Protecting the American Homeland / Edition 1

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The September 11 attacks forcefully brought home the need to better protect the U.S. homeland. But how can this be accomplished most effectively? Here, a team of Brookings scholars offers a four-tier plan to guide and bolster the efforts under way by the Bush administration and Congress.

There has been some progress in making our homeland more secure. But the authors are concerned that the Bush administration may focus too narrowly on preventing attacks like those of the recent past and believe a broader and more structured approach to ensuring homeland security is needed. Given the vulnerability of our open society, the authors recommend four clear lines of direction. The first and last have received a good deal of attention from the Bush administration, though not yet enough; for the other two, a great deal remains to be done:

Perimeter defense at the border to prevent entry by potential perpetrators and the weapons and hazardous materials they may use

Prevention by detecting possible terrorists within the United States and securing dangerous materials they might obtain here

Identification and defense of key sites within the county: population centers, critical economic assets and infrastructure, and locations of key political or symbolic importance

Consequence management to give those directly involved in responding to an attack that may nevertheless occur the tools necessary to quickly identify and attack and limit its damage

Included are specific recommendations on how much more to spend on homeland security, how much of the cost should be borne by the private sector, and how to structure the federal government to make the responsible agencies more efficient in addressing security concerns. Specifically, the authors believe that annual federal spending on homeland security may need to grow to about $45 billion, relative to a 2001 level of less than $20 billion and a Bush administration proposed budget for 2003 of $38 billion. They also discuss what burden state, local, and private-sector actors should bear in the overall national effort. Finally, the authors conclude that rather than creating a homeland security superagency, Tom Ridge, the director of the Office of Homeland Security, should have enhanced authority.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This tightly written book identifies shortfalls in the current approach to homeland security and proposes a comprehensive strategy to address the challenges of homeland defense. This is not an issue that the Brookings Institution discovered on 11 September, and the depth of analysis reflects that this collection of scholars has wrestled with this issue for some time." —George Galdorisi, U.S. Naval Institute, Proceedings, 9/1/2002

"Very useful for assessing priorities and costs." — Future Survey, 7/1/2002

"... a methodical and highly serious account, collaboratively written by a team of Brookings scholars.... 'Protecting the American Homeland' is a well-thought out and welcome contribution to the current national dialogue as it offers an important perspective for our post-911 national security needs." — Bookwatch, 10/1/2002

"... a thoughtful survey.... Replete with detail and arguments that are ably presented for the reader." —Dr. George Quester, University of Maryland, Parameters, 4/1/2003

"In their work, Michael E. O'Hanlon, Peter R. Orszag, Ivo H. Daalder, I. M. Destler, David L. Gunter, Robert E. Litan, and James B. Steinberg provide a brisk, clear and punchy prescription for US homeland security....In summary, this is an excellent book: clearly and logically framed, relentlessly policy-oriented, and sound and sensible in its recommendations with scarcely a wasted sentence in 188 pages." —Mark Smith, Mountbatten Centre for International Studies, University of Southampton, Contemporary Security Policy, 8/1/2003

"Protecting the American Homeland is a logical, flowing, step-by-step analysis to defining policy issues involving the development of a comprehensive protection plan. [A] useful and thoughtful analy[sis]." —Warren M. Wiggins, Naval War College Review, 3/1/2003

"Produced by scholars at the Brookings Institution, it offers an analysis of what needs to be done to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Despite the authors' admission that their analysis is preliminary, the discussion is both important and worthwhile....Protecting the American Homeland establishes a good foundation for understanding the challenges that lie before us. Military political, and business leaders throughout our nation should read it." —Command Sgt Major James H. Clifford, Air & Space Power Journal, 12/1/2003

This report (from the political think tank the Brookings Institution) critically examines President Bush's "homeland security" plan, arguing that it is not sufficient for protection against further attacks. They suggest expanding police powers and centralizing information sharing among intelligence outfits, as well as numerous other more specific recommendations. The entire report is also available online at the Brooking Institution's web site. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815706519
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Series: America's Response to Terrorism Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael E. O'Hanlon is the director of research and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the Sydney Stein Jr. Chair. His books include The Science of War (Princeton University Press, 2009) and numerous Brookings books.
Peter R. Orszag is director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under President Obama. His previous positions include director of the Congressional Budget Office and Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also a research professor at Georgetown University and a codirector of the Tax Policy Center. He served as special assistant to the president for economic policy during the Clinton administration.
Ivo H. Daalder is U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Previously, he was a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies and the Sydney Stein Jr. Chair in International Security at the Brookings Institution. He is the coauthor, with James M. Lindsay, of America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (Brookings, 2003) and the coauthor of Winning Ugly: NATO's War to Save Kosovo (Brookings, 2001), written with Michael E. O'Hanlon.
I. M. Destler is professor and director of the Program on International Security and Economic Policy at the School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland.
David L. Gunter is a research assistant in the Economic Studies program at Brookings.
Robert E. Litan is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings and vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.
James B. Steinberg is U.S. deputy secretary of state. Previously, he was dean of the LBJ School of Government at the University of Texas—Austin. A former director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, he was deputy national security adviser to President Clinton from 1996 to 2000. He previously served as director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff and as deputy assistant secretary of state, with responsibility for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. His books include Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007, written with Michael d'Arcy, Michael O'Hanlon, Peter Orszag, and Jeremy Shapiro (Brookings, 2006).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Securing America's Perimeter 13
3 Preventive Measures within the United States 35
4 Protecting Targets within the United States 51
5 Consequence Management 67
6 Principels for Providing and Financing Homeland Security 77
7 Organizing for Success 99
8 Conclusion 125
App. A The Legal Liability System 133
App. B The Bush Homeland Security Budget 137
App. C Funding to Combat Terrorism, Past and Future 147
App. D The Coast Guard 151
App. E The National Guard 155
Notes 157
Contributors 179
Index 181
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