President's Homeland Security Budget Needs Only Minor Repair, analyst says
WASHINGTON, MARCH 9, 2004
- President Bush's
proposed budget for the Department of Homeland Security requires
mere tweaking - more money for the Coast Guard's deepwater
modernization program, expanding pilot programs that create strike
forces of federal, state and local law enforcement to tighten
border security - to make it ideal, according to a new paper from
The Heritage Foundation.
The president's 2005 proposal calls for $47.4 billion in total
funding for homeland security, a 13 percent increase that
"represents a significant and appropriate growth in homeland
security expenditures," says James Carafano, an expert on homeland
and national security and author of the paper.
Carafano says the Coast Guard cutters, aircraft, sensors and
command and control are outdated, inadequate and expensive to
operate and maintain. He says they must be modernized and that
promised funding for this has not materialized but needs to.
Additionally, he says the budget should be adjusted to favor
programs that emphasize intelligence sharing between government and
private enterprise, particularly on early warning systems and
protecting critical infrastructure. He says border and
transportation security programs should emphasize a layered
approach to protecting the homeland and that programs that enhance
domestic counterterrorism without compromising civil liberties get
Research and development money should go toward finding new ways to
respond to catastrophic threats and toward creating a truly
national preparedness system, Carafano says.
Areas to look to for cuts include the port security grants program
because port security should take a backseat to securing all of the
high seas, and to direct grants for state and local governments -
until a system can be established to ensure this money is spent
Project Bioshield, an effort to bring the best science to bear to
protect us from biological weapons, is funded at an appropriate
level for now - about $6 billion over 10 years, Carafano says. But
it should be watched to ensure it either makes significant progress
or ceases to consume scarce resources.
"It's not just a matter of spending more money on homeland
security," says Carafano. "We should find the most productive
programs and give them priority."