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What Must Be Done

Homeland Security Policy Priorities for the Next Administration and Congress

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A comprehensive and balanced strategy to protect the homeland encompasses five strategic objectives: prevent terrorist attacks; reduce our vulnerability to terrorism; prepare to respond and recover from an attack or natural or man-made disasters; sustain homeland security consistent with American values; and shape the global environment to reduce the threat of terrorism.

Strategic Objective 1: Prevent Terrorist Attacks
Refocus on al Qaeda Central and the radical Islamist movement it has inspired. Improve domestic intelligence capabilities while preserving civil liberties. Keep the most dangerous technologies out of the hands of terrorists

Strategic Objective 2: Reduce Vulnerability to Terrorism
Reduce overall vulnerability of our society to terrorism. Concentrate on critical infrastructure most likely to be attacked and minimize potential for cascading effects across the United States. and global economy

Strategic Objective 3: Build National Preparedness and Homeland Defense
Prepare the country to effectively respond to and recover from a terrorist attack or significant disaster that will inevitably occur

Strategic Objective 4: Sustain Homeland Security
Build stronger homeland security consistent with American values, alongside sufficient funding and an appropriate regulatory framework 

Strategic Objective 5: Shape the International Environment to Reduce the Threat
Reverse growing anti-Americanism and isolation. Restore lost U.S. leadership abroad. Strengthen international non-proliferation efforts. Prevent the emergence of weak states and potential future safe havens. Win the global battle of ideas

Strategic Objective 1: Prevent Terrorist Attacks

Refocus on al Qaeda Central and the radical Islamist movement it has inspired. Improve domestic intelligence capabilities while preserving civil liberties. Keep the most dangerous technologies out of the hands of terrorists

Security Priorities:

  • Shift counterterrorism priority from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Help contain radicalization in Europe and North Africa
  • Keep borders open, but make them smarter
  • Improve domestic intelligence analysis, information sharing, and warning
  • Improve detection of and control over nuclear and biological research and materials

Key Actions:

  • Develop specific policy for Pakistan
  • Continue efforts to prevent al Qaeda safe haven in Iraq
  • Enact comprehensive immigration reform
  • Increase support to state and local law enforcement
  • Convert civilian nuclear research reactors to low-enriched fuel

Resource Implications:

  • Reduce troop levels in Iraq and funding by $40 billion to $60 billion by end of FY2009
  • Shift significant forces and funding to Afghanistan
  • Increase counterterrorism funding for Department of Justice
  • Increase nuclear threat reduction funding for Department of Energy
  • Expand law enforcement grants for states and cities
  • Subsidize cost of passports and other security-related credentials

Strategic Objective 2: Reduce Vulnerability to Terrorism

Reduce overall vulnerability of our society to terrorism. Concentrate on critical infrastructure most likely to be attacked and minimize potential for cascading effects across the United States. and global economy

Security Priorities:

  • Create clear critical infrastructure hierarchy to guide policy and funding decisions
  • Close remaining gaps in aviation security
  • Strengthen chemical security oversight
  • Internationalize supply chain security standards
  • Focus greater attention on passenger rail and transit security
  • Improve redundancy and resiliency of energy production and distribution

Key Actions:

  • Double volume of air cargo inspections at major airports
  • Enact permanent chemical security legislation and promote inherent risk reduction
  • Relax congressionally-mandated 100 percent container scanning deadline
  • Enact mandatory minimum global supply chain security standards
  • Increase international cooperation regarding cyber-security

Resource Implications:

  • Increase manning and budget of Transportation Security Administration
  • Expand capacity of DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate
  • Increase transit security grants and hire more transit and rail inspectors
  • Invest in micro-generation of electrical power in storm-prone communities

Strategic Objective 3: Build National Preparedness and Homeland Defense

Prepare the country to effectively respond to and recover from a terrorist attack or significant disaster that will inevitably occur

Security Priorities:

  • Invest in national preparedness based on most likely disaster scenarios
  • Strengthen public health surveillance and medical surge capacity
  • Fix the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Tailor forces to Homeland Defense mission
  • Protect the U.S. economy

Key Actions:

  • Redo national disaster planning scenarios
  • Increase federal support for medical infrastructure and pandemic/disaster planning
  • Change FEMA’s business model and strengthen regional capabilities
  • Make homeland defense the National Guard’s primary mission
  • Create a civilian homeland security corps
  • Use independent security audits to promote greater private sector action
  • Develop a mix of financial instruments of offset terrorism risk

Resource Implications:

  • Greatly expand DHS and Health and Human Services’ state and local grant programs
  • Reinstate Project Impact and increase FEMA’s full-time manning
  • Increase Coast Guard manning and accelerate Deepwater modernization program
  • Eliminate National Guard equipment shortages
  • Create a federal natural disaster reinsurance program

Strategic Objective 4: Sustain Homeland Security

Build stronger homeland security consistent with American values, alongside sufficient funding and an appropriate regulatory framework 

Security Priorities:

  • Integrate Homeland Security and National Security planning, management, and budget
  • Build long-term Homeland Security Capacity
  • Recommit to the rule of law
  • Improve threat-based public communication

Key Actions:

  • Ensure a smooth presidential transition
  • Develop integrated post-Iraq national security strategy
  • Merge White House National Security and Homeland Security functions
  • Send Congress a unified national security budget
  • Preserve but streamline congressional homeland security oversight
  • Update privacy law
  • Make foreign direct investment reviews under the CFIUS process more inclusive
  • Revise the five-color Homeland Security Alert System

Resource Implications:

  • Expand DHS manning commensurate with growing responsibilities
  • Expand rather than cut homeland security grant funding
  • Create an infrastructure trust fund
  • Increase appropriations for passport and citizenship agencies

Strategic Objective 5: Shape the International Environment to Reduce the Threat

Reverse growing anti-Americanism and isolation. Restore lost U.S. leadership abroad. Strengthen international non-proliferation efforts. Prevent the emergence of weak states and potential future safe havens. Win the global battle of ideas

Security Priorities:

  • Undertake serious review of U.S. policies in the Islamic world
  • Reduce U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons and increase control of nuclear technology
  • Improve non-military crisis intervention capabilities
  • Discredit al Qaeda’s ideology and reduce its global appeal
  • Rebuild the American narrative to the world

Key Actions:

  • Be prepared to engage Iran directly and unconditionally
  • Develop a sustainable energy security strategy
  • Commission a nuclear policy review
  • Extend the START Treaty with Russia
  • Ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
  • Close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay
  • Provide detainees appropriate legal rights

Resource Implications:

  • Expand visas, exchange programs, and global scholarships
  • Expand strategic communications and invest in independent global media
  • Increase budget of Office of Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction
  • Reduce arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons
  • Freeze new nuclear weapon development
  • Invest in sustainable energy alternatives

 

 

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