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Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism
or the shipping system (see the discussions in Chapters 6 and 7). Yet none of these systems operates in isolation, and the government will need new capabilities to understand the impact of the linkages between them and to make informed decisions about national priorities across all potential targets. This effort will require the creation of testable models of elements of the nation’s critical infrastructure, utilization of red teams to evaluate the performance of protective measures, promulgation of standards to allow interoperability of counterterrorism technologies, development of testbeds, and research to improve implementation and deployment. How the government might gain these capabilities is discussed in more detail later in this chapter.
The final factor that points to the federal government’s need to pull together a coherent strategy for counterterrorism activities is this: Success will depend critically on the efforts not only of the federal government but also of state and local governments, private industry, and universities. The relationships among these sectors involve a complex set of issues that are discussed in Chapter 13 of this report.
Strengthening the Federal Government’s Ability to Determine How S&T Can Be Used to Counter Terrorism
One approach to addressing the need for coordination could be to ask Congress to restructure the federal agencies to reflect the close working relationships that are required. On June 6, 2002, President Bush released a plan intended to do just that.8 He proposed that a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security be formed as a conglomeration of existing agencies and programs.9 In the interim, the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) “will continue to coordinate the federal government’s homeland security efforts and to advise the President on a comprehensive Homeland Security strategy.”10
Below, the committee discusses a number of the factors affecting the government’s ability to determine a counterterrorism strategy and efficiently
The mission of the proposed Department of Homeland Security would be to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism, and minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States.” The department would be organized into four divisions: Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection; Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures; Border and Transportation Security; and Emergency Preparedness and Response (the Homeland Security Act of 2002, available online at <http://www.whitehouse.gov/deptofhomeland/bill/index.html>).