Managing Homeland Security: Develop a Threat-Based Strategy

“Homeland security”—both the term and the policy—were effectively born amid the crisis of September 11, 2001.  The policy started with a simple purpose: to prevent further terrorist attacks on American soil.  It once made sense to take measures that responded to the circumstances of that attack and reassured a nervous public. But more than six years into the apparently endless war on terrorism, homeland security should evolve from a set of emergency policies into a permanent field of important government policy that, like any other, must justify its allocation of taxpayer funds through solid analysis.

The new President should put forward a threat-based homeland security strategy focused on enhancing four major efforts:

  • cooperation with foreign partners to degrade Al Qa’eda further
  • continued “over-protection” of civil aviation, including air cargo inspection and defense against surface-to-air missiles
  • public education to create more resilience in the event of an attack
  • outreach to Muslim communities in the United States, whose unfriendliness to terrorist groups has made the United States less vulnerable than other countries to terror attacks

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