The Costs of National Security – $333 on Iraq for Every $1 on Homeland Security, How Safe is This?

Now that we have the President’s latest ideas for victory in Iraq and fighting the terrorists overseas so we don’t have to fight them here, it’s time to look at their plan for protecting us at home. Are we open to attack from the rear while we’re distracted by the Iraq civil conflict that surrounds our troops? Are we so focused on Iraq that we won’t see the next direct hit like we didn’t the see the last one? Even though we are fighting them over there, does that mean there can’t be a few terrorists that are getting ready to implement another strike on our home?

Please note, I’m not trying to spread fear. I’m attempting a little practicality. If I’m distracted by a loud commotion at my front door, isn’t it possible that someone else is entering my back door with an unpleasant surprise? This is not very likely, but it is possible. So, how do I protect my home from this remotely possible situation?

Do I take a practical approach or do I come up with some expensive, illegal, mini war. Do I implement a balanced asset protection plan and make sure my home is secure against those that are looking for an easy mark? Or do I hock my home and other assets to pay for weapons to blow up another part of town where the criminals are known to hang out while leaving the back door unlocked? Besides not being legal the latter doesn’t make sense. (Even if a bunch of those criminals tried to kill my father….) How about I try to do both, like our government is doing? How much more impractical can this be and how well are they balancing the costs?

As you can see on the left side of this blog, there is a running cost for our efforts in Iraq. This I.O.U grows by over $3,000 per second and will be getting close to $400,000,000,000.00 by the 4th anniversary of our unprecedented preemptive invasion back on March 20, 2003.

Now, what has been spent on protecting our ports, other national assets and our back door. As shown in the table below, just over $1,500,000,000.00 for the past five years. On an annualized basis, our government is spending 333 times more on the Iraq criminals than on making our back door secure from another homeland hit.

DHS Program FY06 Total To Date
Port Security $168,052,500 $789,564,225
Transit Security, Rail, Bus, Ferry $135,998,093 $387,657,743
Buffer Zone,Chemical $72,965,000 $164,280,793
Intercity Programs $21,547,355 $162,098,008
Total $398,562,948 $1,503,600,769

Refer to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Fiscal Year 2006 Infrastructure Protection Program for details.

Relative to all this government spending on keeping us safe, here is a quote that needs restating, “So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy,” Osama bin Laden, November 2, 2004.

Maybe we would be much safer and maybe we could sadden Osama a little if our government moved funds from the illegal effort in Iraq to protecting the assets in the table above? If we took what we spend on Iraq in a year, we could spend 67 times more on protecting homeland assets than we have for the last 5 years.

(As an aside, there is one thing practical that has happened. There is actually a documented plan for protecting our back door. Too bad there wasn’t a similar plan prior to the start of for our efforts in Iraq.)



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About Andy Hailey

Vietnam Vet, UT El Paso Grad, Retired Aerospace Engineer, former union rep, 60's Republican now progressive, web admin, blogger.

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