Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's Homeland Security Agenda

President Obama, who has requested, for the moment, the suspension of all prosecutions of detainees at Guantanamo Bay is laying out his homeland security agenda for the nation.

Although there are doubters who have been saying they fear the president, who favors diplomacy where the last Bush administration did not, would be weak on homeland security, Obama, just days after he announced his intentions to run for president, went on the record on this issue.

"We are here to do the work that ensures that no other family members have to lose a loved one to a terrorist," Obama said in a speech in the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2007.

His brand new administration has released an outline of its strategy for preventing future terrorist attacks on our homeland. Included is a pledge to work closely with states, local municipalities and the private sector in mitigating the threat.

Top on the Obama agenda: find, disrupt and destroy al Qaeda.

Tied in with this is a plan to secure nuclear weapons materials and end nuclear smuggling. A laudable though daunting prospect. But he is right. Although all kinds of doomsday scenarios have been proffered since September 11, 2001, there have been far too few efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism. This is an issue that potentially affects every nation in the world, and this threat can only be minimized with the cooperation of those countries.

Obama starts his administration with a degree of political and diplomatic capital with other countries not enjoyed, for obvious reasons, by the George W. Bush White House. But he should be cautious in how he sets expectations. There's no way to track the location of every potential nuclear device in the world. This is a potential vulnerability that, despite all efforts, will be sadly with us, probably forever.

Part of this plan calls for an end to Iran and North Korea's nuclear weapons production efforts through what the administration calls tough diplomacy. To do this, there must first be an accurate and commonly agreed upon assessment of those nation's potential capabilities. Also, this, likewise, cannot be something that the United States can do on its own. Whatever diplomatic strategy is employed must be supported by the other leaders of the world community to be effective. This means the first, real diplomacy, must be with Russia and China in an attempt to reach a consensus about the threat and the strategy to deal with it.

Likewise, the administration wants to strengthen the nation's firewall against biological weapons. But like the nuclear threat, leaving expectations that all potential biological or chemical threats can be eradicated would be misleading at best.

One thing this administration already understands better than the previous is the import of the Internet (just look at how the Obama campaign and transition team used the web to get their messages out). So, too, the new White House recognizes the need to protect the cyber infrastructure against a different kind of terrorist attack, one that targets the nation's information networks.

Finally, the administration plans to improve the nation's intelligence capacity while protecting civil liberties (something some say are mutually exclusive goals), allocate homeland security funds based on risk (this should come as great news to New York City which has been disproportionately shortchanged during the Bush administration), take steps to improve support for first responders including better coordination between agencies both before and during a natural or man made disaster and improving and better protecting the nation's infrastructure.

How successful the administration will be in doing all of this, especially while facing other, more talked about, critical issues like the economy remains to be seen. But the fact that the White House is releasing this plan within 24 hours of Obama taking office sends a signal that it is serious about improving homeland security.

This is not to say that the Bush administration hasn't done its part in protecting the homeland. We've heard of terrorist plots that have been thwarted. There are, undoubtedly, countless others, that have never, for reasons of national security, been made public.

But anyone who is even remotely involved in the area of homeland security knows there is much more that needs to be done. Just saying that we haven't been attacked since September 11, 2001 isn't enough. The Obama administration is proposing prudent measures to, if not eradicate the threat of terrorist attack, minimize it. And to better prepare the nation should disaster, once again, strike.


RICESKI said...

he Obama administration is proposing prudent measures to, if not eradicate the threat of terrorist attack, minimize it.

Do these "Prudent measures" have a location in print or a name or a descriptive bit if print where one can judge for themselves. As a man plenty older than this shyster I can smell a crock of bologna a mile away.

Barack HUSSIEN Obama will most likely over see the worst attack on America in the history of the country.

Anonymous said...

As we said in your show yesterday Gary, a lot of what people judge Obama on will be based largely upon their perceptions, and their own expectations. Guantanemo is a good example of this since I am sure there are quite a few people who expected it to happen at least by the weekend!

I am sure that the statements that were written and the stances made were written well in advance of the inauguration.
I am however, very pleased to see that he is prepared to take a firm stance on terrorism, and that his ideas about dealing with Al Qaida are not so vastly different from the past administration. The transition should be seamless, not a volte face as that could leave a yawning gap and increase vulnerability.

When all's said and done, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating!

hamza said...

I expect U.S. policy to change its policy toward the Middle East because the Middle East is now sitting on the atomic bomb, the biggest bomb that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of the presence of nuclear bombs in Israel and the nuclear power possessed by Iran, and warships for the NATO troops, and take on Obama decisions, not military, diplomatic, as did the stupidest man in the history of the U.S. government, which Bush and 43 for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as soon as possible and make an apology to the families of the victims in the prisons of the American occupation in Iraq and the closure of Guantánamo Bay and the repair of the tragic situation in the world financial crisis caused by the Bush and I will face the dilemmas and difficulties in the government of U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama


Anonymous said...

On the surface it all sounds good, but quickly it dissolves into either platitudes, or just posturing for public appeasement.
Obviously the Idea of Homeland security sounds good, but how will it be improved? Well I see the internet mentioned, do any of the democrats have a problem with Intercepted Emails, and other communications, such as Paltalk? What will constitute homeland security? Is al of a sudden the Patirot Act a thing to be praised?Will Honest Dissent still be allowed? I wonder if what was previously called dissent will now be relabeled "hate speech'.
Next, what is the top Priority? Going after Al Quaeda, as if Al Quaeda was the ONLY enemy or terrorist group out there, which obvioulsy it isn't. Too many atacks in the past by too many other groups render this either childish, or uninformed. These groups are all acting under a base ideology, that of Collectivism, and cannot be denied. The only way to stop this is to replace the ideology with a more peaceful one, such as Indivudalism, and repsect for eeveryone lse's rights, which will lead to the prosperity that will bring peace. Bush understood this, and started down the path with Iraq.
The tactics that Obama is proposing are exactly what the Israelis have been doing for the last 50 years, to no avail.
Going after Nuclear weapons sounds good, which is why Obama may well advance into Pakistan, as he stated during the campaign, but how will Pakistan repsond to this? The UN? The rest of the countries in the region? True he has some measure of political and diplomatic caital, but how long will this last?
He is also calling for an end to Iran's and North Korea's nuclear plans. How will this objective be reached, and verified, without a real presence in the region? Will Russia and China really help here? For free, or for what in return?
Gary I believe you have one thing right, it all remains to be seen. Bebe_zilla

S_LINK90 said...

Hello Gary.
Let me first address P_Hamza.
If you are looking for an appolgy for whats happend in Iraq, ge grab a shovel and dig up saddam.
He is the one that owes you an appology. had it not been for him breaking over 15 UN resolutions we would have never been in iraq.
Keep in mind that over 95% of all deaths in Iraq since the 2003 invasion have been caused by your stinking filthy muslim heros. had it not been for that we would have been out of Iraq 5 years ago. but since you and your "freedom fighters" have the mentality of a pack of wild lawless dingos,, we are still there putting our soldiwers lives on the line for the kind caring Iraqi people.{you not included}
Do us a favor and stop polluting Gary`s blog with you`re :allahu akbar" crap.
Hamas summed up the mentality of you freedom fighters when the hamas leader told israel "we cherish death like you cherish life".
Now moving on,,,,.
Yesterday was a great day in America, we have our 44th all of our presidents he has earned and now should have the respect of all of us in america, in good times and bad times.
Being the president aint easy, even in good times.
By the way, I want to thank president Bush for declaring a state of emergency in DC that gave money for the needed security on that great day.
Thanks president Bush for keeping our new president and all of the people that celebrated that day safe and secure.
I hope Obama will keep our current level of national security in place even if he chooses to go about things a bit differantly.
Bush did many things to improve our security to make it harder for terrorists to opperate as freely as they did before 9-11.
2 things are facts.
1, bush made many changes in the way our fbi, cia and all law enforcement and national security agencies opperate. the now sharing of information here and over seas on a broad level was a great thing.
2, we have not been attacked on our soil since 9-11.
some will sayy that bush did nothing, but they cant deny the above facts.
Keep in mind, we has 2 attempts on the trade centers prior to 9-11, then we had 9-11.
I only wish they we would have had opend our eyes after the first one.
Todays decision to prolong the trials of some of these gitmo guys, personaly I dont have an issue with at the moment because I dont know the outcome of this action yet.i dont think they deserve the same rights as I have, ill tell ya that.
Our country spends to much money on peacefull non-americans now, here and all over the world when you compare the respect we get for it.
If it was up to me I would not allow my government to let them have the same rights as we have.
Let them be tried by the military courts.
\keep in mind, many of these animals are refused entry back in thier own country,, that should tell you all something. none the less, I am behind obama and his decisions.
I know that like all presidents i may or may not agree with certain decisions that he will make, but a real "team player" allways supports the coach even tho all his calls may not be the right one at the time.
We as people, including the president make bad calls sooner or later for 1 reason or another.
Every president in my lifetime have made a few bad calls here and there. that dont mean we should whine and cry about it for years, like the democrats did for 8 years while Bush was president.
Its like this, take the number 6, there are many ways to achieve through mathematical equations that will yield you the number 6. some longer and harder than others. that main thing is to wind up with 6 in the end.
God bless Obama as well as all of americas presidents of our past and our future.