In an article published on HuffingtonPost.com and Yahoo News, McMillen said, "If I could have one wish for the New Year, it would be that our elected officials put politics aside and take the steps essential to protecting our nation."
McMillen, a former three-term congressman from Maryland who was on the U.S. Olympic team at Munich in 1972, said funding for homeland security must be "by level of risk and not by politics."
Citing his concern about a nuclear detonation in Manhattan or some other American city "that would be shattering to our democracy," McMillen said, "We must today secure nuclear material globally, not a decade from now."
He said it was necessary to responsibly finance the war on terrorism, which, according to McMillen, means not shifting the costs to future generations by borrowing the money to pay for increased security and military measures.
In addition, said McMillen, young people must be engaged, because they "do not believe terrorism presents a danger to them."
McMillen called for "a World Security Organization modeled after the World Health Organization . . . dedicated to mobilizing the resources of the many nations needing stability."
McMillen recalled his experience as a 20-year-old member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team in Munich where, "over a matter of hours, the Olympic Village went from a place where there was no visible security to an armed camp," with police officers on every street corner dressed in sweatsuits and carrying Uzis.
"But they were too late," McMillan remembered. "The world would never seem quite so safe again to me. And the events in the following days – the murder of the Israeli athletes and the abortive rescue in which all the athletes were killed – were certain the end of my political innocence."
He noted that many Americans find it difficult to imagine this country thrust into chaos and anarchy by terrorist attacks, "but Hurricane Katrina has made us see the sobering reality of how thin our margin of safety and order is. Hurricanes are devastating, but not malign. When we are facing an enemy like Al Qaeda, we must strengthen not only the critical infrastructure of our nation, but the backbone of our citizens and leaders as well. If we do not, I fear that revisiting Munich or 9/11 is only a matter of time," said McMillan.
Noting that Tom Keane, former chairman of the 9/11 Commission has said that he believes "terrorists will strike again," McMillen said that prevention is the answer.
The full text of McMillen's comments may be read at www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mcmillen.