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Title: The National Response Plan and the Problems in the Evaluation and Assessment of the Unconventional Modes of Terrorism

Abstract

In the wake of the events of 9/11, a presidential mandate ordered the development of a master plan to enable governmental agencies to not only seamlessly cooperate but also rapidly react to disasters. The National Response Plan (NRP) is the document in force (December 2004). It was developed to provide a framework for response to catastrophic events whether those events are natural or man-made. Homeland Security, the coordinating entity, is an integral and critical part of that plan. The NRP is a direct outgrowth of the Initial National Response Plan and operates in tandem with the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS was the first real attempt to amalgamate the capabilities and resources of some 22 governmental entities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector. The effectiveness of this system's response to natural disasters has been tested with reference to its performance during the 2005 late summer-early fall series of catastrophic hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). Ongoing evaluation of the response by the system indicates that there are significant lessons to be learned from system errors that occurred from the federal to local levels of government. Nevertheless, the conclusion would seem to be that Homeland Security's organizational structure of NIMSmore » combined with protocols developed in the NRP represents an excellent response to both natural and man-made catastrophes. The lessons learned in these natural occurrences (chain of command failures and missteps from first responders to national level, periodic inaccurate and irresponsible news reporting, evacuation capabilities, quarantine problems, etc.) are directly applicable to potential man-made disaster events. In the yet largely untested areas of man-made disasters, the NRP document forms the basis for responding to terrorism as well as accidental man-made related incidents. There are two major categories of terrorism: conventional and unconventional. Conventional terrorism would include such acts as: assassination, kidnapping, hostage taking, non-nuclear explosive devices, etc. The two NRP categories of catastrophic events and oil and hazardous materials contain sections considered to be in the area of conventional terrorism. Of potentially greater immediate concern are the four major modes of unconventional terrorism that are recognized: cyber-, biological (including agro-), chemical, and nuclear. The problem is to arrive at a mutually agreed upon order of importance of both conventional and unconventional terrorism categories. Consequent ranking of these modes enables the prioritization of those areas in which our limited national human and financial resources are to be expended and allocated (funding of research and development, commitment and selection of personnel, costs distribution, operational time-frame, information distribution level, etc.). Ranking of the terror modes will at best be difficult because of a lack of understanding of the potential impacts of each mode as well as the inherent vested bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic interests and biases. All cases of radiation-related incidents may be considered to be manmade with a potentially significant majority of those incidents assigned to a terrorism origin. Man-made accidental occurrences would be handled with a similar NRP response as would be expected in the case of a terrorist event. Radiation-related devices include the RDDs (Radioactive Dispersal Devices) and nuclear fission and fusion weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Pragmatically, the most likely scenario to develop would involve RDD utilization. This conclusion would seem to be reasonable in view of the current apparent capabilities and sophistication required to construct, transport, and deliver a nuclear WMD. (authors)« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. University of Texas at El Paso, P.O. Box 3, 500 West University, El Paso Texas, 79968 (United States)
  2. U. T. Houston School of Public Health, 1100 North Stanton, Suite 110 C, El Paso, Texas 79902 (United States)
  3. Radiological Physics, Inc., 4333 Donnybrook Place, El Paso, Texas 79902 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, Inc., PO Box 13023, Tucson, AZ, 85732-3023 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
21208766
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-09-WM-06327
TRN: US09V1077079553
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 2006 Symposium - WM'06 - Global Accomplishments in Environmental and Radioactive Waste Management: Education and Opportunity for the Next Generation of Waste Management Professionals, Tucson, AZ (United States), 26 Feb - 2 Mar 2006; Other Information: Country of input: France; 42 refs
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ACCIDENTS; CRIME; EQUIPMENT; EVALUATION; HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; NATIONAL SECURITY; NATURAL DISASTERS

Citation Formats

LeMone, David V., Gibbs, Shawn G., and Winston, John W. Jr. The National Response Plan and the Problems in the Evaluation and Assessment of the Unconventional Modes of Terrorism. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
LeMone, David V., Gibbs, Shawn G., & Winston, John W. Jr. The National Response Plan and the Problems in the Evaluation and Assessment of the Unconventional Modes of Terrorism. United States.
LeMone, David V., Gibbs, Shawn G., and Winston, John W. Jr. Sat . "The National Response Plan and the Problems in the Evaluation and Assessment of the Unconventional Modes of Terrorism". United States.
@article{osti_21208766,
title = {The National Response Plan and the Problems in the Evaluation and Assessment of the Unconventional Modes of Terrorism},
author = {LeMone, David V. and Gibbs, Shawn G. and Winston, John W. Jr.},
abstractNote = {In the wake of the events of 9/11, a presidential mandate ordered the development of a master plan to enable governmental agencies to not only seamlessly cooperate but also rapidly react to disasters. The National Response Plan (NRP) is the document in force (December 2004). It was developed to provide a framework for response to catastrophic events whether those events are natural or man-made. Homeland Security, the coordinating entity, is an integral and critical part of that plan. The NRP is a direct outgrowth of the Initial National Response Plan and operates in tandem with the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS was the first real attempt to amalgamate the capabilities and resources of some 22 governmental entities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector. The effectiveness of this system's response to natural disasters has been tested with reference to its performance during the 2005 late summer-early fall series of catastrophic hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). Ongoing evaluation of the response by the system indicates that there are significant lessons to be learned from system errors that occurred from the federal to local levels of government. Nevertheless, the conclusion would seem to be that Homeland Security's organizational structure of NIMS combined with protocols developed in the NRP represents an excellent response to both natural and man-made catastrophes. The lessons learned in these natural occurrences (chain of command failures and missteps from first responders to national level, periodic inaccurate and irresponsible news reporting, evacuation capabilities, quarantine problems, etc.) are directly applicable to potential man-made disaster events. In the yet largely untested areas of man-made disasters, the NRP document forms the basis for responding to terrorism as well as accidental man-made related incidents. There are two major categories of terrorism: conventional and unconventional. Conventional terrorism would include such acts as: assassination, kidnapping, hostage taking, non-nuclear explosive devices, etc. The two NRP categories of catastrophic events and oil and hazardous materials contain sections considered to be in the area of conventional terrorism. Of potentially greater immediate concern are the four major modes of unconventional terrorism that are recognized: cyber-, biological (including agro-), chemical, and nuclear. The problem is to arrive at a mutually agreed upon order of importance of both conventional and unconventional terrorism categories. Consequent ranking of these modes enables the prioritization of those areas in which our limited national human and financial resources are to be expended and allocated (funding of research and development, commitment and selection of personnel, costs distribution, operational time-frame, information distribution level, etc.). Ranking of the terror modes will at best be difficult because of a lack of understanding of the potential impacts of each mode as well as the inherent vested bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic interests and biases. All cases of radiation-related incidents may be considered to be manmade with a potentially significant majority of those incidents assigned to a terrorism origin. Man-made accidental occurrences would be handled with a similar NRP response as would be expected in the case of a terrorist event. Radiation-related devices include the RDDs (Radioactive Dispersal Devices) and nuclear fission and fusion weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Pragmatically, the most likely scenario to develop would involve RDD utilization. This conclusion would seem to be reasonable in view of the current apparent capabilities and sophistication required to construct, transport, and deliver a nuclear WMD. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2006},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
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