Assessment of the Fiscal Year 1997 Department of Defense Budget and Program Activities for Domestic Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction   [open pdf - 5MB]

This thesis examines Department of Defense involvement in U.S. preparedness to manage the consequences of a nuclear, radiological, biological, or chemical terrorist attack against its cities. It analyzes the establishment and implementation of the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996 which directed the Department of Defense to assist in the training of state and local emergency response agencies involved in consequence management activities. The historical analysis focuses on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, major terrorist incidents since 1993, international standards, and legislative and executive efforts undertaken to combat terrorism up to 1996. The $150 million Nunn Lugar Domenici amendment to the FY-97 National Defense Authorization Bill is examined in detail from introduction on the Senate floor to eventual passage and enactment. Problems and policy issues associated with resourcing and implementing the resulting Domestic Preparedness Program are treated. Although the DoD was given responsibility for implementing city training, an interagency effort ensued involving the Public Health Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Energy, and others. Potential weaknesses may materialize due to several characteristics of the Domestic Preparedness Program, including its novelty and uniqueness, the unorthodox legislative process by which it was established, and its complex organizational structure and temporary nature.

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