NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 23, 2004

The 9/11 Commission's analysis makes clear that many of the nation's failures in responding to the rising danger of transnational terrorism stem from long-standing structural flaws in the U.S. government that transcend the policy decisions of any one administration. Addressing them will require Congress and the Administration to roll up their sleeves, says the Heritage Foundation.

The following should be at the top of their list:

  • Stay on the Offensive: The Commission found that taking the war to the terrorists is the right thing to do. Terrorist sanctuaries have to be rooted out, international cooperation garnered, and a war of ideas won.
  • Improve Congressional Oversight: The Commission's criticism of the lack effective congressional oversight of homeland security and intelligence is damning. Improving how the House and the Senate provide oversight of the Intelligence Community must be a priority. Also, Congress must establish permanent homeland security committees in both houses.
  • Undertake Intelligence Reform: The 9/11 Commission's final report calls for major reform in the organization of the Intelligence Community, including the creation of a new position, National Intelligence Director, to oversee the community and the establishment of a National Counterterrorism Center (NCC).
  • Organize Homeland Security Grants: Making the case that homeland security grants can't become "pork-barrel spending," the Commission argues that federal assistance needs to be based on a national assessment of risks and vulnerabilities. Perhaps once permanent committees are established to guide such legislation, Congress will produce better results.

In the months and years ahead, the important day to remember may not be September 11, 2001, but July 22, 2004, when Congress was handed a blueprint on how to better deal with the threat of global terror, says Heritage.

Source: James Jay Carafano, "9/11 Commission Report: More Hits Than Misses," Heritage Foundation, July 22, 2004.


Browse more articles on Government Issues