terrorism. Recommendation 12.5, on strengthening and expanding OMB’s Annual Report to Congress on Combating Terrorism, is motivated in part by the value to Congress of receiving this information. Another report that will help Congress better understand the range of counterterrorism activities under way is the recent report to Congress by the Congressional Research Service.25

Congress could also benefit from an internal source of objective, reliable, expert advice on S&T in order to competently perform its appropriations and oversight roles. Congress needs access to information that allows it to judge various S&T programs based on their goals and objectives, accomplishments and progress, and unsolved issues. (For example, the ability to monitor progress in sensor research and its application to counterterrorism would be useful.) Analytic capability could also be used to reestablish connectivity in the separated budget items supporting the overall homeland security objectives defined by the administration. One mechanism for building this desirable institutional capacity could be the establishment of an entity within the Congressional Budget Office.

THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL AGENCIES IN DEVELOPING AND USING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR COUNTERING TERRORISM

Federal agencies are of course currently providing a critical source of expertise for OHS and OSTP as they formulate the national homeland-security strategy, but the most important responsibility of the federal agencies will be in executing this strategy. They will need to ensure that focus is maintained on critical counterterrorism-related research areas and that results lead quickly to new technology in support of well-understood goals. This will have to be a government-wide effort, as the agencies that can perform innovative research in counterterrorism-related areas are often not the same agencies that have operational missions in homeland security.

Institutions such as NIH, NSF, the Department of Energy and its national laboratory system, the Department of Commerce’s NIST, and the Department of Defense together play a key role in performing and funding research in support of diverse national needs. However, with the exception of the Department of Defense, the nuclear programs of the Department of Energy, and the NIH work on its recently expanded mission in bioterrorism, these S&T agencies are not involved in the front line of research on homeland defense.

Instead, the task of implementing technologies to protect the nation is distributed among many agencies—FEMA, the Coast Guard, Customs, Immigration and Naturalization, the new Transportation Security Administration in DOT,

25  

Genevieve J. Knezo. 2001. Federal Research and Development for Counter Terrorism: Organization, Funding, and Options, November 26 (updated January 3, 2002) (Order Code RL31202).



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