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communications, equipment, and planning requirements, and the
needs of maritime regions;
respect to Federal agency weapons of mass destruction response
for weapons of mass destruction incidents; and
funding effective local response capabilities.
That Act required the Advisory Panel to report its findings, conclusions, and
recommendations for improving Federal, State, and local domestic emergency
preparedness to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction to the
President and the Congress three times during the course of the Advisory Panel's
deliberations-on December 15 in 1999, 2000, and 2001.
The Advisory Panel's tenure was extended for two years in accordance with
Section 1514 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (S. 1358,
Public Law 107-107, 107th Congress, First Session), which was signed into law by the
President on December 28, 2001. By virtue of that legislation, the panel is now required
ubmit two additional reports-one on December 15 of this year, and one on
December 15, 2003.
Leadership of the Subcommittee
Let me again commend this panel, and especially its distinguished Chairman, the
gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon, for your continuing leadership in bringing
these issues involving homeland security and combating terrorism before the U.S.
Congress and the American people. Many will not remember, as we on the Advisory
Panel remember so well, that this subcommittee and its Chair were well into these issues
long before the attacks of last September, including the foresight to establish and then to
extend the tenure of the Advisory Panel for an additional two years.
Mr. Chairman, as I usually do on occasions like this, please allow me to pay special tribute to the men and women who serve on our panel.
This Advisory Panel is unique in one very important way. It is not the typical national "blue ribbon" panel, which in most cases historically have been composed almost exclusively of what I will refer to as "Washington Insiders"—— people who have spent most of their professional careers inside the Beltway. This panel has a sprinkling of that kind of experience—a former Member of Congress and Secretary of the Army, a former State Department Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism, a former senior executive from the CIA and the FBI, a former senior member of the Intelligence Community, the former head of a national academy on public health, two retired flag-rank military officers, a former senior executive in a non-governmental charitable organization, and the head of a national law enforcement foundation. But what truly makes this panel special and, therefore, causes its pronouncement to carry significantly more weight, is the contribution from the members of the panel from the rest of the country:
Three directors of state emergency management agencies, from
The deputy director of a state homeland security agency
A state epidemiologist and director of a state public health agency
A former city manager of a mid-size city
The chief of police of a suburban city in a major metropolitan area
A senior emergency medical services officer of a major metropolitan area
And, of course in the person of your witness--a former State governor
These are representatives of the true “first responders"—those heroic men and
women who put their lives on the line every day for the public health and safety
of all Americans. Moreover, so many of these panel members are also national
leaders in their professions: our EMS member is a past president of the national
association of emergency medical technicians; one of our emergency managers is
the past president of her national association; our law officer now is president of
the international association of chiefs of police; our epidemiologist is past
president of her professional organization; one of our local firefighters is chair of
the terrorism committee of the international association of fire chiefs; the other is
chair of the prestigious national Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization
Read our reports and you will understand what that expertise has meant to
the policy recommendations that we have made, especially for the events of last
Those attacks continue to carry much poignancy for us, because of the direct loss
to the panel. Ray Downey, Department Deputy Chief and chief-in-charge of Special
Operations Command, Fire Department of the City of New York a friend of the
Chairman and known to this subcommittee and others like it throughout the Congress,
perished in the attack on the New York World Trade Center. Although we continue to
miss Ray's superb advice, counsel, and dedication to these issues, we trust that Ray
knows that we are carrying on in the tradition that he helped us to establish.
Our Continuing Mission
Mr. Chairman and Members, this Advisory Panel continues to work hard to develop the best possible policy recommendations for consideration by the President and the Congress. Now, of course, people and organizations are coming out of the woodwork, claiming to be all manner of "experts" in homeland security. At the same time, this panel is toiling away, seeking neither fame nor credit for its work, simply trying to find some rational and feasible solutions to many problems and challenges that still
Observations about Terrorism Preparedness
In the course of our deliberations, the Advisory Panel has been guided by several basic observations and assumptions that have helped to inform our conclusions and policy recommendations for improving our preparedness to combat terrorism.
First, all terrorism is "local," our at least will start locally. That fact has a lot to do, in our view, with the emphasis, the priorities, and the allocation of resources to address requirements. September 11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks were further proof of that basic assumption.
Second, a major attack anywhere inside our borders will likely be beyond the response capabilities of a local jurisdiction, and will, therefore, require outside help— perhaps from other local jurisdictions, from that jurisdiction's state government or multiple state resources, perhaps from the Federal government, if the attack is significant enough to exhaust other resources. That principle was likewise validated last September.
Given those two factors, our approach to combating terrorism should be from the
“bottom up”—with the requirements of State and local response entities foremost in
We note that we have many existing capabilities that we can build on in an “all
hazards” approach, which can include capabilities for combating terrorism.
Our thorough research and deliberations have also led us to observe that there is
great apprehension among States and localities that some Federal entity will attempt to come in and take charge of all activities and displace local response efforts and expertise.
That was not and likely could not, because of the actual circumstances in New York,
have been the case in September. But all events may not unfold in that fashion.
Based on a significant amount of analysis and discussion, we have been of the view that few if any major structural or legal changes are required to improve our
collective efforts; and that the "first order” challenges are policy and better
organization—not simply more money or new technology.
With respect to Federal efforts, two years ago we concluded that, prior to an
actual event, no one cabinet department or agency can “supervise” the efforts of other
federal departments or agencies. When an event occurs, response will be situational
dependent; federal agencies can execute responsibilities within existing authority and
expertise, but under established "Lead Federal Agency” coordinating processes.
The chart attached to this testimony is an attempt to depict graphically the
magnitude of the problem and the necessary interrelationships that must exist among
entities at the local, State, and Federal levels. It shows that integration must exist both
vertically and horizontally among various functions and the agencies that have