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NCJ Number: NCJ 190314     Find in a Library
Title: Consequence Management: Domestic Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction
  Document URL: HTML 
Author(s): Chris Seiple
  Journal: Parameters  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:Autumn 1997  Pages:1 to 13
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 13
  Annotation: This article examines the ways and means of dealing with the effects of a biological or chemical terrorist attack on the United States.
Abstract: Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be used against the United States, but the country is not prepared for it, and does not know how it will respond. Presidential Decision Directive 39 (PDD-39) addresses how the United States should deal with the prospect of terrorist use of WMD. The PDD divides the threat into two categories: crisis response and crisis management. Crisis response refers to perpetrators being discovered before an actual assault. Crisis management refers to the ways to alleviate the effects of an attack. PDD-39's dichotomy between prevention and dealing with the consequences could lead to dangerous ambiguity. The battle of consequence management has been lost if there has not been planning well before any threat of an incident emerges. Before the Atlanta Summer Games in 1996, a Chemical-Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) was quickly put together. Twenty minutes after a pipe bomb exploded on July 27, a CBIRF had assembled a force of 120 personnel, ready to respond. But at a laboratory, scientists were asking themselves what higher authorities seemingly did not: what if the blast had been laced with a biological agent. Samples were taken two hours later to a lab. In this case, consequence management operators were forced to figure things out for themselves. Since Atlanta, the Department of Defense (DOD) has made changes to establish a standardized operational response. More political and DOD leadership is needed to improve and integrate consequence management into an overall response. Investments need to be made in WMD detection. A certification process needs to be developed to improve the capabilities of others. Other recommendations are to: develop relationships between local responders and Federal officials; establish a science and technology center that will be the center of a consequence management system; mandate studies, such as one to recognize evolving needs of military and civilian law enforcement agencies; and encourage conferences. Endnotes
Main Term(s): Terrorism/Mass Violence ; Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Weapons ; Crisis management ; International terrorism ; Domestic terrorism ; Police counter-terrorism training ; Counter-terrorism intelligence ; Terrorist weapons
Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Downloaded September 17, 2001
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