May 21, 2013
‘Homeland Security’: The Trillion Dollar Concept That No One Can Define
Posted on Feb 28, 2013
By Mattea Kramer and Chris Hellman, TomDispatch
Perhaps the strangest part of homeland security operations may be this: there is no agreed-upon definition for just what homeland security is. The funds Washington has poured into the concept will soon enough approach a trillion dollars and yet it’s a concept with no clear boundaries that no one can agree on. Worse yet, few are asking the hard questions about what security we actually need or how best to achieve it. Instead, Washington has built a sprawling bureaucracy riddled with problems and set it on autopilot.
And that brings us to today. Budget cuts are in the pipeline for most federal programs, but many lawmakers vocally oppose any reductions in security funding. What’s painfully clear is this: the mere fact that a program is given the label of national or homeland security does not mean that its downsizing would compromise American safety. Overwhelming evidence of waste, duplication, and poor management suggests that Washington could spend far less on security, target it better, and be so much safer.
Meanwhile, the same report that warned in early 2001 of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil also recommended redoubling funding for education in science and technology.
In the current budget-cutting fever, the urge to protect boundless funding for national security programs by dismantling investment essential to this country’s greatness—including world-class education and infrastructure systems—is bound to be powerful. So whenever you hear the phrase “homeland security,” watch out: your long-term safety may be at risk.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.
Copyright 2013 Mattea Kramer and Chris Hellman
1 2 3 4
Previous item: Climate Change ‘Causes Wild Weather’
New and Improved Comments