June 8, 2004 | News Releases on
Shift Homeland Security Focus to Nationwide System Analyst Says
WASHINGTON, JUNE 9, 2004-After 9/11, Congress
and the Bush administration worked quickly to close the most
significant holes in homeland security. We now spend 2 ½
times more each year to secure America than we did before
But the emergencies to which that funding was dedicated have
abated. Soon, appropriators will begin to consider the Department
of Homeland Security's long-term needs. According to a new paper
from The Heritage Foundation, Congress needs to remember that it's
no longer putting out fires and work within a different set of
principles, says James Jay Carafano, a 25-year military veteran,
homeland security specialist and author of the paper.
Among those principles:
- Give priority to investments that will create a true national
preparedness system. Invest in state and local needs only when they
contribute to a national fabric of preparedness.
- Develop federal capacity to deal with catastrophic terrorism.
The next big strike could be much more serious than the last.
- Ensure taxpayers get "bang for the buck"-that the programs we
support make the most efficient and effective use of our money. For
instance, says Carafano, public-private partnerships to beef up
port security are among the most-needed and least expensive
proposals out there.
- Keep a close watch on information-technology spending. DHS has
an ambitious list of IT-related programs already in the works,
including those for screening immigrants and airplane passengers,
and the DHS inspector general already has warned that systems now
in place are not sufficiently integrated or secure. Temper the
ambition, Carafano says, and get what we have now working
- Invest in human capital. Training may not be as glamorous a
purchase as big-ticket IT items, but it is especially critical for
an organization that must wed the culture of 22 different agencies
and 180,000 people, Carafano says.
- Bring order to the funding process. Ensure that homeland
security and non-homeland security activities covered by the same
appropriation are not placed in competition with one another.
- Declare the appropriation a "no-earmark zone." This is national
security, Carafano says, not school funding. It must be funded
"This is our opportunity to create a true national
homeland-security strategy, to figure out its needs and to create a
streamlined department to carry out these critical missions," said
Carafano. "It's too important a mission for lawmakers to play