The federal civil defense program had a statutory basis in Public Law 920 of the 81st Congress. Its repeal in 1994 under President Clinton might have covered up the fact that since the 1970's and President Nixon civil defense was not a real factor in the strategic equation of nuclear weapons. MAD, however is still the US strategic doctrine. The US Congress after the 1970's gave almost no oversight to the CD program and in fact accelerated its grant program as unrestricted revenue sharing.
Theoretically, the President's did not want to deal with CD after JFK and in a series of PD's and NSDD's used that system to largely fig leaf a decrepit effort. It should be said however that honorable people ran the program and did worry and lose sleep over the survival of a substantial portion of the US population should an attack occur. Two policy adoptions would have facilitated CD. First, renunciation of the MAD doctrine and simultaneous renunciation of first use of nuclear weapons. Even President Obama seems held captive to the DoD and DoE nuclear priesthood even as costs of the cleanup of the bomb complex realistically are probably close to $1 trillion.
Even weaker than the statute itself as amended as of the date of NSDD-66 (U) the language adopts the all-hazards mantra that now even rules in DHS.
So here is the text annotated by me for readers!
Editors note- While copied from the original several
editorial highlights have been added to enhance emphasis.
It should also be noted that this was the last Presidential Directive/ National Security Directive issued to provide guidance on Civil Defense prior to portions of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, as amended being incorporated in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Essentially it mandates all-hazards preparedness and was reflected in a formal statutory amendment of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 by Public Law 103-160 in 1993]
THE WHITE HOUSE
March 16, 1992
NATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTIVE 66
MEMORANDUM FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT
THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY
THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE PRESIDENT
ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
MANAGER, NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
SUBJECT: CIVIL DEFENSE (U)
The United States will have a civil defense capability as an element of our overall national
security posture. The objective of the civil defense program is to develop the required capabilities common to all catastrophic emergencies and those unique to attack emergencies in order to protect the population and vital infrastructure. Civil defense can contribute to deterrence by denying an enemy any confidence that he could prevent a concerted national response to attack. (U)
The civil defense program will support all-hazard integrated emergency management at State and local levels. In so doing, the civil defense program will: (U)
1) Recognize and respect the primary responsibility of State and local governments to provide for the safety and well being of their citizens in emergencies other than national security emergencies.
2) Provide a focal point within the Federal government to work with State and local governments on integrated multi-hazard response planning and operations to deal with the consequences of catastrophic emergencies. (U)
3) Continue to implement a policy of dual use of civil defense resources through the development and use of capabilities at Federal, State and local levels to perform emergency functions to respond to emergencies of all kinds including attack. (U)
4) Focus on the development, jointly with State and local governments, of the required capabilities common to all catastrophic emergencies and those unique to attack emergencies, thus ensuring that the use of civil defense funds is consistent with, contributes to, and does not detract from attack preparedness. (U)
5) Provide for the development of a civil defense infrastructure capable of expansion in a national security emergency involving the threat of all forms of attack on the United States which provide advanced warning. (U)
6) Utilize to the maximum extent the existing capabilities, facilities and resources of all appropriate departments and agencies of the Federal Government, in accordance with Executive Order 12656 and, with their consent, those of the States and political subdivisions thereof, and of private sector organizations and agencies. (U)
Disaster-specific programs such as hurricane or flood relief programs which may be incorporated into the civil defense program and which are currently funded within domestic discretionary accounts will continue to be budgeted in this manner. In addition, any equipment or programs not needed for the consequence management of national security emergencies will be funded within the domestic discretionary accounts.
The program under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the support of heads of the Federal Departments and agencies, and under the general policy guidance of the National Security Council, will include: (U)
1) Population protection capabilities, with the Federal Government providing guidance and assistance to enable State and local governments to effectively support the population in all catastrophic emergencies. (U)
2) State and local government crisis management capabilities to effectively
support the population in all catastrophic emergencies. (U)
3) Information to promote a clear understanding by the public of the civil defense program, all threats which may affect their localities and actions they should take to minimize their effects. (U)
4) Information to assist U.S. business and industry in taking measures to protect their work forces and physical assets in all catastrophic emergencies and encouragement of the private sector to make maximum use of private sector capabilities. (U)
5) Voluntary participation by citizens and institutions in community civil defense activities and emphasis on citizen protective actions. (U)
6) Plans for sustaining survivors, for restoration of critical life support capabilities, and to establish a basis for recovery. (U)
7) Definition of and an assessment of the base capability necessary to respond to emergencies that do not provide warning, and the development of those base capabilities which are common to all catastrophic emergencies and unique to attack. (U)
8) Plans for a civil defense surge from the base capability to the total required capability in a national security crisis involving the threat of attack. These plans should assume advanced warning, adequate time to conduct the surge, and the required base capability form which to surge. Total required capability is that operational capability necessary to protect the population and vital infrastructure through preparedness measures common to all catastrophic emergencies and unique to attack emergencies. (U)
The Department of Defense will support civil authorities in civil defense, to include facilitating the use of the National Guard in each state for response in both peacetime disasters and national security emergencies. Subject to the direction of the President and the Secretary of Defense, readiness of the armed forces for military contingencies will have precedence and civil authorities should not rely exclusively on military support. Federal military resources will be employed in civil defense missions only if State and Federal civil resources are not sufficient. Nothing in this directive alters or otherwise affects the chain of command for the armed forces established by the Constitution and laws of the United States. (U)
Nothing in this directive provides for any new Federal responsibilities which are now the responsibility of State and local governments. (U)
National Security Decision Directive 259, dated February 4, 1987, is rescinded. (U)
/signed/ George H.W. Bush