Key Security Problems Remain Unresolved Five Years after 9/11

DALLAS, Texas (December 19, 2006) — More than five years after 9/11, the federal government has still not come to grips with key issues in transportation security and emergency communications, according to articles in the Winter 2007 edition of Issues in Science and Technology.

In Not Safe Enough: Fixing Transportation Security, R. William Johnstone, a staff member of the 9/11 Commission, cites widespread evidence that only limited progress has been made in bolstering aviation, maritime, and land transportation security and calls for a fundamental reassessment of how the United States is approaching the issue. 

In Improving Public Safety Communications, John M. Peha of Carnegie Mellon University argues that today’s emergency communications systems put the lives of first responders and the public at risk and will remain inadequate as long as primary responsibility rests with local government. He calls for the development of a nationwide broadband network designed as an integrated infrastructure.

The Winter 2007 Issues also features an article questioning the Bush administration’s new space policy. In The New U.S. Space Policy: A Turn Toward Militancy?, Joan Johnson-Freese of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, says that the blunt and even confrontational language of the new policy puts the United States at odds with the priorities of other space-faring nations.

In Deep Competitiveness, an article that criticizes many policymakers for being complacent about the challenges facing U.S. economic competitiveness, Robert D. Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, DC, writes that current proposals to stimulate competitiveness are necessary but not sufficient to meet the challenges posed by a rapidly evolving global economy and the aggressive policies of other nations.         

Also in the Winter 2007 Issues:

Growing Older or Living Longer: Take Your Pick. Laura L. Carstensen of Stanford University argues that research to understand the psychological and emotional processes of aging is essential to creating a society in which the elderly can thrive.

Avoiding Gridlock on Climate Change. Richard E. Benedick of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory writes that with the Kyoto Protocol’s global progress bogging down, a parallel strategy of smaller, focused negotiations to achieve partial solutions could put the world back on the right track.         

None Dare Call it Hubris: The Limits of Knowledge. Michael M. Crow, the president of Arizona State University, argues that our best hope for finding our place in nature and on the planet resides in embracing our limits and recognizing them as an explicit design criteria for moving forward.

About Issues in Science and Technology

Issues in Science and Technology is the award-winning journal of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the University of Texas at Dallas. Visit online at

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