In three months we will mark the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. While a good deal has been accomplished to protect the country since, much still needs to be done. Policymakers and observers argue the nation must not lose its sense of urgency on homeland security. But what is the state of U.S. homeland security? And with the arrival of hurricane season, how well prepared is the U.S. for coping with the challenge of natural disasters that could afflict the nation?
On June 1, Brookings convened a discussion to examine these questions and the overall state of American homeland security with a keynote address by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. A panel discussion featured a group of leading experts, including three of the coauthors of the new Brookings book, Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007: Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow, Brookings; Jeremy Shapiro, director of research, Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE), Brookings; and Michael B. d’Arcy, a nonresident technology fellow at Brookings. Richard Falkenrath, a Brookings senior fellow and former deputy homeland security advisor to President George W. Bush moderated the discussion.
The panel was followed by remarks from Secretary Chertoff. Secretary Chertoff formerly served as United States circuit judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and as an assistant attorney general, where he helped trace the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the al-Qaida network, and worked to increase information sharing within the FBI and with state and local officials.