The Department of Homeland Security has the following goals:
- Awareness—Identify and understand threats, assess vulnerabilities, determine potential impacts and disseminate timely information to our homeland security partners and the American public.
- Prevention—Detect, deter and mitigate threats to our homeland.
- Protection—Safeguard our people and their freedoms, critical infrastructure, property and the economy of our Nation from acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergencies.
- Response—Lead, manage and coordinate the national response to acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergencies.
- Recovery—Lead national, state, local and private sector efforts to restore services and rebuild communities after acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergencies.
- Service—Serve the public effectively by facilitating lawful trade, travel and immigration.
- Organizational Excellence—Value our most important resource, our people. Create a culture that promotes a common identity, innovation, mutual respect, accountability and teamwork to achieve efficiencies, effectiveness, and operational synergies.
These are lofty and legitimate goals. In spite of the department’s failures, particularly in New Orleans in 2005, their accomplishment is essential if American citizens are to be protected in today’s world.
Money is not the only answer but a 50 percent increase in the department’s 2009 budget request from $50 billion to $75 billion would represent only 3.7 percent of the bloated 2008 military budget.
The department now has 200,000 employees. Adequate augmentation of the number of Coast Guard sailors, air marshals, port inspectors and border patrol persons, as well as ships and other equipment could be accomplished with the increase and the result would be real defense of our country—Jim Frost.