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.
The United States still offers its enemies a vast menu of soft targets: water and food supplies; chemical plants; energy grids and pipelines; bridges, tunnels, and ports; and the millions of cargo containers that carry most of the goods U.S. consumers depend on. A leading expert on homeland security, Stephen E. Flynn, says the measures cobbled together to protect these vital systems are hardly fit to deter amateur thieves, vandals, and smugglers, let alone determined terrorists. Worse still, small improvements are often oversold as giant steps forward, lowering the guard of the average citizen and building an unwarranted sense of confidence.
The book describes a frightening scenario of what the next major terrorist attack might look like, revealing the tragic loss of life and economic havoc it would leave in its wake, as well as the seismic political consequences it would have in Washington and across the country. In a new world of heightened risk and fear, America the Vulnerable delivers a timely, forceful message that cannot be ignored.
A Council on Foreign Relations Book