Wednesday, December 7, 2011

GAO on NG WMD Preparedness and Response

Odd that I posted on November 29th on FEMA and DHS have almost no identified role in WMD preparedness and response. I also listed recently to an EMForum presentation on the Radiologically Resilient Community. Now GAO [not in so many words but in substance] concludes that the NG is not prepared or able to respond to a WMD incident/event. Perhaps it won't happen but who knows. The GAO report can be accessed on my other blog at!

It was in winter of 1995 that then Senator Sam Nunn panicked over the Executive Branch's failure to be able to explain either WMD response systems or terrorism response systems. Remember the Oklahoma City Bombing had been earlier that year and President William Jefferson Clinton has issued PD-39 attempting to delineate a crisis management role and a consequences management role for DOJ and FEMA. In driving on an answer before the Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, Nunn had led enactment of a statute that mandated Executive Branch preparedness and response to both terrorism and WMD incident/events. FEMA begged off the state and local training role and so the President acceded to the statutory assignment to DoD of that mission for a three year period. Then the President was allowed to transfer it from DoD to some other Department or Agency. Again FEMA begged off and so DOJ took the role and created the NDPO [National Domestic Preparedness Office]supplementing the Office of Domestic Preparedness established in DOJ to administer the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. That Act had pass through monies to FEMA's USFA [US Fire Administration] to assist in training the FIRE SERVICE on terrorism exclusive of WMD.

And in DoD the NG created civil response teams that were to be the lead on WMD and terrorism preparedness and response.

Well given the GAO report you can obviously tell no one is in charge and few even understand the problems. Perhaps the terrorists will take advantage of this major error.

And did I mention that DHS was formed in part with the primary Executive Branch mission of WMD preparedness and response yet I can still not identify budget or staff devoted to anything but detection. And of course detection is good but does not really encompass preparedness and response.