4 February 2001
Source: http://www.nssg.gov/phaseIII.pdf (1.5MB, 149 pages)

See also:

Executive Summary: http://cryptome.org/nssg3-01.htm

Intelligence recommendations: http://cryptome.org/nssg3-03.htm

[28 pages.]


Introduction: Imperative for Change

The U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century was chartered to be the most comprehensive examination of the structures and processes of the U.S. national security apparatus since the core legislation governing it was passed in 1947. The Commission's Charter enjoins the Commissioners to "propose measures to adapt existing national security structures" to new circumstances, and if necessary, "to create new structures where none exist." The Commission is also charged with providing "cost and time estimates to complete these improvements," as appropriate, for what is to be, in sum, "an institutional road map for the early part of the 21st century."5


5 See Appendix 2 for the full text of the Charter.

Our Phase III report provides such a road map. But Phase III rests on the first two phases of the Commission's work: Phase I's examination of how the world may evolve over the next quarter century, and Phase II's strategy to deal effectively with that world on behalf of American interests and values.

In its Phase I effort, this Commission stressed that global trends in scientific-technological, economic, socio-political, and military-security domains -- as they mutually interact over the next 25 years -- will produce fundamental qualitative changes in the U.S. national security environment. We arrived at these fourteen conclusions:

The Commission's stress on communicating the scale and pace of change has been borne out by extraordinary developments in science and technology in just the eighteen-month period since the Phase I report appeared. The mapping of the human genome was completed. A functioning quantum computing device was invented. Organic and inorganic material was mated at the molecular level for the first time. Basic mechanisms of the aging process have been understood at the genetic level. Any one of these developments would have qualified as a "breakthrough of the decade" a quarter century ago, but they all happened within the past year and a half.

This suggests the possible advent of a period of change the scale of which will often astound us. The key factor driving change in America's national security environment over the next 25 years will be the acceleration of scientific discovery and its technological applications, and the uneven human social and psychological capacity to harness them. Synergistic developments in information technology, materials science, biotechnology, and nanotechnology will almost certainly transform human tools more dramatically and rapidly than at any time in human history.

While it is easy to underestimate the social implications of change on such a scale, the need for human intellectual and social adaptation imposes limits to the pace of change. These limits are healthy, for they allow and encourage the application of the human moral sense to choices of major import. We will surely have our hands full with such choices over the next quarter century. In that time we may witness the development of a capacity to guide or control evolution by manipulating human DNA. The ability to join organic and inorganic material forms suggests, that humans may co-evolve literally with their own machines. Such prospects are both sobering and contentious. Some look to the future with great hope for the prospect of curing disease, repairing broken bodies, ending poverty, and preserving the biosphere. But others worry that curiosity and vanity will outrun the human moral sense, thus turning hope into disaster. The truth is that we do not know where the rapidly expanding domain of scientific-technological innovation will bring us. Nor do we know the extent to which we can summon the collective moral fortitude to control its outcome.

What we do know is that some societies, and some people within societies, will be at the forefront of future scientific-technological developments and others will be marginal to them. This means more polarization between those with wealth and power and those without-both among and within societies. It suggests, as well, that many engrained social patterns will become unstable, for scientific-technological innovation has profound, if generally unintended, effects on economic organization, social values, and political life.

In the Internet age, for example, information technologies may be used to empower communities and advance freedoms, but they can also empower political movements led by charismatic leaders with irrational premises. Such men and women in the 21st century will be less bound than those of the 20th by the limits of the state, and less obliged to gain large industrial capabilities in order to wreck havoc. For example, a few people with as little as $50,000 investment may manage to produce and spread a genetically-altered pathogen with the potential to kill millions of people in a matter of months. Clearly, the threshold for small groups or even individuals to inflict massive damage on those they take to be their enemies is falling dramatically.

As for political life, it is clear that the rapidity of change is already overwhelming many states in what used to be called the Third World. Overlaid on the enduring plagues of corruption and sheer bad government is a new pattern: information technology has widened the awareness of democracy and market-driven prosperity, and has led to increasing symbolic and material demands on government. These demands often exceed existing organizational capacities to meet them. One result is that many national armies do not respond to government control. Another is that mercenaries, criminals, terrorists, and drug cartel operators roam widely and freely. Meanwhile, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) along with global financial institutions sometimes function as proxy service and regulatory bureaucracies to do for states that which they cannot do for themselves -- further diminishing governmental control and political accountability.

As a result of the growing porosity of borders, and of the widening scope of functional economic integration, significant political developments can no longer be managed solely through the vehicle of bilateral diplomatic relations. A seemingly internal crisis in Sierra Leone, carefully observed, implicates most of West Africa. A problem involving drug cultivation and political rebellion in Colombia cannot be addressed without involving Panama, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Mexico. Financial problems in Thailand tumble willy-nilly onto Russia, Brazil, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the United States.

Demography is another major driver of global political change. Population growth tends to moderate with increased literacy, urbanization, and especially changes in traditional values that attend the movement of women into the workplace. Thanks to these trends, the world's rate of population increase is slowing somewhat, but the absolute increases over the next quarter century will be enormous and coping with them will be a major challenge throughout much of the world. In some countries, however, the problem will be too few births. In Japan and Germany, for example, social security and private pension systems may face enormous strain because too few young workers will be available to support retirees living ever-longer lives. The use of foreign workers may be the only recourse for such societies, but that raises other political and social difficulties.

Yet another driver of change may be sustained economic growth in particular parts of the world. Asia may well be the most economically dynamic region on earth by 2025. Much depends on China's ability to reform further the structure of its economy and on India's ability to unleash its vast economic potential. But if these two very large countries achieve sustained economic growth -- and if the economies of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam also grow -- the focus of world power will shift away from the dominant Western centers of the past five centuries. While America is itself increasingly diverse, it still shares more philosophically and historically with Europe than with Asia. The challenge for the United States, then, may rest not only in a geostrategic shift, but in a shift in the cultural fabric of international politics itself.

In Phase II the Commission moved from describing objective conditions to prescribing a strategy for dealing with them. Subtitled A Concert for Preserving Security and Promoting Freedom, the Commission stressed that America cannot secure and advance its own interests in isolation. The nations of the world must work together -- and the United States must learn to work with others in new ways -- if the more cooperative order emerging from the Cold War epoch is to be sustained and strengthened.

Nonetheless, this Commission takes as its premise that America must play a special international role well into the future. By dint of its power and its wealth, its interests and its values, the United States has a responsibility to itself and to others to reinforce international order. Only the United States can provide the ballast of global stability, and usually the United States is the only country in a position to organize collective responses to common challenges.

We believe that American strategy must compose a balance between two key aims. The first is to reap the benefits of a more integrated world in order to expand freedom, security, and prosperity for Americans and for others. But second, American strategy must also strive to dampen the forces of global instability so that those benefits can endure and spread.

On the positive side, this means that the United States should pursue, within the limits of what is prudent and realistic, the worldwide expansion of material abundance and the eradication of poverty. It should also promote political pluralism, freedom of thought and speech, and individual liberty. Not only do such aims inhere in American principles, they are practical goals, as well. There are no guarantees against violence and evil in the world. We believe, nonetheless, that the expansion of human rights and basic material well-being constitutes a sturdy bulwark against them. On the negative side, these goals require concerted protection against four related dangers: the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; international terrorism; major interstate aggression; and the collapse of states into internal violence, with the associated regional destabilization that often accompanies it.

These goals compose the lodestone of a U.S. strategy to expand freedom and maintain underlying stability, but, as we have said, the United States cannot achieve them by itself. American leadership must be prepared to act unilaterally if necessary, not least because the will to act alone is sometimes required to gain the cooperation of others. But U.S. policy should join its efforts with allies and multilateral institutions wherever possible; the United States is wise to strengthen its partners and in turn will derive strength from them.

The United States, therefore, as the prime keeper of the international security commons, must speak and act in ways that lead others, by dint of their own interests, to ally with American goals. If it is too arrogant and self-possessed, American behavior will invariably stimulate the rise of opposing coalitions. The United States will thereby drive away many of its partners and weaken those that remain. Tone matters.

To carry out this strategy and achieve these goals, the Commission defined six key objectives for U.S. foreign and national security policy:

First, the preeminent objective is "to defend the United States and ensure that it is safe from the dangers of a new era." The combination of unconventional weapons proliferation with the persistence of international terrorism will end the relative invulnerability of the U.S. homeland to catastrophic attack. To deter attack against the homeland in the 21st century, the United States requires a new triad of prevention, protection, and response. Failure to prevent mass-casualty attacks against the American homeland would jeopardize not only American lives but U.S. foreign policy writ large. It would undermine support for U.S. international leadership and for many of our personal freedoms, as well. Indeed, the abrupt undermining of U.S. power and prestige is the worst thing that could happen to the structure of global peace in the next quarter century, and nothing is more likely to produce it than devastating attacks on American soil.

Achieving this goal, and the nation's other critical national security goals, also requires the U.S. government, as a second key objective, to "maintain America's social cohesion, economic competitiveness, technological ingenuity, and military strength." That means a larger investment in and better management of science and technology in government and in society, and a substantially better educational system, particularly for the teaching of science and mathematics.

The United States must also take better advantage of the opportunities that the present period of relative international stability and American power enable. A third key objective, therefore, is "to assist the integration of key major powers, especially China, Russia, and India, into the mainstream of the emerging international system." Moreover, since globalization's opportunities are rooted in economic and political progress, the Commission's fourth key U.S. objective is "to promote, with others, the dynamism of the new global economy and improve the effectiveness of international institutions and international law."

A fifth key objective also follows, which is "to adapt U.S. alliances and other regional mechanisms to a new era in which America's partners seek greater autonomy and responsibility." A sixth and final key objective inheres in an effort "to help the international community tame the disintegrative forces spawned by an era of change." While the prospect of major war is low, much of the planet will experience conflict and violence. Unless the United States, in concert with others, can find a way to limit that conflict and violence, it will not be able to construct a foreign policy agenda focussed on opportunities.

Achieving all of these objectives will require a basic shift in orientation: to focus on preventing rather than simply responding to dangers and crises. The United States must redirect its energies, adjust its diplomacy, and redesign its military capabilities to ward off cross-border aggression, assist states before they fail, and avert systemic international financial crises. To succeed over the long run with a preventive focus, the United States needs to institutionalize its efforts to grasp the opportunities the international environment now offers.

An opportunity-based strategy also has the merit of being more economical than a reactive one. Preventing a financial crisis, even if it involves well-timed bailouts, is cheaper than recuperating from stock market crashes and regional recessions. Preventing a violent conflict costs less than responsive peacekeeping operations and nation-building activities. And certainly, preventing mass-casualty attacks on the American homeland will be far less expensive than recovering from them.

These six objectives, and the Commission's strategy itself, rest on a premise so basic that it often goes unstated: democracy conduces generally to domestic and international peace, and peace conduces to, or at least allows, democratic politics. While this premise is not a "law," and while scholars continue to study and debate these matters, we believe they are strong tendencies, and that they can be strengthened further by a consistent and determined national policy. We know, that a world characterized by the spread of genuine democracy would not be flawless, nor signal "the end of history." But it is the best of all possible worlds that we can conceive, and that we can achieve.

In Phase 1, this Commission presented four "Worlds in Prospect," agglomerations of basic trends that, we believed, might describe the world in 2025. The Democratic Peace was one. Nationalism and Protectionism was a second, Division and Mayhem a third, and Globalism Triumphant the fourth. We, and presumably most observers, see the Democratic Peace as a positive future, Nationalism and Protectionism as a step in the wrong direction, Division and Mayhem as full-fledged tragedy. But the Globalism Triumphant scenario divides opinion, partly because it is the hardest to envision, and partly because it functions as a template for the projection of conflicting political views.

Some observers, for example, believe that the end of the nation-state is upon us, and that this is a good thing, for, in this view, nationalism is the root of racism and militarism. The eclipse of the national territorial state is at any rate, some argue, an inevitable development given the very nature of an increasingly integrated world.

We demur. To the extent that a more integrated world economically is the best way to raise people out of poverty and disease, we applaud it. We also recognize the need for unprecedented international cooperation on a range of transnational problems. But the state is the only venue discovered so far in which democratic principles and processes can play out reliably, and not all forms of nationalism have been or need be illiberal. We therefore affirm the value of American sovereignty as well as the political and cultural diversity ensured by the present state system. Within that system the United States must live by and be ready to share its political values-but it must remember that those values include tolerance for those who hold different views.

A broader and deeper Democratic Peace is, and ought to be, America's aspiration, but there are obstacles to achieving it. Indeed, despite the likely progress ahead on many fronts, the United States may face not only episodic problems but also genuine crises. If the United States mismanages its current global position, it could generate resentments and jealousies that leave us more isolated than isolationist. Major wars involving weapons of mass destruction are possible, and the general security environment may deteriorate faster than the United States, even with allied aid, can redress it. Environmental, economic, and political unraveling in much of the world could occur on a scale so large as to make current levels of prosperity unsustainable, let alone expandable. Certain technologies -- biotechnology, for example -- may also undermine social and political stability among and within advanced countries, including the United States. Indeed, all these crises may occur, and each could reinforce and deepen the others.

The challenge for the United States is to seize the new century's many opportunities and avoid its many dangers. The problem is that the current structures and processes of U.S. national security policyrnaking are incapable of such management. That is because, just below the enormous power and prestige of the United States today is a neglected and, in some cases, a decaying institutional base.

The U.S. government is not well organized, for example, to ensure homeland security. No adequate coordination mechanism exists among federal, state, and local government efforts, as well as those of dozens of agencies at the federal level. If present trends continue in elementary and secondary school science and mathematics education, to take another example, the United States may lose its lead in many, if not most, major areas of critical scientific-technological competence within 25 years. We are also losing, and are finding ourselves unable to replace, the most critical asset we have: talented and dedicated personnel throughout government.

Strategic planning is absent in the U.S. government and its budget processes are so inflexible that few resources are available for preventive policies or for responding to crises, nor can resources be reallocated efficiently to reflect changes in policy priorities. The economic component of U.S. national security policy is poorly integrated with the military and diplomatic components. The State Department is demoralized and dysfunctional. The Defense Department appears incapable of generating a strategic posture very different from that of the Cold War, and its weapons acquisition process is slow, inefficient, and burdened by excess regulation. National policy in the increasingly critical environment of space is adrift, and the intelligence community is only slowly reorienting itself to a world of more diffuse and differently shaped threats. The Executive Branch, with the aid of the Congress, needs to initiate change in many areas by taking bold new steps, and by speeding up positive change where it is languishing.

The very mention of changing the engrained routines and structures of government is usually enough to evoke cynicism even in a born optimist. But the American case is surprisingly positive, especially in relatively recent times. The reorganizations occasioned by World War II were vast and innovative, and the 1947 National Security Act was bold in advancing and institutionalizing them. Major revisions of the 1947 Act were passed subsequently by Congress in 1949, 1953, and 1958. Major internal Defense Department reforms were promulgated as well, one in 1961 and another, the Department of Defense Reorganization Act (Goldwater-Nichols) in 1986. The essence of the American genius is that we know better than most societies how to reinvent ourselves to meet the times. This Commission, we believe, is true to that estimable tradition.

Despite this relatively good record, resistance will arise to changing U.S. national security structures and processes, both within agencies of government and in the Congress. What is needed, therefore, is for the new administration, together with the new Congress, to exert real leadership. Our comprehensive recommendations to guide that leadership follow.

First, we must prepare ourselves better to defend the national homeland. We take this up in Section I, Securing the National Homeland. We put this first because it addresses the most dangerous and the most novel threat to American national security in the years ahead.

Second, we must rebuild our strengths in the generation and management of science and technology and in education. We have made Recapitalizing America's Strengths in Science and Education the second section of this report despite the fact that science management and education issues are rarely ranked as paramount national security priorities. We do so to emphasize their crucial and growing importance.

Third, we must ensure coherence and effectiveness in the institutions of the Executive Branch of government. Section III, Institutional Redesign, proposes change throughout the national security apparatus.

Fourth, we must ensure the highest caliber human capital in public service. U.S. national security depends on the quality of the people, both civilian and military, serving within the ranks of government. If we are unsuccessful in meeting the crisis of competence before us, none of the other reforms proposed in this report will succeed. Section IV, The Human Requirementsfor National Security, examines government personnel issues in detail.

Fifth, the Congress is part of the problem before us, and therefore must become part of the solution. Not only must the Congress support the Executive Branch reforms promulgated here, but it must bring its own organization in line with the 2lst century. Section V, The Role of Congress, examines this critical facet of government reform.

Each section of this report carries an introduction explaining why the subject is important, identifies the major problems requiring solution, and then states this Commission's recommendations. All major recommendations are boxed and in bold-face type.6 Related but subordinate recommendations are italicized and in bold-face type in the text.


6 The recommendations are listed together in Appendix 1, pp. 118-123.

As appropriate throughout the report, we outline what Congressional, Presidential, and Executive department actions would be required to implement the Commission's recommendations. Also as appropriate, we provide general guidance as to the budgetary implications of our recommendations but, lest details of such consideration confuse and complicate the text, will provide suggested implementation plans for selected areas in a separately issued addendum. A last word urges the President to devise an implementing mechanism for the recommendations put forth here.

Finally, we observe that some of our recommendations will save money, while others call for more expenditure. We have not tried to "balance the books" among our recommendations, nor have we held financial implications foremost in mind during our work. Wherever money may be saved, we consider it a second-order benefit. Provision of additional resources to national security, where necessary, are investments, not costs, and a first-order national priority.

I. Securing the National Homeland

One of this Commission's most important conclusions in its Phase I report was that attacks against American citizens on American soil, possibly causing heavy casualties, are likely over the next quarter century.7 This is because both the technical means for such attacks, and the array of actors who might use such means, are proliferating despite the best efforts of American diplomacy.


7 See New World Coming, p. 4, and the Report of the National Defense Panel, Transforming Defense: National Security in the 21st Century (Washington, DC: December 1997), p. 17.

These attacks may involve weapons of mass destruction and weapons of mass disruption. As porous as U.S. physical borders are in an age of burgeoning trade and travel, its "cyber borders" are even more porous -- and the critical infrastructure upon which so much of the U.S. economy depends can now be targeted by non-state and state actors alike. America's present global predominance does not render it immune from these dangers. To the contrary, U.S. preeminence makes the American homeland more appealing as a target, while America's openness and freedoms make it more vulnerable.

Notwithstanding a growing consensus on the seriousness of the threat to the homeland posed by weapons of mass destruction and disruption, the U.S. government has not adopted homeland security as a primary national security mission. Its structures and strategies are fragmented and inadequate. The President must therefore both develop a comprehensive strategy and propose new organizational structures to prevent and protect against attacks on the homeland, and to respond to such attacks if prevention and protection should fail.

Any reorganization must be mindful of the scale of the scenarios we envision and the enormity of their consequences. We need orders-of-magnitude improvements in planning, coordination, and exercise. The government must also be prepared to use effectively -- albeit with all proper safeguards -- the extensive resources of the Department of Defense. This will necessitate new priorities for the U.S. armed forces and particularly, in our view, for the National Guard.

The United States, however, is very poorly organized to design and implement any comprehensive strategy to protect the homeland. The assets and organizations that now exist for homeland security are scattered across more than two dozen departments and agencies, and all fifty states. The Executive Branch, with the full participation of Congress, needs to realign, refine, and rationalize these assets into a coherent whole, or even the best strategy will lack an adequate vehicle for implementation.

This Commission believes that the security of the American homeland from the threats of the new century should be the primary national security mission of the U.S. government. While the Executive Branch must take the lead in dealing with the many policy and structural issues involved, Congress is a partner of critical importance in this effort. It must find ways to address homeland security issues that bridge current gaps in organization, oversight, and authority, and that resolve conflicting claims to jurisdiction within both the Senate and the House of Representatives and also between them.

Congress is crucial, as well, for guaranteeing that homeland security is achieved within a framework of law that protects the civil liberties and privacy of American citizens. We are confident that the U.S. government can enhance national security without compromising established Constitutional principles. But in order to guarantee this, we must plan ahead. In a major attack involving contagious biological agents, for example, citizen cooperation with government authorities will depend on public confidence that those authorities can manage the emergency. If that confidence is lacking, panic and disorder could lead to insistent demands for the temporary suspension of some civil liberties. That is why preparing for the worst is essential to protecting individual freedoms during a national crisis.

Legislative guidance for planning among federal agencies and state and local authorities must take particular cognizance of the role of the Defense Department. Its subordination to civil authority needs to be clearly defined in advance.

In short, advances in technology have created new dimensions to our nation's economic and physical security. While some new threats can be met with traditional responses, others cannot. More needs to be done in three areas to prevent the territory and infrastructure of the United States from becoming easy and tempting targets: in strategy, in organizational realignment, and in Executive-Legislative cooperation. We take these areas in turn.


A homeland security strategy to minimize the threat of intimidation and loss of life is an essential support for an international leadership role for the United States. Homeland security is not peripheral to U.S. national security strategy but central to it. At this point, national leaders have not agreed on a clear strategy for homeland security, a condition this Commission finds dangerous and intolerable. We therefore recommend the following:

1: The President should develop a comprehensive strategy to heighten America's ability to prevent and protect against all forms of attacks on the homeland, and to respond to such attacks if prevention and protection fail.

In our view, the President should:

We believe that homeland security can best be assured through a strategy of layered defense that focuses first on prevention, second on protection, and third on response.

Prevention: Preventing a potential attack comes first. Since the occurrence of even one event that causes catastrophic loss of life would represent an unacceptable failure of policy, U.S. strategy should therefore act as far forward as possible to prevent attacks on the homeland. This strategy has at its disposal three essential instruments.

Most broadly, the first instrument is U.S. diplomacy. U.S. foreign policy should strive to shape an international system in whichjust grievances can be addressed without violence. Diplomatic efforts to develop friendly and trusting relations with foreign governments and their people can significantly multiply America's chances of gaining early warning of potential attack and of doing something about impending threats. Intelligence-sharing with foreign governments is crucial to help identify individuals and groups who might be considering attacks on the United States or its allies. Cooperative foreign law enforcement agencies can detain, arrest, and prosecute terrorists on their own soil. Diplomatic success in resolving overseas conflicts that spawn terrorist activities will help in the long run.

Meanwhile, verifiable arms control and nonproliferation must remain a top priority. These policies can help persuade states and terrorists to abjure weapons of mass destruction and to prevent the export of fissile materials and dangerous dual-use technologies. But such measures cannot by themselves prevent proliferation. So other measures are needed, including the possibility of punitive measures and defenses. The United States should take a lead role in strengthening multilateral organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In addition, increased vigilance against international crime syndicates is also important because many terrorist organizations gain resources and other assets through criminal activity that they then use to mount terrorist operations. Dealing with international organized crime requires not only better cooperation with other countries, but also among agencies of the federal government. While progress has been made on this front in recent years, more remains to be done.8


8 See International Crime Threat Assessment (Washington, DC: The White House, December 2000).

The second instrument of homeland security consists of the U.S. diplomatic, intelligence, and military presence overseas. Knowing the who, where, and how of a potential physical or cyber attack is the key to stopping a strike before it can be delivered. Diplomatic, intelligence, and military agencies overseas, as well as law enforcement agencies working abroad, are America's primary eyes and ears on the ground. But increased public-private efforts to enhance security processes within the international transportation and logistics networks that bring people and goods to America are also of critical and growing importance.

Vigilant systems of border security and surveillance are a third instrument that can prevent those agents of attack who are not detected and stopped overseas from actually entering the United States. Agencies such as the U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Coast Guard have a critical prevention role to play. Terrorists and criminals are finding that the difficulty of policing the rising daily volume and velocities of people and goods that cross U.S. borders makes it easier for them to smuggle weapons and contraband, and to move their operatives into and out of the United States. Improving the capacity of border control agencies to identify and intercept potential threats without creating barriers to efficient trade and travel requires a sub-strategy also with three elements.

First is the development of new transportation security procedures and practices designed to reduce the risk that importers, exporters, freight forwarders, and transportation carriers will serve as unwitting conduits for criminal or terrorist activities. Second is bolstering the intelligence gathering, data management, and information sharing capabilities of border control agencies to improve their ability to target high-risk goods and people for inspection. Third is strengthening the capabilities of border control agencies to arrest terrorists or interdict dangerous shipments before they arrive on U.S. soil.

These three measures, which place a premium on public-private partnerships, will pay for themselves in short order. They will allow for the more efficient allocation of limited enforcement resources along U.S. borders. There will be fewer disruptive inspections at ports of entry for legitimate businesses and travelers. They will lead to reduced theft and insurance costs, as well. Most important, the underlying philosophy of this approach is one that balances prudence, on the one hand, with American values of openness and free trade on the other.9 To shield America from the world out of fear of terrorism is, in large part, to do the terrorists' work for them. To continue business as usual, however, is irresponsible.


9 Note in this regard Stephen E. Flynn, "Beyond Border Control," Foreign Affairs (November/December 2000).

The same may be said for our growing cyber problems. Protecting our nation's critical infrastructure depends on greater public awareness and improvements in our tools to detect and diagnose intrusions. This will require better information sharing among all federal, state, and local governments as well as with private sector owners and operators. The federal government has these specific tasks:

Preventing attacks on the American homeland also requires that the United States maintain long-range strike capabilities. The United States must bolster deterrence by making clear its determination to use military force in a preemptive fashion if necessary. Even the most hostile state sponsors of terrorism, or terrorists themselves, will think twice about harming Americans and American allies and interests if they fear direct and severe U.S. attack after-or before-the fact. Such capabilities should be available for preemption as well as for retaliation, and will therefore strengthen deterrence.

Protection: The Defense Department undertakes many different activities that serve to protect the American homeland, and these should be integrated into an overall surveillance system, buttressed with additional resources. A ballistic missile defense system would be a useful addition and should be developed to the extent technically feasible, fiscally prudent, and politically sustainable. Defenses should also be pursued against cruise missiles and other sophisticated atmospheric weapon technologies as they become more widely deployed. While both active duty and reserve forces are involved in these activities, the Commission believes that more can and should be done by the National Guard, as is discussed in more detail below.

Protecting the nation's critical infrastructure and providing cyber-security must also include:

Response: Managing the consequences of a catastrophic attack on the U.S. homeland would be a complex and difficult process. The first priority should be to build up and augment state and local response capabilities. Adequate equipment must be available to first responders in local communities. Procedures and guidelines need to be defined and disseminated and then practiced through simulations and exercises. Interoperable, robust, and redundant communications capabilities are a must in recovering from any disaster. Continuity of government and critical services must be ensured as well. Demonstrating effective responses to natural and mamnade disasters will also help to build mutual confidence and relationships among those with roles in dealing with a major terrorist attack.

All of this puts a premium on making sure that the disparate organizations involved with homeland security -- on various levels of government and in the private sector -- can work together effectively. We are frankly skeptical that the U.S. government, as it exists today, can respond effectively to the scale of danger and damage that may come upon us during the next quarter century. This leads us, then, to our second task: that of organizational realignment.


Responsibility for homeland security resides at all levels of the U.S. government- local, state, and federal. Within the federal government, almost every agency and department is involved in some aspect of homeland security. None have been organized to focus on the scale of the contemporary threat to the homeland, however. This Commission urges an organizational realignment that:

Therefore, this Commission strongly recommends the following:

2: The President should propose, and Congress should agree, to create a National Homeland Security Agency (NHSA) with responsibility for planning, coordinating, and integrating various U.S. government activities involved in homeland security. They should use the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a key building block in this effort.

Given the multiplicity of agencies and activities involved in these homeland security tasks, someone needs to be responsible and accountable to the President not only to coordinate the making of policy, but also to oversee its implementation. This argues against assigning the role to a senior person on the National Security Council (NSC) staff and for the creation of a separate agency. This agency would give priority to overall planning while relying primarily on others to carry out those plans. To give this agency sufficient stature within the government, its director would be a member of the Cabinet and a statutory advisor to the National Security Council. The position would require Senate confirmation.

Notwithstanding NHSA's responsibilities, the National Security Council would still play a strategic role in planning and coordinating all homeland security activities. This would include those of NHSA as well as those that remain separate, whether they involve other NSC members or other agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control within the Department of Health and Human Services.

We propose building the National Homeland Security Agency upon the capabilities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an existing federal agency that has performed well in recent years, especially in responding to natural disasters. NHSA would be legislatively chartered to provide a focal point for all natural and manmade crisis and emergency planning scenarios. It would retain and strengthen FEMA's ten existing regional offices as a core element of its organizational structure.

While FEMA is the necessary core of the National Homeland Security Agency, it is not sufficient to do what NHSA needs to do. In particular, patrolling U.S. borders, and policing the flows of peoples and goods through the hundreds of ports of entry, must receive higher priority. These activities need to be better integrated, but efforts toward that end are hindered by the fact that the three organizations on the front line of border security are spread across three different U.S. Cabinet departments. The Coast Guard works under the Secretary of Transportation, the Customs Service is located in the Department of the Treasury, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service oversees the Border Patrol in the Department of Justice. In each case, the border defense agency is far from the mainstream of its parent department's agenda and consequently receives limited attention from the department's senior officials. We therefore recommend the following:

3: The President should propose to Congress the transfer of the Customs Service, the Border Patrol, and Coast Guard to the National Homeland Security Agency, while preserving them as distinct entities.

Bringing these organizations together under one agency will create important synergies. Their individual capabilities will be molded into a stronger and more effective system, and this realignment will help ensure that sufficient resources are devoted to tasks crucial to both public safety and U.S. trade and economic interests. Consolidating overhead, training programs, and maintenance of the aircraft, boats, and helicopters that these three agencies employ will save money, and further efficiencies could be realized with regard to other resources such as infori-nation technology, communications equipment, and dedicated sensors. Bringing these separate, but complementary, activities together will also facilitate more effective Executive and Legislative oversight, and help rationalize the process of budget preparation, analysis, and presentation.

Steps must be also taken to strengthen these three individual organizations themselves. The Customs Service, the Border Patrol, and the Coast Guard are all on the verge of being overwhelmed by the mismatch between their growing duties and their mostly static resources.

The Customs Service, for example, is charged with preventing contraband from entering the United States. It is also responsible for preventing terrorists from using the commercial or private transportation venues of international trade for smuggling explosives or weapons of mass destruction into or out of the United States. The Customs Service, however, retains only a modest air, land, and marine interdiction force, and its investigative component, supported by its own intelligence branch, is similarly modest. The high volume of conveyances, cargo, and passengers arriving in the United States each year already overwhelms the Customs Service's capabilities. Over $8.8 billion worth of goods, over 1.3 million people, over 340,000 vehicles, and over 58,000 shipments are processed daily at entry points. Of this volume, Customs can inspect only one to two percent of all inbound shipments. The volume of U.S. international trade, measured in terms of dollars and containers, has doubled since 1995, and it may well double again between now and 2005.

Therefore, this Commission believes that an improved computer information capability and tracking system-as well as upgraded equipment that can detect both conventional and nuclear explosives, and chemical and biological agents-would be a wise short-term investment with important long-term benefits. It would also raise the risk for criminals seeking to target or exploit importers and cargo carriers for illicit gains.10


10 See the Report of the Interagency Commission on Crime and Security in US Seaports (Washington, DC: Fall 2000).

The Border Patrol is the uniformed arm of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Its mission is the detection and prevention of illegal entry into the United States. It works primarily between ports of entry and patrols the borders by various means. There has been a debate for many years about whether the dual functions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service -- border control and enforcement on the one side, and immigration facilitation on the other -- should be joined under the same roof. The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform concluded that they should not be joined.11 We agree: the Border Patrol should become part of the NHSA.


11 See the Report of the US. Commission on Immigration Reform (Washington, DC: 1997).

The U.S. Coast Guard is a highly disciplined force with multiple missions and a natural role to play in homeland security. It performs maritime search and rescue missions, manages vessel traffic, enforces U.S. environmental and fishery laws, and interdicts and searches vessels suspected of carrying illegal aliens, drugs, and other contraband. In a time of war, it also works with the Navy to protect U.S. ports from attack.

Indeed, in many respects, the Coast Guard is a model homeland security agency given its unique blend of law enforcement, regulatory, and military authorities that allow it to operate within, across, and beyond U.S. borders. It accomplishes its many missions by routinely working with numerous local, regional, national, and international agencies, and by forging and maintaining constructive relationships with a diverse group of private, non-governmental, and public marine-related organizations. As the fifth armed service, in peace and war, it has national defense missions that include port security, overseeing the defense of coastal waters, and supporting and integrating its forces with those of the Navy and the other services.

The case for preserving and enhancing the Coast Guard's multi-mission capabilities is compelling. But its crucial role in protecting national interests close to home has not been adequately appreciated, and this has resulted in serious and growing readiness concerns. U.S. Coast Guard ships and aircraft are aging and technologically obsolete; indeed, the Coast Guard cutter fleet is older than 39 of the world's 41 major naval fleets. As a result, the Coast Guard fleet generates excessive operating and maintenance costs, and lacks essential capabilities in speed, sensors, and interoperability. To fulfill all of its missions, the Coast Guard requires updated platforms with the staying power, in hazardous weather, to remain offshore and fully operational throughout U.S. maritime economic zones.12


12 See Report of the Interagency Task Force on U.S. Coast Guard Roles and Missions, A Coast Guard for the Twenty First-Century (Washington, DC: December 1999).

The Commission recommends strongly that Congress recapitalize the Customs Service, the Border Patrol, and the Coast Guard so that they can confidently perform key homeland security roles.

NHSA's planning, coordinating, and overseeing activities would be undertaken through three staff Directorates. The Directorate of Prevention would oversee and coordinate the various border security activities. A Directorate of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) would be created to handle the growing cyber threat. FEMA's emergency preparedness and response activities would be strengthened in a third directorate to cover both natural and manmade disasters. A Science and Technology office would advise the NHSA Director on research and development efforts and priorities for all three directorates.

Relatively small permanent staffs would man the directorates. NHSA will employ FEMA's principle of working effectively with state and local governments, as well as with other federal organizations, stressing interagency coordination. Much of NHSA's daily work will take place directly supporting state officials in its regional offices around the country. Its organizational infrastructure will not be heavily centered in the Washington, DC area.

NHSA would also house a National Crisis Action Center (NCAC), which would become the nation's focal point for monitoring emergencies and for coordinating federal support in a crisis to state and local governments, as well as to the private sector. We envision the center to be an interagency operation, directed by a two-star National Guard general, with full-time representation from the other federal agencies involved in homeland security (See Figure 1).

Figure 1: National Homeland Security Agency

NHSA will require a particularly close working relationship with the Department of Defense. It will need also to create and maintain strong mechanisms for the sharing of information and intelligence with U.S. domestic and international intelligence entities. We suggest that NHSA have liaison officers in the counter-terrorism centers of both the FBI and the CIA. Additionally, the sharing of information with business and industry on threats to critical infrastructures will require further expansion.

NHSA will also assume responsibility for overseeing the protection of the nation's critical infrastructure. Considerable progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCCIP) and Presidential Decision Directive 63 (PDD-63). But more needs to be done, for the United States has real and growing problems in this area.

U.S. dependence on increasingly sophisticated and more concentrated critical infrastructures has increased dramatically over the past decade. Electrical utilities, water and sewage systems, transportation networks, and communications and energy systems now depend on computers to provide safe, efficient, and reliable service. The banking and finance sector, too, keeps track of millions of transactions through increasingly robust computer capabilities.

The overwhelming majority of these computer systems are privately owned, and many operate at or very near capacity with little or no provisionfor manual back-ups in an emergency.

Moreover, the computerized information networks that link systems together are themselves vulnerable to unwanted intrusion and disruption. An attack on any one of several highly interdependent networks can cause collateral damage to other networks and the systems they connect. Some forms of disruption will lead merely to nuisance and economic loss, but other forms will jeopardize lives. One need only note the dependence of hospitals, air-traffic control systems, and the food processing industry on computer controls to appreciate the point.

The bulk of unclassified military communications, too, relies on systems almost entirely owned and operated by the private sector. Yet little has been done to assure the security and reliability of those communications in crisis. Current efforts to prevent attacks, protect against their most damaging effects, and prepare for prompt response are uneven at best, and this is dangerous because a determined adversary is most likely to employ a weapon of mass destruction during a homeland security or foreign policy crisis.

As noted above, a Directorate for Critical Infrastructure Protection would be an integral part of the National Homeland Security Agency. This directorate would have two vital responsibilities. First would be to oversee the physical assets and information networks that make up the U.S. critical infrastructure. It should ensure the maintenance of a nucleus of cyber security expertise within the government, as well. There is now an alarming shortage of government cyber security experts due in large part to the financial attraction of private-sector employment that the government cannot match under present personnel procedures.13 The director's second responsibility, would be as the Critical Information Technology, Assurance, and Security Office (CITASO). This office would coordinate efforts to address the nation's vulnerability to electronic or physical attacks on critical infrastructure.


13 We return to this problem below in Section IV.

Several critical activities that are currently spread among various government agencies should be brought togetherfor this purpose. These include:

In partnership with the private sector where most cyber assets are developed and owned, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Directorate would be responsible for enhancing information sharing on cyber and physical security, tracking vulnerabilities and proposing improved risk management policies, and delineating the roles of various government agencies in preventing, defending, and recovering from attacks. To do this, the government needs to institutionalize better its private-sector liaison across the board -- with the owners and operators of critical infrastructures, hardware and software developers, server/service providers, manufacturers/producers, and applied technology developers.

The Critical Infrastructure Protection Directorate's work with the private sector must include a strong advocacy of greater government and corporate investment in information assurance and security. The CITASO would be the focal point for coordinating with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in helping to establish cyber policy, standards, and enforcement mechanisms. Working closely with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and its Chief Information Officer Council (CIO Council), the CITASO needs to speak for those interests in government councils.14 The CITASO must also provide incentives for private-sector participation in Information Sharing and Analysis Centers to share information on threats, vulnerabilities, and individual incidents, to identify interdependencies, and to map the potential cascading effects of outages in various sectors.


14 The Chief Information Officer Council is a government organization consisting of all the statutory Chief Information Officers in the government. It is located within OMB under the Deputy Director for Management.

The directorate also needs to help coordinate cyber security issues internationally. At present, the FCC handles international cyber issues for the U.S. government through the International Telecommunications Union. As this is one of many related international issues, it would be unwise to remove this responsibility from the FCC. Nevertheless, the CIP Directorate should work closely with the FCC on cyber issues in international bodies.

The mission of the NHSA must include some specific planning and operational tasks to be staffed through the Directorate for Emergency Preparedness and Response. These include:

Working with state officials, the emergency management community, and the law enforcement community, the job of NHSA's third directorate will be to rationalize and refine the nation's incident response system. The current distinction between crisis management and consequence management is neither sustainable nor wise. The duplicative command arrangements that have been fostered by this division are prone to confusion and delay. NHSA should develop and manage a single response system for national incidents, in close coordination with the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the FBI. This would require that the current policy, which specifies initial DoJ control in terrorist incidents on U.S. territory, be amended once Congress creates NHSA. We believe that this arrangement would in no way contradict or diminish the FBI's traditional role with respect to law enforcement.

Finally, but perhaps most critically, the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate will need to assume a major resource and budget role. With the help of the Office of Management and Budget, the directorate's first task will be to figure out what is being spent on homeland security in the various departments and agencies. Only with such an overview can the nation identify the shortfalls between capabilities and requirements. Such a mission budget should be included in the President's overall budget submission to Congress. The Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate will also maintain federal asset databases and encourage and support up-to-date state and local databases.

FEMA has adapted well to new circumstances over the past few years and has gained a well-deserved reputation for responsiveness to both natural and manmade disasters. While taking on homeland security responsibilities, the proposed NESA would strengthen FEMA's ability to respond to such disasters. It would streamline the federal apparatus and provide greater support to the state and local officials who, as the nation's first responders, possess enormous expertise. To the greatest extent possible, federal programs should build upon the expertise and existing programs of state emergency preparedness systems and help promote regional compacts to share resources and capabilities.

To help simplify federal support mechanisms, we recommend transferring the National Domestic Preparedness Office (NDPO), currently housed at the FBI, to the National Homeland Security Agency. The Commission believes that this transfer to FEMA should be done at first opportunity, even before NHSA is up and running.

The NDPO would be tasked with organizing the training of local responders and providing local and state authorities with equipment for detection, protection, and decontamination in a WMD emergency. NHSA would develop the policies, requirements, and priorities as part of its planning tasks as well as oversee the various federal, state, and local training and exercise programs. In this way, a single staff would provide federal assistance for any emergency, whether it is caused by flood, earthquake, hurricane, disease, or terrorist bomb.

A WMD incident on American soil is likely to overwhelm local fire and rescue squads, medical facilities, and government services. Attacks may contaminate water, food, and air; large- scale evacuations may be necessary and casualties could be extensive. Since getting prompt help to those who need it would be a complex and massive operation requiring federal support, such operations must be extensively planned in advance. Responsibilities need to be assigned and procedures put in place for these responsibilities to evolve if the situation worsens.

As we envision it, state officials will take the initial lead in responding to a crisis. NHSA will normally use its Regional Directors to coordinate federal assistance, while the National Crisis Action Center will monitor ongoing operations and requirements. Should a crisis overwhelm local assets, state officials will turn to NESA for additional federal assistance. In major crises, upon the recommendation of the civilian Director of NHSA, the President will designate a senior figure-a Federal Coordinating Officer-to assume direction of all federal activities on the scene. If the situation warrants, a state governor can ask that active military forces reinforce National Guard units already on the scene. Once the President federalizes National Guard forces, or if he decides to use Reserve forces, the Joint Forces Command will assume responsibility for all military operations, acting through designated task force commanders. At the same time, the Secretary of Defense would appoint a Defense Coordinating Officer to provide civilian oversight and ensure prompt civil support. This person would work for the Federal Coordinating Officer. This response mechanism is displayed in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Emergency Response Mechanisms

To be capable of carrying out its responsibilities under extreme circumstances, NHSA will need to undertake robust exercise programs and regular training to gain experience and to establish effective command and control procedures. It will be essential to update regularly the Federal Response Plan. It will be especially critical for NHSA officials to undertake detailed planning and exercises for the full range of potential contingencies, including ones that require the substantial involvement of military assets in support.

NHSA will provide the overarching structure for homeland security, but other government agencies will retain specific homeland security tasks. We take the necessary obligations of the major ones in turn.

Intelligence Community. Good intelligence is the key to preventing attacks on the homeland and homeland security should become one of the intelligence community's most important missions.15 Better human intelligence must supplement technical intelligence, especially on terrorist groups covertly supported by states. As noted above, fuller cooperation and more extensive information-sharing with friendly governments will also improve the chances that would-be perpetrators will be detained, arrested, and prosecuted before they ever reach U.S. borders.


15 We return to this issue in our discussion of the Intelligence Community in Section III.F., particularly in recommendation 37. [see http://cryptome.org/nssg3-03.htm]

The intelligence community also needs to embrace cyber threats as a legitimate mission and to incorporate intelligence gathering on potential strategic threats from abroad into its activities.

To advance these ends, we offer the following recommendation:

4: The President should ensure that the National Intelligence Council include homeland security and asymmetric threats as an area of analysis; assign that portfolio to a National Intelligence Officer; and produce National Intelligence Estimates on these threats.

Department of State. U.S. embassies overseas are the American people's first line of defense. U.S. Ambassadors must make homeland security a top priority for all embassy staff, and Ambassadors need the requisite authority to ensure that information is shared in a way that maximizes advance warning overseas of direct threats to the United States.

Ambassadors should also ensure that the gathering of information, and particularly from open sources, takes full advantage of all U.S. government resources abroad, including State Department diplomats, consular officers, military officers, and representatives of the various other departments and agencies. The State Department should also strengthen its efforts to acquire information from Americans living or travelling abroad in private capacities.

The State Department has made good progress in its overseas efforts to reduce terrorism, but we now need to extend this effort into the Information Age. Working with NHSA's CIP Directorate, the State Department should expand cooperation on critical infrastructure protection with other states and international organizations. Private sector initiatives, particularly in the banking community, provide examples of international cooperation on legal issues, standards, and practices. Working with the CIP Directorate and the FCC, the State Department should also encourage other nations to criminalize hacking and electronic intrusions and to help track hackers, computer virus proliferators, and cyber terrorists.

Department of Defense. The Defense Department, which has placed its highest priority on preparing for major theater war, should pay far more attention to the homeland security mission. Organizationally, DoD responses are widely dispersed. An Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Civil Support has responsibility for WMD incidents, while the Department of the Army's Director of Military Support is responsible for non-WMD contingencies. Such an arrangement does not provide clear lines of authority and responsibility or ensure political accountability. The Commission therefore recommends the following:

5: The President should propose to Congress the establishment of an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Security within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, reporting directly to the Secretary.

A new Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Security would provide policy oversight for the various DoD activities in the homeland security mission and insure that mechanisms are in place for coordinating military support in major emergencies. He or she would work to integrate homeland security into Defense Department planning, and ensure that adequate resources are forthcoming. This Assistant Secretary would also represent the Secretary in the NSC interagency process on homeland security issues.

Along similar lines and for similar reasons, we also recommend that the Defense Department broaden and strengthen the existing Joint Forces Command/Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS) to coordinate military planning, doctrine, and command and control for military supportfor all hazards and disasters.

This task force should be directed by a senior National Guard general with additional headquarters personnel. JTF-CS should contain several rapid reaction task forces, composed largely of rapidly mobilizable National Guard units. The task force should have command and control capabilities for multiple incidents. Joint Forces Command should work with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Security to ensure the provision of adequate resources and appropriate force allocations, training, and equipment for civil support.

On the prevention side, maintaining strong nuclear and conventional forces is as high a priority for homeland security as it is for other missions. Shaping a peaceful international environment and deterring hostile military actors remain sound military goals. But deterrent forces may have little effect on non-state groups secretly supported by states, or individuals with grievances real or imagined. In cases of clear and imminent danger, the military must be able to take preemptive action overseas in circumstances where local authorities are unable or unwilling to act. For this purpose, the United States needs to be prepared to use its rapid, long-range precision strike capabilities. A decision to act would obviously rest in civilian hands, and would depend on intelligence information and assessments of diplomatic consequences. But even if a decision to strike preemptively is never taken or needed, the capability should be available nonetheless, for knowledge of it can contribute to deterrence.

We also suggest that the Defense Department broaden its mission of protecting air, sea, and land approaches to the United States, consistent with emerging threats such as the potential proliferation of cruise missiles. The department should examine alternative means of monitoring approaches to the territorial United States. Modem information technology and sophisticated sensors can help monitor the high volumes of traffic to and from the United States. Given the volume of legitimate activities near and on the border, even modern information technology and remote sensors cannot filter the good from the bad as a matter of routine. It is neither wis~nor possible to create a surveillance umbrella over the United States. But Defense Department assets can be used to support detection, monitoring, and even interception operations when intelligence indicates a specific threat.

Finally, a better division of labor and understanding of responsibilities is essential in dealing with the connectivity and interdependence of U.S. critical infrastructure systems. This includes addressing the nature of a national transportation network or cyber emergency and the Defense Department's role in prevention, detection, or protection of the national critical infrastructure. The department's sealift and airlift plans are premised on largely unquestioned assumptions that domestic transportation systems will be fully available to support mobilization requirements. The department also is paying insufficient attention to the vulnerability of its information networks. Currently, the department's computer network defense task force (JTF- Computer Network Defense) is underfunded and understaffed for the task of managing an actual strategic information warfare attack. It should be given the resources and capability to carry out its current mission and is a logical source of advice to the proposed NHSA Critical Information Technology, Assurance, and Security Office.

National Guard. The National Guard, whose origins are to be found in the state militias authorized by the U.S. Constitution, should play a central role in the response component of a layered defense strategy for homeland security. We therefore recommend the following:

6: The Secretary of Defense, at the President's direction, should make homeland security a primary mission of the National Guard, and the Guard should be reorganized, properly trained, and adequately equipped to undertake that mission.

At present, the Army National Guard is primarily organized and equipped to conduct sustained combat overseas. In this the Guard fulfills a strategic reserve role, augmenting the active military during overseas contingencies. At the same time, the Guard carries out many state-level missions for disaster and humanitarian relief, as well as consequence management. For these, it relies upon the discipline, equipment, and leadership of its combat forces. The National Guard should redistribute resources currently allocated predominantly to preparing for conventional wars overseas to provide greater support to civil authorities in preparing for and responding to disasters, especially emergencies involving weapons of mass destruction.

Such a redistribution should flow from a detailed assessment of force requirements for both theater war and homeland security contingencies. The Department of Defense should conduct such an assessment, with the participation of the state governors and the NHSA Director. In setting requirements, the department should minimize having forces with dual missions or relying on active forces detailed for major theater war. This is because the United States will need to maintain a heightened deterrent and defensive posture against homeland attacks during regional contingencies abroad. The most likely timing of a major terrorist incident will be while the United States is involved in a conflict overseas.16


16 See also the Report of the National Defense University Quadrennial Defense Review 2001 Working Group (Washington, DC: Institute for National Strategic Studies, November 2000), p. 60.

The National Guard is designated as the primary Department of Defense agency for disaster relief. In many cases, the National Guard will respond as a state asset under the control of state governors. While it is appropriate for the National Guard to play the lead military role in managing the consequences of a WMD attack, its capabilities to do so are uneven and in some cases its forces are not adequately structured or equipped. Twenty-two WMD Civil Support Teams, made up of trained and equipped full-time National Guard personnel, will be ready to deploy rapidly, assist local first responders, provide technical advice, and pave the way for additional military help. These teams fill a vital need, but more effort is required.

This Commission recommends that the National Guard be reorganized tofulfill its historic and Constitutional mission of homeland security. It should provide a mobilization base with strong local ties and support. It is already "forward deployed" to achieve this mission and should:

In this way, the National Guard will become a critical asset for homeland security.

Medical Community. The medical community has critical roles to play in homeland security. Catastrophic acts of terrorism or violence could cause casualties far beyond any imagined heretofore. Most of the American medical system is privately owned and now operates at close to capacity. An incident involving WMD will quickly overwhelm the capacities of local hospitals and emergency management professionals.

In response, the National Security Council, FEMA, and the Department of Health and Human Services have already begun a reassessment of their programs. Research to develop better diagnostic equipment and immune-enhancing drugs is underway, and resources to reinvigorate U.S. epidemiological surveillance capacity have been allocated. Programs to amass and regionally distribute inventories of antibiotics and vaccines have started, and arrangements for mass production of selected pharmaceuticals have been made. The Centers for Disease Control has rapid-response investigative units prepared to deploy and respond to incidents.

These programs will enhance the capacities of the medical community, but the momentum and resources for this effort must be extended. We recommend that the NHSA Directorate for Emergency Preparedness and Response assess local and federal medical resources to deal with a WMD emergency. It should then specify those medical programs needed to deal with a major national emergency beyond the means of the private sector, and Congress shouldfund those needs.


Solving the homeland security challenge is not just an Executive Branch problem. Congress can and should be an active participant in the development of homeland security programs, as well. Its hearings can help develop the best ideas and solutions. Individual members should develop expertise in homeland security policy and its implementation so that they can fill in policy gaps and provide needed oversight and advice in times of crisis. Most important, using its power of the purse, Congress should help to ensure that government agencies have sufficient resources and that their programs are coordinated, efficient, and effective.

Congress has already taken important steps. A bipartisan Congressional initiative produced the U.S. effort to deal with the possibility that weapons of mass destruction could "leak" out of a disintegrating Soviet Union.17 It was also a Congressional initiative that established the Domestic Preparedness Program and launched a 120-city program to enhance the capability of federal, state, and local first responders to react effectively in a WMD emergency.18 Members of Congress from both parties have pushed the Executive Branch to identify and manage the problem more effectively. Congress has also proposed and funded studies and commissions on various aspects of the homeland security problem.19 But it must do more.


17 Sponsored by Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar.

18 See Public Law 104-20 1, National Defense Authorization Actfor FY 1997: Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction. This legislation, known as the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Amendment, was passed in July 1996.

19 We note: the Rumsfeld Commission [Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States (Washington, DC: July 15, 1998)]; the Deutch Commission [Combating Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington, DC: July 14,1999)]; Judge William Webster's Commission [Report on the Advancement of Federal Law Enforcement (Washington, DC: January 2000)]; the Bremer Commission [Report of the National Commission on Terrorism, Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism (Washington, DC: June 2000)]; and an advisory panel led Virginia Governor James Gilmore [First Annual Report to the President and the Congress of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilitiesfor Terrorism Involving Weapons ofMass Destruction (Washington, DC: December 15, 1999)].

A sound homeland security strategy requires the overhaul of much of the legislative framework for preparedness, response, and national defense programs. Congress designed many of the authorities that support national security and emergency preparedness programs principally for a Cold War environment. The new threat environment-from biological and terrorist attacks to cyber attacks on critical systems-poses vastly different challenges. We therefore recommend that Congress refurbish the legal foundation for homeland security in response to the new threat environment.

In particular, Congress should amend, as necessary, key legislative authorities such as the Defense Production Act of 1950 and the Communications Act of 1934, which facilitate homeland security functions and activities.20 Congress should also encourage the sharing of threat, vulnerability, and incident data between the public and private sectors-including federal agencies, state governments, first responders, and industry.21 In addition, Congress should monitor and support current efforts to update the international legal framework for communications security issues.22


20 The Defense Production Act was developed during the Korean War, when shortages of critical natural resources such as coal, oil, and gas were prioritized for national defense purposes. [See Defense Production Act of 1950, codified at 50 USC App. § 2061 et seq. Title I includes delegations to prioritize and allocate goods and services based on national defense needs.] Executive Order 12919, National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness, June 6, 1994, implements Title I ofthe Defense Production Act. Congressional review should focus on the applicability ofthe Defense Production Act to homeland security needs, ranging from prevention to restoration activities. Section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934 also needs revision so that it includes the electronic media that have developed in the past two decades. [See 48 Stat. 1104, 47 USC § 606, as amended.] Executive Order 12472, Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Telecommunications Functions, April 3, 1984, followed the breakup of AT&T and attempted to specify anew the prerogatives of the Executive Branch in accordance with the 1934 Act in directing national communications media during a national security emergency. It came before the Internet, however, and does not clearly apply to it.

21 For more than four years, multiple institutions have called on national leadership to support laws and policies promoting security cooperation through public-private partnerships. See, for example, the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, Critical Foundations, Protecting America's Infrastructures (Washington, DC: October 1997), pp. 86-88 and Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Information Warfare (Washington, DC: November 1996).

22 This includes substantial efforts in multiple forums, such as the Council of Europe and the G8, to fight transnational organized crime. See Communiqué on principles to fight transnational organized crime, Meeting of the Justice and Interior Ministers ofthe Eight, December 9-10, 1997.

Beyond that, Congress has some organizational work of its own to do. As things stand today, so many federal agencies are involved with homeland security that it is exceedingly difficult to present federal programs and their resource requirements to the Congress in a coherent way. It is largely because the budget is broken up into so many pieces, for example, that counter- terrorism and information security issues involve nearly two dozen Congressional committees and subcommittees. The creation of the National Security Homeland Agency will redress this problem to some extent, but because of its growing urgency and complexity, homeland security will still require a stronger working relationship between the Executive and Legislative Branches. Congress should therefore find ways to address homeland security issues that bridge current jurisdictional boundaries and that create more innovative oversight mechanisms.

There are several ways of achieving this. The Senate's Arms Control Observer Group and its more recent NATO Enlargement Group were two successful examples of more informal Executive-Legislative cooperation on key multi-dimensional issues. Specifically, in the near term, this Commission recommends the following:

7: Congress should establish a special body to deal with homeland security issues, as has been done effectively with intelligence oversight. Members should be chosen for their expertise in foreign policy, defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and appropriations. This body should also include members of all relevant Congressional committees as well as ex-officio members from the leadership of both Houses of Congress.

This body should develop a comprehensive understanding of the problem of homeland security, exchange information and viewpoints with the Executive Branch on effective policies and plans, and work with standing committees to develop integrated legislative responses and guidance. Meetings would often be held in closed session so that Members could have access to interagency deliberations and diverging viewpoints, as well as to classified assessments. Such a body would have neither a legislative nor an oversight mandate, and it would not eclipse the authority of any standing committee.

At the same time, Congress needs to systematically review and restructure its committee system, as will be proposed in recommendation 48. A single, select committee in each house of Congress should be given authorization, appropriations, and oversight responsibility for all homeland security activities. When established, these committees would replace the function of the oversight body described in recommendation 7.

In sum, the federal government must address the challenge of homeland security with greater urgency. The United States is not immune to threats posed by weapons of mass destruction or disruption, but neither is it entirely defenseless against them. Much has been done to prevent and defend against such attacks, but these efforts must be incorporated into the nation's overall security strategy, and clear direction must be provided to all departments and agencies. Non-traditional national security agencies that now have greater relevance than they did in the past must be reinvigorated. Accountability, authority, and responsibility must be more closely aligned within government agencies. An Executive-Legislative consensus is required, as well, to convert strategy and resources into programs and capabilities, and to do so in a way that preserves fundamental freedoms and individual rights.

Most of all, however, the government must reorganize itself for the challenges of this new era, and make the necessary investments to allow an improved organizational structure to work. Through the Commission's proposal for a National Homeland Security Agency, the U.S. goverment will be able to improve the planning and coordination of federal support to state and local agencies, to rationalize the allocation of resources, to enhance readiness in order to prevent attacks, and to facilitate recovery if prevention fails. Most important, this proposal integrates the problem of homeland security within a broader framework of U.S. national security strategy writ large. In this respect, it differs significantly from issue-specific approaches to the problem, which tend to isolate homeland security away from the larger strategic perspective of which it must be a part.

We are mindful that erecting the operational side of this strategy will take time to achieve. Meanwhile, the threat grows ever more serious. That is all the more reason to start right away on implementing the recommendations put forth here.

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