I really don’t know how I feel about Biden’s run for President in ’08. I have a couple of friends who are working for him and they think the world of him – I’m still waiting to see if he plagiarizes anything this time around ;).
But in all seriousness, his speech at the Washington Press Club yesterday is one of the VERY BEST critiques of Bush policy coupled with a solid plan and a different perspective for moving forward. You can read it at the link above starting about a third of the way down the page after the senate gobbledygook. It’s basically in the following four parts:
Part 1: Take back some of the tax cuts for people making over $1 million a year in order to put $10 billion a year ($50 billion over 5 years) into a Homeland Security Trust Fund. The Trust Fund would be dedicated for: implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission; hiring 50,000 new police officers and 1,000 FBI agents; requiring 100 percent cargo container screening at our nation’s sea ports; implementing strict interoperability standards for first responders and providing them with spectrum and equipment to allow them to communicate during emergencies; spurring research, development and deployment of new screening technology at sea and air ports; and investing in our public health system to ensure capacity to respond to biological, chemical, radiological attacks or pandemics.
Part 2: To intercept threats abroad, we need more aggressively securing and destroying ‘loose’ weapons and requiring tougher non-proliferation policies including no-notice, on-site inspections. In addition, improve detection systems to prevent materials of mass destruction from transiting the globe, seek new laws to seize suspect cargoes on the high seas and in international air space and help partner countries build up their own capacity to detect, disrupt and destroy extremist networks.
Part 3: Instead of alienating partners, work with them to build a cooperative, international anti-terror network of like-minded countries. Forge new alliances of law enforcement, intelligence and financial officials to uproot terrorists abroad and limit their access to financial resources.
Part 4: Put more emphasis on building the institutions of democracy: political parties, independent media and judicial systems, non-governmental organizations, secular education, labor unions and civil society.