Matt Mayer on Dismantling the Department of Homeland Security



After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, President George W. Bush resisted Congress' urge to create a new federal department charged with the homeland security mission. Bush believed the federal government could protect America with a strong homeland security council managed by the White House, similar to the National Security Council. Following relentless pressure, he acquiesced and the federal government gave birth to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.

The new department largely consists of agencies and offices pulled from other existing cabinet departments. After twelve years of mediocre-to-poor operations and countless scandals, it is clear President Bush's initial instinct was correct, writes Matt Mayer, a former senior official at DHS under the Bush administration. It is time to eliminate DHS and put the various components where they are a better fit.