Washington, D.C. (September 9, 2004) – The Center for American Progress today released a comprehensive report card on the Bush administration’s war on terrorism. The report’s conclusion is sobering: Three years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration is failing the test of protecting the American people from the terrorist threat at home and abroad.
“This is not a report card the Bush administration wants to take home to the American people,” said John Podesta, CEO and president of the Center for American Progress. “Instead of taking advantage of the historical opportunity presented after the 9/11 attacks, the administration has emboldened the world’s most dangerous regimes and terrorists, and escalated the potential of another terrorist attack. The administration’s ‘catastrophic diversion’ in Iraq has turned the country into a new terrorist front, inflamed anti-American sentiment around the world, and weakened the nation’s ability to secure critical vulnerabilities at home.”
Failing Grades: America Three Years After 9/11 assesses the administration’s record in four major areas:
- On combating the terrorist threat, the Bush administration earned a “C-.” Terrorist attacks are on the rise. With the Taliban making a comeback, Afghanistan is in danger of once again becoming a safe haven for terrorists. Not enough has been done to break up al Qaeda terrorist networks and the financial infrastructure that sustains them.
- On homeland security, the administration received a “D+.” The administration failed to allocate sufficient resources to improve security at our ports, railways, and chemical plants. Management problems, bureaucratic obstacles, and the lack of priorities hamper the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies. Intelligence and money fail to flow adequately to state and local authorities.
- On nonproliferation, the administration was awarded an “F.” Less weapons-grade nuclear material has been secured in the two years since 9/11 than in the two years prior to the attacks. The administration has failed to support threat reduction programs and efforts to track down stockpiles in the former Soviet Union, and has shown no progress in dealing with nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran.
- On the state of our military power, the administration received a “D.” Policies that stretched the military thin have decreased the Army’s readiness and threaten the future of the National Guard and Reserve. The failure to honor our troops at home threatens the future of the all-volunteer force.
Click here for the full report on the Bush administration’s failed efforts on terrorism and recommendations for action by the Center for American Progress.