Task force to aid homeland planning

Council on Foreign Relations

The Council on Foreign Relations on March 27 announced a new task force to help first responders coordinate, plan and get resources for homeland security efforts.

The ultimate purpose of the task force is to help federal and local government agencies coordinate homeland security planning and organization, but the group plans to address many specific steps to reach that goal. These include:

* Developing a three-year budget estimate for first responders.

* Working with Congress to move on first responder funding in the fiscal 2004 budget.

* Finding ways to fast-track delivery of funds and equipment to primary cities.

* Raising awareness at the state and local levels.

The council named Richard Clarke, the former head of critical infrastructure protection for both the Clinton and Bush administrations, as the senior adviser to the task force.

The chairman of the task force will be Warren Rudman, former senator from New Hampshire and co-chairman of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century.

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