In July, I was asking myself:
Think about how a large terrorist operation might be able to cripple a city for days or weeks, and how will you counter that threat. Will that be different from countering dramatic changes in weather or catastrophic climate change?
Larry Johnson thinks that at least some of the response will have to be on a similar scale.
The crisis response to a hurricane is the same as a response to a terrorist attack. Restoration or services, remediation, and humanitarian help are the same regardless of whether it is man made or nature made. The biggest problems in any response are always the same--chain of command (i.e., figuring out who is in charge) and communication. It is inexcusable for the Bush Administration officials to claim they had no way of anticipating this disaster or planning for it. At least they've been consistent. We now know that the failure to plan for the aftermath in Iraq was but a precursor of things to come at home.
He Then wonders, like many of us, whether the Bush administration is actually prepared to defend against a terrorist attack on US soil.
Hopefully this debacle will inspire the Republican controlled House and Senate to get off their ass and demand the Bush Administration explain how it will respond if terrorists detonate a nuclear device in the harbor of New York City or Los Angeles. We don't know if or when such a tragedy will happen, but we do know it is something that could happen and that we should be prepared to handle. That is the purpose of holding crisis management exercises. You work on problems and potential solutions before you are in the midst of an actual crisis.
Larry suggests that the government probably has neither the necessary imagination nor the willingness to have done this already. Frankly, the incompetent response of the Bush administration in the wake of hurricane Katrina suggests that four years after 9/11, the administration is still not prepared to respond to emergencies of a regional scale.