Three years after September 11, the United States is still dangerously unprepared to prevent or respond to another attack on its soil. Faced with this threat, the United States should be operating on a wartime footing at home. But despite the many new security precautions that have been proposed, America’s most serious vulnerabilities remain ominously exposed.
Security experts believe many U.S. chemical facilities are vulnerable to catastrophic attacks. Improvements have been slow to come, and Congress recently declined to take tough steps called for by experts.
Attacks on U.S. chemical facilities have the potential to affect thousands, possibly millions of people, yet many of them remain poorly secured. Legislation to improve security standards has been watered down.
The transport of liquefied natural gas to the United States is expected to surge in the next two decades. The explosive power of such gas makes transport ships attractive terrorist targets. Security experts say it is time to improve safeguards.
CFR Senior Fellow Steven Simon says the plot uncovered by British authorities to simultaneously down several aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean bears all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda and suggests the group is still a viable threat.
The West may no longer be the main target for terrorist organizations; turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has given rise to an increased number of more locally-focused attacks in the last year.
An investigation by The Nation has found that members of an elite division of Blackwater are running a clandestine program to carry out assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives both inside and outside Pakistan, help run secret US military drone bombing campaigns and gather intelligence.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.