Magazine article The World and I

The Economics of Security - the Price of Preparedness

Magazine article The World and I

The Economics of Security - the Price of Preparedness

Article excerpt

President Bush has asked Congress for a $38 billion homeland security budget in 2003. The request, which the White House calls a down payment on a multiyear homeland defense strategy, focuses on four key areas.

The first is improving the equipment and training of so-called first responders. These are the firefighters, police, and emergency medical workers who are the first on the scene of a disaster, such as the World Trade Center site on September 11. The budget requests $3.5 billion-- more than 10 times the current-year spending--to buy new communications equipment, protective clothing, chemical and biological detection systems, and other supplies. The money would also help local governments train first responders in the latest lifesaving techniques.

"The First Responder Initiative will help these brave Americans do their jobs better," according to a homeland security plan drafted by the White House.

Bush's second priority for homeland defense is bolstering America's resistance to biological terrorism. The budget request seeks $5.9 billion for this purpose, a 319 percent increase over 2002 spending levels. The money would be used to bolster the capabilities of state and local health systems to respond to attacks, build up the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile, coordinate bioterrorism response plans among all levels of government, and develop new vaccines, medicines, and diagnostic tests for ailments related to biological terror.

"One of the most important missions we have as a nation is to be prepared for the threat of biological terrorism," the White House says. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.