Combating Terrorism: Use of National Guard Response Teams is Unclear, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 660KB]

"In September 1997, we reported that many federal agencies had duplicative or overlapping capabilities and missions in combating acts of terrorism, including incidents involving the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Recently, the Department of Defense (DOD) approved the creation of 10 National Guard Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection (RAID) teams to assist local and state authorities in assessing the situation surrounding a WMD emergency; advise these authorities regarding appropriate actions; and facilitate requests for assistance to expedite the arrival of additional state and federal military assets. As requested, we (1) obtained the views of federal, state, and local officials regarding the role of RAID teams in response plans; (2) determined whether there are other federal, state, or local government entities that can perform similar functions to the RAID teams; and (3) evaluated the RAID teams' roles and responsibilities and how the teams plan to meet these responsibilities. […] These issues further point to the need for a more focused and coordinated approach to the U.S. response to attacks involving weapons of mass destruction--an approach that capitalizes on existing capabilities, minimizes unnecessary duplication of activities and programs, and focuses funding on the highest priority requirements. Because of the differing views on the role and use of the RAID teams, the numerous organizations that can perform similar functions, and the potential operational issues that could impact the teams, we are recommending that the appropriate federal agencies determine the need for the teams."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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