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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Wednesday, March 28, 2007



"Though al Qaeda and other jihadists have not carried out a spectacular attack inside the United States since 9/11, it is not for lack of trying. In fact, there have been far more thwarted attacks in the United States in the past five years than there were in the years between the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 9/11 attacks. While many can and do debate the tactics used by the U.S. government in the war on terrorism, it is hard to argue that the U.S. government and its allies have done a poor job at disrupting terrorist plots and plans.

However................those disruptions do not impact the public as deeply as a successful attack, and are quickly forgotten. Because of this, they also have far less impact on Congress and the amount of money allocated for counterterrorism programs. Therefore, in spite of the many failed plots, the lull is beginning to set in and, as the memories of 9/11 fade, budgets will wane even if the threat does not.

Some of the cuts that might otherwise affect security and counterterrorism programs will be mitigated by other factors. For example, because of public opinion regarding the hot-button issues of illegal immigration and border security, increased funding to border security initiatives will help the overall nondefense Homeland Security budget reflect an increase in fiscal year 2008 as compared with 2007, in spite of cuts to other programs such as the State Homeland Security Grant Program.

The trail of disrupted plots has been steady in the wake of 9/11, and it speaks to the ongoing jihadist desire to strike at the United States. Though not all of the disrupted plots made public by the U.S. government necessarily should be viewed as ominous -- the Miami Seven case is one example -- there is a clear record of plans to strike on U.S. soil since 9/11. Ironically, the government's success in preventing a follow-on attack is helping the lull to set in, despite the many failed plots.

Eventually, the next attack will occur. The government quite simply cannot protect every potential target, no matter how much money is applied to the problem. It can, however, reduce the threat by taking a long-term view and focusing on developing successful programs, rather than basing decisions on the ebb and flow of public perception and popular opinion."


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