AFP – “US government given poor grades for tackling WMD terror”

US government given poor grades for tackling WMD terror

AFP | September 9, 2008

Seven years after the September 11 attacks, the US government gets mediocre grades for work to prevent a future attack involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD), a bipartisan panel said Tuesday.

In a report card to be formally issued on Wednesday, the Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) said the government had failed to do its utmost to curb such a threat on its soil and check the spread of WMD overseas.

The PSA — which is following up on recommendations by a high-level panel on the 9/11 attacks for “maximum effort” against WMD proliferation and terrorism — gave the federal government an overall grade of “C.”

More specifically, it gave the government a C plus for maximum efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, a B minus for maximum efforts to prevent chemical terrorism and a C minus for maximum efforts to prevent biological terrorism.

“Today, almost seven years after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the threat of a new, major terrorist attack on the United States is still very real,” according to a copy of the report obtained by AFP.

“A nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in the hands of terrorists remains the single greatest threat to our nation. While progress has been made in securing these weapons and materials, we are still dangerously vulnerable,” it said.

“That is why our next president, in close cooperation with the US Congress, must elevate to the highest priority our efforts to secure these weapons and materials at their source, and prevent their transit into the United States.”

Making three key recommendations, the panel called for putting someone in charge, drafting an overall strategy, and bolstering international cooperation.

In 2004, the 9/11 Commission found that Al Qaeda still aimed to carry out massive attacks on the United States, and that Al Qaeda and other groups would try to obtain and use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

In order to thwart such attacks, the commission members told the president and Congress that “preventing the proliferation of these weapons warrants a maximum effort.

Making up the PSA panel are 9/11 commission members as well as national security advisors and top diplomats who served presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 10:00 PM  Leave a Comment  

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