Issue Date: September 15, 2008
Efforts on Terrorism Prevention Graded
The U.S. government gets a "C" for efforts to prevent biological, chemical, and nuclear weapon terrorist attacks, according to a report card published by the bipartisan organization Partnership for a Secure America. Former congressmen and members of the 9/11 Commission Lee H. Hamilton and Slade Gorton unveiled the report card at a press conference on Sept. 10. The U.S. received a "D" in 2005, when a similar report card was released. "Moving from a 'D' to a 'C' in three years is progress but not really acceptable progress," Hamilton said. The report card also provided three key recommendations: giving a single top-level government official authority to make government-wide counterterrorism decisions, implementing a strategic plan, and strengthening international cooperation. The partnership also released three supporting papers evaluating U.S. policies on biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction. According to Margaret E. Kosal, author of the paper on chemical weapons, chemical terrorism is the most probable terrorist threat, and "the biggest risk is dismissing the chemical terrorist threat as a relic of history."
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