DC’s think tanks have stepped up to the challenge of analyzing the idea of implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations in the past few days. P.J. Crowley from the Center for American Progress released a report yesterday entitled “14 Steps in 2007 to Further Implement the 9/11 Commission Recommendations.” In the report, Crowley discusses potential work that Congress should do to implement the recommendations, making fourteen specific proposals, each of which is discussed in greater detail in the report:
- Change organizational cultures to improve interoperability.
- Increase funding for homeland security grants.
- Determine which infrastructure is actually critical.
- Reconsider and strengthen comprehensive chemical security regulation.
- Establish a long-term terrorism risk insurance program.
- Create market-based private sector preparedness incentives.
- Accelerate deployment of in-line passenger luggage and air cargo screening.
- Strengthen air cargo supply chain security.
- Field more border agents with better technology.
- Strengthen oversight of individual automated tracking system.
- Develop real-time verification of Social Security numbers.
- Add Deputy DNI for Domestic Intelligence.
- Create COPS II program to improve local intelligence capabilities.
- Deploy a real-time urban detection system.
Taking a different viewpoint, Jim Carafano from the Heritage Foundation released a WebMemo today entitled “100-Hours Homeland Security Bill Not Ready for Prime Time.” He writes:
The bill, a part of the new congressional majority’s “100-Hours” agenda, does far less than its title implies. For the most part, its new measures are not terribly useful, and what is useful in the proposed law is not terribly new: a restatement of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, a gloss on existing requirements and ongoing government initiatives and programs, and demands for more reporting. Rushing the bill to a vote without hearings or floor debate has resulted in a flawed proposal. To avoid damaging U.S. homeland security operations and wasting taxpayers’ money, Congress should strip the most troubling provisions from this legislation.
The remainder of memo criticizes sections of the bill related to homeland security grant programs, cargo screening, and the Proliferation Security Initiative.