Terrorism: March 3, 2002


: The President's $38 billion homeland security budget for 2003 is no more than a down payment on what such security will cost over the next few decades. Of the total, $21 billion goes to the Pentagon and the rest is spread over 43 other government agencies. Some highlights: 

@ $3.5 billion (up from $300 million) to train and equip "first responders" such as firefighters, police, rescue squads, and emergency medical services. Some of this money is likely to go to "State Guard" units, which have never received Federal money.

@ $2.4 billion to research methods to rapidly identify chemical or biological weapons, new kinds of treatments for such attacks, and analyses of the kinds of tactics that terrorists might use to employ such weapons.

@ $1.2 billion to improve hospital communications, decontamination, and emergency response systems.

@ $850 million to stockpile antibiotics, chemical antidotes, and smallpox vaccine.

@ $700 million to improve communications between levels and agencies of government. (It was noted that during the 11 September crisis, some agencies were unable to communicate effectively with others.)

@ $4.8 billion for the Transportation Security Agency, which will employ all airport guards by November of 2003.--Stephen V Cole


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