Bipartisan commission to U.S.: Improve terrorism response, prevention capabilities

The United States is failing to take appropriate steps to reduce the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, according to a report card (.pdf file) issued Jan. 26 by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

The bipartisan commission issued 17 "grades" on how well the U.S. government has implemented previous recommendations from the commission regarding citizen and community preparedness, biological risks, nuclear risks, and government reform.

The report card, authored by former Sens. Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R-MO), warned of the need to improve preparedness in light of the H1N1 influenza pandemic and the Dec. 25 attempted bombing of an international flight bound for Detroit.

Of the 17 grades, the government received three "F's," including enhancing rapid response capabilities to biological attacks and reforming congressional oversight. Four "A" or "A-minus" grades were given for conducting a review of the domestic program to secure dangerous pathogens and designating a White House WMD proliferation and terrorism advisor.

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