U.S. Domestic Security Gets a Mixed Appraisal

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One year after a vast reorganization of domestic security, the government has made important strides in defending the nation against another terrorist attack but still faces critical gaps that could take years to close, according to an internal review released on Wednesday.

The Department of Homeland Security, which in March 2003 brought together 22 agencies and some 180,000 employees in one of the largest government reorganizations in history, “has made significant progress in addressing all of its management challenges,” said the report, by the department’s inspector general.

Even so, some needed improvements in border protection, technology upgrades, training, staffing and management “will take years to develop and implement, and much remains to be done,” reports the New York Times.

The report is likely to fuel further debate over whether the country has done enough to safeguard its borders after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Even as the Sept. 11 commission wound up two days of widely publicized public hearings, the inspector general’s assessment reinforced a perception among some critics that the country remained vulnerable to another major strike.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/25/politics/25HOME.html

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