Advisors, Czars and Councils: Organizing for Homeland Security

The task of homeland security is too important to trust to schemes for organizational centralization.

Issue: Summer 2002

Nine days after September 11, President George W. Bush announced that
the Federal government's effort to secure the American homeland
against future terrorist attacks would be led by a new, White
House-based Office of Homeland Security (OHS). He appointed his close
friend, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, to head the office. While
this step was widely welcomed, there has been a near-consensus among
Washington veterans that Ridge lacks the leverage necessary for the
job, even as a member of the White House staff with clear and direct
access to the President. "I fear that as an advisor who lacks a
statutory mandate, Senate confirmation, and budget authority, he will
not be as effective as we need him to be", Senator Joseph Lieberman
(D-CT) argued. "A homeland coordinator with only advisory authority
is not enough. We need a robust executive agency to carry out the

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