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Institutionalize the War on Terror

To enhance America’s security, we transformed the way the Government does business. Beginning with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003, the Administration has strengthened the Government’s ability to protect and defend the Homeland and the American people. We continue to defend our borders and protect our citizens by strengthening transportation security, enhancing border security, expanding port and maritime security, protecting critical infrastructures, improving intergovernmental communications, and ensuring preparedness to respond to a crisis.

Domestic Institutional Reform

  • The DNI was created to serve as the President’s chief intelligence advisor and, as head of the Intelligence Community, to ensure close coordination and integration of the Government’s 16 intelligence components.
  • The NCTC was formally launched in December 2004 to serve as a multi-agency center analyzing and integrating all intelligence pertaining to terrorism, including threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad.
    • The NCTC is also a shared knowledge bank for the counterterrorism community, making information available to the intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security, diplomatic, and military communities across the United States Government.
  • NCTC’s Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP) is responsible for developing, implementing, and assessing the effectiveness of national plans that coordinate and apply all instruments of national power – diplomatic, intelligence, military, economic, financial, law enforcement and homeland security – toward the counterterrorism goals and objectives described in this report.
    • NCTC/DSOP ensures that the activities and capabilities of United States Government departments and agencies are integrated and synchronized in an orchestrated government-wide counterterrorism campaign.
  • In 2003, the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was established to consolidate terrorist watchlists and provide around-the-clock operational support for Federal and other government law enforcement personnel across the country and around the world.
  • The growth and maturation of the 101 Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) resident in major cities throughout the United States has substantially contributed to improved information sharing and operational collaboration. These JTTFs, which numbered only 35 on September 11, 2001, serve as centers of excellence in addressing both the collection of intelligence as well as the conduct of terrorism investigations.
  • In coordination with the DNI, the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI have created the National Security Branch within the FBI, merging its Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Divisions with its recently established Directorate of Intelligence (DI) and newly formed Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD).
  • The FBI is responding to the Nation’s call to transform itself into a preeminent domestic intelligence agency, creating the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) in 2003 and establishing a Field Intelligence Group (FIG) in every FBI field office. The DI works to ensure that intelligence is identified, collected, analyzed, and reported in order to identify or prevent a threat to the United States.
  • The Attorney General will also consolidate DOJ’s three primary national security elements – the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review and the Counterterrorism and Counterespionage Sections of the Criminal Division – under a new Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
  • The President also established the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) to plan, organize, and execute all military homeland defense and civil support missions in the continental United States, Alaska, and the offshore waters within its area of responsibility, including territorial waters.
  • DHS has expanded the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), its computer-based counterterrorism communications network, to all 50 states, five territories, the District of Columbia, and 50 other major urban areas to strengthen its two-way flow of threat information. HSIN delivers real-time interactive connectivity between Federal, State, and local partners with the DHS National Operations Center (NOC) up to the SECRET level.

International/Multilateral Efforts

  • The United States continues to work through the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to promote international standards and is helping develop FATF-style regional bodies to support implementation of these standards, including most recently the Middle East/North Africa Financial Action Task Force and the Eurasian Group to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
  • The United States joined its allies in the Organization of American States and became party to the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism.
  • The United States, in partnership with the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, has developed and promoted standards for international transport security, including travel document security and biometric identification.
  • In June 2004, the G-8 adopted, and has since successfully implemented, the Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative (SAFTI), which focused its 28 action items on developing best practices and mechanisms to increase impediments to terrorists’ travel.
  • The United States works with the U.N. Terrorist Prevention Branch (TPB), European Union (EU), and OSCE to encourage enactment of strong counterterrorism laws and to develop common standards and procedures to reduce terrorist exploitation of international travel.
  • Through centers like the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counterterrorism in Malaysia and the U.S.-sponsored International Law Enforcement Academies in Thailand, Botswana, Hungary, El Salvador, and the United States, we are providing counterterrorism training to law enforcement officers.
  • Since FY 2005, the Department of Defense has exercised new authority to build the capacity of our foreign partners to conduct internal security counterterrorist operations.
  • The United States renewed successful, decade-long bilateral agreements for research and development (R&D) of technologies for combating terrorism with the U.K., Canada, and Israel. Additionally, in 2006 we enacted similar cooperative R&D agreements with Australia and Singapore.
  • The United States has launched an African Maritime Governance Initiative (AMGI) to work in partnership with African countries to improve governance of their maritime space through programs that promote coastal and maritime security awareness and capability.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation directs a Safe Skies for Africa (SSFA) initiative that advances sustainable improvements in aviation safety, security, and air navigation in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Through the provision of training, equipment, and other assistance, we are building the capacity of foreign partners to attack and defeat terrorists, by strengthening their ability to conduct law enforcement, financial, regulatory, intelligence, and military activities.