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Homeland Security: Complex Past, Uncertain Future by Rob Margetta

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The Politics of Funding

In the years just after 9/11, DHS found itself in a position few federal departments have occupied in recent decades.

“Money,” Ervin said, “was unlimited.”

That might exaggerate the situation slightly, he said, but not by much. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon set off government spending the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the end of the Cold War, with money heaped on intelligence, technology and staffing. Unwilling to wait to grow an expert workforce, the Bush administration established DHS with nearly equal parts federal employees and contractors that came on to the job with training and experience. The department still relies on a large percentage of skilled contractors.

The spending wasn’t ...

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