U.S. Security System Needs Overhaul

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CBNNews.com - The nation's security system needs a sweeping overhaul, according to a new government report.

The study points to inefficiencies brought on by the different agencies and cabinet posts. Both time and money is spent arguing over which department has jurisdiction. And frequently -- even the President has had step in to settle internal squabbles.

For more on potential threats posed to the nation and to the upcoming Beijing Olympics, watch CBN News Terror Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.

The report comes at a time when the United States could be heading into a period of a heightened terror alert.

One part of the report points out that the President and his top advisers focus on day-to-day crisis management rather than long-term planning, "allowing problems to escape presidential attention until they worsen and reach the crisis level."

A final version of the report with many recommendations, including a proposal for new security legislation, is expected to be distributed later this fall. Its purpose is to help the next President with homeland security decisions.

"We will approach whoever is elected before the inauguration and will be having discussions with campaign staffs between now and the election," James R. Locher III, executive director of the project, said.

"We will draft presidential directives that can be imposed by the new president immediately," Locher said.

Thomas J. Pickering, a former career diplomat who served as US ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement that the findings would be valuable to the next president and to Congress.

"Our national security system is broken and needs fixing," he said. "Agencies need to cooperate rather than compete with each other as they work to protect the United States from a broad range of new dangers never imagined."

Pickering was among 23 former senior officials who oversaw the project and gave the findings their approval.

Source: The Associated Press

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