On October 9, 2007, the President issued an updated National Strategy
for Homeland Security, which will serve to guide, organize, and unify
our Nation's homeland security efforts.
This Strategy is a national strategy, not a Federal strategy, and
articulates our approach to secure the Homeland over the next several
years. It builds on the first National Strategy for Homeland
Security, issued in July 2002, and complements both the National
Security Strategy issued in March 2006 and the National Strategy for
Combating Terrorism issued in September 2006.
It reflects our increased understanding of the threats confronting the
United States, incorporates lessons learned from exercises and
real-world catastrophes, and articulates how we should ensure our
long-term success by strengthening the homeland security foundation we
This includes calling on Congress to make the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA) reforms in the Protect America Act of 2007
- Since September 11th, 2001, our
concept of securing the homeland has evolved, adapting to new realities
and threats. The Strategy issued today incorporates this
increased understanding by:
- Acknowledging that while we must continue to focus on the
persistent and evolving terrorist threat, we also must recognize that
certain non-terrorist events that reach catastrophic levels can have
significant implications for homeland security.
- Emphasizing that as we secure the Homeland we cannot simply
rely on defensive approaches and well-planned response and recovery
measures. We recognize that our efforts also must involve offense
at home and abroad.
National Efforts to Secure the Homeland
The Strategy provides a common framework through which our entire
Nation – Federal, State, local, and Tribal governments, the private and
non-profit sectors, communities, and individual citizens – should focus
its homeland security efforts on the following four goals:
and disrupt terrorist attacks. To prevent and disrupt
terrorist attacks in the United States, we are working to deny
terrorists and terrorist-related weapons and materials entry into our
country and across all international borders, disrupt terrorists'
ability to operate within our borders, and prevent the emergence of
violent Islamic radicalization in order to deny terrorists future
recruits and to defeat homegrown extremism.
the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources.
To protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people, we must
undertake measures to deter the threat of terrorism, mitigate the
Nation's vulnerability to acts of terror and the full range of man-made
and natural catastrophes, and minimize the consequences of an attack or
disaster should it occur.
to and recover from incidents that do occur. To save
lives, mitigate suffering, and protect property in future catastrophes,
we must strengthen the foundation of an effective, coordinated
response. This includes clarifying roles and responsibilities
across all levels of government and the private and non-profit
sectors. We must also focus on ensuring we have the operational
capabilities and flexibility necessary to facilitate both short-term
recovery and an effective transition to long-term rebuilding and
to strengthen the foundation to ensure our long-term success.
To fulfill these responsibilities over the long term, we will continue
to strengthen the principles, systems, structures, and institutions
that cut across the homeland security enterprise and support our
activities to secure the Homeland. Ultimately, this will help
ensure the success of our Strategy to secure the Nation. This
- Applying a comprehensive
approach to risk management. We must apply a risk-based
framework across all homeland security efforts in order to identify and
assess potential hazards (including their downstream effects),
determine what levels of relative risk are acceptable, and prioritize
and allocate resources among all homeland security partners, both
public and private, to prevent, protect against, and respond to and
recover from all manner of incidents.
- Building a Culture of
Preparedness. Our entire Nation shares common
responsibilities in homeland security. In order to help prepare
the Nation to carry out these responsibilities, we will continue to
foster a Culture of Preparedness that permeates all levels of society –
from individual citizens, businesses, and non-profit organizations to
Federal, State, local, and Tribal government officials and
- Developing a comprehensive
Homeland Security Management System. In order to continue
strengthening the foundations of a prepared Nation, we will establish
and institutionalize a comprehensive Homeland Security Management
System that incorporates all stakeholders. This system involves a
continuous, mutually reinforcing cycle of activity across four phases –
guidance; planning; execution; and assessment and evaluation.
- Relevant departments and agencies of the Federal government
must take the lead in implementing this system, and State, local, and
Tribal governments are highly encouraged to ultimately adopt fully
compatible and complementary processes and practices as part of a
full-scale national effort.
- In order to ensure the success of this system, our Nation
must further develop a community of homeland security professionals by
establishing multidisciplinary education opportunities. In
addition to covering homeland and relevant national security issues,
this education should include an understanding and appreciation of
appropriate regions, religions, cultures, legal systems, and
languages. We also must continue to develop interagency and
intergovernmental assignments and fellowship opportunities, tying them
to promotions and professional advancement
- Improving incident management.
We must develop a comprehensive approach to incident management that
will help Federal, State, local, and Tribal authorities manage
incidents across our goals of prevention, protection, and response and
recovery. Our approach will build upon the existing National
Incident Management System (NIMS) and help decision-making during
crisis and periods of heightened concern.
- Better utilizing science and
technology. The United States derives much of its strength
from its advantage in science and technology, and we must continue to
use this advantage and encourage innovative research and development to
assist in protecting and defending against the range of natural and
man-made threats confronting the Homeland.
- Using all instruments of
national power and influence. The United States is using
its instruments of national power and influence – diplomatic,
information, military, economic, financial, intelligence, and law
enforcement – to prevent terrorism, protect the lives and livelihoods
of the American people, and respond to and recover from
incidents. We must build on these efforts, by continuing to
enhance our processes for sharing all relevant and appropriate
information throughout all levels of government and with our partners,
and by prioritizing the continued transformation of our law enforcement
With Congress To Make FISA Reform Permanent, And Other Legislative
The U.S. Congress should take bold steps to fulfill its
responsibilities in the national effort to secure the Homeland and
protect the American people.
- Congress should help ensure that we have the necessary tools to
address changing technologies and homeland security threats while
protecting privacy and civil liberties. We must make additional
reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and ensure that
the statute is permanently amended so that our intelligence
professionals continue to have the legal tools they need to gather
information about the intentions of our enemies while protecting the
civil liberties of Americans.
- Both houses of the Congress should take action to further
the organization and structure of those committees that authorize and
appropriate homeland security-related funds and otherwise oversee
homeland security missions.
- The Congress should fully embrace a risk-based funding approach
so that we best prioritize our limited resources to meet the most
critical homeland security goals and objectives first.
Made Securing The Homeland
Since September 11, we have made extraordinary progress in securing our
Homeland and fighting the War on Terror. We have:
- Disrupted multiple potentially
deadly plots against the United States. We have greatly
increased worldwide counterterrorism efforts since 9/11, which has
constrained the ability of al-Qaeda to attack the Homeland and led
terrorist groups to find that the United States is a harder target to
- Strengthened our ability to
protect the American people by creating the Department of Homeland
Security. We have also enhanced our homeland security and
counterterrorism architecture through the creation of the Office of the
Director of National Intelligence, the Homeland Security Council, the
National Counterterrorism Center, and U.S. Northern Command, a
Department of Defense combatant command focused on homeland defense and
- Made our borders more secure.
We are implementing an effective system of layered defense by
strengthening the screening of people and goods overseas and by
tracking and disrupting the international travel of terrorists.
- Instituted an active,
multi-layered approach to that integrates the capabilities of Tribal,
local, State and Federal governments, as well as those of the private
and non-profit sectors. In addition, Federal grant funding
and technical assistance has also enhanced State, local and Tribal
homeland security training and equipment, emergency management
capabilities, and the interoperability of communications.
- Worked with Congress to create,
implement, and renew key legal reforms. The USA PATRIOT
Act, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and
the Protect America Act of 2007 promote security and help to implement
9/11 Commission and WMD Commission recommendations, while protecting
our fundamental liberties.
href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/">CLICK HEREstyle="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;"> to learn more from the
CLICK HERE to return to 9/11 Anniversary Main Page