September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011 | Commentary on Terrorism

New Approaches to Homeland Security and Combating Terrorism

In the run up to the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attack on New York and Washington, the administration has been making the case that has addressed the flaws in homeland security. Furthermore, it has proposed a new counterterrorism strategy that moves the administration from following "Bush-lite" policies to a strategy that now seeks to treat terrorism under a law enforcement paradigm that failed to protect Americans from terrorism when it was adopted by the Clinton Administration before 9/11. In addition, the White House intends to follow a "small footprint" strategy for overseas operations, relying primarily on Special Forces operations, covert action, and strikes with unmanned aerial vehicles.

Recent reports by The Heritage Foundation argue for different approaches to both homeland security (protecting the nation against terrorist attacks) and counterterrorism (stopping terrorists before they mount their attacks). A recent program at the Foundation discussed some of the recent empirical research on terrorist trends and also served as the release of " A Counterterrorism Strategy for the "Next Wave."  

The Foundation also had an event marking the release of "Homeland Security 4.0: Overcoming Centralization, Complacency, and Politics." This report concludes that getting the national homeland security enterprise right remains one of the most difficult challenges in Washington because it runs up against the standard Washington practices of overcentralization, complacency, and entrenched politics. It offers 35 recommendations. The research team has noted critical findings and observations and identified means to address them.

James Carafano is a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation. 

About the Author

James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Vice President for the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and the E. W. Richardson Fellow

Related Issues: Terrorism

First appeared in Global Security