The State of Our Defenses

The U.S. has spent tens of billions over the past three years to bolster domestic security. But in critical areas, the homeland remains at risk

AIR TRAVEL

What's changed: The Transportation Security Administration, created in November 2001, now oversees security screening in the nation's airports. Thousands of air marshals fly undercover on commercial flights.

What hasn't: While carry-on bags are screened for explosives, passengers are checked only for the metal kind. Cargo loaded onto passenger planes is rarely inspected as thoroughly as checked baggage.

NUCLEAR FACILITIES

What's changed: At facilities such as power reactors, the government has increased patrols, installed additional physical barriers, beefed up security forces in the area and expanded employee-background checks.

What hasn't: The security perimeters at nuclear sites remain vulnerable to attacks...

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