On September the 11th, 2001, enemies of freedom made our country a battleground. Their method is the mass murder of the innocent, and their goal is to make all Americans live in fear. Yet our Nation refuses to live in fear. And the best way to overcome fear and to frustrate the plans of our enemies is to be prepared and resolute at home, and to take the offensive abroad.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, signaled a new era of challenges to America’s security and a new test of America’s resolve. As in the past, the Nation is rising to meet these challenges. We are doing so not only at home, where the terrorists struck, but abroad where the terrorists train, plan, and attack our people and interests around the globe.
President Bush has made it clear to the Nation, to the terrorists who still remain at large, and to the regimes that support the terrorists: we will do what it takes to protect America. And working with friends and allies, we will destroy the terrorist network that threatens freedom-loving people around the world.
The President is also committed to supporting the spread of democracy and liberty. It is with the help of free peoples in free countries that we will rid the world of the terrorist threat and build a community of nations dedicated to peace and democracy.
The frontlines in this new struggle stretch around the globe. They run from the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Iraq to airports across our country. The brave men and women who stand on these frontlines deserve our deepest gratitude and our commitment that they will have the resources they need to accomplish their mission to protect our Nation. This budget meets that commitment.
President Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001, to bring justice to al-Qaida and deny them the safe haven provided by the Taliban. With the support of the Afghan people and 70 other nations, U.S. forces liberated Afghanistan, dismantled the Taliban, and destroyed al-Qaida’s terrorist training camps.
Through swift military action, increased intelligence activities, and relentless law enforcement work, the United States and over 170 other countries participating in the war on terror have sent al-Qaida on the run, disrupting their networks, and blocking their funds. More than two-thirds of al-Qaida’s most senior leaders have been either captured or killed. And thanks to the diligent work of our law enforcement community, terrorists and their supporters have been thwarted in New York, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina, and Florida.
The United States has taken the lead in going after terrorist organizations’ financial support. Working together with cooperative nations, this international effort has:
Defeating a global terrorist network requires global cooperation, and the United States has sought to collaborate with and assist our allies in the war on terror. Together with our G-8 partners, we have taken action to enhance transportation security and expand counterterrorism training and assistance. The Department of Defense has deployed military personnel, including Special Forces troops, to provide counterterrorism training to military units in the Philippines, the Republic of Georgia, and Yemen.
The budget continues to provide assistance to enable our friends and allies to prevent future attacks, improve counterterrorism capabilities, and tighten border controls. For instance, the President’s Budget includes $693 million to help Pakistan advance security and economic opportunity for its citizens, $459 million to strengthen Jordan’s economy and ability to secure its borders, and $463 million to assist President Uribe in Colombia’s campaign against drugs and terrorism.
On March 19, 2003, the United States and our coalition partners launched Operation Iraqi Freedom and within one month removed Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime from power. The U.S.-led coalition liberated 26 million people from a ruthless dictatorship that had developed and used weapons of mass destruction, cultivated ties to terrorist groups, harbored known terrorists, and defied more than a dozen U.N. Security Council Resolutions demanding that it disarm. Coalition Forces have apprehended or killed 45 of the 55 most wanted members of the Ba’ath regime, including Saddam Hussein and his two sons. We will stay the course in Iraq and finish the mission we set out to accomplish.
The military’s successes in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are the result of rigorous training, hard work, and the uncompromising dedication of our men and women in uniform and those who support them. The members of our armed services and their families have made great sacrifices defending our freedom far from home, and the Budget ensures they have the resources they need to successfully execute any mission they undertake.
In an effort to transform our national security apparatus to better counter new threats in the 21st Century, President Bush has secured the largest increase in the Defense budget since the Reagan Administration—an increase of over 35 percent since 2001. The 2005 Budget provides $401.7 billion for the Department of Defense. Included within this total are:
Funding to enable the military services and the intelligence agencies to sustain current operations to defend U.S. national interests against terrorist attacks;
$69 billion for research and development, helping technological innovations make the transition from the drawing board to the battlefield;
Support for Network Centric Warfare systems and other advanced communications technologies; and
$10.3 billion to provide missile defenses for the Nation, deployed U.S. forces, and our friends.
Since taking office, the President has increased the Department of Defense’s research and development accounts by 56 percent, so that our Armed Forces have the tools and technologies they require to fight the battles of tomorrow. Investments in research and development have a history of turning into real advantages on the battlefield. The weaponized Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, for instance, went from testing to combat in Afghanistan in the space of a few months. Even now, new concepts of operations for deploying and fighting are being put to the test as the military strives to become lighter, more agile, and better able to respond to the known and unknown threats this new century will present. And in 2005, the Department will continue to reexamine many of its procurement programs that were transformational at their inception 20 years ago but are now being sustained at the expense of generation-skipping technologies.
The Navy is pursuing transformation through efforts such as its shift to the Fleet Readiness Program, a new operational concept that will provide the Nation with flexible forces that can be rapidly deployed in response to emerging threats. Also in the President’s Budget is support for the Army’s Future Combat Systems, designed to provide for a highly mobile and lethal land force with the ability to fight on arrival in theater.
The United States owes its freedom to the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women of the Armed Forces, and the President believes military personnel should be treated accordingly. That is why this Administration has raised basic military pay—which has increased on average more than 21 percent since the President took office—and has improved housing and other benefits. The 2005 Budget continues to look after the needs of our military personnel and their families. For example, the Department of Defense will provide medical care to almost nine million members of the Armed Forces, retirees, and their family members, up from just over eight million when President Bush took office.
Iraqi democracy will succeed—and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Tehran—that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.
We have made great strides in countering the terrorist threat, and we will advance that endeavor by helping the Iraqi and Afghan people build free and democratic nations. By bringing freedom and hope to a troubled region, America and our allies are undermining a key base of operations for terrorists. We have followed up our military successes in Afghanistan and Iraq with humanitarian and reconstruction assistance. We contributed over 400,000 metric tons of food to Afghanistan through the World Food Program and have provided seed and fertilizer to Afghan farmers, helping to avert a famine in 2001. U.S. assistance has enabled over two million refugees to return home from Pakistan, Iran, and other countries. In addition, we have rehabilitated 205 schools and 140 health clinics. A national highway is being built to promote not only economic growth and regional trade but also national unity, with paving of the crucial Kabul-Kandahar segment completed on schedule in December 2003. And the United States is working with our allies to help Afghans build new security institutions—Ministries of Defense and Interior, national police, and border and highway police. The United States has also trained 13 battalions of the Afghan National Army.
Today, Afghanistan has a new currency, and their International Monetary Fund arrears have been cleared. Thanks in part to this assistance, Afghanistan’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 29 percent in 2003 and is anticipated to grow by about 20 percent in 2004.
But our work in Afghanistan is not done. The United States will rehabilitate and construct an additional 275 schools and 150 clinics by June 2004 and will extend the Kabul-Kandahar road to Herat. The President’s 2005 Budget provides $1.2 billion in additional assistance for Afghanistan to build on recent progress in education, health, infrastructure, and security.
After removing a murderous regime in Iraq, the United States is now helping the Iraqi people realize the aspirations of a free nation by providing food, health care, and education aid. We are providing $21 billion toward reconstruction and humanitarian efforts.
The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) is leading U.S. efforts in Iraq in pursuit of five key objectives: to provide a secure environment for political and economic life by defeating the terrorists and Ba’athists; to provide essential services and infrastructure, especially electricity, water, and health care accessible to all citizens; to develop the financial market structures and fiscal and regulatory conditions necessary for sustainable economic growth and job creation; to enable Iraq to have a representative form of government that promotes the rule of law and protects the rights of all; and to assist the Iraqi people, Coalition nations, and the international community in working cooperatively to achieve these objectives.
America is committed to the reconstruction of Iraq. As part of that effort, the United States is providing assistance in the following areas:
The United States is not alone in this endeavor. Over 30 nations have provided military and financial support to restore conditions of security and stability to Iraq, and to create conditions in which the Iraqi people can freely determine their own political future. The United Nations Security Council acknowledged the authorities of the Coalition and provided for a role for the UN and other parties to assist in fulfilling these objectives. At the Madrid Donors’ Conference in October, 38 countries and international organizations pledged $32 billion, including the U.S. contribution, over the next four years to support the reconstruction of Iraq.
America continues to be a champion of freedom and democracy around the world, supporting nations that are struggling to forge a new course and shake off the shackles of tyranny. Where democracy does not flourish, there will be stagnation, resentment, and the potential for violence ready for export.
The United States has worked with the people of Afghanistan to establish democratic practices and institutions now that the Taliban’s oppressive reign has ended. The Bonn Agreement brought Afghan political forces together to build first an interim government, then a transitional government, and soon an elected, permanent constitutional government. Afghanistan has elected a transitional President and written a new constitution, and the United States will assist Afghanistan as it prepares to hold elections in June 2004.
We are also working with the Iraqi people as they prepare to assume full sovereignty of their country by June 30. The United States is supporting civic education programs and the development of political parties. The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are working together to create an Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity and to promote voter education.
Afghanistan and Iraq stand as examples of our commitment to destroy terrorism and spread democracy, but our support goes beyond these nations, extending to people all over the world who seek to advance the cause of freedom and democracy.
For there to be security in the long run—both in the Greater Middle East and here at home—we must marshal the energy and ideals upon which our Nation was founded and work to promote democracy in the region. The President’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) promotes political, economic, and educational reform efforts in the Middle East, especially focused on opportunities for women and youth. MEPI funds grants, partnerships, training, and technical assistance. The President proposes to increase funding for this important initiative in 2005 to $150 million.
The President also proposes to double funding to $80 million in 2005 for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for a Greater Middle East Leadership and Democracy initiative. The Endowment is a grant-making foundation that distributes funds to private organizations for the purpose of promoting democracy abroad. NED focuses on democracy-building through civic education, developing political parties, encouraging a free press, and promoting human rights.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) broadcasts news and information throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and to Cuba, and provides information on U.S. policies and activities, as well as cultural and educational programming. Since 2001, BBG has shifted its funding to focus on broadcasting to regions that are the most critical in the War on Terror, including the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Pacific. This includes revamping Arabic radio broadcasting to the Middle East and launching a new Arabic satellite TV network. BBG has also revamped Persian radio broadcasting to Iran to appeal to broader audiences.
The 2005 Budget provides $401 million to the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps has been a successful program for transmitting our values by sending young Americans abroad to live in foreign communities. Volunteers currently work to foster better understanding of American ideals among people in 71 countries. The Peace Corps now has a higher number of volunteers serving abroad than in the past 28 years.
The President’s Budget also supports the Department of State’s efforts to communicate our values abroad by providing more than $1.2 billion for public diplomacy programs to inform, engage, and support freedom-loving people around the world. For example, the Department of State will fund annual exchanges of about 35,000 Americans and people from other countries to share perspectives on our policies, people, values, and society. In the past two years, the Department of State has redirected its exchange programs to its Partnerships for Learning and Youth Exchange and Study initiatives, a cooperative effort with other countries to provide hope and opportunity to young people, especially in the Muslim world, through student and teacher exchanges. The effort includes the first U.S. Government-supported high school exchange program with the Muslim world.
Similarly, USAID is augmenting its programs that already operate in over 50 countries or regions to support democracy, civil society and the rule of law; provide technical assistance to local governments; mitigate conflicts; and encourage respect for human rights. USAID democracy projects include support for Afghan elections, assistance to Muslim civil society organizations in Indonesia, and support to civil society and human rights groups in Sudan.
Since September 11, 2001, our Nation, from individual citizens to the Federal Government, has united to defend our homeland. This national effort has been focused on preventing terrorist attacks within the United States, reducing America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimizing damage from attacks that might occur.
Building on the substantial increases of the past three years, the President in 2005 is seeking three times what the Federal Government spent on homeland security prior to September 11, 2001, to support continued priorities and add resources in areas where we must counter threats.
The President’s plan to secure the homeland does more than increase funding. The Federal Government has taken a range of unprecedented actions to respond to the threat of terrorism. The President worked with the Congress to create the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), unifying in early 2003 once-fragmented Federal functions into a single agency dedicated to protecting America from terrorism. At the direction of the President, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been reorganized into a proactive organization with a primary mission of preventing terrorist acts. And the Administration has leveraged expertise from across the Government to aid in securing our homeland in areas as diverse as developing countermeasures for potential biological pathogens, securing nuclear materials, securing our borders and transportation system, and collaborating with the private sector to help protect computer systems from attack.
Homeland security requires a national effort with unprecedented cooperation among all levels of Government, the private sector, and individual citizens. Our efforts to date have supported these partnerships across the spectrum of homeland security programs, from enhancing emergency preparedness to protecting critical infrastructure.
In other areas, the President’s Budget continues to build upon and leverage investments in border and aviation security, intelligence and law enforcement, biodefense, critical infrastructure protection, and first responder preparedness. The President will also ask the Congress to invest in several new initiatives to ensure vigorous defenses against potential threats.
The United States must be vigilant in protecting the safety of the Nation’s food system from terrorist attacks. Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have a long history of success in protecting agriculture and the food supply from naturally-occurring contamination. Now that expertise is being turned toward thwarting deliberate acts of contamination and introduction of disease. To achieve this goal, the Budget increases funding for food and agriculture defense by over $370 million, almost three times the 2004 level.
With over $70 million in new funding, the President’s Budget supports the establishment of laboratories nationwide to rapidly analyze potentially contaminated food. This network of laboratories will be strategically located to respond in the event of a terrorist attack on our food supply and will be equipped with information technology and telecommunications equipment to allow for the sharing of information between labs. HHS and USDA will also support new research to develop innovative strategies to detect and prevent contamination of food, and they will increase efforts to monitor the safety of the food supply to prevent potential outbreaks or attacks.
The President’s Budget also builds upon the development of separate animal and plant laboratory networks to rapidly identify disease and pests affecting America’s agriculture. USDA will improve preparedness by creating a stockpile of vaccines and therapeutics for significant animal diseases and prepare to rapidly recover from a devastating plant disease. USDA and HHS will also train professionals with the skills to effectively respond to an agrobioterrorism or food-borne bioterrorism event.
In the case of bioterrorism, the weapons used against us may be as difficult to detect as they are deadly. Reducing the time it takes to detect an attack can save lives. Rapidly confirming the size and nature of the attack makes it easier to quickly mount the proper response and save lives.
In the absence of clear evidence of an attack—like explosion or fire—we must vigilantly monitor whether weapons have been deployed against us. The most important areas for surveillance and monitoring are human health, animal and plant health, the food supply, and the environment.
Our ability to detect the presence of a dangerous biological or chemical agent in our environment has greatly improved in the last year through the establishment of Project BioWatch, a sensor network strategically based throughout the country. In 2005, the Administration proposes to buttress BioWatch with $47 million in new investments, bringing total spending for biosurveillance in 2005 to $118 million. To enhance human health surveillance, the President will build on the Federal Government’s capacity to identify trends in areas such as reported illnesses, laboratory results, and over-the-counter pharmacy sales that could indicate an attack has taken place. In the case of agriculture and the food supply, the Food and Drug Administration and the USDA will establish a network of laboratories equipped to analyze rapidly agricultural diseases and potentially contaminated food.
The health, food, and agriculture sectors, along with BioWatch, will continually feed their data into a unified and integrated system. This will ensure that findings from each sector are not considered in isolation, but rather in tandem with surveillance from other sectors and threat intelligence to corroborate the data or put them in context. All of this collaboration serves the ultimate goal of decreasing the gap between the moment an event actually occurs and the time when appropriate Federal, State, and local response protocols are implemented.
Federal agencies have taken unprecedented steps to improve the Nation’s capability to prevent and respond to terrorism and other major incidents. DHS is leading efforts to strengthen response planning and management at every level of government.
State and Local Assistance
Since September 2001, DHS, HHS, and the Department of Justice have awarded $13.1 billion in grants for State and local terrorism preparedness needs, as well $5.9 billion in related public safety programs. These grants have supported unprecedented investments in equipment, technology, training, and planning. Under the auspices of various DHS programs, over 500,000 State and local officials and responders have been trained to respond to a wide range of emergencies, both natural and man-made. Through the USA Freedom Corps, more than 900 communities have formed Citizen Corps Councils, increasing citizen preparedness to prevent and respond to terrorism incidents. In addition, Community Emergency Response Team training is preparing citizens and communities to respond in the event of an emergency.
In 2005, the President proposes to spend over $5 billion to continue our State and local capacity-building efforts. The Administration intends to work with the Congress to target these resources more closely to an analysis of the threat and need. To ensure that these new capabilities are deployed effectively, DHS is nearing completion of the National Response Plan, America’s blueprint for emergency response, drawing on the expertise throughout the Federal Government. This Plan will incorporate the National Incident Management System, enabling personnel and equipment from Federal, State, or local agencies to be integrated at the scene of an incident.
DHS is also building a National Exercise Program to prepare government officials and first responders to meet new threats and conduct new missions in the wake of September 11th . This effort will ensure unprecedented coordination and cooperation among all levels of government by increasing the frequency and effectiveness of exercises, including major national level exercises such as the TOPOFF (or Top Officials) series. Lessons learned from these exercises will be incorporated into future homeland security policies, operations, and exercises to support the preparedness of the Nation’s leaders and first responders at all levels.
A key part of our all-out effort to prepare for the threat of bio-terror is what this Administration has called Project BioShield. I have proposed that our government spend nearly $6 billion over the next 10 years to speed the research, production and availability of effective vaccines and treatments against smallpox and anthrax, botulin toxin, Ebola, plague, and other possible agents of bioterror.
In the 2003 State of the Union, the President announced Project BioShield—a proposal to allow the Federal Government to accelerate the development and availability of critically needed, cutting-edge vaccines and medications for biodefense as soon as experts agree that they are safe and effective enough to be added to the Strategic National Stockpile.
By providing an incentive to the private sector to invest in new vaccines and treatments, BioShield will bring countermeasures that are not currently available on the market into the Stockpile. Administering Project BioShield is a shared responsibility, joining the security capabilities of DHS with the medical expertise of HHS. The Administration is moving forward in purchasing the next generation of countermeasures, including vaccines and treatments for smallpox and anthrax exposure. After the procurement of countermeasures is complete, the products will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile to ensure nationwide availability in the case of an emergency.
Intelligence sharing between our law enforcement and intelligence agencies has already grown to an unprecedented level since the September 11th attacks, contributing to America’s better security through enhanced cooperation of our intelligence and law enforcement forces. To further this coordination, the President announced in the 2003 State of the Union the creation of a multi-agency Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). TTIC serves as the focal point for integrating and assessing terrorist threat information, collected domestically and abroad, available to the intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security communities. On a daily basis, its inter-agency staff sifts through all-source reporting to identify terrorist plans of tactical concern as well as broader threat themes, which together help guide efforts to disrupt terrorist activities and enhance our Nation’s security. TTIC also plays a key role in establishing a common threat picture by preparing daily threat assessments and updates for the President and the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security, as well as the broader Intelligence Community, and by creating a consolidated website for the counterterrorism community. The center will be co-located with counterterrorism elements from the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), further enhancing our coordination efforts.
To complement the TTIC, the Administration recently established the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC)—a multi-agency entity administered by the Department of Justice in partnership with the Departments of Homeland Security and State, and the Intelligence Community. The TSC is consolidating terrorist watch list information to support appropriate screening processes—for example, issuing visas, determining admissibility into the United States, or granting permission to board a commercial aircraft—to better protect the American people.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Since September 11, 2001, Director Mueller has transformed the FBI into an organization dedicated to making the prevention of terrorist attacks its first priority. The President’s Budget provides $5.1 billion for the FBI, a 60-percent increase over 2001. Among other increases, the 2005 Budget for the FBI increases funding over 2004 for counterterrorism investigations by $60 million and provides $357 million for counterterrorism enhancements. There are now 84 Joint Terrorism Task Forces, which coordinate efforts between FBI field offices and their counterparts in Federal, State, and local law enforcement to prevent terrorist attacks.
USA PATRIOT Act
To deal with the deadly threat of future attacks like the ones suffered on September 11th, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies needed additional authorities and capabilities. In recognition of this need, the Administration and the Congress worked together to enact the USA PATRIOT Act, which President Bush signed into law on October 26, 2001. The Act provided a new arsenal of weapons in fighting terrorists, such as enhanced ability for intelligence and law enforcement agents to share information on terrorist threats, expanded authorities to ensure that communications surveillance keeps pace with technological changes, and better tools to fight terrorist financing activities. Many of these tools have long been available against drug kingpins and organized criminals.
The Act has already paid significant dividends, leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals engaged in terrorist activities. The Lackawanna case in Buffalo, New York illustrated the benefits of allowing criminal and intelligence investigators to work together, helping to bring to justice a group of men who traveled to Afghanistan for terrorist training. Six of the men have been convicted of providing material support to terrorists and have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven to ten years.
The USA PATRIOT Act has been an essential tool in our efforts to prevent new terrorist incidents against Americans. However, the War on Terror is ongoing, and more can be done to support our law enforcement efforts. The Administration has proposed additional counterterrorism authorities, and will be working with the Congress to secure passage of those proposals, as well as to ensure that the critical authorities of the USA PATRIOT Act do not expire in 2005.
Due to the President’s initiatives, America’s borders are more secure now than at any time in our history. The creation of DHS unified Federal responsibility for border security—merging the separate agencies responsible for protecting our borders into a single entity.
Since its creation, DHS has taken concrete steps to protect our borders from terrorist infiltration. In September 2003, DHS launched the One Face at the Border initiative. This initiative created a single U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection officer, combining into a single job responsibility the functions previously performed by officials from three different agencies. The new CBP officers perform inspections previously done by immigration inspectors, customs inspectors, and agricultural inspectors. By unifying the skills of three organizations into one, DHS can maximize efficiency and focus on protection.
One of the best ways to ensure increased security at our borders is to check people and products before they enter the United States. To check people, DHS launched the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US VISIT)—a program to collect and match information on selected visitors to our country. Initial deployment of US VISIT will be focused on air and sea ports of entries. In addition to US VISIT, DHS implemented the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. This program was established to provide information in determining visa eligibility for thousands of foreign nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the National Records Center, DHS has been successful in making sure legitimate students are allowed into the country while guarding against those who would use our schools as a cover to gain entry for illicit purposes.
CBP also initiated the Container Security Initiative (CSI) in 2002. CSI begins the targeting and inspection process for cargo containers overseas long before they reach the United States. The 2005 Budget includes an additional $25 million to support continued expansion of this effective program.
Aviation was both the target of and method for conducting the September 11th attacks, and remains a focus of global terrorist organizations today. Over the last three years, the Federal Government has devoted nearly $15 billion to strengthen the aviation security system, from deploying a professional screener workforce at every airport, to reinforcing cockpit doors, to installing the latest screening technology. We have also worked to reduce the threat of surface-to-air missiles to civil aviation. For 2005, the President seeks more than nearly $5.3 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, an increase of 20 percent. Funding is provided to increase screener training, enabling security managers to improve screener performance, and to enhance air cargo security.
Other Transportation Security Efforts
Port security is another top priority of the Federal Government. To this end, we are working with partners and allies to create an international maritime security regime. The Coast Guard led the international community to adopt a new maritime security standard requiring all nations to develop port and ship security plans. At home, DHS is implementing the new Maritime Transportation Security Act, enacted in November 2002. The U.S. Coast Guard is ensuring that certain vessels, marine transportation, coastal facilities, and critical infrastructure platforms have plans to protect against terrorist attacks. The 2005 Budget provides nearly $2 billion for DHS to ensure the security of our Nation’s ports, including $1.7 billion for the Coast Guard to lead these efforts.
To strengthen U.S. military forces engaged in homeland security, the President authorized the establishment of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), which became fully operational in October 2003. USNORTHCOM eliminates gaps among different military organizations that currently have homeland defense responsibilities and strengthens military support to civilian agencies.
In the two years since September 11, 2001, more than 31,000 sorties—including fighters, tankers, and airborne radar—have been flown by North American Aerospace Defense Command in defense of America.
The Nation relies upon a series of critical infrastructure and key assets that if attacked by terrorists could result in catastrophic health effects comparable to those from the use of a weapon of mass destruction. Identifying, prioritizing, and protecting these assets from terrorist attack remains an important component of ensuring our security. Since the September 11th attacks, the Federal Government has: unified infrastructure protection within DHS; identified vulnerabilities and begun security modifications at the highest-priority dams; worked with the U.S. chemical industry to enhance the security of its facilities and prevent intentional and accidental releases; and issued Federal regulations to improve security of key critical facilities within America’s 361 ports. In addition, DHS established a National Cyber Security Division to reduce the risk of cyber attacks. The President’s 2005 Budget provides $864 million to support DHS efforts to coordinate our national infrastructure protection activities.
President Bush is steadfastly pursuing a comprehensive approach to winning the War on Terror. By pursuing the terrorists wherever they may hide, by transforming our Armed Forces and homeland defenses, and by promoting democracy and freedom in troubled regions around the world, we are succeeding in defeating the terrorist threat.