“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
Opportunity 08 aims to help 2008 presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, presenting policy ideas on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy questions. The project is committed to providing both independent policy solutions and background material on issues of concern to voters.