. homeland. But how can this be accomplished most effectively? Here, a team of Brookings scholars offers a four-tier plan to guide and bolster the efforts under way by the Bush administration and Congress. There has been some progress in making our homeland more secure. But the authors are concerned that the Bush administration may focus too narrowly on preventing attacks like those of the recent past and believe a broader and more structured approach to ensuring homeland security is needed. Given the vulnerability of our open society, the authors recommend four clear lines of direction.
The first and last have received a good deal of attention from the Bush administration, though not yet enough; for the other two, a great deal remains to be done: Perimeter defense at the border to prevent entry by potential perpetrators and the weapons and hazardous materials they may use Prevention by detecting possible terrorists within the United States and securing dangerous materials they might obtain here Identification and defense of key sites within the county: population centers, critical economic assets and infrastructure, and locations of key political or symbolic importance Consequence management to give those directly involved in responding to an attack that may nevertheless occur the tools necessary to quickly identify and attack and limit its damage Included are specific recommendations on how much more to spend on homeland security, how much of the cost should be borne by the private sector, and how to structure the federal government to make the responsible agencies more efficient in addressing security concerns.
Specifically, the authors believe that annual federal spending on homeland security may need to grow to about $45 billion, relative to a 2001 level of less than $20 billion and a Bush administration proposed budget for 2003 of $38 billion. They also discuss what burden state, local, and private-sector actors should bear in the overall national effort. Finally, the authors conclude that rather than creating a homeland security superagency, Tom Ridge, the director of the Office of Homeland Security, should have enhanced authority.
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Author Biography - Michael E. O'Hanlon
Michael E. O'Hanlon is the director of research and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the Sydney Stein Jr. Chair. His books include The Science of War (Princeton University Press, 2009) and numerous Brookings books. Peter R. Orszag is director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under President Obama. His previous positions include director of the Congressional Budget Office and Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also a research professor at Georgetown University, USA, and a codirector of the Tax Policy Center. He served as special assistant to the president for economic policy during the Clinton administration. Ivo H. Daalder is U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Previously, he was a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies and the Sydney Stein Jr. Chair in International Security at the Brookings Institution. He is the coauthor, with James M. Lindsay, of America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (Brookings, 2003) and the coauthor of Winning Ugly: NATO's War to Save Kosovo (Brookings, 2001), written with Michael E. O'Hanlon. I. M. Destler is professor and director of the Program on International Security and Economic Policy at the School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland, USA. David L. Gunter is a research assistant in the Economic Studies program at Brookings. Robert E. Litan is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings and vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. James B. Steinberg is U.S. deputy secretary of state. Previously, he was dean of the LBJ School of Government at the University of TexasuAustin. A former director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, he was deputy national security adviser to President Clinton from 1996 to 2000. He previously served as director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff and as deputy assistant secretary of state, with responsibility for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. His books include Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007 , written with Michael d'Arcy, Michael O'Hanlon, Peter Orszag, and Jeremy Shapiro (Brookings, 2006).