Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 2, 2006

UK pol argues for unified security budget

Filed under: International HLS — by Christian Beckner on November 2, 2006

Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (and future Prime Minister) in the United Kingdom, yesterday discussed the development of a unified budget for UK homeland security efforts, as noted by the Guardian:

Gordon Brown took another step towards setting up a possible department of homeland security by telling the cabinet yesterday he is looking at creating a single £2bn annual budget for fighting terrorism.

The chancellor is also stressing that he would like more government departments to put security – and the battle for hearts and minds – at the centre of their thinking.

The chancellor is working closely with the home secretary, John Reid, on the proposals, which are being studied as a central issue in the coming spending review. At the Labour conference in Manchester in September, Mr Reid announced a fundamental review of the counter-terrorist police and security services’ ability to tackle the new security threat. He said he wanted a seamless approach to what had become a seamless threat. He is not thinking of merging MI5 and MI6.

The creation of a unified security budget would be a wise step for the UK to take, as a means to measure and rationalize the effectiveness of various types of measures that fall under the aegis of the war against terror. Indeed, the United States could also benefit from stronger efforts to develop a unified security budget as well. To be sure, DHS has a single budget, and the OMB tracks government-wide homeland security spending, but there is still too little integration and prioritization of efforts across the spectrum of national security tools that are bucketed as defense, homeland security, intelligence, diplomacy, and economics.

These remarks by Brown at Chatham House in early October are consistent with the ideas discussed in the Guardian piece.

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